The Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design offers an 18-credit Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation designed to prepare a wide variety of professionals to understand, maintain, preserve, adaptably reuse, and advocate for the historic built environment and heritage of places. Drawing on the faculty’s diverse training and experience in preservation practice and deep connections to local, regional, and national preservation networks, the program combines classroom discussion, research projects, and practical experience to provide students with a strong foundation in preservation planning.

UMKC is the only University in the region with a Historic Preservation program.  The certificate program draws on the Kansas City region’s rich built environment heritage, dedicated preservation community, and institutional resources.  Kansas City’s rich history of parks and boulevards, neighborhood development, and unique landmarks provides an incomparable urban laboratory for the practice of historic preservation and neighborhood conservation.

The certificate is designed to be added to any graduate degree at UMKC, such as History, Art History, Real Estate, Law, Engineering, and Public Administration.  Students not enrolled in a graduate program at UMKC may pursue a certificate-only option if they have earned a bachelor’s degree and meet the UMKC School of Graduate Studies’s admission criteria.  The program seeks to create leaders in business and public policy who will address future challenges for cities and regions by revitalizing communities through the conservation of the state’s built heritage.  The next generation of leaders will need multidisciplinary training to tackle complex urban redevelopment challenges.

The curriculum, designed in accordance with the National Council on Preservation Education standards, is anchored in planning.  Such a focus is unique among preservation programs, which are typically aligned with architecture or architectural history.  Grounding preservation education and training in planning not only follows the recent and future trajectory of preservation practice but also broadens the perspective and possibilities for preserving and adapting historic places for the twenty-first century.


The curriculum consists of six 3-credit courses:*

Required Core:

UPD 5743: Introduction to Historic Preservation

UPD 5744: History of the Built Environment

UPD 5745: Historic Preservation Methods

UPD 5700: Advanced Planning Theory & Practice

Choose One Practicum:

UPD 5710: Historic Preservation Studio

UPD 5790: Historic Preservation Internship

Choose One Urban Planning or Other Approved Elective

Course descriptions are available through the UMKC catalog.

*Students must enter the program with one course in the history of the designed environment. If students do not meet this prerequisite, they must take a second course in addition to the one required as part of the curriculum.

How to Apply

The program is not currently accepting applications. Check back later for Fall 2022 admission.

New to UMKC? Please visit the graduate admissions website for the College of Arts & Sciences and follow the instructions. All applicants must submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words describing their interest in pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation to Essays should be submitted in PDF as attachments to emails that indicate they are part of the application for the Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation. The template for gainful employment can be viewed here.