At Roger Williams University, we believe that preservation is about people and place as much as it is about history.
We offer a four-year Bachelor of Science, a two-year Master of Science, and a combined, accelerated 4 + 1 (five-year) B.S./M.S. dual degree in Historic Preservation. A minor in Historic Preservation is offered for students in other undergraduate programs. In cooperation with the School of Law, we also offer a unique Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Historic Preservation.
Historic preservation, which is also called built heritage conservation or the conservation of the historic environment, seeks to identify and conserve the historical authenticity of buildings, landscapes, and places for the benefit of human well-being. The primary activities in the field are the identification, treatment, and protection of these historic resources, and ways that these activities can be planned. While historic preservation has traditionally focused on buildings and places, contemporary approaches are increasingly interested in how people are affected by historic places and ways that the field can be redefined with the specific goal of benefitting people. As such, historic preservation is inherently interdisciplinary, incorporating broad aspects of the humanities (e.g. history, anthropology, environmental psychology, architecture) and science (e.g., materials science, engineering).
Historic preservation professionals work in four main areas: 1) planning, compliance, and environmental protection; 2) design and materials conservation; 3) historic site and museum management and interpretation; and 4) advocacy, downtown revitalization (e.g., Main Street), and community development.
Examples of our students' work are on RWU's Research and Scholarship site.
The Historic Preservation program at RWU has several unique aspects that set it apart from the competition:
The Historic Preservation Program is a member of the National Council for Preservation Education.
The Historic Preservation Program's location near some of North America's oldest and most historic communities, such as Newport (founded in 1639), Bristol (settled in 1680), Providence (founded in 1636), and Boston (founded in 1620), provide students with ample opportunities to put their studies into practice with field-based workshops, assignments, and internships with local, regional, national, and international organizations and firms. Students in the program have access to the following local and regional organizations, among many other possibilities:
In addition, students have access the following institutes, centers, and archives at Roger Williams University for their historic preservation work: