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Historic Preservation

View the most commonly asked questions about the Historic Preservation Program.


Q: Who is the Historic Preservation Certificate Program for?

A: The program is for anyone with an interest in historic preservation, museum studies, archaeology, or the historical heritage of Northern Virginia. The program is designed to provide students with a basic academic introduction to the field, guided by some of the top preservation professionals in the region. 

Completing the program could be the first step along the way to further academic study, a chance to get a foot in the door of museum work and archaeology, or just simply an opportunity to indulge a passion for historical heritage.

Q: In what order should I take the classes?

A: There are no prerequisites for any of the program's core classes and they do not need to be taken in any particular order.

Q: Do I have to take all of the Core Classes?

A: No, but the program requires you to take at least five of them. You are free to tailor your class selection to the aspects of the preservation field that best suit your own goals and interests. Contact the program head if you have any questions about the curriculum or about the possibility of course substitutions.

Q: What about transfer credits?

A: If you want to continue you academic education in historic preservation, many schools allow incoming students to transfer credits. Which classes and how many credits vary by school. 

If you have taken preservation-related classes at other institutions, they may be accepted by NOVA. Contact the program head for more details.

Q: What sort of internships are available?

A: All program students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship in Historic Preservation (HIS 199) as the culmination of their studies. The internship provides a chance to acquire  "hands-on" experience at a historic site, museum, or government agency somewhere in the northern Virginia region. 

In the past students have interned with the National Archives, the National Park Service, Quantico Marine Museum, the Fairfax County Museum, Dodona Manor, and Oatlands Historic House and Gardens. We’re always looking for new sites to place our students. 

Contact the program head well in advance of the semester in which you want to complete an internship to talk about the possibilities.

Q: Does the program offer classes online or at other NOVA campuses?

A: Currently, the Historic  Preservation Program is based at NOVA’s Loudoun Campus in Sterling, Va. However, we are looking into the possibility of offering courses at other campuses or online. Stay tuned!

Q: How long will it take me to complete the program?

A: You can move at your own pace through the program depending on your other time commitments. At a pace of two or three classes per semester, you can finish up in four semesters (1½ -2 years).

Q: What will I get when I complete the program?

A: You will receive a certificate from the College stating that you have successfully completed the program of study in Historic Preservation.

Q: Where can I continue my studies in Historic Preservation?

There are several colleges and universities in Virginia and the Washington, DC region that offer undergraduate concentrations and/or graduate degrees in historic preservation.  Here are some of the most prominent ones: