What can you expect at UGA?
The University of Georgia is the oldest state-chartered university in America (1785), the University’s North Campus, where the College of Environment and Design is located, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This district, along with much of the city of Athens, provides a doorstep laboratory for preservation majors at the University of Georgia — along with numerous sites, districts, and entire communities across the state. It is in the context of dealing with contemporary issues that these areas provide professional training and practical experience to the student in both rural and urban environments.
Classes in historic preservation were first offered at the College of Environment and Design (CED, then a school) in 1973, with a full two-year master’s degree program initiated in 1982.Currently CED offers an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture and three graduate degrees—Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Environmental Planning and Design, and the Master of Historic Preservation. Topics such as downtown revitalization and landscape conservation have been a part of the College of Environmental Design’s instructional emphasis since before the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966.
Students enjoy exploring the city of Athens, which was selected as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for its dynamic downtown, attractive architecture, cultural landscape, and strong commitment to historic preservation and revitalization. Athens is known for its arts, music, history and its historic buildings, and the students and faculty of the UGA Master of Historic Preservation program play a pivotal role in documenting and preserving that history.
All of the MHP faculty are directly involved in local preservation efforts—from serving on the Board of the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation (ACHF) to spearheading movements to preserve and restore historic buildings like the Franklin House and the T.R.R. Cobb House—and students have the opportunity to participate in public outreach through such service projects as creating Historic Structure Reports for the Building Materials Conservation class and GIS mapping and survey projects for current and potential historic neighborhoods. Often working in partnership with the ACHF, as well as other local, state and national preservation and planning organizations, the students and faculty of the MHP program provide a valuable source of expertise for preserving historic resources in Athens and surrounding areas.