Master of Science in Architecture

Focus your studies on Historic Preservation

Graduate students in Prof. Kerry Traynor’s Fall 2017 URP 581: Preservation Planning Practicum aboard the USS Columbia, working on its documentation.

Graduate students in Prof. Kerry Traynor’s Fall 2017 URP 581: Preservation Planning Practicum aboard the USS Columbia, working on its documentation. 

Students in the MS in Architecture program may choose to focus their path of study on the challenges, skills and concepts of historic preservation in preparation for professional practice in the field. Courses in this area are broadly suited for students with backgrounds in environmental design, architecture, urban planning, history, law, art history and other fields.

Historic preservation is fundamental to the work of architects and urban planners as communities around the globe increasingly look to conserve and creatively reuse their historic architectural resources. Engaging the material fabric of our rich cultural past, historic preservation involves knowledge of our urban and architectural histories, the craft and technical methods of preservation and sustainable design, and the development of supportive policy and planning tools.

What will you be studying?

MS in Architecture courses in historic preservation and urban design include history and theory, technical methods, sustainability, preservation planning and design. Including planning practicums and urban design studios, this path of study takes full advantage of the incredible historic resources in the Buffalo Niagara region. Faculty expertise is also global in scope, including historic urban landscape management for the developing world and experience in restoring historic buildings across the United States. Study abroad options at the School of Architecture and Planning range from Barcelona to Estonia to Tokyo.

Students in the historic preservation track of the MS in Architecture + Advanced Graduate Certificate program are expected to:

  • Complete a total of 48 credit hours
  • These credit hours have to include three semesters of history of the built environment, especially if the student has no background in this area
  • Fulfill the core requirements listed below, unless the student gets a course substitution approved by the program directors
  • Have one committee member on file by the first week of the second semester, and both committee members finalized by the end of the second semester.
  • Successfully defend and submit a thesis and have it approved by the special committee and the Graduate School, or complete a special project.


Cost of study

The University at Buffalo is the only institution in the SUNY system to offer graduate-level options in real estate development. Make a smart investment in your future – pursue an MS in Architectecture with a focus on real estate development at UB. 

Full-Time per Semester

Part-Time per Semester

The school's close engagement with its regional context in Buffalo supports hands-on learning in a world-class "laboratory" for historic preservation. Among the city's crown jewels - all legacies of the city's industrial wealth at the turn of the 20th century - are Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House Complex, Louis Sullivan's Guaranty Building and a Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park and parkway system. The city’s industrial landscape contains one of the nation’s largest clusters of grain elevators, widely regarded as a precedent for modernist architecture.

Graduates from the MS in Architecture focusing on Historic Preservation also qualify for the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation

Recent News

The School of Architecture and Planning has a long record of active engagement in the city's historic preservation movement that dates back to its founding in 1967. Our faculty, students and alumni have helped save landmarks from the wrecking ball, document the history of our urban fabric, build plans and policies for preservation, and adaptively reuse some of the city's most notable architecture. Just in recent years the school has developed a conservation district plan for one of Buffalo's oldest industrial neighborhoods, advanced new terra cotta restoration methods using digital design and fabrication technologies, and secured several National Register Historic District nominations.

Meet our program directors

Meet the Historic Preservation Affiliated Faculty

Please Note:

If you are interested in becoming a professional historic preservationist, you may wish to review the Secretary of the Interior's requirements, which include a combination of education and experience.

Interested in a Master of Science in Architecture?

Would you like to learn more?

Kevin P. Donovan
Director of Graduate Recruitment
129 Hayes Hall