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.

Sample Curriculum

URP529 Documentation and Field Methods in Historic Preservation
Methods requirement
ARC Shop Techniques Class–TBA  3
ARC 531 Architectural History–Ancient to 1450
History 1
END581 Planning Practicum specializing in Historic Preservation
HP Track Studio with Prof. Kerry Traynor
Total Semester Credits   16
URP528 Foundations in Historic Preservation 3*
ARC527 Global Perspectives in Historic Preservation
Preservation Theory
URP690 Historic Preservation Colloquium 1
ARC534 Architectural History–1450 to present
History 2
 ARC567 Directed Pre-Thesis Research  3
  Elective 1
Total Semester Credits   16
ARC565 Understanding Urban Form 3
URP501 Evolution of Urban Structure
History 3
  Elective 3
ARC699 Thesis/ Capstone 7
Total Semester Credits   16

(Updated August 04, 2017)

*  These courses qualify a student for the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation. 

Adjustments to this curriculum are possible with the written permission of the Co-directors.

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

  Domestic In-State Domestic out-of-State International
Tuition  $5,655.00  $11,550.00  $11,550.00
Fees  $1,410.00  $1,410.00  $1,410.00
International Student Fee  $  -   $  -   $ 100.00
School Fee $237.00 $237.00 $237.00

Further details are available at:
Note: tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.

Updated: March 2020

Part-Time per Semester

(per credit up to 11) Domestic In-State Domestic out-of-State International
Tuition $471.00 $963.00 $963.00
Fees $110.01 $110.01 $110.01
Activity Fee (per semester) $85.00 $85.00 $85.00
Transcript fee (per semester) $5.00 $5.00 $5.00
International Student Fee (per semester) $ -   $ -   $100.00
School Fee (per semester) $237.00 $237.00 $237.00

Further details are available at:
Note: tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.

Updated: March 2020

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

Urban planning students have assumed an almost investigative role as they explore two of Buffalo’s most historically significant — and hidden — landscapes: the Buffalo Belt Line, a former passenger rail line that loops the city almost unnoticed; and the Scajaquada Creek, a largely buried 13-mile stream whose shores trace the evolution of Buffalo.

Incoming students jumped right into the classroom on a daylong orientation tour of Buffalo's world-class architecture and urban design. A key component of orientation, the tour introduces UB's future architects and planners to the city as a source of inspiration and site of investigation.


Preservation efforts must be galvanized; they require mobilization, time and resources. Preservation planner and UB professor Kerry Traynor was one of five architecture experts who answered the question: What’s one American structure you wish had been saved?

A graduate urban planning studio’s plan for preserving the cultural and historical landscape of Buffalo’s Scajaquada Creek corridor has won the American Planning Association New York Upstate Chapter “Outstanding Student Project” award for 2017.

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

Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning - 335 Hayes Hall - (716) 829-5325
Assistant Professor - Department of Architecture - Hayes Hall 317C - (716) 829-6912

Meet the Historic Preservation Affiliated Faculty

Associate Professor Hiroaki Hata holds a post-professional degree in urban design from Harvard University and a Master of Architecture degree from Washington University.
Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence, University at Buffalo
Professor - Department of Architecture - Capen Hall 549 - 716-645-6200
Clinical Associate Professor - Department of Urban and Regional Planning - Hayes Hall 334 - 716-829-5913
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