Historic Preservation and Community Planning

Study historic preservation, architecture, urban design and history.

The historic preservation and community planning program is versatile. You'll be ready for careers in cultural resource management, architecture, urban design and real estate. You'll also be prepared for graduate school.

Why should I major in historic preservation and community planning at the College of Charleston?

Studying historic preservation and community planning goes beyond old buildings. Focus on understanding, repairing and improving the built environment. The flexibility of this program allows you to add other courses and create your own academic program.

What will I learn?

You'll use a mix of traditional and hands-on learning. Gain practical skills like digital design, architectural conservation, craft and more. You'll also develop critical thinking skills like communication and creative problem-solving. You'll learn how to ask important questions that address the future of our world.

Program Highlights

Gain the tools to tackle social, economic and environmental challenges in today's world. The built environment serves as humans' habitat. You'll have the means to improve it for everyone's benefit.
  • Hands-On Learning

    You'll learn by doing. Many of our courses go beyond the classroom so you can apply your skills in real-world situations. For example, you may work on practical projects in our architectural design studio. You may research historic properties in archives. You'll create preservation plans that have a positive impact for campus and non-campus communities.

    Internship Opportunities
    Our internship course is a crucial part of preparing you for success. You'll gain valuable real-world experience. We'll guide you in the process of applying for jobs. We'll also help you critically analyze your workplace experiences. There's an abundance of diverse internship opportunities available. You may find an internship with institutions such as the:
    • City of Charleston's planning department.
    • National Trust for Historic Preservation.
    • Gibbes Museum of Art.
    Study Abroad

    The department of art and architectural history sponsors study abroad programs. In the past, students have had the chance to visit World Heritage sites in Japan, the United Kingdom and Cuba as part of these courses. We have an ongoing program at Dumfries House in Scotland. Study the traditional craft and sustainable living in collaboration with the King's Foundation. 

  • Senior Project

    During your senior project, you'll put into practice the skills you have acquired during your time at the College. You'll tackle research and design problems to create meaningful solutions. Your work may have a positive impact on your communities. Many of our students have had their work published.

  • Location

    Historic Charleston serves as a living laboratory. Downtown Charleston is internationally recognized for community-based preservation. There's no better place for hands-on learning! We have connections with more than 200 internship opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.

Careers & Outcomes

Our graduates find themselves in a range of professions. They have made a significant impact both domestically and internationally. They're often among the top candidates considered by firms, foundations and academic programs. Many of our students go on to graduate school and continue their studies. Our recent students have also found success in a variety of fields such as:
  • architecture.
  • planning.
  • interior design.
  • heritage management.
  • public interpretation.
  • building engineering.
  • law.

About the Minor

A minor in historic preservation can help you develop important hands-on skills. This minor is perfect for you if you're interested in history, art, business and more.