Graduate Certificate in Heritage Conservation

San Xavier Mission

The Heritage Conservation program educates students in the preservation of the built environment as part of a comprehensive ethic of environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability. The Southwestern United States is a unique laboratory within which to explore a range of cultures, architectural styles and landscapes.   

The focus of our program is preparing students for practice in the field of Heritage Conservation. Our alumni work in the public and private sectors, including employment with the National Park Service, local historic preservation offices and museums, and cultural resources consulting firms. 

Students may pursue the Graduate Certificate in Heritage Conservation alone, or may combine it with other degrees, including the Master of Architecture, Master of Science in Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Science in Urban Planning, and Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology degrees.

The University of Arizona’s Heritage Conservation program is an active member of the National Council for Preservation Education.

Our program is a participant in the Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (DSCESU), a cooperative network of federal, university, and nongovernmental agencies studying and managing natural and cultural resources across the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas, expands opportunities for students to work on projects with federal agencies. Through the DSCESU, Heritage Conservation students have engaged in service learning projects and have been hired as research assistants for projects at places such as Valle Caldera National Preserve, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, and Zion National Park.

Formed in 2000, and encompassing the Sonoran, Mojave, and Chihuahuan deserts, the DSCESU has been involved in more than 400 projects, with funding totaling over $19 million. The DSCESU is hosted by the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

For additional information on admissions, please contact Program Coordinator Laura Jensen, 520-626-9775.

Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Arizona and the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free of discrimination. In support of this commitment, the university prohibits discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, based on a protected classification, including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. We are dedicated to inclusive excellence; the recognition and acceptance of the talents, worldviews, perceptions, cultures, and skills that diverse communities bring to the educational enterprise that can be harnessed to prepare students for leading, living, and working in a diverse world.

Please refer to the Office of Diversity & Inclusion for more information and resources.

From The Studio

The Spaces That Exist Between Private Properties: Bill Mackey, Lecturer in Architecture

“Everything I do as an artist and architect comes into my teaching methodology. I try to think about problems creatively and research them through a multitude of lenses. I expect the same of my students.”

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

A Deeper Appreciation for Context: Gina Chorover, Lecturer in Planning and Landscape Architecture

“What I love most is bringing the history of a place to the surface for people to see. When people understand the larger context of a building, site or city, they have a deeper appreciation for it.”

Helen Erickson

CAPLA Heritage Conservation Project Director Guides Urban Planning Graduates and Neighbors in Creating a Cultural Asset App for Tucson

Each year Helen Erickson brings together graduate students in her preservation planning course with neighborhood residents on a project designed to benefit the community. This year they created the Tucson Community Treasures app.


The CAPLA community is dedicated to nurturing and teaching design and planning methodologies that are grounded in an ethic of authentic, responsible, hands-on engagement. In this way, our graduates are prepared to transform the built environment.

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