2024-25 Academic Catalog

Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation

The Master of Fine Arts degree in Historic Preservation focuses on historic preservation combined with preservation field studies. Upon successful completion of the program, students will possess the skills necessary to educate diverse populations and promote historic preservation while employed with non-profit organizations, government agencies, cities, museums, private companies, and in academia. Students will complete coursework in: history of American architecture, landscape architecture, and interiors; investigation and documentation of structures, interiors, and sites; adaptive reuse of existing buildings and intervention approaches; building materials conservation; historic preservation and conservation, preservation economics and advocacy; conservation of interior details, furniture, materials, and finishes; and additional preservation related courses available as electives.

Admission Requirements

Applicant’s must have a bachelor’s degree from a fully accredited four year educational institution, and earned a minimum GPA of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 system). They must submit an application form, a statement of purpose, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.

Provisional Admission

The provisionally-admitted student is eligible for a change to regular status after receiving a 3.00 or higher GPA on the first 9 hours of graduate courses at Mississippi State University (with no grade lower than a C unless one course retake is approved per the Graduate Course Retake Policy). The first 9 hours of graduate courses must be within the student's Program of Study. Courses with an S grade or transfer credits cannot be used to satisfy this requirement. If a 3.00 is not attained, the provisional student shall be dismissed from the graduate program. Academic departments may set higher standards for students to fulfill provisional requirements; a student admitted with provisional status should contact the Graduate Coordinator for the program’s specific requirements. While in provisional status, a student may be limited in the type of funding that can be used for a graduate assistantship (eg, positions that are state funded). Colleges and/or departments make these funding decisions following the rules of the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL).

Academic Performance

A graduate student should be placed on probation by the department when academic deficiencies occur but the student can potentially meet all degree requirements successfully. Examples of these situations include but are not limited to the following:

  • GPA falls below 3.00 required by the University;
  • Receives a third course grade lower than a B (one of these courses must be retaken and the student must earn a grade of B or higher); or
  • Fails to meet a departmental requirement.

A student may also be placed on academic probation if he or she falls short of any other standards for satisfactory academic performance established by their academic unit. Specific information relative to retaking of courses or completing remedial work will be established by the appropriate academic advisor, graduate committee, and Graduate Coordinator and shall be documented in written form. This remediation plan must specify a required date of completion. If the student intends to pursue the academic appeal process relating to the reason for being placed on probation, he or she must do so during the first probationary semester. If, at the end of the probationary period, the student has not met the requirements outlined in the remediation plan, she or he shall be dismissed. A student cannot take a comprehensive examination or defend/submit a thesis or dissertation during the probationary period without prior approval from the Academic Dean.

A graduate student shall be dismissed from the University if one or more of the following conditions occur:

  • He or she receives a second course grade of D or lower;
  • He or she receives a fourth course grade of C or lower;
  • He or she is found to be responsible for violating the Student Honor Code for a second time;
  • He or she was placed on academic probation and failed to meet the requirements for release from probationary status;
  • He or she failed a comprehensive examination or final thesis/dissertation defense two times in pursuit of an academic degree, unless the academic program has a different requirement; or
  • He or she falls short of any standards established by his or her academic unit, and the department recommends dismissal with approval of the Department Head (if applicable) and the Academic Dean.

A student shall be dismissed by the Graduate School for failure to meet University requirements as stated above after the academic unit confirms that there are no extenuating circumstances. A student can also be dismissed if the student's academic department recommends dismissal by submitting a Recommendation for Academic Dismissal form (a letter may be attached) from the Graduate Coordinator, approved by the Department Head (if applicable) and the Academic Dean, clearly stating the departmental requirements the student failed to meet. 

Upon review and approval of the reason(s) for dismissal, an official academic dismissal letter from the Dean of the Graduate School is sent to the student via email to the student's MSU account. The letter informs the student that any schedule of classes for the following semester(s) will be dropped, and the Graduate School places an academic dismissal hold on the student’s record to prevent further enrollment. The student may refer to the Graduate Catalog for information regarding the appeals process (see Academic Dismissal Appeal Procedure). A student who has been dismissed from a graduate program and has not been reinstated via the appeal process cannot apply for readmission into that program, except by meeting the conditions necessary to request Academic Amnesty (see Academic Amnesty).

Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation

  • At least 30 credit hours of GPA-graded coursework must be taken at the 8000-level or higher.
  • A student that has taken any of the above courses for undergraduate credit may use the undergraduate course to satisfy the graduate requirement for that course, however they must substitute another graduate-level course selected from the additional approved elective courses.
  • Master's Thesis or Practicum: Within the minimum of 60 hours of coursework, students are required to complete a written thesis or practicum which must be approved by their thesis committee or practicum advisor. The thesis committee will consist of at least three members, of which two will be graduate faculty at MSU. Additional members could be industry representative(s). The practicum is practice based and may include research, documentation, drawings, on-site- experience, analysis, synthesis, and its completion should add to the body of knowledge in historic preservation.