The Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program prepares students for careers that explore and protect the places, objects and stories that create our history. As one of only nine undergraduate programs recognized by the National Council for Preservation Education, our curriculum provides a diverse foundation in the field’s major disciplines, including architectural history, archaeology, museum studies and urban planning.
Our program emphasizes the cultural relationships between people, objects and buildings and teaches students to preserve the stories that give those material things meaning. Our unique curriculum provides students with a strong foundation in architectural history, archaeology and preservation planning. We also offer a streamlined double major with art history for those students planning for a career in the museum field. Because we believe that experience is the best teacher, our students learn preservation by doing preservation, and we take full advantage of the world-class architecture and living laboratory that surrounds us. We employ the buildings and objects on our campus and in the city of Newport to help students develop valuable skill sets.
Through coursework and required internships, students photograph and create measured drawings of historic architecture, conduct archival research, participate in archaeological excavation and collaborate on the development of museum exhibits. We also train our students in cutting-edge preservation technology, including geographic information systems (GIS), photogrammetry, 3D digital modeling, aerial drone photography and archaeological geophysics (ground-penetrating radar, magnetic gradiometry and soil resistivity).
Life After Salve
Our students are uniquely positioned with the knowledge and experience they need for successful careers. As a result, we have an established record of placing our graduates in the nation’s leading preservation agencies, firms and organizations.
- Local and state government: An ever-increasing number of municipalities employ preservation planners, and every state has a historic preservation office.
- Federal government: A broad range of preservation work is available through the National Park Service.
- Private cultural resource management firms: These firms do contract work for clients ranging from private landowners to state governments, and also perform architecture documentation and evaluation.
- Private preservation organizations that maintain historic sites: There are hundreds - if not thousands - of local preservation organizations scattered across the country.
- Preservation contracting firms: Hands-on preservation work is a well-defined niche in the building industry, and there is a critical shortage of trained and skilled artisans in the historic building trades.
I am grateful to the cultural and historic preservation program for turning my fledgling interest in history into a career in historic preservation. The program surrounded me with people, places and experiences that fostered a passion for the field as well as a sense of academic rigor and community engagement that I apply every day on the job.
Alyssa Lozupone ’11, director of preservation, Newport Restoration Foundation