Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate Certificate Programs

The School of Architecture and Planning offers graduate certificate programs in Town Design, and Historic Preservation and Regionalism. These certificates require 18 credit hours, some of which can also be applied to a graduate degree program, and are open to applicants not currently enrolled as UNM graduate students.

Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation and Regionalism

Chris Wilson, Director
School of Architecture & Planning

The Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation and Regionalism is designed for students wishing to contribute to the conservation of architectural and cultural heritage, and to the contemporary vitality of valued regional traditions. The program integrates proven historic preservation techniques with the spectrum of related planning and design approaches for cultivating local history, and cultural distinctiveness. The Graduate Certificate is open to students pursuing a graduate degree in a related field at the University of New Mexico, those who already hold such a graduate degree, and those with a bachelor’s degree and appropriate related experience.

Students must either:

  • Hold a graduate degree in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, history, American studies, anthropology, architectural history, communications and journalism, environmental studies or other related field, or
  • Be admitted to or be currently enrolled in a graduate program at the University of New Mexico in one of these disciplines, or,
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in one of these disciplines, and demonstrate in a resume and the letter of intent experience or accomplishment such as professional licensing, publications, professional practice, or professional, non-profit or government work with responsibilities in preservation, heritage tourism development, regional design or planning, or related fields that indicate ability to complete this program.

Students who are not currently enrolled as graduate students at the University must apply through the Office of Graduate Studies.

Application Submission requirements:

  • A letter of interest explaining your reasons for seeking admission to the program, and your expected time line for completion of the certificate, and noting the criteria above that you satisfy, and your social security number, mailing address and email address.
  • Two letters of recommendation from people who know your educational or work accomplishments and abilities,
  • A resume, and
  • Academic transcripts for all higher education course work.

To insure consideration for a Fall semester admission, completed applications are due no later than March 1; for a Spring semester admission, no later than November 1. Depending on space availability, applications received after those dates may be considered.

To receive the Certificate, students must successfully complete a minimum of 18 credit hours, including:

1. ARCH/CRP/LA 579 Introduction to Preservation and Regionalism
2. ARCH/CRP/LA 590 Historic Research Methods
3.   Three hours of electives chosen in consultation with the Program Director from an approved electives list
4.    an approved FINAL PROJECT (minimum 3 hours)

List of approved electives:

ARCH 512 Preservation Technologies and Adaptive Reuse
LA 512 Cultural Landscape Planning
CRP 570 Preservation, Eco-tourism, and Community Development
ARCH 512 Alternative Construction Methods and Materials
CRP 570 Preservation Law
LA 562 Gardens in the Sand: New Mexico's Historic Landscapes
ARCH 662 Southwest Architecture and Cultural Landscapes
CRP 525 Urban Design Theory
CRP 573 Planning on Native American Lands
CRP 586 Planning Issues in Chicano Communities
AMST 513 Theories and Methods of Folklore Study
ANTH 582, ARTH 507 Museum Practices
CJ 573 Intercultural Field Research
HIST 510 Public History
  and other seminars with appropriate content as approved by the program director.

Graduate Certificate in Town Design

Mark C. Childs, Director
School of Architecture & Planning

Cities and towns are among humanity’s largest and most complex achievements. The buildings, public works, plazas and parks of even a small town embody substantial amounts of capital, energy, natural resources, history and aspirations. Cities are among our greatest creations, yet typically no single individual creates them.

The Certificate in Town Design aims to give students the foundations to ask critical questions about, study examples of, and propose approaches to designing the emergence of districts, towns, and cities.

  • What does it take to create a great town, a place that in and of itself gives life dignity, joy and beauty?
  • What aspects of physical design support the creation of vital public squares, plazas and other civic spaces? Can public art be an integral part of the urban design of these places? How do these commons reflect the character of the town?
  • How does the form of a town’s infrastructure work to configure and condition the architecture and character of the place?
  • How does the relationship between design professionals and other building participants (e.g., owners, citizens) shape, constrain and inform design? If cities emerge from design and dialog over time, how should this influence the role of the designer, or planner?

Admission Requirements

Students must be either

  • currently enrolled in one of the graduate programs in the School of Architecture, Landscape, and Planning with a minimum GPA of 3.0;
  • possess a professional degree in architecture, planning, or landscape architecture; or
  • graduate students currently enrolled in other programs, and design professionals without one of the degrees listed in #2 may be admitted by the Certificate Director upon demonstration of adequate preparation, skills, and aptitude.

Students who are not currently enrolled as graduate students at the University must apply to Admissions and be accepted by the University graduate program.

Application deadlines for the Town Design Certificate program are: November 1 for the Spring semester and March 1 for the Fall semester.

Application submission requirements

  • A resume.
  • A statement of intent outlining your goals in pursuing the Certificate, proposed program of studies, and schedule for completion.
  • A brief graphic portfolio of design and planning work. Include no more than ten 8½" x 11” pages.
  • Samples of original written work. Include no more than five 8½” x 11” pages.
  • A current academic transcript.
  • Names and contact information for two people who can speak to your qualifications for the certificate program.

These materials should demonstrate (1) serious initial investigation of town design issues in prior work, (2) strong design and/or planning skills, (3) strong craftsmanship and care for the context and external consequences of design and planning work, (4) ability to write cogently, and (5) a clear and compelling set of goals.

The director for the graduate certificate in Town Design may waive any of the above requirements if the application as a whole demonstrates that the student has the skills, background, and ability to successfully complete the Certificate.


Core Requirements
9 credits taken in addition to Master’s Degree Requirements

A. Town Design Studio (6 credits)

  • The primary learning objectives of the studio are:
  • Urban design skills – Ability to work within a complex built environment, with multiple designers and a welter of stakeholders, and to “weigh the impact of their work on present users and future generations” (Boyer and Mitgang Building Community 1996).
  • Collaborative skills – Ability to identify and assume divergent roles that maximize individual talents, and to cooperate with other students when working as members of a design team and in other settings, and to work with a diverse range of community members and clients in an effective and respectful manner.
  • Site Conditions – Ability to respond to natural and built site characteristics in the development of a program and design of a project.
  • Project Definition – Ability to propose urban design approaches to address community goals, including as assessment of client and user needs, a critical review of precedents, an analysis of the site conditions, and a definition of the site selection and design assessment criteria.

Normally, this studio should be taken in the final term of course work for the Certificate. The requirement may be fulfilled by one of the following:

  • ARCH 508, CRP 508, LA 508 Design and Planning Assistance Center
  • Pre-approved studio
  • Pre-approved independent study

B. Concentration (3 credits)
One course within the concentration should be chosen in consultation with the Certificate Director to provide fundamental town design skills and define an area of emphasis. The concentration courses may be fulfilled by the following:

  • ARCH 592/LA 592/CRP 592 Public Works
  • ARCH 593/LA 593/CRP 593 Civic Places
  • CRP 565 Land Development Economics
  • ARCH 571 Real Estate Development
  • Pre-approved concentration

9 credits that may be taken to fulfill both master’s degree requirements and certificate requirements. The Certificate Coordinator may waive these co-requirements for post-degree students with appropriate experience and/or education.

A. Requirements (6 credits)

1. The urban theory requirement may be fulfilled by:

  • CRP 525 Urban Design Theory
  • Pre-approved theory course

2. The regulation requirement may be fulfilled by:

  • CRP 533 Foundations of Physical Planning
  • CRP 545 Land Use Controls
  • Pre-approved course on regulation

B. Elective (3 credits)
The elective should be chosen in consultation with the Certificate Director to broaden the student’s background in areas of design relevant to town design. For example architecture students may wish to take an elective in theories or techniques in Landscape Architecture or Community and Regional Planning if they have not previously done so. Courses which typically fulfill this requirement include:

  • Any of the concentration courses above
  • ARCH 511 Problems: Types and Typology
  • ARCH 512 Seminar: Politics and City
  • CRP 569 Rural Community Development
  • ARCH/LA/CRP 579 Introduction to Preservation and Regionalism
  • CRP 570 Seminar: Town Design and Public Health
  • CRP 573 Planning on Native American Lands
  • CRP 576 Human Settlements
  • CRP 585 Practice of Negotiation and Public Dispute Resolution
  • CRP 586 Planning Issues in Chicano Communities
  • LA 512 Seminar: Cultural Landscape Analysis and Planning
  • PADM 500 Public Management and Policy

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