Program in Preservation Studies
Planning Process and History of the PSP
The proposal was formed by a group of twelve faculty and administrators from nine different departments, programs, and the dean’s office. The task force members included: the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Assoc. Dean for Arts and Humanities, the Director of MC Studies, the Chair and former Chair from Art Conservation, the former Director of the Conservation Ph.D., the Director of Museum Studies, the Director for the Center for Historic Architecture and Design, the Director of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, the Preservation Department Head in the UD Library, the Associate Director of the Center for Historic Architecture and Design, and an Associate Professor from Anthropology. They met regularly over the last year and a half to create an outline for a new doctoral program. In winter of 2004, the Center for Material Culture Studies voted unanimously to administer the program.
Draft copies of the proposal were circulated, and five lunch-time meetings were held with thirty faculty members and administrators from possible cooperating departments and museums in March and April 2004. Comments and suggestions were gathered and incorporated into the proposal.
The Art Conservation Research Ph.D. (1990-2003) has served as a pilot project for the proposed PSP. Six students graduated from the program (including the 2003 winner of the Wilbur Owen Sypherd Prize for dissertations in the Humanities). Because this former program required the students to fulfill lengthy requirements in both a humanities and a science department, the students took longer to complete the degree than was anticipated. No dissertations had been completed when the program came up for review in 1995, and permanent status was not conferred. There was also concern regarding the limited interactions of the small student population with the University population.
The coursework and examinations for the new, broader PSP are more focused and the Biomechanics PhD (BIOM) has served as an interdepartmental prototype. As in the BIOM, the applicant has chosen a specific area for research before admission. Although a relatively small student body is anticipated, collaboration among the PSP students, their interdisciplinary supervising committees, and undergraduate and Master’s-level students in relevant departments is arranged through a non-credit PSP seminar, required for three semesters, as in BIOM. Students are required to present their ongoing research on a regular basis to those in attendance. When possible, PSP students will be connected with undergraduate honors thesis students for one semester as appropriate according to topic.
Collaboration with other University Programs
Program faculty is drawn from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Agriculture, Engineering, Human Services, Education and Public Policy, and Marine Studies, and may include the Departments of Anthropology, Art History, Art Conservation, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Entomology and Applied Ecology, Geography, Geology, History, Plant and Soil Sciences, Political Science and International Relations, the Center for Historic Architecture and Design; the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, the Disaster Research Center, the Museum Studies Program, the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, and interested faculty and professional staff in other academic units relevant to any of the six areas of concentration. The Art Conservation Research PhD students worked successfully with professors and students in Chemistry, Art History, Art Conservation, Materials Science, Geology, and other departments and served as teaching assistants within Art Conservation. It is anticipated that the PSP students will be interconnected in similar ways within an even greater variety of departments.
The PSP curricula builds on existing coursework and research capabilities both on and off campus. (See Appendix for selected sample curricula.) As is already the case, for example when students in the Winterthur Programs take coursework in Art, Art History, English, or History on the main campus, the presence of these PSP students in classes of cross-disciplinary focus will enrich the experience for other students.
Enrollment & anticipated student backgrounds
Maximum enrollment is expected to be approximately eight matriculated students, one or two accepted a year, dependent upon the amount of additional funding which can be generated for student support in addition to the pre-existing Coremans Endowment. All students must be full time for the first two semesters and may be part time after completing six three-credit courses. Many applicants will be actively employed professionals who will conduct their work during sabbaticals or other leaves. The dissertation will provide them the experience necessary to continue conducting high quality research throughout their careers and to advance the field in their specific disciplines. At the same time, the opportunity to interact with students and faculty from a broad spectrum of preservation specialties will help the student to gain a wider view of the larger context of his or her area of concentration. Such a larger view would be an asset to those wishing to move into administrative/managerial roles.
In the preservation disciplines such as historic preservation, art and architectural conservation, and museum studies, there are few opportunities to earn a doctoral degree. Most programs provide practical training at the master's degree level for practitioners. This program will provide training in the conduct of research, will allow students to pursue in-depth research on a topic of significance to their area of concentration, and at the same time will give them a greater theoretical grounding and will help them place their specialization into context within the broader field of preservation studies. Strong interest in the program has already been expressed from those holding master's degrees in relevant disciplines.
Students earning this degree are likely to be already employed in non-profit institutions such as museums, libraries, universities, and federal, state, and local historical organizations.
The need at this time for a program of doctoral study in preservation reflects both a coming of age for the profession and recognition within the wider world of humanities studies of the central role that preservation has in supporting scholarly activity in humanities disciplines such as history, art history, material culture studies, and anthropology.
There are no other known programs in North America that provide this interdisciplinary approach to a doctoral degree. Currently there is only one other Ph.D. program related to preservation and conservation studies in existence: an interdepartmental doctoral program at the University of London. There had been somewhat similar programs for a Ph.D. in conservation research at Götebergs University in Stockholm and in Canberra, Australia in addition to a doctoral program in conservation science at Johns Hopkins University. Due to economic or staffing concerns, these programs are not currently accepting students. Several related though more narrowly defined Ph.D. programs are currently active, such as a Ph.D. program in art conservation at the Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum; a Ph.D. program in conservation science at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London; Ph.D. programs in Historic Preservation at Tulane University and at the University of Texas, Austin; and a Ph.D. Program in Historic Preservation Planning at Cornell University.
As mentioned above, maximum enrollment will initially be limited to approximately eight matriculated students, one or two accepted a year, dependent upon the amount of additional funding available to support students in this program, and by the availability of faculty members to serve as advisors within the demands of their individual workloads. Students will be admitted to the program based upon enrollment availability and their ability to meet the following recommended entrance requirements:
Applicants are to contact the PSP Director, Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner, email@example.com well in advance of the February 1 deadline, and preliminary discussions will be arranged by electronic mail in order to determine if there are potential faculty members available in the chosen concentration and what travel or analytical equipment funding may be necessary.
All applications must be made online at www.udel.edu/gradoffice/applicants/index.html.
- All minimum University requirements.
- A Master's Degree in a discipline relevant to one of the program concentrations. All college and university transcripts should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies; these must come directly from the institution.
- A summary of intended dissertation research and the relation of this topic to existing UD expertise and resources should be incorporated into the answers to the three online essay questions in addition to a suggested list of courses taken from the online UD course listings.
- A personal statement discussing areas of interest, intellectual goals, and how this program would be seen to meet these goals. Applicants must demonstrate prior background work that will enable them to successfully complete graduate-level courses and conduct graduate-level research on the proposed dissertation topic.
- A professional and academic résumé is required.
- A writing sample to help the admissions committee assess the applicant’s ability to design and conduct a research project and to communicate findings to the scholarly community. Published papers on a relevant topic would also be helpful.
- Graduate Record Examination scores are required and must have been taken in the last five years to be considered valid. Applicants for whom English is not a native language should submit TOEFL scores in order to demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in the English language. A score of 550 or higher is required for paper-based TOEFL exams; 213 or higher is required for computer-based TOEFL exams.
- Three letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant's ability to conduct research in the chosen area of concentration addresses to the PSP Director by the recommender and signed across the back of the sealed envelope or submitted online.
- Online submission of the official application form from the UD website to the Office of Graduate Studies by February 1.
- The committee may request additional materials. For additional information or arrangements to visit the UD campus and meet with faculty please contact Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: After receiving a c.v. and description of the proposed dissertation topic, the PSP Director will attempt to assemble a pre-admissions advisory committee of at least three interdisciplinary faculty members who can address the nominated topic to determine its suitability for available UD expertise. This committee will present its findings to a larger interdisciplinary admissions committee after all admissions materials listed above have been received. Admission to the program will be selective and competitive based on the number of well-qualified applicants and the limits of available faculty and facilities for each concentration and dissertation topic area. Applicants who meet stated minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet all of those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths. An on-campus interview with members of the pre-admissions advisory committee is strongly encouraged while the application is in progress.
Student Expenses and Financial Aid
This will vary according to topic. The PSP students may be required to pay a fee to use Analytical Equipment at the Winterthur Museum Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory, etc. There may also be equipment use costs at some UD labs. All such costs will be anticipated, researched, and compiled by the student and advisor/committee chair, and potential funding sources identified or alternative research avenues developed prior to the approval of a dissertation proposal. The PSP may develop a small fund to which students could apply for these funding needs and will work with students to identify external funding sources whenever possible; however, the responsibility to raise funding for travel, analytical equipment fees, and other research-related support rests with the student.
The Coremans Endowment is in place and available for support for Ph.D. students in preservation studies especially in fields related to Art and Architectural Conservation. The Coremans Endowment currently accrues $22,000 per year; these funds would be applied for competitively as part of the admissions process. Some Teaching and Research Assistantships may also be available through collaborating units. Some students may be supported on external research grants as was the case with some of the Art Conservation doctoral Fellows. Assistance will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants best fitting the needs of the internal endowment, external granting agencies, and sponsoring faculty. Students receiving full stipends will be expected to maintain full-time status and may be expected to work up to 20 hours a week assisting faculty with research or teaching.
The degree awarded is a Ph.D. in Preservation Studies.
Sample Curriculum (See also Appendix)
Upon their acceptance into the Program, students will meet with their advisors to formalize their curricula. They will choose approved courses relevant to their area of concentration and projected course of study. Areas of concentration include: Historic Preservation Planning (including Structures, Landscape, and Preservation of Social and Cultural Context), Preservation Technologies, Conservation Research and Technical Studies, and Heritage Management.
Each student’s curriculum must include a balance of courses that provide an introduction to the wide range of theoretical and methodological issues as well as courses supporting individual preservation research endeavors. Theoretical and methodological breadth ensures that all students in Preservation Studies are familiar with basic procedures of research design and data handling and analysis needed to conduct dissertation research.
Eighteen credits of coursework are required. A non-credit seminar for presentation of research in progress will also be required for three semesters (PRES 801); faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students in related departments will be encouraged to attend. Three three-credit courses should be taken in each of two contiguous semesters in order to satisfy the University residency requirement. Three courses will be required as approved by the advisor, selected in consultation with the student. There will be three electives. Once advanced to candidacy, students must register for at least 9 credits of Ph.D. dissertation credit (969). (A total of 27 course credits.)
Normally only graduate level courses (600-699, 800-898, or 900-998) are applicable towards the course requirements. Selection of appropriate electives will be done in consultation with the chair of the dissertation committee.
Proficiency in one or more foreign languages may be required for certain areas of concentration and/or dissertation topics and will be determined by the chair of the dissertation committee. Likewise, proficiency in certain practical laboratory techniques may be necessary for certain concentrations as noted in Appendix of curricula by concentration.
Students may develop a need to alter previously approved programs of study once they have entered the program due to reasons that can include scheduling conflicts or the creation of new courses directly related to the student’s goals. Students who wish to make changes to their program of study should first obtain permission from their advisor. The advisor must then make a written request to the Material Culture Studies Director and the MCSD Executive Committee.
Written Qualifying Examination
After 18 credits of course work have been graded, the student must pass a written qualifying examination in the areas of concentration, supervised by senior faculty from the appropriate departments. The scope and content of the examination will be determined by the dissertation committee chair in consultation with members of the committee and/or professors of courses the student has completed for the concentration requirement. The qualifying examination must be passed before the student proceeds to candidacy.
During the first year of the program each student in cooperation with his or her advisor will nominate, for approval by the program director, a dissertation committee consisting of at least four but not more than six members. The committee chairperson must have an established record of publication and/or scholarship in the area of concentration selected by the student, and must be a full-time University of Delaware faculty member. The majority of committee members must be full-time University of Delaware faculty; the majority of committee members must hold doctoral degrees. Students are required to select at least one external member, from outside the University, in order to broaden the perspectives of the committee. The external member(s) should have an established record of publication and/or scholarship in the area of concentration of the dissertation. A student can request a change in the committee in writing with justification to the Director of the PSP. Once the student has advanced to candidacy and the dissertation committee is approved by the Director for the PSP, it is forward to the Office of Graduate Studies for review and approval.
One semester after passing the qualifying examination, the student must submit a formal dissertation proposal (of about 10-15 pages) to his or her dissertation committee. The proposal should define the research question, demonstrate its significance to preservation studies and within the chosen area of concentration, provide a context for the project within the relevant published literature, outline the proposed research methods, and provide a timetable for conduct of the research and writing phases. After the proposal has been circulated to the dissertation committee, the committee will meet as a group with the student to discuss and refine the proposal.
Any dissertation proposals that involve human or animal subjects must follow the guidelines for approval of such proposals that exist in all Colleges and external institutions represented by the student’s doctoral committee.
Dissertation committee members should sign the final copy of the approved proposal. A signed copy of the approved dissertation proposal should be forwarded to the Program Director. Students who fail the dissertation proposal presentation will receive one additional opportunity to repeat the process and defend a new or modified dissertation proposal
A student must be in full-time residence for the first year of study: two contiguous semesters. The purpose of this requirement is to enable a student to participate fully in the scholarly community of the University for a sustained period of time. In addition to benefiting the student, such participation also benefits other preservation studies students, and students and faculty of collaborating departments who have the opportunity to interact more closely with a student in residence. A non-credit seminar for presentation of research in progress will also be required for three semesters; faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students in related departments will be encouraged to attend.
Advancement to Candidacy
A student can be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree after completing all required course work, passing the written examination, fulfilling the residency requirement, and having had a dissertation proposal accepted by the committee. Once advanced to candidacy, students must register for at least 9 credits of Ph.D. dissertation credit (969) usually while conducting dissertation research full time. Subsequently, candidates are required to register for Ph.D. sustaining credit (U999) each semester. This is not a full-time registration but only a registration to ensure that the student is active until degree requirements are met.
The dissertation is expected to reflect the results of original and high quality research of significance to preservation studies, written in a scholarly and literary manner worthy of publication. The dissertation is the focal point of this research-oriented degree, and thus the majority of a student's time will be spent on this component of the degree requirements. Three of the five or more chapters could be considered publishable separately, if appropriate.
The student will conduct an oral defense of the work to all members of the committee at once at least two weeks after delivery of the completed dissertation. After all questions have been fielded, the dissertation committee will meet to decide whether the dissertation is accepted, rejected, or accepted pending revisions. The success of the defense will be determined by a committee vote.
In the case of dissenting votes, the majority opinion rules and a majority vote in favor is needed for a successful dissertation and defense (in the case of a tie, the vote will be in the favor of the student).
There is a ceiling of five years for the completion of all requirements of the Ph.D. degree, including the dissertation and defense. Extensions may be granted on a year-to-year basis if the student can demonstrate continuing progress. The PSP Faculty meets annually to review the student’s class performance, progress toward degree, commitment to the field of study, and appropriate contribution to the university community. Failure to demonstrate progress may result in termination from the program; such terminations will be done in consultation between the dissertation committee chair, the program director, and the Office of Graduate Studies. If, in the professional judgment of the program faculty, a student has failed to make satisfactory progress toward meeting the academic standards of the program, the faculty may vote to dismiss that student from the program. In the case of dismissal, the program director is required to send a report to the Office of Graduate Studies that states the faculty vote on the decision causing dismissal and the justification for this action. The Office of Graduate Studies will notify the student in writing when the student is being dismissed for failure to make satisfactory progress in the program. In the case of academic dismissal, the student may appeal the termination in writing to the Office of Graduate Studies.