The Catholic University of America

Art Conservation - Undergraduate Course Recommendations in Preparation for Graduate School

Leading graduate programs in art conservation typically require for admission the following:

Science (6 credits each)
      • General Chemistry
      • Organic Chemistry

Humanities (12 to 18 credits total)
      • Art History
      • Anthropology
      • Archaeology

Studio Art
      • Drawing
      • Painting
      • Photography
      • 3-D Design (ceramics, metalworking, sculpture, textile art)

Other classes recommended, but not always required, are biology, biochemistry, geology, material science, physics, mathematics, museum studies, drafting, and library science.

Upon application to graduate programs it is required that you present a portfolio that demonstrates your dexterity, knowledge of techniques, and understanding and affinity for art materials.
You will also be expected to have, in addition to your coursework, professional conservation experience. Experience can be gained through internship, volunteer, apprenticeship, or paid work in regional, institutional, or private conservation laboratories.

Conservation and Preservation Programs in the United States

Buffalo, NY
M.S., Art Conservation
New York, NY
M.S., Historic Preservation
Peterborough, ON
Certificate in Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management 
New York, NY
M.A., Art History w/Certificate in Art Conservation
Kingston, ON
M.A., Art Conservation
Los Angeles
M.A., Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials
Tucson, AZ
M.A./M.S. in Related Course of Study and/or Graduate Certificate in Heritage Conservation
Philadelphia, PA
M.S. in Historic Preservation w/Advanced Certificate in Architectural Conservation
Austin, TX
M.S. in Historic Preservation
Winterthur, DE 
B.A*/M.S. in Art Conservation

For more information regarding art conservation and graduate conservation programs visit the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artist Works website or any of the program websites listed above.
For advice in preparing your portfolio, you are welcome to contact Jonathan Monaghan (studio art advisor,, or Peter Gribbin (administrative assistant,  We also recommend that you contact the Department of Chemistry for advisement in selecting appropriate chemistry courses in preparation for admission.