History of the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies: CHAPS 

For over 50 years, graduates from the Art History program at Rutgers have taken leadership positions and become active in the field of heritage preservation.

In 2003, under the direction of Professor Tod Marder, this legacy led to the Certificate in Historic Preservation at Rutgers. The certificate program, open to undergraduate and graduate students, was established and directed by Prof Tod Marder.

In 2009, Prof Archer St. Clair Harvey expanded this focus through the founding of CHAPS, an interdisciplinary program that offers heritage and preservation courses for undergraduate and graduate students, and supports research into heritage and preservation in the United States and abroad.

In 2013, CHAPS signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, signaling our goal to become a model of interdisciplinary interaction, innovative thinking, and creative teaching and research in the fields of cultural heritage and preservation studies.

From 2017 on, director Dr Trinidad Rico has focused on strengthening the methodological training offered through CHAPS courses, and building more partnerships across departments at Rutgers University and beyond.

CHAPS benefits from its geographic location, a short commute from New York and easily accessible to Philadelphia and Washington DC, which offers invaluable opportunities through coursework, internships, and access to important national and international cultural organizations and institutions.

CHAPS is affiliated with specialized research centers and institutes, including:

  • Rutgers Global
  • Center for Urban Policy Research
  • African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and British Studies
  • Eagleton Institute of Politics; and the Initiative on Climate and Society

offering opportunities to engage across disciplines on cultural heritage issues with students and specialists in related fields.This interdisciplinary program attracts students from a variety of disciplines and diverse backgrounds. It is designed both for students who wish to study cultural heritage as an academic subject, and those who wish to apply those skills in a broad range of non-academic employment opportunities.

CHAPS combines a rigorous academic program with opportunities for professional training through field work and professional internships. Faculty includes both scholars and practicing professionals in the field, and course offerings are drawn from a variety of departments within the university. Our faculty and instructors include specialists from the fields of art history, archaeology, anthropology, cultural resource management, classics, architecture, landscape architecture, American studies, public history, public policy and planning, and law.