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College of Design





      Tarawa, Kiribati

Lamu, Kenya

Ilha, Mozambique

Zanzibar, Tanzania

The Walled City of Baku

Baku, Azerbaijan

The Batanes Cultural Landscape

Batanes Archipelago,

Cranbrook Educational Community

Bloomfield Hills,

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CWHS Portal

Daming Palace

Xi'an, China

Oaxaca, Mexico



The Center for World Heritage Studies is dedicated to research and education in the protection, conservation, and enhancement of global heritage.

In 2005, the University of Minnesota College of Design created the Center for World Heritage Studies, in conjunction with a formal agreement signed with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre in Paris. The relationship is unique among American universities. At the same time, The School of Architecture established a M.S. degree program with a concentration in Heritage Conservation and Preservation—the first and only such program in the state of Minnesota. The Center works in cooperation with the programs of UNESCO, the School of Architecture, and in partnership with others in the academic community, as well as practitioners.

Through its activities in research, outreach and education, the Center for World Heritage Studies works to:


  • Promote research and fieldwork in heritage conservation and preservation through cooperation with local and international partners.
  • Coordinate with its UNESCO partner, World Heritage Centre, to facilitate the exchange of research, scholarship, technical expertise, and student training in historic preservation and cultural resources management related to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Innovate policies and practices in the field of historic preservation, with an emphasis on sustainable development for a dynamic environment. 
  • Expand the field of heritage studies, through interdisciplinary research with faculty and scholars working in fields related to heritage studies and preservation, within the College of Design and across the University of Minnesota, as well as nationally and internationally.
  • Educate students in the interpretation, design, and management of cultural heritage sites, and prepare them for work in the conservation, restoration, and adaptive reuse of historic buildings, landscapes and cultural artifacts.