Since 1981, the Historic Preservation Department at the University of Mary Washington has taught a multi-disciplinary approach to the theories and practice of preservation as it has evolved in the United States culminating in a Bachelor of Arts in Historic Preservation. The Department stresses developing student understanding of the intellectual practices of: history, architectural history, archaeology, museum studies, preservation law, land use planning, and principles of architectural conservation, as well as the ethical and technical understanding of how public policy decisions are made and affect the survival of historic resources. Each student undertakes documentation and directed research on historic buildings, sites and structures in the region, first through classroom exercises and then at the upper level through personal research projects.

The Historic Preservation Department prepares students for work in the fields of preservation, cultural resource management, museum management, as well as further work toward graduate degrees in archaeology, history, architectural history and conservation, urban planning, and museum studies.