Areas of Specialization

LSU’s Doctor of Design in Cultural Preservation serves a market of interdisciplinary professionals by building on the strengths of faculty across the university, integrating expertise to address contemporary issues in four areas of specialization:

  1. History and Theory of Material Culture
  2. Environmental Policy
  3. Fabricative Cultures: Materials & Technology
  4. Museum Studies

Graduate Certificate in Archival Studies

Offered in partnership with the LSU School of Library & Information Science.

Application Requirements

The 60-credit hour program encompasses six semesters of study that includes 45 hours of courses specific to the curriculum and its advanced nature. Much of this is devoted to individual, supervised research allowing students to work one-on-one with faculty. This course of study is based on multidisciplinary engagement with theoretical, applied, and technological topics in areas that have been encountered through work-related professional experience.

Ideally the student will have an academic and professional background within these general areas of focus and will draw inspiration for research from previous work experiences and real-world situations. Students must be highly motivated, self-directed, and able to work individually as well as collaboratively with different disciplines.

Students seeking admission should prepare a written research proposal outlining their interests and ways in which LSU resources, faculty, and facilities, together with the cultural resources of the regional environment can advance those interests. Research topics might include applied studies and interpretations of material culture, architecture, and cultural landscapes; applications of new technologies and emerging trends for the preservation, conservation and interpretation of cultural artifacts; and the development of environmental and cultural policies with regard to changing economic, social, and political situations. As such investigations are likely to be cross-disciplinary, students are expected to assemble advisers from the College of Art & Design as well as from other colleges in the university for advice and direction as their studies progress.

Prospective students are encouraged first to learn more about the program by contacting DDes program faculty (see below) to discuss interests in the program. Initial contact can be via e-mail or telephone followed  by on-campus discussion.

How To Apply

The application procedure involves two steps: satisfying application requirements of the LSU Graduate School and supplying additional information required by the Doctor of Design program.

Step 1: Consult Graduate School website for application procedures and complete required application procedures.

Step 2: Complete the following:

  • A written program of study narrative explaining in 1,500 to 2,000 words what your interests are, what you propose to do, and how LSU resources will be of benefit to your course of study. Include names of LSU faculty with whom you might study. Also include a statement about your financial capacity to enter the program and what financial assistance you may require. At present, our capacity to extend financial aid is limited.
  • A professional portfolio including a professional resume, your work experience, and examples of your professional activity.
  • Three letters of recommendation, ideally from employer(s) and those well acquainted with your work and proposed course of study that address your professional experience and address your capacity to complete advanced independent work.

This material should be delivered to Dr. Michael Desmond, Director of Graduate Studies by April 1 for full consideration.

Note the following:

  • The GRE is not required for admission.
  • Complete the Graduate School application first, then
  • Submit additional material (1 copy) to Michael Desmond, Director of Graduate Studies at the address below by April 1 for full consideration.
  • Admission consideration by DDes faculty will begin after July 15, with results delivered as soon as possible thereafter.
  • Graduate/Teaching Assistantships are limited.
  • Consult the college’s website [] for periodic updates.
  • Questions? Feel free to call or email the numbers below as needed.


Michael Desmond, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies, College of Art & Design
Professor, School of Architecture
123 Atkinson Hall, LSU
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Lake Douglas, PhD, FASLA
Associate Dean for Research and Development
Associate Professor, Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
Office of the Dean, College of Art & Design, LSU
Baton Rouge, LA  70803 / 225-578-9222