Preservation Scholars Program

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) seeks to increase the diversity of professionals working in historic preservation, acknowledge the variety of cultures that enrich Texas’ heritage, and engage a wider range of organizations and communities in supporting efforts to protect and preserve the history of our state.

The Preservation Scholars Program was created to build interest in and awareness of historic preservation, specifically among students from underrepresented cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The THC recognizes that many such groups are currently underrepresented in the professional fields related to historic preservation. This initiative targets higher education students to encourage their interest in pursuing fields of study in history, preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, archeology, downtown revitalization and heritage tourism. Students will also learn about the impact that historic preservation programs can have on a community’s economic development.

Program Goals

  • Increase the representation of all cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups in historic preservation careers

  • Increase the number of historic and cultural resources associated with the state’s diverse cultural history that are identified, documented, preserved and interpreted

  • Increase the number of diverse organizations and communities involved in the historic preservation field and served by public and private preservation programs.

Scholars will complete a rotation amongst all divisions headquartered in Austin and then complete a special project in a division of their choice. Scholars will receive a $5,000 stipend provided by the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission for an eight week internship (40-hour week). Scholars will work under the supervision of the THC, at its headquarters in Austin and/or “in the field” with its historic sites, an associated preservation organization such as a Main Street program, a heritage tourism program, a history museum or a historical association. Brief progress reports will be required, both during the employment period and at the conclusion of the student’s internship.

Working with THC staff and programs will expose the Scholars to the various and exciting vocational opportunities in the field of historic preservation, with the goal of encouraging more students from underrepresented ethnic groups to pursue careers in this field upon graduation. In return, the THC and its partner organizations will have the opportunity to meet promising young people who might choose to work in this field.

Friends of the Texas Historical Commission is building two endowments, both of which will fund one or more internship stipends. The Matthew Honer and Larutha Odom Clay Preservation Scholars Endowment was created in 2015 in memory of Larutha M. Odom Clay, and provides a stipend to a Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) student intern. The second endowment, the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission Preservation Scholars Endowment, was created by the organization’s Board of Trustees.


  • U.S. citizens

  • College students who have completed 50 or more credit hours upon start of internship

  • Attending a college or university in Texas, or a Texas resident attending school out-of-state

  • Recent graduates or college seniors applied to or accepted into a graduate program are eligible (proof of application or acceptance to a graduate program will be required)

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 system (or comparable GPA)

  • Prior recipients are ineligible


Deadline & Application Instructions

The 2018 Preservation Scholar application period is now closed.


Incomplete applications or those submitted after the deadline will not be considered.