The Interdepartment Program (IDP) in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials is administered through the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and offers two degree programs focusing on cultural heritage preservation: the UCLA/Getty Master's Program on the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials (CAEM), a cooperative effort between UCLA and the Getty Conservation Institute, and a PhD Program on the Conservation of Material Cultures (CMC).   The mission of the program is to educate and train students in the highest standard of conservation practice and decision-making and to prepare them to work as professionals in the preservation of archaeological and cultural materials.

The IDP offers a multidisciplinary education drawn from collaborations within the university, and with conservation specialists at both the Getty Conservation Institute and Getty Museum, as well as at regional museums. It is distinguished by its emphasis on materials, technologies, and cultural preservation closely associated with archaeological and ethnographic objects, found both in collections as well as on site, including indigenous materials, rock art, wall paintings and mosaics. Stressing the importance of working within a cultural context and as part of an interdisciplinary team, the program emphasizes the collaborative nature of conservation. Program goals include enhancing the standards of conservation treatment and research through the application of both cultural understanding and scientific methods of documentation,examination, analysis, and practice.