Introduction to the Program
Uniquely positioned as the only conservation graduate program in the Western United States, the UCLA Getty Conservation Program is host to award winning faculty. The Program offers an interdisciplinary approach to learning and education at the world class UCLA campus and state of the art laboratories at the Getty Villa. The Program is housed within the Cotsen institute of Archaeology that is located under the Fowler Museum. UCLA offers other cultural resources such as the Hammer Museum. Los Angeles provides an array of museums whose staff and collections enrich student research. At UCLA, students may find themselves participating in interdisciplinary collaborations such as the Archaeomaterials Group.
As a program solely focused on the conservation of archaeological and cultural materials, the UCLA/Getty Conservation’s teaching philosophy is directly tied to its mission of developing leaders in the field of conservation through collaboration, diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability.
The conservation of cultural heritage is a dynamic field that requires expertise from many allied fields of study and practice. This interdisciplinarity is at the heart of the interdepartmental structure of the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program. Our faculty have appointments in three separate departments: Art History, Information Studies, and Materials Science and Engineering. Our Faculty Advisory Committee is composed of faculty in an even wider array of fields. This interdisciplinarity extends not only to materials sciences, art, archaeology, and anthropology, but to people whose cultures are represented in the materials that we research and conserve. Historically these voices have often been excluded from professional deliberations, but it is a core aim of our program to practice meaningful collaboration between conservators, scientists, and cultural representatives. This includes our obligation to train students from underrepresented communities. Our approach is to educate and develop leaders by creating a safe and welcoming environment for all points of view through collaborative listening and engagement. By creating a learning environment that fosters mutual respect, care, and support we are charting a deliberate path that ties to our core values of collaboration, diversity, and sustainability.
We invite you to read and familiarize yourself with the contents of this handbook, and hope that it allows you to make your journey at UCLA both smooth and successful.
Introduction to the Handbook
Although this handbook is primarily a guide for our students, it serves to answer common questions for applicants and others who are interested in our Program. It supplements the UCLA General Catalog, which contains information on courses, degree requirements, and fees, and other information related to being a student at UCLA.
The Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA, which frequently is cited in this handbook, provides detailed information and sets forth general policies, many of which come from the Academic Senate and its Graduate Council, regarding completion of degree requirements, master’s and doctoral committees, and examinations. Also included are general regulations concerning graduate courses, standards of scholarship, leaves of absence, normal progress toward degree, and a number of other matters.
The content of this handbook is subject to revision. Courses, course descriptions, instructor designations, curricular degree requirements, and fees described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. In all matters, the rules and regulations of the UCLA General Catalog and the Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA shall supersede this handbook.
UCLA Graduate Student Resources
- New Students’ Orientation Handbook—updated periodically by the Graduate Division. https://grad.ucla.edu/academics/graduate-study/new-students-orientation/
- UCLA’s General Catalog—updated annually by the Registrar’s Office; provides overview of Graduate Division policies; includes descriptions of academic programs in UCLA departments and schools and courses offered. http://catalog.registrar.ucla.edu/
- UCLA’s Schedule of Classes—updated quarterly by the Registrar’s Office; lists deadlines for payment of fees, enrollment in classes, submission of University petitions; lists days, times, rooms of courses offered and any restrictions on enrollment. https://sa.ucla.edu/ro/public/soc
- UCLA’s academic calendars—updated periodically by the Registrar’s Office. http://www.registrar.ucla.edu/Calendars/Overview
- Standards & Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA—updated periodically by the Graduate Division; contains policies applicable to graduate students. https://grad.ucla.edu/gasaa/library/spfgs.pdf
- Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees—updated annually by the Graduate Division; provides official description of graduate degree programs. https://grad.ucla.edu/academics/graduate-study/program-requirements-for-ucla-graduate-degrees/
- Graduate Student Academic Rights and Responsibilities—updated periodically by the Graduate Students Association and endorsed by the Academic Senate Graduate Council. https://grad.ucla.edu/asis/library/academicrights.pdf
- Graduate Student Financial Support—updated annually by the Graduate Division. https://grad.ucla.edu/asis/stusup/gradsupport.pdf
- Academic Apprentice Personnel Manual—updated periodically by the Graduate Division. https://grad.ucla.edu/gss/appm/aapmanual.pdf
- UCLA’s Regulations of the Division—updated periodically by the Academic Senate. https://senate.ucla.edu/bylaws-regulations/regulations
• UC’s Manual of the Systemwide Academic Senate—updated periodically by the Academic Senate of the University of California. http://senate.universityofcalifornia.edu/bylaws-regulations/index.html
BruinAlert was developed to communicate official information during an emergency or crisis that disrupts normal operation of the UCLA campus, or threatens the health and safety of members of the campus community. Students with current email addresses in MyUCLA are automatically enrolled in BruinAlert.
UCLA Title IX Office / Sexual Harassment Prevention
Title IX was enacted in 1972 as a code of federal regulation. It is enforced by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the United States Department of Education. The University of California Systemwide Title IX office constructs policy in compliance of state and federal law uniformly across the UC system.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides mental health support for UCLA students by offering a variety of services to meet your needs including counseling, evaluation, and intervention.
The Office of Ombuds Services is a place where members of the UCLA community–students, faculty, staff and administrators–can go for assistance in resolving conflicts, disputes or complaints on an informal basis. In order to afford visitors the greatest freedom in using its services, the Office is independent, neutral and confidential.
The UCLA Center for Accessible Education (CAE) is responsible for the administration of UCLA’s commitment to ensuring access and participation for all students with qualifying disabilities or medical conditions.
Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion
The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion advances campus strategies for advancing equity, diversity and inclusion, combatting discrimination, and achieving our shared values of upholding dignity for all.
Student Tax Information
The UCLA Graduate Division provides Fellowship Tax Information for students to better understand how the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board considers student fellowships as taxable income. They also provide information on Tax Preparation Assistance. The information on this site should not substitute for professional tax counseling for individual student tax situations. The 1098-T tax form is used to help determine eligibility for education tax credits. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program provides assistance to low- to moderate-income, disabled, and elderly individuals in Los Angeles.
Conservation Program General Information
Keys to the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and Conservation Lab are given to new students by the Student Affairs Officer.
Student mail is placed in the Conservation Student Mailbox in the office at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.
Purchase requests for lab supplies, equipment, and travel must be authorized in advance. Requests are submitted on the Conservation Purchase Request form and submitted to the Lab Manager.
Reimbursements for lab supplies, equipment, and travel must be authorized in advance. Requests are submitted on the Reimbursement Request form.
Cotsen Conservation Lab
The roughly 400 square foot laboratory at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology contains a binocular microscope, a polarized light microscope and a metallurgical microscope, as well as equipment for metallographic sampling and sample preparation. Analytical instrumentation for inorganic analysis is also located here and includes portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Additional instrumentation is made available through the various labs and academic departments at UCLA, which students have benefited from for their analytical work, includes scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), RAMAN spectromicroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).
PhD students are provided with desk space at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. They are provided with desk space in the Getty Villa Labs and Library as needed when they are using the facilities.
MA students are provided with desk space in the Getty Villa Labs and Library. They share common desk space at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.
Getty Villa Maps
Keys are provided to the Conservation Labs at the Getty Villa by the Lab Manager.
Getty Villa Conservation Labs
The Program has dedicated conservation and research laboratories located in a purpose-built building for students and faculty on the Getty Villa campus in Malibu. This roughly 1,200 square foot laboratory contains various types of equipment used for teaching, thesis/dissertation research, and grant funded research. The equipment housed here includes, but is not limited to, the following: laboratory oven, a Q-Sunlight aging chamber, freeze-dryer, polarized light microscope (PLM), Keyence digital microscope, laboratory furnace, analytical balance scales, X-rite Pantone spectrophotometer, portable Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), fiber optic reflectance spectrometry (FORS), portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer, and binocular microscopes.
In addition to the Program’s equipment, the facility also provides access to the X-radiography equipment owned by the Getty Museum, supervised by Getty staff, which allows for further examination of objects. The Program also has a photography studio in the Villa lab used for imaging and technical examination of art. In addition to digital photography, the lab also has equipment for specialized photography including ultraviolet and infrared filters, an alternate light forensic source (mini Crimescope), Specim IQ HyperSpectral camera, Artec 3D scanner, and reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) capture gear.
The facility includes a secure art storage space, which not only houses the Program’s study collection of artifacts, but also allows us to collaborate with area museums and borrow objects from their collections.
- You should not work in the lab alone. You should make sure that there is a student or faculty member present in the building. If you are working with chemicals you are not allowed to work alone, in case of injury or emergency.
- The labs hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 pm.
- If you work outside these hours during the week, or anytime during the weekend or on a Getty holiday, you must sign in with security to let them know you are staying after hours and you must sign out when you leave. The sign in book is at the security desk located in the basement level near central staff parking.
- The Sign In/ Sign Out policy includes working in the library as well.
- You are not allowed to work with chemicals alone in the lab outside of normal lab hours (past 6:00 pm Monday to Friday, or on Weekends, or on Holidays). If there is no one around and you must work alone, you can only do tasks that do not involve chemicals (examining objects, photography, non-chemical treatments).
- Getty Security does sweeps outside of normal lab hours. If you are caught violating these rules, your after-hours access to the lab will be revoked.
- No food or drink is allowed in the lab. Food and drink are only allowed in the student workroom. If you eat or drink in the student workroom, make sure to clean up after yourself. Throw away food and other materials and take any glasses or plates down to the pantry to be placed in the dishwasher.
- The laboratory is a space shared by everyone. Please make sure to keep your work area tidy and clean up after yourself at the end of the day. Put away any supplies and equipment when you are done working for the day.
- There will be a designated “lab clean-up day” each week. Students will be assigned an area of the lab and they are responsible for tidying up and cleaning that area on that day.
- Always put supplies and equipment back in the location where you found it. Do not put things away in different cupboards/cabinets or locations.
- If we are running low on any lab supplies, please make sure to let the lab manager know before we run out of that item. This is also the case for the color toner cartridges in the computer room.
- Do not take any supplies or equipment to UCLA. If something is needed in the UCLA lab, please tell the lab manager so that it can be ordered for the UCLA lab. If you must take something over to UCLA, please let the lab manager know before doing so, to ensure no one else needs it, and sign the item out using the sign out sheet near the main doors of the conservation lab.
- After using the microscopes in the lab, please make sure the light source is turned off and the microscopes are covered to prevent dust from accumulating on the optics or other areas of the equipment.
- If using the hotplate or oven, make sure to turn it off when you are finished. If you need to leave something heating for a prolonged period of time or overnight, please let someone know and place a notice near the over or hotplate as well.
- Please make sure to keep the photography room tidy. Make sure to put away any sandbags or foam supports used for photography. Make sure that the camera lenses are covered and the cameras and other equipment is put away in the appropriate location when you are done.
- When cutting foam or board, please make sure that a cutting mat or cardboard is placed under the material to prevent cutting into or scratching the table tops.
- Please do not leave scraps of storage or packing materials lying around the lab or artifact storage area. A bin and box for scraps is located in the unlocked cages. Please make sure to throw away scraps too small to reuse and put away the larger pieces.
- Due to the large amount of sunlight that comes through the windows in the student workroom, please do not leave any paper material (books, photocopies, etc.) on top of the wooden counters. This will prevent these materials from fading.
Lab Safety Training
UCLA’s Environment, Health & Safety Office (EH&S) requires everyone working in the UCLA/Getty Villa labs to complete a series of safety training sessions listed below in order to work in the lab space.
- Lab Safety Fundamentals
Students must complete the Laboratory Safety Fundamentals training course in order to work in the lab. (If they have already taken this course, they must be up to date with the Laboratory Safety Fundamentals Refresher training).
This training can be taken online through UCLA’s Environmental Health & Safety’s (EH&S) training site called “Worksafe”. https://worksafe.ucla.edu
To sign up and take the Lab Safety Fundamentals Training course, follow these steps:
- Navigate to EH&S’ Online Learning Center at https://worksafe.ucla.edu
- Sign in using your UCLA Logon/Password (If you are not affiliated with UCLA and do not have one, you can create one on the Worksafe site)
- Navigate to COURSE CATALOG from the left‐hand menu
- Select Environment, Health and Safety – Online Training folder
- Click on LAUNCH next to the UCLA Laboratory Safety Fundamentals (LAB‐LSFCOL).
Once students complete the training and pass the exam, please send a copy of the training record to the Lab Manager (training records are available through EH&S’ Online Learning Center – Worksafe).
- UCLA’s Laboratory Safety Manual and Chemical Hygiene Plan
Students need to read UCLA’s Laboratory Safety Manual and Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) and confirm that they have read it online. They can access this via the Worksafe website. The course is listed in the COURSE CATALOG as CHEMICAL HYGIENE PLAN (LAB-CHPOL).
- Laboratory Hazard Assessment Summary Report
Students need to read and understand the information provided in the Laboratory Hazard Summary Report, which lists all of the possible hazards associated with working in the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program labs. On the day of the Villa Lab orientation they are given this information and will need to sign that they have read and understood the information provided in the report.
- UCLA/Getty Conservation Villa Lab Orientation
Students complete a lab orientation prior to starting their work in the UCLA/Getty Villa labs. The training introduces them to different lab specific safety requirements; describe the personal protective equipment available to users; and review emergency procedures specific to the Getty Villa labs. After the training session, students sign that you have received the training and understood the information presented in the training session.
- Site Specific Training
All lab users are required to complete a training session for a protocol or procedure specific to work undertaken at the UCLA/Getty labs at the Villa. This will be completed in person in the lab prior to the start of work there.
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Chemicals that are deemed highly toxic or hazardous require additional training and documentation in order to understand the hazards these chemicals present and how they are to be safely used in the lab (SOPs). Students need to read and sign that they have read and understood the information provided. *Please let the Lab Manager know what type of lab work you will be undertaking or what chemicals you will be using in order to determine whether you will need additional training specific to those chemicals.
- Radiation Safety Training
Students are required to complete radiation safety training in order to use radiation producing equipment at the program labs at UCLA and the Getty Villa (portable XRF, XRD and the Getty’s X-ray machine). They must sign up and take the online class offered through Worksafe titled “Radiation Safety for Users of Radiation Producing Machines “, and the course ID is “RAD-RPM-OL”. Theyt can find the course on the Worksafe site listed under the “Schedule” or “Course Catalog” menu or they can search for it using the course name or ID. After completing the course notify the lab Manager so you can be added to the list of authorized users for X-ray producing equipment.
To operate the pXRF at either location, students are required to wear a ring dosimeter. Once you have completed the radiation safety training you must contact the EH&S Dosimetry office and request a ring dosimeter (email@example.com). If you do not have a ring dosimeter, you cannot operate this equipment even if you’ve completed the training session. Note that the ring dosimeters are provided on a quarterly basis and are administered by the lab manager. They arrive at our lab at UCLA at the start of each quarter and can be picked up in our lab at the Cotsen (A410). The ring dosimeters must be returned to the lab manager or the dosimeter storage location in A410 by the end of the quarter so they can be returned for processing. Ring dosimeters are no longer required to operate the Rigaku Spider XRD in our Cotsen labs.
In order to use the X-ray machine at the Getty Villa, students must have a whole body dosimeter. Since the X-ray machine belongs to the Getty, the dosimetry is administered through them and not UCLA. You must still take the radiation safety course offered at UCLA (RAD-XRAY). You will not be allowed to operate the Getty Villa X-ray machine yourself but must coordinate with and work with JPG Museum Antiquities Conservator Jeff Maish. If you need to use the X-ray machine at the Villa, please first speak with your course professor or advisor and coordinate dosimetery with the lab manager.
- Respirator Fit Testing
If students will be working with hazardous or toxic chemicals and require a respirator, they will need to take the Half-Face Respirator Training and Fit Testing offered through UCLA EH&S. This is an in person training session and you must register for the course through Worksafe. It is listed in the COURSE CATALOG as ENV-HALF. Once you have taken the training and have been fit for a specific respirator, bring that information, along with a list of the chemicals you will be using, to the lab manager so the correct respirator and appropriate respirator cartridges can be ordered for you.
If you would like more information on UCLA EH&S Laboratory Safety Policies and Procedures, you can find the information and additional resources on their website: https://www.ehs.ucla.edu/
Chemical Waste Management
- In the event of an emergency or spill call Getty Security at x6000. You can also press the auto dial emergency button (in pink) on any phone and it will connect you directly to security.
- There are several waste containers, located near the emergency shower/eye wash station in VN224 for the disposal of wastes. The containers are labeled and for the following:
- One black metal container for Flammable Liquids
- One black metal container for Flammable Solids
- One white plastic bucket for Acids (or materials with a pH above 12)
- One white plastic bucket for Bases
- One white plastic bucket for Toxic Materials containing heavy metals
- One white plastic bucket for Universal Waste-such as batteries, fluorescent bulbs
- You cannot dispose of waste directly into the waste containers. The waste containers work as “secondary” containers. You must put any waste in some other sealable jar or bag, which is the primary container, and then dispose of it into the appropriate chemical waste container.
- For example, any swabs produced from cleaning something using acetone must be placed in a Ziploc bag before being thrown out in the chemical waste bucket. Double bag these materials to make sure you contain the smell of the solvents.
- To dispose of a solution, you must keep the solution in a sealed jar or container and then throw that container away in the chemical waste buckets.
- Do not evaporate items in the fume hood. Dispose of any solid or liquid waste in the appropriate waste container.
- If you are not sure where something should be disposed of, check the MSDS (red binder in VN225 or ask the lab manager) for disposal information. You can also check the pH of the material in order to determine into which container it should be disposed in.
- The chemical waste station is inspected each week by the lab manager to make sure there aren’t any problems with any of the containers.
- Glass should be thrown away in the appropriate glass disposal container. If the glass is contaminated with a chemical, the glass must be thrown away in the appropriate chemical waste container for the contaminant.
- Any questions, please ask the lab manager
UCLA/GETTY Emergency Procedures
- During the lab orientation prior to starting your work in the UCLA/Getty Villa labs emergency procedures specific to the Getty Villa labs will be reviewed.
- A copy of the Getty Villa Emergency Procedures Manual is available in the lab.
Health & Safety
In order to work at the Lab at the Getty Villa and at UCLA, students must complete the relevant health and safety training sessions at UCLA and a mandatory health and safety training session at the Getty Villa. The training at the Getty Villa is scheduled during the first week of the Fall quarter.
The Conservation of Material Culture (CMC) PhD program is designed to train the next generation of multidisciplinary researchers and cross-cultural leaders in the theoretical and experimental developments and policies of cultural heritage conservation. Through rigorous research and multidisciplinary scholarship students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become leaders in the field. They have the opportunity to build their academic training through a combination of interdisciplinary coursework, academic mentored research, teaching experience, and skilled guidance from academic advisors and mentors.
The program’s aim is to provide:
- An integrated, comprehensive curriculum to foster the next generation of conservation leaders with strong research, theoretical and applied qualitative and quantitative skills;
- Rigorous training in conservation theory, ethics, policy and research;
- Substantive research training in a specific domain of application in conservation;
- Experiential learning and mentoring in communication, scientific writing skills, and the ability to work in multidisciplinary teams.
The aim of this handbook is to provide detailed information about progress in the CMC program for our students. It contains forms that need to be submitted at various stages of progress, a checklist that includes each step towards completing the degree, and a timeline that includes deadlines for each of these milestones.
Students must read and follow the Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA which is updated regularly and supersedes this student handbook https://grad.ucla.edu/gasaa/library/spfgs.pdf
To maintain satisfactory progress, students should endeavor to reach the degree milestones and send appropriate forms to the Student Affairs Officer by the following deadlines:
- Academic Research Plan (1st Quarter)
- Credit Transfer of Previous Graduate Courses Petition (1st Quarter)
- Required Foundation & Elective Interdisciplinary Courses (6th Quarter)
- Oral Preliminary Exam (6th Quarter)
- Written Exam (6th Quarter)
- Doctoral Committee Nomination (Prior to submitting Oral Qualifying Exam form)
- Oral Qualifying Exam (6th Quarter)
- Mentored Research (6th Quarter)
- Doctoral Defense (12th Quarter)
- Dissertation Filing
Quarters listed above represent cumulative completion and not necessarily when the activity will take place. Exceptions should be discussed with your advisor.
The normative time-to-degree (TTD) for the Ph.D. degree from the time of admission to the program is 15 quarters. The maximum time-to-degree is 18 quarters.
|DEGREE||NORMATIVE TIME TO ATC (Quarters)||NORMATIVE TTD||MAXIMUM TTD|
A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for academic disqualification from graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing academic disqualification of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.
UCLA is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and by numerous special agencies. Information regarding the University’s accreditation may be obtained from the Office of Academic Planning and Budget, 2107 Murphy Hall.
The CMC program offers financial support to students as outlined in the offer letters sent to students on acceptance into the program. Unlike the financial support for MA students, which comes from Program endowments, support for PhD students comes from the Graduate Division in the form of block grants to the program and Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions and stipends that are provided by the Social Science Division.
Additional financial support is obtained from a combination of fellowships and Teaching Assistantships (TAships) that students procure in other departments. See ASE Appointment Opportunities for a list of teaching assistant appointment opportunities on campus. Students should apply as well to special fellowships offered by UCLA, such as the Cota-Robles Fellowship and other endowed funds. The final year of thesis completion is usually funded through a (competitive) Dissertation Year Fellowship from the Graduate Division. Additional funding for continuing students is available through UCLA as well as through extramural organizations.
Students are strongly encouraged to apply for outside funding, such as, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Funding or the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the US Department. of Education, prior to admission or within the first year of graduate school.
Outside funding is particularly critical for research travel abroad and available by application through sources such as:
- NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant
- Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC)
- American Academy in Rome
- American School of Classical Studies at Athens
- American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT)
- Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI)
- The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)
- American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)
- American Institute of Indian Studies
- Wenner-Gren Foundation Engaged Research Grant
Other fellowships can be found through UCLA’s Graduate and Postdoctoral Extramural Support (GRAPES) database.
Students may apply for summer funding for research travel and fieldwork from the Steinmetz Family Foundation and Friends of Archaeology managed by the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology by applying for a Graduate Summer Research Mentorship. Summer TA-ships are also available by application to other departments at UCLA.
Grants and scholarships may also be obtained from professional organizations such as the American Institute for Conservation.
Students who are US citizens but are not California residents are provided with non-resident supplemental tuition (NRST) for the first year of study, but are expected to qualify and register for California residency after the first year. NRST will no longer be provided after the first year in the program. Students are expected to consult with the Student Affairs Officer to fulfill the appropriate procedures. Please see Classification as a Resident for additional information.
For international students, NRST is normally provided for the first two years in the PhD program, after which they are expected to advance to candidacy for the PhD, at which point the university will waive NRST for three years.
The first step in the student’s PhD journey is to work with their advisor in designing their academic plan. Students are assigned a faculty advisor upon admission to the program. In addition to counseling on the academic plan, advisors assist students with general course of study, answering questions concerning courses, course materials, and research in their area of interest. It is important that students maintain a regular meeting schedule with their advisor to ensure academic success.
The chair of the Conservation of Material Culture IDP serves as the Graduate Adviser, and directs all academic affairs for the doctoral students.
Academic Research Plan
The Academic Research Plan is developed in the first quarter of the program. The Academic Research Plan form must be sent to the Student Affairs Officer and Graduate Advisor (Program Chair) by the end of the first quarter.
Students should fully familiarize themselves with this handbook before completing their plan.
The plan should include the following information:
- Text describing the research proposal within one of the major fields and subdisciplines
- List of proposed courses to be taken along with department/unit
Students are to work with their advisor in drafting the Academic Research Plan. Given the cross-disciplinary nature of the program, students have the flexibility to develop a plan that reflects their unique approach to their area of study within the conservation of material culture. In designing the plan, it is important for students to conduct necessary research in advance to determine when both conservation and interdisciplinary courses are typically offered. Students should to review https://www.registrar.ucla.edu/Academics/Course-Descriptions, and contact departments to inquire about when prospective courses will be offered in order to determine their schedule of coursework.
In creating their program of study, students are encouraged to take elective courses with interdisciplinary faculty in their research area. This will help students familiarize themselves with UCLA faculty and their research as they consider additional advisors or chairs to build their doctoral committee.
Major Fields and Subdisciplines
The Conservation of Material Culture Program offers eight interdisciplinary major fields and subdisciplines. Students develop their research proposal within one of these areas. Additional subjects in emerging cross-disciplinary areas of research related to conservation will also be considered.
I. Influences of History, Culture and Policy on Conservation Practices
This area includes a broad range of possible research areas. For instance, students may focus on the historical development of the field, historical conservation theory, emerging theory in contemporary art conservation, cross cultural conservation practices, illicit trade, repatriation and restitution, social justice, and civic engagement in conservation. Research methodologies often include some of the following: bibliographic research, archival research, ethnography, and participant observation. Students who choose to work within this area will take elective courses and work with advisors from social science and humanities departments across the campus.
II. Conservation and Communities
Conservation is an increasingly socially and community-centered undertaking. Students in this area will research the need for more representation among minoritized communities in conservation, the broadening of the methodological approaches that reflect different cultural norms, and the impact of different knowledge systems and epistemologies on the philosophy and practice of conservation. This area focuses on the dialogues between material culture (both archaeological and indigenous) and ethical and philosophical concepts of what, how, why material culture should be conserved and who should be involved in the decision-making process. Students may use fieldwork, interviews, archival research among other research methods in their work. Course offerings from Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, World Arts and Cultures, and others are available for interdisciplinary research.
III. Conservation & Material Culture Science
Building on the fundamentals of science and engineering, this cross-disciplinary research area aims to address critical questions of the past and sustainable preservation challenges through the fundamental understanding of the chemistry, microstructure, and properties of material culture. Through the application of science and engineering to archaeology, ethnography and conservation, the focus is to understand both the physical nature of material culture (material type, chemical composition, , the ways in which humans have interacted with them across time and space (including date, context, and style), and to assess the environmental impact (weathering and diagenetic processes, defects, and products of alteration). More specifically, this research area focuses on the application of principles and methods from geochemistry, physics, life sciences, and materials science and engineering to develop innovative methods and approaches to address global conservation challenges, understand human behavior, and make technological choices.
IV. Sustainable Preventive Conservation & Care of Collections
Material culture conservation strives to minimize change while maximizing longevity. This research focus incorporates social, economic, and environmental sustainability into environmental research, and research on actions (both preventive and passive) taken to inhibit, pacify, or delay the deterioration of material culture. Research foci may include locally resourced materials for collections care, and sustainable environmental conditions and management (light, humidity, temperature), pest management, exhibition policies, condition assessments, monitoring, reporting, presentation, and dissemination. This research area relies on life sciences, material sciences, and anthropological research, classes found those areas as well as in UCLA’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability, experimentation, and possibly field work.
V. Cultural Property Forensics
This research area is based on the materials, technology and the environment. Students explore the challenges and technological difficulties pertaining to forensic science investigations in art and archaeology. It focuses on technological innovations and improvements of analytical methods, techniques to enhance detection and fingerprinting, the application of different scientific techniques to identify and determine production events, provenance of cultural heritage materials. Areas of focus include the recovery of artifacts, criminal investigations associated with looted artifacts requiring material characterization/authentication, identification, provenance, and repatriation of looted objects.
VI. Advanced Multidimensional Documentation
This research focus is based on accessing and disseminating information on material culture change through 2 and 3D digital imaging and chemical imaging. Students research scientific technologies and approaches to understanding, visualizing, displaying, interpreting, sensing, data capturing, analysis and mining. This research area focuses on temporal and spatial dimensions, traditional research areas and innovations in multi-scale (from the macro to the nanoscale), multispectral and hyperspectral applications of X-rays, UV, Vis, IR, THz, and computational modeling.
VII. Biocultural Heritage Conservation
Deeply rooted in the materials, environment and traditional ecological knowledge, this emerging field of biocultural heritage conservation focuses on material culture changes, mainly immovable cultural heritage such as rock art and archaeological/cultural sites at a spatial (urban setting, tropical/temperate grasslands, savannas, lake systems, tundra, polar systems, and cold winter deserts) and temporal scale, planning and management. This research area builds both on quantitative and quantitative competencies and public policy to ensure the protection of cultural and natural property. By developing an understanding of biocultural conservation and creating monitoring and reporting systems; providing emergency technical assistance for sites facing imminent threats; encouraging participation of the local population in the preservation of cultural and natural heritage; developing public awareness-building activities; and encouraging international collaborations.
VIII. Emergency Planning and Managing Disaster Risks of World Cultural Heritage
This research focus explores recent conservation trends and develops new strategies in key areas to secure endangered movable and immovable material culture and plans appropriate preparatory procedures for the post-disaster recovery caused by natural hazards, war, and conflict. It develops qualitative procedures on how cultural property at risk is identified, assessed, and evaluated in order to enhance cost-effective crisis response strategies and planning while increasing efficiency in emergency documentation and recovery of movable and immovable heritage. One of the main goals is to provide joint programming between cultural and humanitarian sectors (first responders) and building national capacities for emergency planning and managing disaster risks. This research area will further explore building capacity and collaborative initiatives at the national level introducing tactical training on emergency preparedness plans and recovery in areas of conflict.
Doctoral students are required to obtain 40 Units of coursework and 8 units of mentored-research experience, totaling 48 units. Full time graduate students must register for a minimum of 12 units per quarter with all of the courses at the graduate level, with upper level undergraduate courses available by petition. These 12 units consist of a combination of required core courses (28 units) and additional research specific courses (CLT HTG 290, 12 units) which should be completed by the end of the 2nd year (6th Quarter) of enrollment at UCLA.
Core courses are from the Conservation Program and electives are from other departments as agreed upon with the student’s adviser. The core courses prepare students for the oral preliminary examination by providing foundational theory and research methodology. Interdisciplinary electives further prepare students for the written examination and doctoral research. Electives may be taken in a variety of related departments at UCLA or other UC campuses. Students are encouraged to contact departments to determine when prospective courses will be offered in order to determine their schedule of coursework.
Conservation Program Core Courses (20 units)
CLT HTG 211 Science Fundamentals in the Conservation of Materials (4)
CLT HTG M215 Cultural Materials Science I: Analytical Imaging and Documentation in the Conservation of Materials (4)
CLT HTG M216 Science of Conservation Materials and Methods I (4)
CLT HTG 221 Principles, Practice and Ethics in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Materials (4)
CLT HTG M240 Environmental Protection for Museums, Libraries, and Archives (4)
A minimum of 4 units from the following courses:
CLT HTG 260 Structure, Properties and Deterioration of Materials: Ceramics, Glass, and Glazes (2)
CLT HTG 261 Structure, Properties and Deterioration of Materials: Stone and Adobe (2)
CLT HTG 262 Structure, Properties and Deterioration of Materials: Organics (2)
CLT HTG 263 Structure, Properties and Deterioration of Materials: Metals (2)
CLT HTG 264 Structure, Properties and Deterioration of Materials: Rock Art, Wall Paintings, and Mosaics (2)
CLT HTG 265 Structure, Properties and Deterioration of Materials: Organics II (2)
Archaeology Core Course (4 units)
ARCHAEOL M201C: Archaeological Research Design (4)
Students may petition to take approved doctoral research methods courses in other departments.
Major Fields or Subdisciplines Coursework (12)
Students are required to take a minimum of 12 units of graduate courses in other UCLA departments or other UC campuses that are relevant to their research. Common departments include Anthropology, Art History, Architecture and Urban Design, Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Digital Humanities, Earth Planetary and Space Science, Geography, Information Studies, Law, Material Science and Engineering, Philosophy, Public Policy, and World Arts and Cultures. Students may petition to take upper division undergraduate courses.
Individual Study and Research Courses
CLT HTG 596 courses may be established by faculty for students to conduct individual study or research
CLT HTG 597 Preparation for PhD Qualifying Examination
CLT HTG 599 PhD Dissertation and Preparation
CLT HTG 290 This course designation us used to obtain credit for internships
Transfer of Credit
Students with a Master’s degree from a recognized conservation program may petition to replace required core courses with elective courses from other UCLA departments or UC campuses that are relevant to their research while still fulfilling the 28-unit requirement. They may also petition to have up to 12 units (3 graduate level courses) from their prior degree recognized towards the PhD degree requirement. Grades in the courses must be a B or higher.
The Graduate Degree Petition Form must be submitted to the Petition website within the first quarter of study. The petition is then reviewed by the Student Affairs Officer, Student Affairs Officer (Program Chair), and a Graduate Division staff member.
We strongly recommend that students gain teaching experience during at least one quarter in their second to fourth year. Paid TAships are an ideal way to gain this experience. For PhD candidates interested in academic careers, teaching experience not only provides additional communication and pedagogical skills but also qualifications that increase competitiveness in the field. Students are encouraged to communicate with other relevant departments at UCLA in order to secure TAships. Anthropology, Chemistry, Engineering, Art History, and other departments are often in need of TAs from outside of their programs. See ASE Appointment Opportunities for a list of teaching assistant appointment opportunities on campus.
TA preparatory courses are offered by the UCLA Center for the Advancement of Teaching.
International students should note that prior to being eligible to serve as teaching assistants they must pass the UCLA Test of Oral Proficiency. The exam is required of international students whose first language is not English and who do not hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an institution in the U.S. completed fully in English. Students should arrange to take this test as soon as they are able after arriving at UCLA so that their eligibility for TAships can be established.
Mentored Research Experience
The mentored research experience is undertaken within the CLT HTG 290 (8 unit) course. The aim is to compliment the student’s research and elective courses by introducing them to conservation challenges and helping them gain experience and skills in the field. This requirement may be satisfied by participation in a research project at a museum, conservation, science laboratory, national facility, archaeological project, non-governmental organization, or alternative industries
The Graduate Advisor (Program Chair) provides each student with a review of their progress in the program each spring. The report includes a summary of work the student accomplished to date along with recommendations for continued progress. It is sent to the student and filed in a student folder accessible to the student.
Oral Preliminary Examination
Submit Oral Preliminary Examination Request Form with the subjects to be examined 6 weeks prior to the exam. Students are encouraged to take the exam by the end of Quarter 6. Students who have Master’s degrees and feel prepared to take their oral preliminary exams early may do so.
The Oral Preliminary examination encompasses the body of knowledge in the Conservation of Material Culture at the level equivalent to that required for a Master’s degree. It may be taken prior to completing all required coursework. Students must choose four out of five subjects for the exam. The exams are thirty minutes each and are typically administered on the same day, each administered by two faculty/instructors associated with the Program.
The 5 subjects are:
1) Chemistry and Properties of Material Culture
2) Environment and Environmental Deterioration of Material Culture
3) Conservation Methods and Materials (polymers, chelating agents, solvents, inorganic mineral consolidants, etc.)
4) Documentation and Characterization of Material Culture
5) Conservation Principles and Ethics
The oral preliminary examination is graded by members of the examiners as: Pass, No Pass.
Pass: Excellent performance, suitable for PhD
No Pass (Fail): Unsatisfactory for MS
The Oral Preliminary Examination can only be taken twice.
Written Qualifying Examination
Submit Written Qualifying Examination Request Form with the subjects to be examined 6 weeks prior to the exam. The written exam may be taken prior to completing all required coursework. Students are encouraged to take the exam by the end of Quarter 6.
Note that the written exam can only be taken twice.
The following is a description of the standard Written Qualifying Examination model, but students and their advisers may agree upon an alternate model for the written exam. They may also adjust the standard model by changing the number of questions, expanding the examination time, or changing the criteria for the essays and bibliographies.
The written qualifying examination consists of a take home examination, typically of four research questions based on four different topics relevant to the student’s doctoral research. The topics are agreed upon in advance between the student and advisers. They may develop six questions, four of which will be selected by the advisers for the exam. Each research question is answered in the form of a fully cited review paper of approximately 2000-2500 words excluding references, notes and captions. The paper should include an abstract, an introductory paragraph, the main body and conclusions, up to four figures or tables (optional), and 15-20 references. One purpose of this exam is for students to create a bibliography on their research topic and build on the literature with their own knowledge and perspectives.
The standard time frame for the written exam is 480 hours (20 days) for completing the four papers. All papers are submitted together at the end of day 20 (completion of 480 hours). The written examination is graded by two program faculty members, or members of the doctoral committee as Pass, No Pass.
Pass: Excellent performance, suitable for PhD
No Pass (Fail): Unsatisfactory for MS
Students must obtain the Program Chair’s signature on the approved Nomination of Doctoral Committee form and submit to the Graduate Division. The Dean of the Graduate Division appoints the committee upon approvable.
Consult UCLA’s Standards and Procedures at Standards & Procedures for Graduate Study and Graduate Education Minimum Standards for Doctoral Committee Constitution for doctoral committee requirements Minimum Standards for Doctoral Committee Constitution, Effective 2016 Fall.
All doctoral committees at UCLA require a minimum of four faculty members among whom a minimum of three members (including the Chair) must hold UCLA Academic senate faculty appointments. Students are strongly encouraged to identify a co-chair of the doctoral committee from a different UCLA academic unit, reflecting the cross-disciplinary and synergistic nature of the program. One of the co-chairs must have an appointment in the Program. Students are also encouraged to have an external advisor from a cultural heritage organization, community repository, national facility, government agency, or private company. This will help ensure that the research plan is not only of high academic merit but that it also addresses a real need in the cultural heritage conservation sector.
Students should consult the UCLA Minimum Standards for Doctoral Committee Constitution to ensure that their committee meets these standards.
Students should be in regular contact with all committee members throughout the dissertation process.
University Oral Qualifying Examination
Submit the Oral Qualifying Examination form 6 weeks prior to the exam.
Students are encouraged to take the University Oral Qualifying Examination (OQE) by the end of the 6th Quarter. All coursework, Oral Preliminary Examination, and Written Examination must be completed prior to the OQE.
Students should work with the Student Affairs Officer to arrange an agreed upon date and a room for the oral qualifying exam. The exam is open only to the student and members of the doctoral committee. If a member of the doctoral committee requests remote participation, the student must petition the committee chair in advance of the examination. The committee chair must provide written approval to the student ahead of the examination. Only one non-Chair committee member may participate remotely with prior approval.
A dissertation prospectus must be submitted to the doctoral committee members two to four weeks before the exam. Students will need to complete Archaeology M201C or another approved doctoral research methods course in order to develop the prospectus. The prospectus should be a minimum of 8,000 to 10,000 words and include a timeline, research design, and an innovative bibliography that represents a diversity of approaches to examining the research subject.
The prospectus needs to show that the research can be accomplished within the allotted timeline. It should include information about the background and significance of the area of research, the specific aims to be addressed, and experiments proposed, if applicable. The prospectus must represent independent work and offer the doctoral committee the opportunity to evaluate and provide feedback on the student’s ability to think creatively and to formulate significant ideas for research.
The nature and content of the University Oral Qualifying Examination are at the discretion of the doctoral committee. The exam is a review of the student’s prospectus. The student’s presentation should convey to the doctoral committee that the prospectus is a meritorious proposal for a PhD. During the presentation the committee questions the candidate on the proposal, on the general knowledge of the subject area, and on the dissertation research progress. The committee will assess the merit of the proposal in its mastery of research design, depth of knowledge, reflection on the research subject, understanding of the research process, familiarity with the literature, and creative thinking.
The committee’s decision to advance a student to candidacy or allow the student to repeat all or part of the oral qualifying exam, or to disqualify the student, is based on the student’s overall record at UCLA as reflected in coursework, examinations, and the student’s research ability and productivity. After successful completion of the oral qualifying exam, the Committee Chair submits the Report on the Oral Qualifying Examination and Request for Advancement to Candidacy to the Student Affairs Officer for processing.
Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy
Students are encouraged to advance to candidacy by the end of the 6th quarter. Students are advanced to candidacy following completion of course requirements, the oral preliminary exam, the written qualifying exam, and the oral qualifying exam. The academic residence requirement for doctoral advancement to candidacy consists of four quarters of registration, three of which (ordinarily the last three) must be spent in continuous residence at UCLA. A student is advanced to candidacy by the Graduate Division when the Report on the Oral Qualifying Examination and Request for Advancement to Candidacy are received, providing that all the above conditions are met. The student is automatically billed for the doctoral advancement to candidacy fee at the time advancement occurs.
Students must submit the dissertation to committee members at least 4 weeks prior to the doctoral defense date, arranging with committee members whether they want to receive the dissertation electronically or in print. Students must work with the Student Affairs Officer to arrange the date and a room for the defense.
The program requires the completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research, that constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study. It is expected that students will file their dissertation within 15 quarters.
Consult the official UCLA Thesis and Dissertation Filing Requirements that contain established criteria for uniformity in the format of theses and dissertations. The regulations included in it supersede any style manual instructions regarding format. It also includes information on filing dates and procedures, registration of copyright, and guidelines for submission.
Students are encouraged to attend a workshop on manuscript preparation and filing procedures conducted by the Graduate Division offered at the beginning of each quarter. Information is available at the Graduate Division website Thesis & Dissertation Filing Deadlines and Workshops and students should consult with the Registrar’s Calendar for important dates.
Final Oral Examination (Defense of Dissertation)
Submit the Final Defense Form 6 weeks prior to the exam.
For the Final Oral Examination (defense of dissertation), the entire committee is required to be in attendance and each member must record a decision of “passed” or “not passed.” A student is not considered to have passed the final oral examination if they have more than one “not passed” vote, regardless of the size of the committee. Doctoral candidates should read the UCLA Thesis and Dissertation Filing Requirements in preparation of filing the defense.
The Final Oral Examination takes place only after all other degree requirements have been met. In this exam, doctoral candidates demonstrate to their committee satisfactory command of all aspects of the work presented, including original thought, performance of independent research that constitutes a distinct contribution in response to a need in the field of material culture conservation and other related subjects, if applicable.
Submit the Reconstitution of the Doctoral Committee and/or Change in Final Oral Examination Requirement form if the doctoral committee needs to be reconstituted.
Refer to the File Your Thesis or Dissertation guidelines prior to filing.
In the term that students intend to file their dissertation, they may go on Filing Fee status instead of enrolling for courses on the condition that they are completing only their dissertation. Filing fee status may be applied only for one quarter.
Note that there is a filing fee. Read the File Your Thesis or Dissertation guidelines for important details.