The curriculum of the First Year introduces the student to an overview of the conservation field and its varied specialties: the history of art and artifact technology, the essential physical and chemical properties of materials, mechanisms of deterioration, and the conservation treatment of cultural property, and the fundamentals of preventive conservation.
In the Second Year, the student focuses on their specialty of choice with the objective of continuing the development of basic hand skills, a thorough ability to examine and document the condition of cultural property, problem solving and ethical treatment decision making, and an understanding of the care and preservation of specialty objects. Specializations include furniture, objects, paintings, paper, photographic materials, and textiles. Students in all specialities can also declare one additional concentration, such as preventive conservation.
The entire Third Year, or internship, is spent under the supervision and mentoring of a conservation professional(s) at one or more host institution(s) or private laboratories, where the student should function as a cooperative and productive staff member. The fundamental objectives of this phase are to broaden the student's exposure to specialty object problems and treatments, refine hand skills, build confidence in object assessment and decision making, improve report-writing skills, and develop responsible professionalism.