Undergraduate Studies

UCM World Heritage Program Description

World Heritage Examples






World Heriage focuses on the natural heritage and cultural legacy of the human past, and how it is reflected today in places, landscapes, and intangible aspects of our cultures, including traditions, oral histories, song, music, dance, drama, skills, cuisine, crafts, and festivals.  Valuing heritage as a process, the Heritage Studies perspective stimulates students to develop a critical understanding of heritage, to investigate the conservation, protection, and management of natural and cultural resources, and to analyze both institutional and multi-vocal approaches to the study of past and present cultures. 

At UC Merced, World Heritage is an emerging interdisciplinary research area that includes architecture, history, archaeology, art history, computer science, geography, anthropology, management, law, environmental sciences and other disciplines.

Thus, UCM faculty in this field brings together the humanities, social sciences, policy and management, consistent with the interdisciplinary intent of the World Cultures program within the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

The key feature of the program, a strong technology orientation, will permit us to create a new discipline and innovative profiles for new economics, computer science, educational purposes and many others.

The challenge for our contemporary classroom work is to construct a curriculum that blends humanistic interests and technology. Students will learn that the codes, metadata and interfaces of today are in constant change and thus the fundamental task will be to determine how to set up a sustainable management system for digital media and global heritage study. The learning outcome from such teaching should be the acquisition of a methodology aimed at understanding and communicating information about tangible and intangible heritage, cultural and natural sites. Each student in the World Heritage Program should learn to apply this methodology to the specialization of their field or to specific case studies within their field.


World Heritage Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain and illustrate heritage as a cultural process and the role of World Heritage in contemporary society.
  2. Use field methods and digital technologies to investigate and document heritage case studies.
  3. Dialogue with different disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art, art history, cognitive science, computer science, cultural and natural resource management, earth science, geography, global policies, and history to interpret how various academic disciplines and methodologies contribute to World Heritage.
  4. Explain key principles and policies of natural and cultural heritage protection and management by mastering international policies, theoretical approaches, best practices, and operating procedures.
  5. Analyze monuments, cultural landscapes, museums, and historic sites and explain their value for local communities and humanities at large.