Our curriculum emphasizes understanding landscapes across multiple scales and contexts to support innovative design, critical thinking, and real-world problem solving. We approach design as a process of discovery, characterized by questioning, creating, testing and evaluating. We strive to create environments that fulfill human needs and potential, and are ecologically responsive and socially just.
Our Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) programs prepare students for careers in:
- professional firms
- city, state, regional and federal agencies
- non-governmental organizations
- faculty at major universities
Two Professional Degree Programs
There are two programs leading to a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture (MLA) with eligibility depending on prior education:
- An accredited first professional MLA degree
- A postprofessional research MLA degree
All MLA admits begin the program in summer term.
First Professional Degree Program (Accredited)
Students with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture
Students entering with a four-year or non-accredited degree in landscape architecture spend two to three years completing the first professional MLA. The first year focuses on course work required for the degree. The second year focuses on completing electives related to the master’s project and the project or thesis itself.
Students with Other Degrees
Students who have no background in landscape design and planning can expect to spend a minimum of ten terms earning an accredited, first professional MLA.
The department recognizes that first professional master’s candidates have extremely varied backgrounds and may have special requirements. Based on undergraduate courses, background in design-related disciplines, and work experience, these students may be exempt from a limited number of requirements. Students who want to replace or waive requirements must show equivalent competency in those areas, typically through course work or professional experience.
Postprofessional Degree Program
Students entering the postprofessional MLA program must have a professionally accredited bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture or architecture.
Students with professional landscape architecture degrees typically spend two years in residence satisfying course requirements. Students with professional architecture degrees who are accepted into the program may spend an additional one to three terms, decided on a case-by-case basis.
For detailed information about both Master of Landscape Architecture degrees, see the Master’s Program Handbook.
Master's Projects and Theses
At the culmination of either master’s degree program, all School of Architecture & Environment MLA students complete either a master’s project or a thesis as an independently conceived project presenting original work that contributes to the body of knowledge in Landscape Architecture.
The topic may be selected from a wide range of theoretical to practical design issues. It may be an original investigation, an original interpretation of existing scholarship, or an application of innovative strategies for the solution of a specific design challenge. Most importantly, the project should demonstrate a creative engagement in environmental transformation. You can view recent master’s projects and a list of all completed projects, as well as completed Landscape Architecture MLA Theses and PhD dissertations.
Master of Landscape Architecture students may add a graduate certificate to their degree if they wish, though this is completely optional.
Further details on completing graduate specializations and certificates are available with the departmental academic advisor.
Concurrent Degree Options
Visit our Concurrent Master's Degrees page to learn about how to complete a concurrent master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Architecture or Interior Architecture.