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 and experience:
MLA Track I
MLA Track II
All incoming MLA students attend a four-week Design Field School in late summer.
MLA Track I Degree Program
The MLA Track I program is three years in length (144 credits) and is designed for students from any undergraduate background. Our students’ diverse undergraduate academic experience, including botany, forestry, fine art, history, and philosophy, contributes to a broad and rigorous educational environment.
The curriculum is centered on a sequence of seven design studios informed by coursework in history and theory, ecological systems, analysis and planning, and landscape technologies, and is capped by an independent research or design thesis. No prerequisite courses are required to apply to this program.
MLA Track II Degree Program
The MLA Track II program allows students with undergraduate degrees in an environmental design field, including landscape architecture, architecture, urban design, and environmental design, to earn an MLA degree in two years (96 credits). Students with an LAAB-, LAAC-, or NAAB-accredited degree have no prerequisites to enter this track. Students with other environmental design degrees must have completed at least one academic year of environmental design studios.
MLA II students join MLA I students in the second year of design studios and take core courses that complement their previous design education, as well as advanced coursework in support of their independent thesis. Students follow an individualized course of study based on their previous experience.
The program explores the landscapes, materials, and environmental issues of Oregon that will frame students’ studies.
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.