Jan 16, 2021  
Graduate Record 2006-2007 
Graduate Record 2006-2007 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Master of Landscape Architecture

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Students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, both with and without prior study in landscape architecture, are admitted to this graduate degree program.

Students without background study constitute the majority of the student body. Normally, they complete the degree requirements in six semesters, plus a prerequisite summer session studio taken before the first fall semester. Prior to enrollment, students are encouraged to become familiar with the discipline through reading and/or coursework in the history of landscape architecture, drawing or ecology.

Students with degrees in architecture can be granted advanced standing and may complete the Path A curriculum degree requirements in four semesters.


This graduate-level professional degree program prepares graduates for professional work in private offices, teaching, and public service. At the core of the curriculum is the design studio. The studio sequence is structured to expose students to the range of scales and issues in landscape architecture, along with opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary and independent studios. Design invention is grounded in the language of the discipline through an understanding of its relationship to architecture and the study of landscape history, theory, technologies, and ecology. The design of the landscape embodies a vision of public life and an attitude towards the natural world. It brings together the study of natural systems with the exploration of social, ethical, and cultural issues. It is also, fundamentally, about making and building, grounded in an understanding of materials and processes. Essential to the design process is the ability to read and interpret and site within its context and shape its next evolution. Understanding sites and systems is developed through the “ecology and technology” sequence of courses in plants, landform, detailing, site engineering, and regenerative technologies, all of which stress the importance of giving form to conceptual ideas and values investigated in history and theory courses, and synthesized through projects in design studios. Elective seminars address special topics in landscape architecture, along with offerings to explore issues in the related disciplines

The design studio is structured to expose students to the range of scales and issues in landscape architecture, along with opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary and independent studios.


The Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) is accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board.

Master of Landscape Architecture Curriculum

The Master of Landscape Architecture Path A program allows students with liberal arts degrees to obtain a professional degree in landscape architecture. This requires three years plus an introductory summer session. Each semester’s work consists of a design studio with supporting history, theory, and ecology/technology (eco-tech) courses.

In addition to the required courses, five electives afford students opportunity to pursue specialization and/or individual interests.  Two of those courses must be taken in the Landscape Architecture program. The remaining credits may be taken in any program of the University. Since students come from different backgrounds and experiences, electives can be distributed either to give students exposure to the different fields related to landscape architecture, or to develop an area of expertise, such as design theory, historic preservation, ecological design or sustainable urbanism. Students may undertake an independent study with a faculty member as one of their electives, but those wishing to take more than one independent study must petition the faculty to do so.

In the final year, students may elect to undertake an independent studio. If so, L AR 821 (Research) must be taken in the fall semester in order to develop a thesis, identify a faculty advisor(s), and prepare a theoretical basis for the spring term independent studio. L AR 821 counts as one of the five elective courses.

Students with accredited baccalaureate or masters degrees in architecture may receive up to one year in advanced standing.

Students with accredited undergraduate degrees in landscape architecture are eligible for the Path B curriculum, and are encouraged to pursue advanced independent design research through seminars and studios, in close consultation with a faculty adviser and mentor.

Below is a typical program of study for Masters of Landscape Architecture. Each student is responsible for meeting with their advisor and completing their advising sheet each semester.

MLA Path A Curriculum

Required three-year program for a student with a non-design undergraduate degree.

Summer Session

  • ALAR 501 - Introduction to Design
  • ALAR 502 - Introduction to Design Graphics
  • ALAR 503 - Introduction to Design Theory and Analysis

First Year

Second Year

Spring Semester - Credits: 17

  • Elective Credits: 3

Third Year

Spring Semester - Credits: 12

  • Elective Credits: 6

Degree Total - Credits: 97

MLA Path A Curriculum, Advanced Standing

A typical program for a student with a B.S. Architecture:

First Year

Second Year

Fall Semester - Credits: 15

  • Eco-Tech Elective credits:  3

Spring Semester - Credits: 16

  • L AR History or Theory Elective credits: 3
  • Elective  credits: 3


Degree Total - Credits: 63

MLA Path B Curriculum

A typical two-year program for a student with a B.S. Landscape Architecture.

First Year

Spring Semester - Credits: 15

  • L AR Elective credits:  9

Second Year

Fall Semester - Credits: 16

  • Elective credits: 3

Spring Semester - Credits: 15

  • Elective credits:  9

Degree Total - Credits: 61

Landscape Architecture Course Descriptions

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