Landscape Architecture (MLA)
Ethan Carr, Program Director
As suburban growth threatens to destroy the environment and quality of life; as social and economic equity becomes ever more elusive in our cities, towns and countryside; as the information age transforms both the environment and the methods by which we work within it and as intensified pressures of contemporary living result in ever-more dehumanized, depersonalized life-styles, the need for useful and inspiring physical landscape spaces grows and the inter-relationship between local, regional and global interventions in the environment becomes more apparent. Whether in broad geographic regions, cities or gardens no profession stands as ready to deal so comprehensively with the problems of planning and designing the twenty-first century world as does landscape architecture.
Our Master's Program in Landscape Architecture is designed to prepare students to become leaders throughout the broad range of professional activities which define the scope of this profession. Specifically, the program seeks to provide:
- An understanding of the history of peoples' relationships to the land; and of the fundamental theories of planning and design intervention.
- An understanding of the physical, cultural and biotic forces which influence environment design.
- An opportunity to creatively engage a broad range of real contemporary problems in planning and design.
- A working knowledge of the information, processes and techniques used in the landscape planning and design professions.
- The capacity to communicate with specialists in relevant social, natural and physical sciences; and in the arts.
Graduates of the program work in numerous capacities as environmental stewards and as guardians of our cultural landscape heritage; as avant-garde designers whose forms and spaces express the fundamental issues of our times; as private and public planners whose design perspective uniquely qualifies them to evaluate, interpret and create the policies which in turn shape our environmental framework; as private practitioners who imaginatively interpret and resolve environmental problems and as educators who continue to explore and teach an array of important subjects in colleges and universities throughout the world.
The Landscape Architecture Master's Program is designed to serve three groups of people. The first group of students are those who have discovered an interest in landscape architecture after earning a college degree. These people take a year of preparatory courses. Then they take an additional 48 credits toward their Master's degree, which is typically granted within a three year period. This professional degree is accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The second group of students are those who have earned a degree in a related field such as environmental design and architecture. These students can enter into the second year, but they often need to take several of the core requirements of the first year preparatory curriculum. These students usually take such required courses in lieu of the elective courses of the second and third year curricula.
The third group of students are those with a degree in landscape architecture, many from an accredited school in the U.S.A. These students enter the master's program to expand their knowledge in a special area of interest, and often work with a particular faculty member on a funded research project.
Overall, students from a great diversity of cultural and educational backgrounds enrich the program with broad-ranging perspectives which are brought to bear on common planning and design problems. In a studio-centered curriculum, students experience expert guidance while engaging real landscape problems ranging across all scales and types, including greenways, gardens, housing and open spaces, suburbs, cities, workplaces and recreation. Through a series of lecture and discussion classes, labs and workshops; as well as through research projects students gain the scholarly context necessary for the applied problem-solving of the studios.
Generally, the curriculum endeavors to first provide beginning students with a broad framework of the history, theory and practice of landscape architecture; then to promote either the continued study of the interrelationship between all aspects of environment design, or to support a more specialized inquiry into specific areas of concentration.
The basic admission requirements and procedures of the University Graduate School and the Department are as follows:
A Bachelor's degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university with recognized standing.
A minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
In addition to the information required on the application form:
a. Two copies of official transcripts of all previous college work (undergraduate and any graduate work)
b. Official scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
c. Two letters of recommendation.
d. A personal statement that outlines your goals for graduate study (1-3 pages).
e. A portfolio of creative work.
All students applying to the MLA or Dual Degree Programs must submit a portfolio to enable us to assess your creative potential. Since many applicants do not have a design background, the portfolio may contain graphic and/or written work which you feel express your creativity. Past portfolios have included reproductions of sketches and paintings; photographs of landscapes or places visited; creative writing examples; photographs of sculpture, pottery, quilts, furniture, stone walls and jewelry created by the individual. You shouldn’t create work solely for the portfolio; it should contain examples of how your creativity is currently manifested in your life.
These materials should be submitted to the Graduate School. Incomplete applications or those not received by the specified deadline will be considered only if the program's quota of entering students has not been filled.