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Department History

The Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst was founded by Frank A. Waugh in 1903 as an undergraduate program in Landscape Gardening, the second such program in the United States. In the 110 years since then, the Department has grown substantially, changed its name, and developed a number of distinct instructional, research and outreach programs.

Bachelor's in Landscape Architecture (BSLA, BLA)

In 1930, the original Bachelor of Science in Landscape Gardening was changed to a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture. At the same time, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) was awarded for a fifth year of study at the graduate level after the BS in Landscape Architecture. In 1959, the BS in Landscape Architecture was first accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architecture in 1959.

Master's in Landscape Architecture (MLA)

The MLA was initiated in 1915 as a Master's in Landscape Gardening, changed three years later to a Master's in Landscape Architecture. It was first accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1971.

Associate's in Landscape Contracting (AS)

This program, part of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, was initiated in 1923 as Horticulture, subsequently changed to Landscape Operations, and recently to Landscape Contracting.

Master's in Regional Planning (MRP)

This program was initiated in 1968, and in 1971, the name of the Department was changed to Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning to reflect our larger mission. In 1976 the MLA and MRP programs were administratively separated. The MRP was first accredited in 1987.

Doctorate in Regional Planning (PhD)

This program was approved in 1988, and the first students were admitted in 1989.

Center for Rural Massachusetts

This Center was first established through an Act of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1984 as part of the College of Food and Natural Resources, and assigned to the Department in 1990.

Center for Economic Development

This Center was transferred to the College of Food and Natural Resources from the School of Business in the late 1980's, and assigned to the Department in 1989.