Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning (MLA/MRP)
Employers value planners who can design, and designers who can plan; this big picture knowledge enables a very strong professional path. Our dual degree creates a strong knowledge base in both the process and product of land development. Completing both programs integrates the design and analysis of urban and rural landscapes with a concern for the social, political, regulatory and economic factors that shape those landscapes. This option, which normally requires one less year of study than doing the degrees one after the other, confers two separate degrees upon completion. The versatility that results from the blending of these two related fields can be a valuable asset for the student. Public agencies, such as the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCS) and private consulting firms, e.g. Sasaki Associates have preferred employing those students who have the dual skills this option offers.
Students apply for admission to each program separately, but will inidicate in their application their intent to do the dual degree. Most students interested in the dual degree program will identify their interest before beginning graduate study. However, for those who decide to apply for the second degree after beginning an initial course of study, we encourage you to investigate the option as early as possible. An early decision may alleviate scheduling conflicts between the required courses of both programs.
The student will be expected to complete the required courses of both degrees. Electives will be selected by the students with guidance from their advisors according to a clearly defined direction of study. In Regional Planning, dual degree students are not required to select an area of concentration.
Credit Hour Requirement
Students who choose the dual degree option are expected to complete 78 credit hours. These can be roughly divided between landscape architecture and regional planning courses. The usual departmental course load is 12 credits per semester. Dual degree students take an additional 6 credits over the period of the two degrees.
Students must complete a Master’s thesis or project in at least one area of study, and can do a three-course option in the other.
Students entering the dual degree program without preparatory landscape architecture studies will take those prerequisite courses that make them eligible to enter the second year Landscape Architecture Program. These credits generally do not count toward the 78 credit hours. Detailed guidelines about specific exceptions to this rule are available from the Program Director.
Candidates for the dual degree will be required to spend a minimum of three years in the program. In special circumstances this requirement may be modified with the approval of the dual degree program administrator and the program directors.