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MLA Overview

Landscape architects design and plan outdoor space. Landscape architecture is the regulated profession that ensures the health, safety, and welfare of citizens through landscape design. Landscape architectural project types include residential communities, private gardens, urban designs, college campuses, park facilities, regional landscape planning, landscape restoration, and many other activities.

What is Landscape Architecture?


The mission of the Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program is to prepare students to become professional landscape architects in the private and/or public sector of practice. Our MLA graduates are educated to be competent in mastering landscape architectural knowledge in areas such as spatial configuration, environmental design, land use planning, construction, site grading, stormwater management, and communication of ideas. Our curriculum is structured so that our teaching and professional instruction foster critical analysis and critical thinking in our students from simple to complex. We strive to engage students to learn how humans investigate, interact with, and benefit from connections with the natural and built environment. We encourage our students to be life-long learners and leaders in their field.

Our course curriculum focuses on design, construction, and planning components as well as the visual quality, theory, research, and technological aspects of the field. Digital and hand-drawn graphic communication, G.I.S., low impact development, ecology, and plant material courses are also offered. In addition, the program offers professional practice, history, and research methods courses to round out the student's education. Our students culminate their skills in a year-long Final Study, and a summer internship in private practice.

Our graduates are motivated to be life-long learners capable of independent and interdisciplinary leadership in the field of landscape architecture. Employment opportunities are found at the state, regional and national level in private firms, governmental agencies, municipal planning and design offices and interdisciplinary firms.

All applicants to the MLA program are considered for competitive scholarships. Many of our applicants receive anywhere from $1,000-$2000 as a one or two-year scholarship which also secures in-state tuition. Top applicants complete for up to $10,000 two-year scholarships, and applicants that meet diversity requirements may be considered for the Lechner Graduate Diversity Scholarship, which varies from $10,000 to $20,000 as a two-year scholarship. We also offer two-year assistantships for to up to two first-year MLA students which secures $1,000 per month and in-state tuition. Applicants with U.S. military service experience may qualify for special housing provisions.

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