Landscape Architecture, MLA

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Landscape architecture is a profession that combines art, science, technology, and experiential knowledge for creative place-keeping and making, preserving diverse cultures, and building stewardship of people and the environment. Participate in service-learning projects that address global concerns while working with local communities to create livable, beloved cities and landscapes.

The MLA program is designed to enable students to work with communities in planning and design projects for improving the ecological and social health of their built environments, with emphasis on sustainable environments for community resilience. ASU's Master of Landscape Architecture program provides students with the ecological literacy and fluency to lead socially just urban transformations in areas of greening, decolonizing and healing places. These urban transformations are urgently needed to build better and more just neighborhoods, cities and regions.

The curriculum in this accredited degree program is designed to prepare future leaders in landscape architecture practice and for advanced study at the doctoral level. In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. This Master of Landscape Architecture degree is qualified as a STEM-designated degree program in the U.S. education designation.

There are three program paths of study available in this master's degree program:

  • a 2-year program for applicants who have completed the four-year or five-year bachelor's degree in landscape architecture
  • a 2-plus program (two years plus one spring) for applicants with an undergraduate degree in architecture, planning, urban design, urban planning, environmental design or a related design field
  • a 3-year program for applicants with an undergraduate degree in a discipline or field other than landscape architecture or a related design field

Studio projects range from large-scale work encompassing green infrastructure, resilient design, sustainable systems design, future climate scenarios and actions, urban ecological design, urban agriculture, landscape restoration, open space preservation and planning, community planning and design, biophilia and landscape ecological design to projects at the more intimate scale of a neighborhood park, streetscape, vacant lot transformation, campus design or residential back yard. Emerging areas of focus include climate adaptation, health and equity, creative place-making and place-keeping; environmental justice, living structures (e.g., green roofs and living walls), restorative environments, sustainable design, urban climate design, and climate justice design.

The Design School is committed to the merging of global and local contexts and concerns and, toward this end, graduate students may travel as part of their studio experience. To date, students have traveled to Argentina, Brazil, England, Ethiopia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Spain and Turkey. The school also offers a number of summer study abroad programs in an effort to extend the student opportunities for global engagement.

At A Glance

Landscape Architecture, MLA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Required Core (15 credit hours)
LDE 521 Advanced Landscape Architectural Studio I (5)
LDE 522 Advanced Landscape Architectural Studio II (5)
LDE 621 Advanced Landscape Architectural Studio III (5)

Research (9 credit hours)
DSC 598 Topic: Principles of Collaboration in Design (3)
LPH 513 Research in LA Seminar (3)
LPH 598 Topic: Landscape Architecture Research (3)

Electives (8 to 9 credit hours)

Other Requirements (18 credit hours)
LAP 584 Internship (1)
LAP 584 Internship (2)
LTC 598 Topic: Landscape Construction III (3)
LTC 598 Topic: Planting Design (3)
LPH 598 Topic: Current Issues and Topics in Landscape Architecture (3)
LPH 598 Topic: Urban Landscape Water Systems and Management (3)
LPH 691 Topic: Landscape Architecture Seminar (3)

Culminating Experience (5 or 6 credit hours)
LDE 593 Applied Project (5) or
LDE 599 Thesis (6) or
LDE 622 Advanced Landscape Architectural Studio IV (5)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students take eight to nine credit hours of design professional electives depending on the culminating experience. Students should see the academic unit for an approved elective list. For the research and other requirements sections, other courses may be used with approval of the academic unit.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. online graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. a portfolio, letter of intent and contact information of two references submitted via SlideRoom (https://asudesign.slideroom.com/#/Login)
  4. proof of English proficiency
Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. The minimum score for admission to the program is 80 (internet-based) or 550 (paper-based) on the TOEFL or an overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS. Other information can be found at https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate/english-proficiency.

The Design School requires that the portfolio, letter of intent and reference information be submitted in addition to the Graduate College application requirements.

Applicants are encouraged to report GRE scores, especially if the applicant's background is broad or other than a traditional design major, but it is not required.

Admission to the program is selective. Admission cannot be deferred; students must enroll in the semester for which they are admitted; otherwise, they need to go through the entire application process again for the year in which they are applying.

A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting the department.

Additional Admission Information

Admission Requirements to the 2-Year Pathway
An applicant must have completed a four-year or five-year bachelor's degree with a major in landscape architectural studies or be a licensed landscape architect. The undergraduate degree must be granted by an institution that offers the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board or equivalent accredited degree program in landscape architecture.

Admission Requirements to the 2-Plus Pathway
Applicants must have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree in architecture, urban design, landscape design, planning, urban design, environmental or a related design field or applicants with a baccalaureate degree with a major or minor in landscape design.

Admission Requirements to the 3-Year Pathway
Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate or graduate degree in any field other than landscape architecture or a design related field.

Deficiency Coursework
If a student is assigned any deficiency coursework by the academic unit upon admission depending on the undergraduate background, those courses must be completed with a grade of "B" (3.00) or higher before completing the master's program required coursework. As an MLA student assigned deficiencies, there are two pathways.

Deficiency courses may include:

LAP 231 Introduction to Digital Applications for Designers (3)
LAP 251 Plant Materials for Sustainable Landscapes (3)
LAP 311 History of Landscape Architecture (3)
LAP 312 20th Century Landscape Architecture (3)
LAP 332 GIS Applications in Environmental Design (3)
LAP 341 Landscape Construction I (3)
LAP 342 Landscape Construction II (3)
LAP 352 Ecosystems and Sustainable Design (3)
LDE 590 Topic: Core Landscape Architectural Studio I (4)
LDE 590 Topic: Core Landscape Architectural Studio II (4)

Information about this program

Visit The Design School website for full details.