Landscape Architecture, MLA

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The MLA is designed to enable students to engage with the community in projects that focus on improving the ecological and social health of the urban environment, with emphasis on sustainable outdoor environments.

The projects in the graduate program in landscape architecture can include large-scale work encompassing urban design, landscape reclamation, open space preservation planning and ecological landscape design, and projects at the more intimate scale of a neighborhood park or residential backyard. Emerging areas of focus include biotechnical design, construction of greenways, green roofs, living walls, and urban agriculture, as well as the design of healing environments.

The Design School is committed to the merging of global and local contexts and concerns and, toward this end, graduate students in their final year go abroad for two weeks as part of their studio course. To date, students have traveled to Argentina, 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.

The curriculum in this accredited Master of Landscape Architecture degree program is designed to prepare students for the professional practice of landscape architecture 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.

Since 2011, when the first class of students graduated with master's degrees in landscape architecture, ASU alumni have found employment with nationally recognized landscape architects in multinational firms and within public municipalities and agencies.

At A Glance

Landscape Architecture, MLA

Plan of study

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

View Plan of Study

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 three references submitted via SlideRoom (
  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

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 will 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 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 (LAAB) accredited degree program in landscape architecture.

Admission Requirements to the 2-Year Plus Pathway
Applicants must have earned a undergraduate or graduate degree in architecture, urban design, landscape design, planning, urban design, 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 Plus Pathway
Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate or graduate degree in any field other than landscape architecture.

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 deficiences, there are two pathways. One is MLA 3+ with up to 42 credits hours beginning in the summer and the other is MLA 2+ with up to 15 credit hours beginning in the spring. Deficiency courses may include:
ALA 235 Introduction to Computer Modeling (3)
APH 509 Foundation Seminar (3)
LAP 352 Ecosystems and Sustainable Design (3)
LAP 254 Plant Materials (3)
LDE 590 Topic: Core Landscape Architectural Studio I (6)
LDE 590 Topic: Core Landscape Architectural Studio II (6)
LDE 590 Topic: Foundation Landscape Architecture Studio (6)
LPH 310 History of Landscape Architecture (3)
LPH 311 20th Century Landscape Architecture (3)
LTC 343 Landscape Construction I (3)
LTC 344 Landscape Construction II (3)

Information about this program

Visit The Design School website for full details.