The advancement of modern information and communications technology has done great things to increase people’s chances to get higher education. With the advent of online graduate programs, students who aspire to pursue a master’s degree can avail themselves of opportunities to reach their academic and professional goals.
Career-wise, having a master’s degree can put you ahead of the rest in the race for employment and career growth. According to the US Census Bureau, only 13.1% of the American population obtained a master’s or doctoral degree in February 2019. Of these, only 1,177 earned a Master of Landscape Architecture degree.
Read on to discover what this online master’s program has in store for you:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Online Master’s Degree Programs in Landscape Architecture
- What is Landscape Architecture?
- What is an online Master of Landscape Architecture Degree?
- What’s an Online Master of Landscape Architecture Program like?
- What are the types of Online Master of Landscape Architecture Programs?
- How does a Master of Science in Landscape Architecture Degree program work for online learners?
- 10 Best Online Master of Landscape Architecture Graduate Schools in 2021
F R E Q U E N T L Y A S K E D Q U E S T I O N S
Online Master’s Degree Programs in Landscape Architecture
Several master’s degree programs in landscape architecture have one or two classes that are available online. But since this field of study is hands-on, it’s impossible to find an accredited degree program that’s offered 100% online. Once you decide to pursue a master’s degree in landscape architecture, you should expect some on-campus sessions to comply with all the requirements of the program.
Holders of a master’s degree in landscape architecture should expect a great career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics sees an 18.4 % increase in jobs requiring a master’s degree until 2022. A master’s degree will make you stand out professionally among your peers and co-workers in today’s competitive job market.
Here are the knowledge and skills you will develop when you enroll in a Master of Landscape Architecture degree program:
- The ability to design contemporary landscapes that are ecologically and aesthetically sound, with the use of modern technology and materials
- The ability to manage, coordinate, and communicate effectively with members of other teams in an interdisciplinary work environment
- Learn about the history of landscape architecture and accumulate a good amount of knowledge of landscape architectural theories
What is Landscape Architecture?
Landscape architecture is the planning, designing, managing, and nurturing of built and natural structures and landmarks. It aims to achieve positive environmental, aesthetic, or social-behavioral results. It consists of many factors such as design, engineering, and construction of structures, investigation of existing conditions that affect the landscape, and the design of structures and equipment needed to produce desired outcomes.
As a profession, landscape architecture covers a wide range of categories that can be reclassified into sub-categories. These are:
Landscape architecture – It’s a profession that the government regulates. These professionals are experts in designing several landforms and structures for human use.
Landscape design – It’s a profession that doesn’t require a license. It encompasses these work processes:
- Site Planning
- Stormwater Management
- Erosion Control
- Environmental Restoration
- Parks and Recreation
- Urban Planning
- Visual Resource Management
- Green Infrastructure Planning and Provision, and
- Creation of a Master Plan and Design for Private Estate and Residence Landscape
- Land Development
- Heritage Conservation
What is an online Master of Landscape Architecture Degree?
An online Master of Landscape Architecture degree is a graduate degree in landscape architecture obtained through remote or online learning. This means its classes are offered over the internet instead of a traditional classroom setting.
But then again, because a landscape architecture program is a hands-on thing, finding a 100% online Master of Architecture degree program may not be possible. But most schools that offer this course offer hybrid classes, which are a combination of remote and on-campus or on-site classes.
What’s an Online Master of Landscape Architecture Program like?
An online Master of Landscape Architecture program is easy to identify as its classes are offered remotely and don’t require students to attend classes in a traditional classroom setting. The topics featured in an online Master of Landscape Architecture program can be studied and learned using computer applications combined with online discussions with professors and fellow students.
An online program works well with working professionals who want to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture degree. It gives students the capability to complete their coursework through distance learning. But since 100% of online classes for this degree aren’t available, working professionals may opt for another diploma program like landscaping technology. It’s a program that you can complete online in a matter of four months.
What are the types of Online Master of Landscape Architecture Programs?
As we’ve stated previously, it’s not possible to find an accredited Master of Landscape Architecture degree that’s offered 100% online. However, some schools do offer several required courses via distance learning.
Two types of Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) programs are offered in US colleges and universities. These are:
Master of Landscape Architecture I
The MLA I is intended for students whose bachelor’s degrees are not related to landscape architecture. This degree takes at least three years for full-time students to finish. It’s because they need to go through an undergraduate landscape architecture coursework before they can proceed to graduate-level courses.
It’s common for MLA I degree programs to require students to submit a thesis paper that includes their personal view or stance about a topic in any of the following coursework:
- Landform design
- Communication in design
- Site engineering
- Ecological design
Master of Landscape Architecture II
An MLA II is a Master of Landscape Architecture degree intended for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. For full-time students, an MLA II program takes about 18 months to complete. It’s significantly shorter than MLA I because it doesn’t require students to take undergraduate major subjects.
How does a Master of Science in Landscape Architecture Degree program work for online learners?
An online Master of Science in Landscape Architecture is a post-graduate degree program that’s supposed to be offered online. But unfortunately, none of such programs are available because of the hands-on nature of its coursework. Anyone interested in this degree program may enroll in traditional or hybrid classes.
The MSc in Landscape Architecture degree program equips students with knowledge and skills to design environments and create socially, ecologically, and aesthetically useful settings.
M E T H O D O L O G Y
A crucial step in obtaining a Landscape Architecture master’s degree is to pick the most suitable online program for you!
To assist you in making a sound decision for your graduate study, The 10 Best Online Master’s of Landscape Architecture Graduate Schools in 2021 were indexed with these features in mind:
- 100% online or blended on-campus and online classes for the convenient attendance of adult learners,
- A coursework that emphasizes skills enhancement for professional advancement, in the areas of environment preservation, the sciences, the arts, project design and management, and an aptitude for modern technology,
- Courses that promote soft skills critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, problem solving, ethical practice, and related principles,
- Faculty consisting of experienced landscape architects and professionals that are renowned in the industry,
- Dependable services for online learning, with classes that are hosted on a robust web-based learning platform,
- Financial assistance options for qualified students, and student support and career services,
- Accreditation to prove compliance with academic standards.
10 Best Online Master of Landscape Architecture Graduate Schools in 2021
: 48 Quincy Street, Gund Hall 422, Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard University’s Department of Landscape Architecture has played a major role in the growth of landscape architecture as an academic discipline and profession. Since its founding in the 1900s, the university has depicted landscape architecture as an effective medium of design to foster and cultivate culture, environmentalism, and urbanism.
Harvard University’s Department of Landscape Architecture commits itself to work to advance design practices to sustain and improve natural and built environments as they cross paths with urbanization and its related processes.
Students aspiring to earn a Master of Landscape Architecture degree can ensure quality education. The university is providing them with a globally recognized faculty to guide and allow them to explore:
- The role and influence of landscapes in modern cities
- Ways for the proper distribution of ecological and environmental resources, and
- Ways to help make the world better for future generations
Master in Landscape Architecture I
The Master in Landscape Architecture I is a professional degree designed for graduates of a bachelor’s degree, but their major doesn’t belong to any of the subjects in the design profession.
- Master in Landscape Architecture I AP – The Master in Landscape Architecture I AP is designed for students who are holders of an accredited professional degree in architecture. A holder of an undergraduate degree in architecture or landscape architecture plus a good design portfolio may be allowed to take up to two terms of advanced standing and complete the MLA I AP program in two years.
- Master in Landscape Architecture II – The Master in Landscape Architecture II (MLA II) is a post-professional degree program intended for holders of a bachelors’ degree in landscape architecture or its equivalent. Full-time students complete this online program in two years.
- Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design – The Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design is a post-graduate degree program under the joint administration of the school’s Department of Landscape Architecture and the Department of Urban Planning and Design. It is designed for aspirants who have completed a five-year bachelor’s degree program in landscape architecture or its equivalent.
- Aside from the standard MLA degree program it offers, the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University also offers post-professional degrees in Landscape Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture for Urban Studies.
- Depending on the extent of the student’s undergraduate architectural education, the MLA program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design can be completed in three to six semesters.
Standout Features of Harvard University’s Master of Architecture Degree Program
Students aspiring to complete a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture work with an internationally renowned faculty. They are recognized for their expertise in the equitable distribution of environmental resources and recognizing the usefulness of landscapes in modern cities.
The Department of Landscape Architecture – Harvard University was founded in the 1900s. Since that day, the department has assumed developing landscape architecture as an academic discipline, a profession, and a medium of design. One of its primary goals is to develop advanced research and design practices and create a viable environment as the natural and built domains cross paths with urbanization processes.
Harvard University’s Department of Landscape Architecture is the center of the world’s oldest and most distinguished Landscape Architecture program. It also ranks number one in Design Intelligence’s 2019-2020 list of most admired landscape architecture graduate degree programs in the US.
University of Virginia
: Campbell Hall, PO Box 400122, Charlottesville, VA 22904
: (434) 924-3715
- The students of the University of Virginia’s Master of Landscape Architecture degree program come from different academic backgrounds, and each is required to take a specific curricular path based on their prior undergraduate course.
- Even students that don’t have prior studies in landscape architecture can apply to UVA’s Master of Landscape of Architecture degree program as long as they can comply with these requirements:
- Submit an application that encompasses a digital portfolio of their work and a series of essays
- Familiarity with the MLA discipline gained through work experience or coursework in the history of landscape architecture
- Attend a series of semesters that enable students to accumulate knowledge and skills from the very first year of their enrollment.
- In the later semesters, students are given elective options to pursue individual interests.
- Go through a ‘thesis’ studio. It is a design research methods class and a design research seminar at the same time. It allows students to develop a theoretical basis for independent research.
Standout Features of the University of Virginia’s Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Program
The University of Virginia – Master of Landscape Architecture program is a source of inspiration to students who aspire to become leaders of landscape architecture of the future. It consistently challenges students to do thorough research, conceptualize designs and apply new technologies to realize new landscape systems. It is committed to honing its MLA students to become critical thinkers – to give them the ability to shape the future of landscape architecture practice and make the world a more adaptable place to live.
The University of Virginia encourages students to integrate their undergraduate design and non-design background and intellectual interests into their landscape architecture studies. This will allow them to plan and create their educational trajectories. One of its main objectives is to mold and hone its students’ passions and equip them with conceptual and technical tools to make them ready to work in an interdisciplinary work environment – to make this world a better place for human and non-human communities.
The graduate landscape architecture program of the University of Virginia is ranked No. 2 in Design Intelligence’s 2019-2020 list of “Most Hired from Landscape Architecture Schools” among peer schools with 20 – 34 graduates. The university is also ranked No. 5 in Design Intelligence’s latest list of “Most admired” landscape architecture schools.
University of Florida
: College of Design, Construction, and Planning
1480 Inner Road, Gainesville, FL 32611
: (352) 392-4836
If you want to take a master’s degree in landscape architecture at the University of Florida, one of these two curricula should match your undergraduate study:
- First Professional Master of Landscape Architecture (FPMLA) – It is a program intended for students who are not holders of a Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB)-accredited undergraduate degree in landscape architecture. Students who don’t have formal training in design are expected to complete the FPMLA degree program in three years. Students taking the FPMLA degree program must join a week-long undergraduate field trip to different remarkable built projects and leading landscape architecture firms in the US.
- Post Professional Master of Landscape Architecture Program (PPMLA) – The PPMLA is a graduate degree program designed for students with an undergraduate LAAB-accredited landscape architecture degree. It is an Advanced Graduate Study that encourages students to get involved in matters relevant to the discipline and develop their skills through research and critical thinking. This degree program culminates with the students completing a thesis or terminal project.
Standout Features of the University of Florida’s Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Program
University of Florida’s Department of Landscape Architecture is committed to promoting landscape architecture as a profession. Through extensive research, their Master of Landscape Architecture degree program aims to address society’s challenges, train students and practitioners to hone their skills in landscape architecture and give them the capability to promote the discipline to diverse communities in the US and abroad.
The Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Florida is the source of the only professionally accredited Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree in Florida. Its graduate landscape architecture degree program is the oldest of its kind in the entire state. The US News & World Report consistently puts the University of Florida is on its top 10 universities list.
: 440 Kennedy Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853
: (607) 255-9552
The Requirements for Admission to Cornell University’s Master of Landscape Architecture:
- Transcript from educational institutions the student-applicant has attended during their undergraduate studies
- Two letters of recommendation
- Application for admission to any one of the two possible paths leading to a degree in Master of Landscape Architecture
- First Professional Master of Landscape Architecture (FPMLA) – It is a six-semester MLA degree program accredited by New York’s State Education Department (NYSED) and Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). The FPMLA is intended for students who do not possess a first professional degree in landscape architecture or a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture or its equivalent. This course is expected to be completed in six semesters.
- Post Professional Master of Landscape Architecture (PPMLA) – The PPMLA degree is intended for students who have completed a first professional Landscape Architecture degree, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, or Bachelor of Architecture degrees. Full-time PPMLA students are expected to finish this course in four semesters.
- Both FPMLA and PPMLA give students the option to select one of three major projects to comply with a requirement in their final semester of study:
- Design Thesis
- Capstone Studio
- Written Research Thesis
Standout Features of Cornell University’s Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Program
Cornell University’s Master of Landscape Architecture degree and the rest of its graduate programs comply with the requirements of the NYSED, Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Board (CLARB), and the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB).
Cornell University’s MLA degree program aims to furnish aspiring landscape architects with the historical, foundational, theoretical, and technical skills in Landscape Architecture. It is centered on a design studio that encourages students to learn the fundamental principles and design processes. From here, students can pursue or develop their design skills and learn more about research methodologies.
Cornell University’s architecture program is one of the oldest and most respected architecture programs in the US.
Boston Architectural College
: 320 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 021156
: (617) 585-0100
The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) at Boston Architectural College is a first-professional graduate degree program dedicated to studying urban landscapes and ecological configuration. It is accredited by the LAAB or Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board.
- Segment I: Foundation – At this stage, students start to build their design skills as they learn fundamental design concepts and become familiar with the universal spatial language. The students gain this learning experience through Geographic Information Systems (GIS), history and theory, and ecological analysis.
- Segment II: Integration – This is the segment where students are introduced to complex spatial problems to address various aspects of urban landscape architecture. It allows students to explore and learn about landscape design and the technologies needed to make it possible.
- Segment III: Synthesis – This segment requires students to engage in independent study and research and show their knowledge and skills through a Thesis in practical landscape design.
In addition to their regular classes, students in segments 2 & 3 must take part in community work and community collaboration.
Standout Features of Boston Architectural College’s Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Program
Students seeking a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture get an opportunity to study and work with leaders in the field. These are respected landscape architecture professionals who bring their expertise in landscape architecture into the classroom. On top of this, all MLA students at BAC are given multiple opportunities to explore the world of landscape architecture and acquire practical knowledge through collaborative projects, guest lectures, and more.
The Master of Landscape Architecture at Boston Architectural College doesn’t only make students ready for a professional license in landscape architecture. It also makes students ready to pursue advanced careers in:
- Landscape architecture
- City planning
- Ecological design
- Landscape urbanism
- Natural resource conservation
- Wildlife habitat preservation
The University of Oklahoma
: Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture
Gould Hall, 830 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019
The University of Oklahoma offers two programs that allow students to earn a Master of Landscape Architecture degree.
- First Professional Master of Landscape Architecture (M620) – This degree program is intended for students who do not hold an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture. The M620 program of the University of Oklahoma is accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB).
- Post-Professional Master of Landscape Architecture (M621) – This MLA degree program is intended only for students who are holders of an accredited undergraduate degree in landscape architecture. It allows making an in-depth analysis of innovative techniques, advanced ideas, and pertinent issues in landscape architecture.
Standout Features of the University of Oklahoma’s Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Program
The main objectives of the University of Oklahoma’s Master of Landscape of Architecture degree program include:
1. Equip students with advanced knowledge in the file of landscape architecture.
- Enable students to specialize in fields that cater to the needs of society and give them the capacity to attend to the needs of the profession.
Students who enroll at the University of Oklahoma’s MLA degree program will have greater chances to learn more because the school gives them opportunities to engage real-world communities, collaborate with peers from other disciplines, work with an award-winning faculty, and experience small class sizes.
The University of Oklahoma has a 100% job placement rate for its Landscape Architecture degree graduates – and it happens year after year.
Ball State University
: 2000 W. University Ave., Muncie, IN 47306
: (765) 285-1971
Ball State University offers aspiring Landscape Architects three paths leading to a degree in Master of Landscape Architecture.
- Track 1 – It is a three-year program intended for students who hold degrees outside environmental design. This program prepares you for a graduate degree in landscape architecture.
- Track 2 – This program is intended for students who hold a degree in related design and planning disciplines, including interior design, architecture, urban planning, design, etc. It is a five-semester course that encompasses 19 undergraduate credit hours and 46 graduate credit hours.
- Track 3 – Track 3 is designed for students who have completed a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture degree from an LAAB-accredited program. It is a three-semester second professional degree that prepares graduates for advanced specialization.
- In addition to the university’s programs leading towards a master’s degree in landscape architecture, students can interact with students from other disciplines through its community-based projects.
Standout Features of Ball State University’s Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Program
The Master in Landscape Architecture degree at Ball State University is a hands-on, interdisciplinary program that prepares students for exciting job tracks in landscape and outdoor spaces design and planning.
Ball State University is home to several research centers and resources that certainly help to enrich your study.
Students who enroll at Ball State University’s Master of Landscape Architecture degree programs can expect personalized instruction, small classes, and travel opportunities to help them gain an insightful and meaningful graduate study experience.
Ball State University’s Master of Landscape Architecture ranks 12th in Design Intelligence’s 2019-20 best architecture and design schools in America.
Kansas State University
: 1127 Regnier Hall, Manhattan KS 66506-2902
: (785) 532-1994
The Master’s in Landscape Architecture degree program at Kansas State University is given in the form of a two-track offering – the non-baccalaureate degree and post-baccalaureate degree programs. Both of these degrees will qualify students to enroll in a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture program.
- Non-Baccalaureate Track – It is a program intended for students who don’t hold any previous degree. They enter the university as freshmen and get a chance to enroll in a graduate degree program after completing their undergraduate studies.
- Post-Baccalaureate Track – This program is intended for students who are holders of an undergraduate degree.
- Students who wish to enroll in Kansas State University’s Master of Landscape Architecture degree are required to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade of 3.0 GPA in the last two years of their undergraduate study.
- All students enrolled at the university’s Master of Landscape Architecture program must complete either a Master’s Report or a Master’s Thesis.
Standout Features of Kansas State University’s Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Program
The Master of Landscape Architecture degree at Kansas State University is one of the most affordable yet highly ranked degree programs in the US. It allows students to experience different classroom activities, studios, and in the field – to hone their skills and mold them to become masters of the landscape architecture profession.
The knowledge and skills the students gain from the program will enable them to develop mastery for conserving, restoring, or designing landscapes and cities that help to make our world greener and brighter.
Kansas State University’s Landscape Architecture graduate program ranks No. 1 in Design Intelligence’s™ 2019 – 2020 list of “Most Hired From Landscape Architecture Schools.”
Rhode Island School of Design
: Two College Street, Providence, RI 02903-2784
: (401) 454-6100
The requirements for Admission into Rhode Island School of Design’s Master of Landscape of Architecture degree include:
- Submission of a portfolio that includes a two-minute video essay and ten individually produced images that reflect your interest in landscape architecture. In the video, you must articulate clearly:
- The biggest reason why you want to study landscape architecture,
- The goal or goals you want to achieve from the program,
- The reason why you believe RISD is the best place to help you attain your goals.
- Students with no prior design training may submit photos, sketches, or written work that can show their ability to identify, observe and explore spatial conditions in a given landscape.
- All applicants must label their work to indicate whether it is personal, professional, or academic. If you are submitting a team project, you must identify your contribution to it.
- Your portfolio must contain a minimal amount of text.
Rhode Island School of Design offers two paths leading to a Master of Landscape of Architecture degree. These are:
- MLA I – The MLA I is a 3-year program for students who do not hold an accredited undergraduate land architecture degree. The curriculum’s primary objective is to allow students to accumulate a wealth of knowledge and skills in landscape architecture, including some of its most important aspects, including visual and analytical thinking, design thinking, critical thinking, material thinking, and contextual thinking.
- MLA II – The MLA II is a 2-year program intended for students who hold an accredited bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. It is fit for students who possess fundamental skills in landscape architecture. This degree program enables students to avail themselves of many electives that can help shape their advanced studies.
Standout Features of Rhode Island School of Design’s Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Program
The Rhode Island School of Design is the only US-based school that offers an accredited Master of Landscape Architecture degree program. It encourages its faculty and students to work together to do hands-on research, create a link between intuitive and analytical thinking, and explore contingencies leading to cross-disciplinary experimentation.
RISD’s Master of Landscape Architecture program allows students to explore solutions that utilize design to address climate change and environmental degradation, and urbanization on the earth’s landscapes.
RISD’s Master of Landscape Architecture students work closely with the school’s faculty to develop the design and critical thinking skills they need to address contemporary spatial, social, and environmental issues.
The Rhode Island School of Design was founded in 1877 and is one of the US’s oldest art and design schools!
University of Southern California
: Watt Hall, Suite 204, Los Angeles, California 90089-0291
: (213) 740-2723
The Master of Landscape Architecture – the University of Southern California is open to hopefuls who already completed a four-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. No prior accredited degree in landscape architecture is required to be eligible for admission into the program.
- Applicants who hold an undergraduate degree that includes a study in the arts, humanities, and sciences are given preference for admission.
- The MLA+U degree program encourages students to acquire basic education in visual arts before they begin their first semester of study. They are urged to develop their skills in drawing, graphics, sculpture, and basic design to keep up with the pace of the program.
- This program encourages students to take courses in architecture, humanities, history of art, ecology, and landscape architecture. Enrolling in these subjects is not a requirement.
- Applicants who hold an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture or its equivalent are qualified to apply for advanced placement for two semesters. Their application is subject to review by the school’s MLA+U admission committee.
- Students granted advanced placements might be allowed to waive certain courses in the MLA program, provided they can demonstrate equivalents of the required courses.
- The studio and professional course requirements of MLA students admitted with advanced placement are determined by the program director and the faculty in charge of specific curriculum areas.
- Students who intend to enroll in the MLA+U degree program are encouraged to take these preparatory courses during the first year of the program:
- History of Landscape Architecture
- Landscape Architecture Construction
- Plant Materials
Standout Features of University of Southern California’s Master of Landscape Architecture + Urbanism Degree Program
The University of Southern California is nestled in the center of the world’s most culturally and environmentally diverse geographies. The university’s location is home to countless landscape challenges. This allows their MMLA+U faculty and students to apply the four important elements of USC’s MLA+U program: strategic thinking, creative expression, technical resolution, and design exploration strategies.
Using the complex geography of Southern California as its primary laboratory, USC’s Landscape Architecture + Urbanism program gives students the ability to get responses to some of the world’s most pressing environmental concerns. This includes the planet-wide effects of climate change, urbanization, the interaction between nature and technology, and social and environmental injustice.
The University of Southern California is a well-esteemed research university in the United States. It is why the school’s Master of Landscape Architecture + Urbanism graduates have the knowledge and skills to tackle the intricacies of the natural and built environment.