UC Campus

Master of Landscape Architecture

Master of Landscape Architecture


The profession of landscape architecture has led the way in sustainable design for more than 100 years. From the residential garden to the regional transportation plan, the practice of landscape architecture spans the spectrum of human intervention on the land as well as the stewardship of the earth’s natural resources. Landscape architects are leading projects of global significance.

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program at the University of Cincinnati (UC) is founded on the regional resources, assets, and challenges of the Cincinnati region and the Ohio River Valley, the contemporary practice of landscape architecture and its broad applications of regenerative planning, design, and stewardship, and the synthesis of art and science to balance human activity with natural systems.

The program surpasses the minimum expectations of accreditation to produce graduates who are prepared for leadership and interdisciplinary teamwork that will sustain the urban, regional, and global landscape in a prosperous and dynamic equilibrium.  The MLA program at the University of Cincinnati is distinguished by:

        Cooperative Education (Co-op)
        UC’s unique cooperative education program combines academic
        semesters of study in landscape architecture with placement in         professional work environments, thereby creating a program structure
        that balances academic inquiry with industry application to foster and
        develop robust professional knowledge and judgment. By graduation, an
        MLA student will have worked at least one full semester directly in the
        field of landscape architecture in

        North   America or internationally, for a full-time employer gaining hands
        on experience. This work experience is built directly into the MLA’s         curriculum, providing graduates with a significant advantage in the post
        graduation job market and a head start on internship requirements
        for licensure.

        Location within the School of Planning and the College
        of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP)

        DAAP programs in allied fields and disciplines are top-ranked and
        accessible to students in the MLA program. This includes Fine Arts,
        Industrial and Transportation Design, Architecture, and Urban Design.
        The MLA’s home in the School of Planning in DAAP aligns the MLA with
        the contemporary practice of urban studies and planning.

        Focus on the urban environment

        The MLA at DAAP focuses on the urban environment, the scene of
        habitation for the majority of the world’s population, to provide maximum
        relevance and preparation for practice.



The UC MLA three program options: 

           MLA I:  80 credit, 6 semester First Professional Degree with a
           minimum of one co-op experience (domestic or international).

           MLA IIA: 49 credit, 5 semester Post Professional degree with a  
           minimum of two co-ops (domestic or international).

           MLA IIB: 49 credit, 4 semester Post Professional degree with a
           minimum of one co-op experience (domestic or international) and a
           thesis collaboration in DAAP fields (planning, architecture, design, art).

           MLA I/MCP: 120 credit, 9 semester First Professional MLA 1
           (accreditation candidacy) and Accredited MCP, with a minimum
           of two co-ops (domestic or international).

The MLA I First Professional Degree is intended for those with no prior experience in landscape architecture, planning, or design fields who intend to pursue professional licensure as a landscape architect. The MLA I degree program at UC will further the intellectual discourse with research, creative work, cooperative education, and service to support and challenge the public, private, and academic practice of the profession.

As a first-professional degree program, the MLA I provides the body of knowledge common to the profession and promotes acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary to enter the professional practice of landscape architecture. Professional studies at the master’s level also provide instruction in and application of research and scholarly methods. The program surpasses the minimum expectations of accreditation to produce graduates who are prepared for leadership and interdisciplinary teamwork that will sustain the urban, regional, and global landscape in a prosperous and dynamic equilibrium.

The MLA IIA and MLA IIB are programs for those with a background in landscape architecture, planning, or design fields. These options offer an opportunity to contribute to an integrated, interdisciplinary research and design program that can be linked to DAAP’s established programs in art, design, architecture, and planning. Students in this group of multi-disciplinary designers will be able to uniquely contextualize complex problems that are defined by large-scale systems of landscape ecologies, urban forces, economies, and social conditions.

 The MLA II program provides the additional potential for a dual degree with the Master of Community Planning program.

Read on about the curriculum structure here.

Download a PDF of the MLA brochure here.



We strongly suggest that application materials be received prior to February 28 to assure first consideration for a financial award from the School of Planning. Our assistantships and financial awards are merit-based and extremely competitive. The School of Planning will accept applications up to August 1 of each year to begin studies the following August.
Find Admission requirements here:

Admission Requirements:

·      Completion of a University Application for Graduate Study that requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee ($5 surcharge for international applicants).

·      3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale at most recently attended academic institutions.

·      Unofficial transcript(s) from all colleges/universities attended. Note: Official transcripts are not required during the admissions process, and only transcripts are required for the application. Applicants should not send official transcripts until they are offered admission. For complete requirements please visit the Graduate School transcript requirements.

·      A Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture (for MLA II program options only) should be completed prior to admission. Unofficial transcripts and letters of recommendation should indicate the likelihood of degree completion if necessary.

·      Applicants from outside the U.S. are required to have test scores higher than the following minimums for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 84-85 (internet-based), 223 (computer-based), or 563 (paper-based). Other acceptable scores include above a 6.5 minimum on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or above a 53 on the Pearson (PTE).

·      International students are also required to submit a video to the application website that demonstrates English proficiency.

·      A professional resumé, which may also include a link to a digital portfolio (see below).

·      A digital portfolio with examples of design work is required for the MLA II options. MLA I applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a digital portfolio. In addition to design work, a portfolio displays an expression of interests, travel, experiences, creative work, accomplishments, and prior education that demonstrates an affinity with landscape architecture. Applicants may upload an e-portfolio no larger than 2 MB into the online University Application. Alternatively, applicants may upload a PDF that includes a link to portfolios larger than 2MB. We do not accept hard copies of portfolios.

·      A statement of interest. This paper (800 words, maximum) should describe the applicant’s broader goals within the professional discipline of landscape architecture, and why pursuing an MLA degree is the right path. The applicant should describe significant academic accomplishments and experiences.

·      Submission of three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your potential to complete professional graduate study. At least one recommendation should be from an academic reference who can address the applicant’s academic performance. If the applicant is applying for graduate assistantship support, at least one recommendation should address the applicant’s competence or potential abilities to contribute to research and/or teaching. These letters must be submitted by references online.

·      Applicants interested in a graduate assistantship should upload a one-page description of relevant skills and knowledge (such as teaching experience, computer programming, design software, languages, drafting/design, knowledge of research tools) that could be utilized as a graduate assistant. The applicant should describe how these skills have been used in prior academic/work experiences.

More information is available at the application website.  


Program Costs 

CLICK HERE for details about tuition, fees, and other associated costs. Please note that these costs are for the 2017-2018 academic year. 

Additional Information 

If you have additional questions about the Master of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Cincinnati, please send an email to this address: 

(Coming Soon)

For information regarding submitting your application or attaching required materials, please contact the Graduate School Help Desk at 513-556-1496 or email gradhelpdesk@uc.edu.

Cooperative Education

UC’s unique cooperative education program combines academic semesters of study in landscape architecture with placement in professional work environments, thereby creating a program structure that balances academic inquiry with industry application to foster and develop robust professional knowledge and judgment.

Areas of Research and Partnerships

The MLA program has access to many established community connections and partnerships.  These partnerships enable MLA students to focus on areas of research of interest to them, such as environmental art, urban agriculture, urban landscapes, industrial design, green roofs, urban design, architecture, or sustainability and regenerative design.

Existing relationships and alliances include internationally acclaimed landmark institutions like Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens; not-for-profit agencies such as Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, the Civic Garden Center, Building Value/Easter Seals, and Lawn Life; government agencies such as Cincinnati Parks, Hamilton County Parks, the Metropolitan Sewer District, Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, and the City of Cincinnati.

The MLA program is also an active partner with UC’s Community Design Center. The Center is the host of the Niehoff Studio, an interdisciplinary program that addresses issues in the urban environment including food networks, transportation, housing, and other contemporary conditions. The Center enables students and faculty from a variety of UC programs, including DAAP’s planning and design programs as well as the environmental and civil engineering programs, to work in a collaborative environment with community partners.

Further Information

Virginia L. Russell, FASLA

Director, Landscape Architecture Program

School of Planning

Email: Virginia.russell@uc.edu

Phone: 513.556.1135

More information about education, licensure, and careers in the profession of Landscape Architecture can found at these websites:

American Society of Landscape Architects asla.org

Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards clarb.org

Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture thecela.org

Landscape Architecture Foundation laf.org

Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects ohioasla.org

Landscape Architecture Magazine landscapearchitecturemagazine.org

Landscape Journal  lj.uwpress.org