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 MLA curriculum offers three program options: MLA I, MLA IIA, and MLA IIB. The MLA I 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 accredited, advanced 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 MLA IIA and MLA IIB are programs for those with a background in landscape architecture, planning, or design fields. This 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. Such a 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, and social conditions.
The UC MLA three program options are:
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).
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 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 January 15 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:
· Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture (for MLA II track only)
· Official Transcripts from previous college or university
· Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
· TOEFL or IELTS (required for international students only)
· A digital portfolio of creative work
· A statement of your interest in graduate study in landscape architecture
· Three letters of recommendation
More information is available at the application website.
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.
Virginia L. Russell, FASLA
Director, Landscape Architecture Program
School of Planning
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