Landscape Architecture


Why study Landscape Architecture?

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program at the University of Cincinnati (UC) is founded on 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 MLA program at the University of Cincinnati is distinguished by Cooperative Education (Co-op)Our program shortens the time to graduation with six consecutive semesters, beginning with an intensive summer studio in June, followed by an additional four academic semesters and one cooperative education semester. Our students graduate with real on-the-job experience.

A uniqueness to our MLA program is that is can be completed in two-years. Our program begins each summer followed by 5 consecutive semesters with one of those a Co-op semester.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements:

  • Completion of the UC Graduate Admissions Application that requires a non-refundable $65 application fee ($70 for international applicants)
  • 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale at most recently attended academic institution
  • Unofficial transcript(s) from all colleges/universities attended. Note: Official transcripts are not required during the admissions process, and only unofficial transcripts are required for the application. Applicants should not send official transcripts until they are offered admission. For complete requirements please view UC's Official Transcript Policy for Enrollment
  • 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 54 on the Pearson (PTE). The Duolingo English Test is also accepted, with a minimum score of 110. 
  • A professional resumé, which may also include a link to a digital portfolio (see below)
  • Applicants are required 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 application. Alternatively, applicants may upload a PDF that includes a link to portfolios larger than 2MB. We do not accept hard copies of portfolios.
  • Goal Statement. This statement (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 (two minimum) 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, and 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.

The profession of landscape architecture has led the way in sustainable design for more than 100 years. From residential gardens to regional plans, the practice of landscape architecture spans the spectrum of human intervention on the land and the stewardship of the earth’s natural resources. Landscape architects are leading projects of global significance in private, public, and academic practice settings.

The MLA at UC is the only advanced degree in landscape architecture with a cooperative education requirement. 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. The UC approach to cooperative education is further described on UC's Career Education website

Students gain proactive learning experiences and professional exposure from the co-op that accelerates their job searches and helps them define the area of practice for which they are best suited.

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, Planning, and Urban Design. The MLA’s home in the School of Planning in DAAP aligns the MLA with the contemporary practice of urban design.

A STEM program with focus on the urban environment and the critical practice of Landscape Architecture

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. MLA students have the opportunity to complete certificates, including graduate certificates at DAAP or in other Colleges.

As a STEM recognized field of study using STEM CIP code 01.1103 our program qualifies for the extension requirement.   

MLA: 80 credits, First-Professional Degree for 6 consecutive semesters including one co-op experience.


Application Deadlines

Application materials must be received by November 01 to assure first consideration for a financial award from the program. Our assistantships and financial awards are merit-based and extremely competitive. Applicants who earn an award will receive a letter by November 15 and will require a signed acceptance by January 10

The Landscape Architecture Program accepts applications between August 01 to April 30  of each academic year. All admission confirmations are due by January 10. Applications will be considered after this date, but financial awards may not be available.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

As a first-professional degree program, the MLA provides the body of knowledge common to the profession and promotes the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary to enter the professional practice of landscape architecture. The Master of Landscape Architecture degree is an accredited program recognized by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).  Its next scheduled review will be Spring 2027.  

The LAAB is the accrediting organization for landscape architectural programs. As such, the LAAB develops standards to objectively evaluate landscape architectural programs and judges whether a school’s landscape architectural program is in compliance with the accreditation standards.

The LAAB is comprised of landscape architecture practitioners and academicians, representatives from landscape architecture collateral organizations and public representatives. The collateral organizations are the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) and Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).

For more information about accreditation, please visit this website:


The University of Cincinnati’s landscape architecture degree is currently recognized by the Landscape Architecture Review Board (LAAB) as an accredited program. The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) writes, administers, and grades the LARE. Each state sets its own requirements for licensure and the timing of taking the LARE. Many states now allow applicants to begin taking the exam after graduation - but not all. CLARB provides the latest information on state rules regarding when applicants can begin taking the exam. Many states also have a rolling 5-year clock for taking the exam, meaning that you must pass all sections within 5 years of taking the first section. The Ohio licensing board provides information for applications for landscape architecture licensure.

Public Information

Contact Information

Barry W. Kew, PLA, ASLA
PO Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016
(513) 556-2981

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Program Code: 23MAS-LAND-MLA