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School of Planning

Research + Work

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 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).

Degree: MLA

Full-time program duration: 2.0 Years

Location: West Campus

Contact Information:

College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
Landscape Architecture
Virginia L Russell, FASLA
PO Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016
(513) 556-1135

Admission Requirements

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.

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

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. The MLA I degree program has been designed to meet the standards of the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board. This new degree program began the accreditation process in 2020. For more information about accreditation, please visit this website:

Program Details