Master of Landscape Architecture

The Master of Landscape Architecture program prepares students to engage in landscape architecture as a form of cultural and ecological practice.

Master of Landscape Architecture

Consistently ranked among the top programs in the country and the only fully accredited program in Ohio, the MLA program develops critical thought, inventiveness, and skill. Our STEM-approved curriculum centers around the design studio—an intense one-on-one pedagogical approach where students actively engage challenges facing the built and natural environments through design speculations, fieldwork, and innovative methods of making. Lectures, workshops, and seminars in media, ecology and technology, and history and theory support the design studio with focused expansions of technical and theoretical knowledge. Throughout their time in the MLA program, our students can supplement their education with domestic and international travel, graduate teaching, direct contact with internationally-recognized scholars and practitioners, and advanced independent design research.

Admission is selective.

The Master of Landscape Architecture program is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) of the American Society of Landscape Architects.


Master of Landscape Architecture I
First Professional Degree

The Master of Landscape Architecture I (MLA I) degree is designed for individuals with no prior training in landscape architecture and is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board of the American Society of Landscape Architects as a first-professional degree. The MLA I curriculum provides students with an in-depth education in the knowledge and skills of the discipline and provides opportunities for scholarly research. The first year of the curriculum builds fundamental skills in design, history, theory, and digital technologies. Years two and three focus on broadening student abilities in design and scholarship. The MLA I degree typically takes three years to complete.

Download the PDF

Advanced placement consideration for the MLA I may be given to students with a degree in architecture, such as Bachelor of Science in Architecture or Master of Architecture, who can demonstrate advanced design skills.

Download the PDF

Master of Landscape Architecture II
Post Professional Degree

The Master of Landscape Architecture II (MLA II) degree is designed for those with an accredited undergraduate professional degree in landscape architecture. The intent of the curriculum is to enable students to pursue two educational goals simultaneously—broadening their knowledge of landscape architecture and related disciplines while developing a specific expertise within the field. The degree typically requires two years to complete, including the submission and defense of a master’s thesis or directed research project. Typical of post-professional programs, the MLA II is not an accredited degree program.

Download the PDF

Year 1 (G1)

LARCH 6910 Design Studio I 6
LARCH 6410 Media I 3
LARCH 6420 Ecology & Technology I 3
LARCH 6600 Outlines of Landscape Arch 3
TOTAL   15
LARCH 6920 Design Studio II 6
LARCH 6430 Media II 3
LARCH 6440 Ecology & Technology II 3
LARCH 6667 Making & Meaning 3

Year 2 (G2)

LARCH 7930 Design Studio III 8
LARCH 5610 History & Theory I 3
LARCH 6367 Professional Practice 3
ELECTIVE Elective 3
TOTAL   17
LARCH 7940 Design Studio IV 8
LARCH 5620 History & Theory II 3
LARCH 7780 Research Methods 3
ELECTIVE Elective 3
TOTAL   17

Year 3 (G3)

LARCH 7950 Design Studio V 8
ELECTIVE Elective 3
ELECTIVE Elective 3
TOTAL   17
ELECTIVE Elective 3
ELECTIVE Elective 3
TOTAL   14


Students are required to complete elective credit hours in the form of Graduate Seminars and Open Electives in order to fulfill the minimum 94 total credit hours for the degree. Required courses are to be taken in the terms listed above and elective courses may be taken around these requirements.

Graduate Seminars (12 credits)
Graduate Seminar requirements may be fulfilled by landscape architecture seminars in the form of Advanced Topics in History/Theory (LARCH 5630), Advanced Landscape Technologies Seminar (LARCH 7410), Advanced Landscape Media Seminar (LARCH 7450), Advanced Landscape History & Theory Seminar (LARCH 7630), Seminar in Landscape Architecture (LARCH 7890), or approved comparable graduate-level electives. Seminars are typically 3 credit hours each.

Open Electives
Open electives may be taken from across the university. Courses within landscape architecture must be 5000 level and above (graduate section). Courses outside of landscape architecture may be 4000 level or above and taught by a lecturer/professor.

Students choose from three possible tracks for their G3 course sequence.

Design: Autumn Landscape Elective, Spring LARCH 7950 Option Studio

Directed Research: Autumn LARCH 8990 Pro-Seminar, Spring LARCH 7950 Directed Research Studio

Thesis: Autumn LARCH 7193 Independent Study, Spring LARCH 6999 Thesis Hours

Dual Degree Programs

As a discipline with ties to many other fields, students in the landscape architecture program may be interested in pursuing a second degree with their MLA.

Learn more about pairing the MLA with another graduate degree.

Midwest Landscape Lab

The Midwest Landscape Lab (MidLL) is a research and teaching extension of Knowlton Landscape Architecture and that cultivates environmentally and socially engaged landscape architects through place-based scholarship. MidLL facilitates close collaboration between faculty and students, supporting fieldwork and research centered on ecological, material and cultural histories endemic to the Midwest.