Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Landscape Architecture M.L.A.

Landscape Architecture
College of Design
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Landscape Architecture, 144 Rapson Hall, 89 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-625-6860)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2020
  • Length of program in credits: 57 to 89
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • N/A
  • Degree: Master of Landscape Architecture
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The master of landscape architecture (MLA) is a first-professional degree required for students who wish to become licensed professional landscape architects. The program is accredited by the national Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB). The curriculum introduces students to the practice and discipline of landscape architecture, providing them with the artistic, technical, cognitive, and communication skills, in addition to the scientific and aesthetic knowledge, necessary to practice in the profession and in related environmental fields. Students are encouraged to select from electives offered to develop a special focus or to explore more areas in depth. The MLA program (MLA I) is a three-year, 89-credit degree. Coursework exposes students to the broad field of landscape architecture as both a discipline and a profession. Classes are collaborative in nature and challenge students to delve into landscape issues that cut across multiple systems and scales. Because the core of the curriculum is six design studios, organized in a sequential framework, a commitment to three successive years in the program is essential. Applicants with accredited professional baccalaureate degrees in landscape architecture or architecture may be considered for the advanced-standing MLA degree (MLA II). The MLA II requires at least 58 credits of design studio, research methods, and elective courses.
Accreditation
This program is accredited by Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB)
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
MLA program applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree.
Special Application Requirements:
Students are admitted for fall semester only. MLA program applicants must apply by January 15, for entry the following fall, to receive first consideration for admission, fellowships, and assistantships. In addition to the University’s admission requirements, applicants must submit an electronic portfolio in 8.5 x 11 PDF format. GRE scores are not required; however, they can be helpful to applicants seeking national fellowships such as the Fulbright Scholarship. Please refer to the MLA website for detailed information regarding department specific application requirements and procedures, including a downloadable checklist, at http://landarch.design.umn.edu/prog/index.html.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 86
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan C: Plan C requires 51 to 83 major credits and 6 credits outside the major. There is no final exam. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project: See department for more details.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Core Coursework
All MLA I and MLA II students must take the following courses for a total of 36 credits. LA 8206 must be taken twice.
LA 5131 - Geospatial Data Analysis and Design (3.0 cr)
LA 5202 - Landscape Analysis Workshop (1.0 cr)
LA 8206 - Making Urban Landscape Space (6.0 cr)
LA 8301 - Landscape Architecture: Research Issues and Methods (3.0 cr)
LA 8302 - Professional Practice (3.0 cr)
LA 8554 - Project Programming (2.0 cr)
LA 8555 - Advanced Landscape Planning and Design (6.0 cr)
LA 8773 - Landscape Infrastructure and Systems III (3.0 cr)
LA 8774 - Landscape Infrastructure and Systems IV (3.0 cr)
Outside Electives
All MLA I and MLA II students must take at least 6 of their elective credits outside of landscape architecture. Students may choose any 5000-level or above course. Preferred electives include ARCH 5711, ARCH 5721, ARCH 5756, DES 5165, ESPM 5071, PA 5004, PA 5013, PA 5211, PA 5231.
MLA I and MLA II Program Options
The MLA I is a 3-year program. The MLA II is a 2-year program for students with an accredited undergraduate degree or who receive advanced standing.
MLA I Requirements
Additional Course Requirements
MLA I students must take the following courses for 32 credits:
LA 5201 - Making Landscape Spaces and Types (6.0 cr)
LA 5203 - Ecological Dimensions of Space Making (6.0 cr)
LA 5204 - Metropolitan Landscape Ecology (3.0 cr)
LA 5376 - Representation I (4.0 cr)
LA 5377 - Representation II (4.0 cr)
LA 5413 - Introduction to Landscape Architectural History (3.0 cr)
LA 5771 - Landscape Infrastructure and Systems I (3.0 cr)
LA 5772 - Landscape Infrastructure Systems II (3.0 cr)
Additional Required Coursework
MLA I students may participate in the Cities on the Water study abroad option, with the approval of their advisor and the director of graduate studies. Students choosing the study abroad option take 6 credits of LA 8207, 3 credits of LA 5381, 3 credits of LA 5414, and 3 credits of LA 5761 for a total of 15 credits. Students who do not choose the study abroad option take LA 8205 for 6 credits plus 9 credits of electives for a total of 15 credits.
Cities on Water--Study Abroad Option
MLA I students may participate in the Cities on the Water study abroad option, with the approval of their advisor and the director of graduate studies. Students choosing the study abroad option take 6 credits of LA 8207, 3 credits of LA 5381, 3 credits of LA 5414, and 3 credits of LA 5761 for a total of 15 credits.
LA 5381 - The City in Visual Culture (3.0 cr)
LA 5414 - Study Abroad: History and Culture (0.0-3.0 cr)
LA 5761 - Infrastructure + Culture (3.0 cr)
LA 8207 - Cities on Water International Workshop (6.0 cr)
or Students Not Studying Abroad
Students who do not choose the study abroad option take LA 8205 for 6 credits plus 9 credits of electives for a total of 15 credits.
LA 8205 - Urban Form Options: Landscape Architecture Studio (6.0 cr)
Electives for Students Not Studying Abroad
MLA I students not choosing to study abroad take at least 9 elective credits that term along with 6 credits of LA 8205. Students may choose any 5000-level or above course. Preferred electives include ARCH 5711, ARCH 5721, ARCH 5756, DES 5165, ESPM 5071, PA 5004, PA 5013, PA 5211, PA 5231
-OR-
MLA II Requirements
Cities on Water--Study Abroad Option
MLA II students may participate in the Cities on the Water study abroad option, with adviser and director of graduate studies approval. Students choosing the study abroad option take 6 credits of LA 8207, 3 credits of LA 5381, 3 credits of LA 5414, and 3 credits of LA 5761 for a total of 15 credits.
LA 8207 - Cities on Water International Workshop (6.0 cr)
LA 5381 - The City in Visual Culture (3.0 cr)
LA 5414 - Study Abroad: History and Culture (0.0-3.0 cr)
LA 5761 - Infrastructure + Culture (3.0 cr)
or Students Not Studying Abroad
Those not choosing to study abroad take 6 credits of LA 8205, 4 credits of LA 5377, and 6 credits of electives for a total of 16 credits.
LA 8205 - Urban Form Options: Landscape Architecture Studio (6.0 cr)
LA 5377 - Representation II (4.0 cr)
Electives for Students Not Studying Abroad
MLA II students not choosing to study abroad take 6 credits of electives. Students may choose any 5000-level or above course. Preferred electives include ARCH 5711, ARCH 5721, ARCH 5756, DES 5165, ESPM 5071, PA 5004, PA 5013, PA 5211, PA 5231.
Joint- or Dual-degree Coursework:
MLA/MS-Architecture Students may take a total of 24 credits in common among the academic programs.
 
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Design

View sample plan(s):
· Landscape Architecture MLA I Sample Plan
· Landscape Architecture MLA II Sample Plan
View PDF Version:
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LA 5131 - Geospatial Data Analysis and Design
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to geospatial data analysis/application in landscape architectural, environmental design research/practice. prereq: Master of Landscape Architecture Student or instr consent
LA 5202 - Landscape Analysis Workshop
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to field techniques for site analysis, including vegetation, soil, and landform description. One-week session, before fall term, at lake Itasca Forestry and Biological Station.
LA 8206 - Making Urban Landscape Space
Credits: 6.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Advanced design studio course focusing on current or emerging topics in urban or urbanizing landscapes. The specific course topics vary slightly from year to year and between sections. Each studio is focused on the same set of learning objectives, but with different studio sites and focus. Each studio explores a site and local culture of a metropolitan area and involves brief travel to the studio site. In general, these studios will examine changing conditions due to industrial decline, technological advancement, climate change, etc. as experimental ground for studio investigations into new paradigms of landscape-based solutions to urban design/development, and infrastructure. prereq: MLA grad student
LA 8301 - Landscape Architecture: Research Issues and Methods
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Alternative methodological approaches to landscape architectural research and consideration of their appropriateness for contemporary research topics. prereq: 8201 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 8201, grad LA major or instr consent
LA 8302 - Professional Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Office and project management case studies. Organizational behavior, marketing, sales, strategic planning, financial and cost accounting, insurance, legal issues and contracts. prereq: 8205, grad LA major or instr consent
LA 8554 - Project Programming
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Individual research in preparation for final studio. prereq: 8203, [grad land arch major or instr consent]
LA 8555 - Advanced Landscape Planning and Design
Credits: 6.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Advanced studies in area of student's choice. prereq: 8205, grad land arch major or instr consent
LA 8773 - Landscape Infrastructure and Systems III
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Third course in landscape infrastructure/systems sequence that introduces technical skills required to work/obtain professional licensure as landscape architect. Programming, qualitative/quantitative performance of constructed hydrologic systems, planting design, representation of constructed systems, paving systems for hydrologic control. prereq: Master of Landscape Architecture Student or instr consent
LA 8774 - Landscape Infrastructure and Systems IV
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Fourth course in landscape infrastructure/systems sequence that introduces students to technical skills required to work/obtain professional licensure as landscape architect. Use/implementation of complex constructed assemblies in urban context. prereq: Master of Landscape Architecture Student or instr consent
LA 5201 - Making Landscape Spaces and Types
Credits: 6.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Design exploration using 3-D models and historical precedent studies to create outdoor spaces for human habitation and use. Application of the basic landscape palette of landform, plants, and structures to give physical, emotional, cognitive, and social definition to created places. prereq: B.E.D accelerated status or LA grad or instr consent
LA 5203 - Ecological Dimensions of Space Making
Credits: 6.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Design studio experience drawing on ecological, cultural, aesthetic influences to explore development of design ideas responsive to ecological issues and human experience. prereq: LA major or instr consent; recommended for both BED and Grad students
LA 5204 - Metropolitan Landscape Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Theories/principles of holistic landscape ecology. People, nature, and environmental stewardship in metropolitan landscapes. Urban areas, rural areas that provide food, water, energy, and recreation. prereq: BED accelerated status or LA grad student or instr consent
LA 5376 - Representation I
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02042
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Strengthen freehand sketching ability. Develop observation skills. Develop ability to communicate ideas clearly through visual expression. Learn/explore conventions of landscape architectural drawing. Basic tools/techniques associated with Adobe Photoshop CS6. Promote fluidity between analog/digital media. Create drawing personality/graphic style. prereq: Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) or Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design.
LA 5377 - Representation II
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01043 - Arch 5372/LA 5372/LA 5375/LA 5
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Explore multi-media rendering techniques. Increase knowledge of art materials/graphic programs. Increase hand-drawing ability. Color theory, contemporary graphic styles. Layout, grid systems/type. Increase speed of drawing/producing renderings. Create or strengthen graphic style. prereq: Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) or Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design
LA 5413 - Introduction to Landscape Architectural History
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02160 - LA 3413/LA 5413
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introductory course examines the multiple roots of landscape architecture by examining the making of types of landscapes over time. Emphasis on ecological and environmental issues, and issues related to political, economic, and social contexts of landscape architectural works. prereq: One course in history at 1xxx or higher
LA 5771 - Landscape Infrastructure and Systems I
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Basic principles, techniques, skills of creating infrastructures of built landscapes. Basic concepts of simple plant taxonomy, plant community structure, earthwork, water management, landscape structures. Small site scale design development. prereq: Master of Landscape Architecture Student, [Accelerated Track B.E.D or instr consent]
LA 5772 - Landscape Infrastructure Systems II
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Principles, techniques, skills of creating ecological infrastructures of built landscapes systems. Builds on basic concepts taught in LA 5771. Focuses on ecological connections among plants, landscape structure, earthwork techniques, water management, landscape structural systems. prereq: Master of Landscape Architecture Student, [Accelerated BED Student or instr consent]
LA 5381 - The City in Visual Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Visual culture is not just that we see the way we do because we are social animals, but also that our social arrangements take the forms they do because we are seeing animals. The social arrangements of the city, the buildings and public spaces, are concretized expressions of power and culture. The course will, through multiple drawings, attempt to critically examine these social arrangements as they have evolved over time (history) by re-presenting the city (as human experience and aesthetic form). The course will be structured around on-site work sessions, critical readings, on- and off-site lectures, and weekly drawing assignments.
LA 5414 - Study Abroad: History and Culture
Credits: 0.0 -3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This is a history course aimed at investigating the rich urban, landscape and architectural legacy of Spain, tracing the multiple histories of the Spain through the ceremonial and quotidian spaces of Madrid as it developed as the capital city of the Catholic monarchy and the monuments of Al-Andalus, the Islamic caliphate in Southern Spain. The course is structures so that each week there will be an in-class lecture and a walking tour of Madrid. There will also be several field trips to historic sites.
LA 5761 - Infrastructure + Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
As attitudes about ecology and nature are shifting and as the threats from climate change are becoming more pronounced, new infrastructure works in the Netherlands are caught a a double bind of responding to ecological concerns and protection of the land. This course will explore both historic and modern water management infrastructures as cultural and engineering constructs through visual representation as a form of critique. The course will be structured around study trips, preparatory readings, on-site lectures, and will be supplemented by the participation of several guest speakers.
LA 8207 - Cities on Water International Workshop
Credits: 6.0 [max 16.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01998 - LA 8205/LA 8207
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Intensive studio course on international applications of sustainable urban design. prereq: Grad LA or ARCH major or instr consent
LA 8205 - Urban Form Options: Landscape Architecture Studio
Credits: 6.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Urban landscape design issues, theories, and problems explored via formal/spatial inquiry in studio, reading, and the exposition of ideas in paired seminar. Urban systems, gathering spaces, ecology, infrastructure, recreation, and public space. prereq: 2 yrs of studio, grad LA major or instr consent
LA 8207 - Cities on Water International Workshop
Credits: 6.0 [max 16.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01998 - LA 8205/LA 8207
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Intensive studio course on international applications of sustainable urban design. prereq: Grad LA or ARCH major or instr consent
LA 5381 - The City in Visual Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Visual culture is not just that we see the way we do because we are social animals, but also that our social arrangements take the forms they do because we are seeing animals. The social arrangements of the city, the buildings and public spaces, are concretized expressions of power and culture. The course will, through multiple drawings, attempt to critically examine these social arrangements as they have evolved over time (history) by re-presenting the city (as human experience and aesthetic form). The course will be structured around on-site work sessions, critical readings, on- and off-site lectures, and weekly drawing assignments.
LA 5414 - Study Abroad: History and Culture
Credits: 0.0 -3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This is a history course aimed at investigating the rich urban, landscape and architectural legacy of Spain, tracing the multiple histories of the Spain through the ceremonial and quotidian spaces of Madrid as it developed as the capital city of the Catholic monarchy and the monuments of Al-Andalus, the Islamic caliphate in Southern Spain. The course is structures so that each week there will be an in-class lecture and a walking tour of Madrid. There will also be several field trips to historic sites.
LA 5761 - Infrastructure + Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
As attitudes about ecology and nature are shifting and as the threats from climate change are becoming more pronounced, new infrastructure works in the Netherlands are caught a a double bind of responding to ecological concerns and protection of the land. This course will explore both historic and modern water management infrastructures as cultural and engineering constructs through visual representation as a form of critique. The course will be structured around study trips, preparatory readings, on-site lectures, and will be supplemented by the participation of several guest speakers.
LA 8205 - Urban Form Options: Landscape Architecture Studio
Credits: 6.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Urban landscape design issues, theories, and problems explored via formal/spatial inquiry in studio, reading, and the exposition of ideas in paired seminar. Urban systems, gathering spaces, ecology, infrastructure, recreation, and public space. prereq: 2 yrs of studio, grad LA major or instr consent
LA 5377 - Representation II
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01043 - Arch 5372/LA 5372/LA 5375/LA 5
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Explore multi-media rendering techniques. Increase knowledge of art materials/graphic programs. Increase hand-drawing ability. Color theory, contemporary graphic styles. Layout, grid systems/type. Increase speed of drawing/producing renderings. Create or strengthen graphic style. prereq: Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) or Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design