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MLA Graduate Program

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program considers applicants with and without previous design education, and encourages applications from persons with diverse academic and professional backgrounds. We offer two professional program tracks – the MLA I for those without a previous design education and MLA II for those with a previous design degree. The Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) accredits the program.

The MLA I track is three years in length and is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a field other than landscape architecture or architecture. Students come from diverse backgrounds with degrees in a variety of disciplines including ecology, business, political science, literature, art, and history. In this way the program is enriched through students‘ interdisciplinary interests and knowledge. The core curriculum in the first year provides students with foundational professional skills in design, site and landscape planning, construction materials and processes, and graphic, written and verbal communication. In the second and third years students develop these primary knowledge areas in order to develop leadership abilities in the definition, research, and practice of design.

The MLA II track is two years in length and is designed for applicants with a previous design degree in Landscape Architecture, Environmental Design, Urban Design, or Architecture. Those with degrees in related fields will be considered on an individual case, but it is generally assumed that without the appropriate training provided by a previous professional design degree program, students will be enrolled in the MLA I program. MLA II students build on their previous design education (and practice if appropriate) to expand their creative capacities, advance their technical knowledge and skills, and enrich their leadership abilities in the design disciplines. These students join the MLA I students in the second year of the program enrolling in advanced studios, research seminars, and elective areas of interest in addition to a capstone project in the final year.

All students, whether in the MLA I or II track, are required to complete courses in topics on biophysical and human ecology, built environment history, professional practice, design law, and other areas as described in the program curricula and determined by the Graduate Program Coordinator. The department seeks to admit students with a range of ages, backgrounds, and interests. While students must meet the core curricula requirements for the program, each is encouraged to take advantage of the department’s positioning within the educationally broad, rich, and excellent research university by incorporating elective courses in other disciplines.

Concurrent degree programs with urban planning (MLA/MUP) and architecture (MLA/MArch) are also available. In addition, graduate students may elect to participate in College-wide certificate programs in Urban Design, and Preservation Planning and Design.

If you have any other questions, please contact the MLA Program Assistant, Ms. JoAnne Edwards, at slocan@uw.edu,