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Graduate Field of Landscape Architecture

Gain the technical skills & acumen to realize your vision

    Since 1904, the Department of Landscape Architecture at Cornell University has challenged students to become responsible, creative designers and to develop innovative, just, and sustainable site appropriate responses to critical issues affecting the planet and its inhabitants. The field of landscape architecture is rapidly evolving to address crucial issues of global societal interest. 

    The program’s rich history and legacy of diversity and innovation form the foundation on which we continue to build the notion of landscape as grounding for a democratic society. Landscape architecture today intervenes in myriad contexts and landscape types, for multiple constituencies, and at a broad array of scales from infrastructural landscapes to gardens; the department will continue to immerse students in all facets of the field while providing them with the technical skills and acumen to realize their visions. 

    Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.)

    The M.L.A. graduate program complies with the requirements of three governing bodies: the New York State Education Department (NYSED), the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards (CLARB), and the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board. It is designed to accommodate a variety of academic backgrounds, both with and without design training, in landscape architecture and architecture. Therefore, each student’s curriculum plan is tailored to the individual’s specific background and academic goals.

    The intent of the MLA degree is to provide the foundational, historical, theoretical, technical, and skills-based grounding of the field of landscape architecture. 

    We offer two possible paths toward the completion of the MLA degree: the First Professional MLA and the Post Professional MLA.

    Dual Master’s Degree in Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture (M.R.P./M.L.A.)

    The dual master's degree in regional planning (M.R.P.) and landscape architecture (M.L.A.) is a professionally accredited degree intended for students with an interest in both planning and design issues.

    Landscape architecture (LA) students interested in the social, political, and economic context in which design occurs, or planning students who want to establish a deeper concentration in physical design and planning than the existing planning curriculum can provide, are ideal candidates for the dual degree program.

    Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Landscape Architecture

    The Masters of Professional Studies (MPS) degree requires one year (two semesters) of study and a minimum of 30 credits. Unlike the professional MLA, the MPS focuses on design research, both in terms of performing research through design, and exploring and expanding design research as a set of methods and approaches unique from scientific research.

    The MPS degree is suitable for undergraduate landscape architecture students graduating with a BSLA or BLA, who wish to continue their studies for one year to earn a graduate degree. Since the MPS is design research focused, it offers an experience unique to undergraduate programs in landscape architecture. Graduates of programs in allied disciplines of Architecture, Environmental Studies and Sustainability, Civil or Environmental Engineering, etc. who are interested in complementing their undergraduate or graduate education with landscape architecture and/or design are also encouraged to apply. MLA students may also wish to enter the MPS program in order to expand their knowledge of design research.