Master of Landscape Architecture

The graduate program in landscape architecture leads to a professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree. Two- and three-year degree options accommodate students with design and other undergraduate degrees. The landscape program further develops cross-disciplinary connections among architecture, urban design and visual arts in the Sam Fox School.

The program in landscape architecture focuses on the three subjects of design, ecology and urbanism. The transformative process of design — linking cultural, historical and technological investigations — forms the pedagogical basis for research. Ecology informs design practice to address a multiplicity of scales and natural systems within the environment. Urbanism serves as a terrain of contemporary landscape practice. As heirs to design, ecological and urban traditions, landscape architects are uniquely suited to articulate a spatial vision for today's environment. This three-pronged approach is geared to develop the students' critical and conceptual abilities and to prepare them to become leaders within professional and academic spheres.

The curriculum is centered on studio teaching supported by instruction in technology, history and theory. Following the core sequence of design studios and classes, students are encouraged to develop their own research interests through advanced design studios and electives. Interdisciplinary and international option studios foster a multiplicity of perspectives leading to a research-based degree project (thesis or independent study). In addition, students have opportunities to further their investigations within and beyond the school through teaching and research assistantships and scholarships.

The landscape architecture program draws on a unique set of institutional, regional and international resources available at the Sam Fox School. St. Louis functions as a laboratory for understanding and testing ecological and urban theories at the local scale, from brownfield reclamation to urban agriculture systems. Washington University's outstanding programs in Environmental Studies, Environmental Engineering, and American Culture Studies expand curricular offerings in ecology, technology and landscape studies, and the internationally renowned Missouri Botanical Garden serves as an exceptional tool of research and teaching. Finally, through the extensive international offerings of the school, students experience different landscapes, cultures and cultures of practice.

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