The graduate program in Landscape Architecture at UVA challenges students to imagine new landscape systems through rigorous research, design speculation, and the deployment of nascent technologies. We are committed to preparing our graduates to be critical thinkers and global citizens to form a more inclusive and resilient world while shaping the next generation of landscape practice.
Our graduate program is comprised of students coming from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, both with and without prior studies in landscape architecture.
Our students are encouraged to shape their own individual educational trajectories by integrating their design or non-design undergraduate backgrounds, intellectual interests, and skills into their graduate studies in landscape architecture. This fosters a rich and diverse thinking community united around a common interest to create yet-unimagined and powerful propositions for a resilient built environment.
The Master in Landscape Architecture program is accredited by the National Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB).
INTERESTED IN OUR MLA PROGRAM?
PATH 3.0: 97 CREDITS
The Path 3.0 Master of Landscape Architecture is a 3-year graduate professional degree with a minimum of 97 credits.
PATH 2.5: 78 CREDITS
The Path 2.5 Master of Landscape Architecture is a 2.5-year graduate professional degree with a minimum of 78 credits.
PATH 2.0: 61-62 CREDITS
The Path 2.0 Master of Landscape Architecture is a 2-year graduate professional degree with a minimum of 61 or 62 credits.
Our curriculum is a structured series of semesters that build incrementally from a core base of knowledge and skills laid out in the first year. While the first year is fully prescribed in its course requirements, later semesters leave elective options that allow students to pursue their own individual interests that can lead to a final independent design research studio.
The core of each semester is the design studio (6 credit hours). The studio sequence exposes students to the range of scales and topical issues in landscape architecture. Supporting the design studios, we have developed four tracks of curricula in related technical and theoretical content. These courses focus on a range of design tools, from computation to fabrication; innovative technologies; the art and science of plants; and histories and theories of landscape architecture.
Advanced studios may be developed around interdisciplinary content and processes, enriching the students' experiences through diverse expertise and perspectives.
Students follow different curricular paths based on prior undergraduate study. There are four paths for earning a Master of Landscape Architecture at UVA. Details can be found in the next section.
Students follow different curricular paths based on prior undergraduate study. There are four paths for earning a Master of Landscape Architecture at UVA.
MLA PATH 3.0
This program is designed for students who hold a non-design undergraduate degree and whose educational background is not in landscape architecture and for students without a pre-professional undergraduate landscape architecture degree.
The curriculum follows a prescribed core of foundational courses carried out in three years and begins with our introductory Summer Design Institute (SDI).
MLA PATH 2.5
This program is for students with U.S. pre-professional undergraduate landscape architecture degrees, such as Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture or Environmental Design. It is also designed for students holding degrees in landscape architecture from programs outside the U.S. that are not U.S. professionally accredited.
In advance of the following required five semesters, incoming Path 2.5 international students must enroll in the SDI/ Summer Design Institute which is our introductory program designed to acclimate them to graduate studies and immerse them in the culture of the school and university.
MLA PATH 2.0 ADVANCED
MLA Path 2.0 Advanced Program is designed for students with a U.S accredited Bachelor Landscape Architecture degree. (Note: Students holding a U.S accredited B.S. Landscape Architecture are Path 2.5 eligible.)
With a substantial amount of previous course credits fulfilled in landscape architectural history and technologies, Path 2.0 Advanced students are allowed to create a more-open self-devised program of studios and electives which gives them the opportunity to pursue their individual interests and specialization in the field. Because of their advanced educational background in the discipline, students in the Path 2.0 Advanced curriculum are highly encouraged to pursue advanced independent design research in close consultation with a faculty advisor and mentor.
MLA PATH 2.0
MLA Path 2.0 Program is for students holding a U.S.-accredited Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree.
This program is an intensive two-year/four-semester immersion in the core theory and practical knowledge of the landscape architecture profession for students with architecture undergraduate degree backgrounds. Each semester focuses around a design studio with a full complement of supporting landscape history, theory, visualization, and ecology/technology courses.
Because of immersion in the discipline of Landscape Architecture, there is only one elective offered to Path 2.0 students. This elective must be taken within the department and could be an independent study advised by a faculty member of the LAR program.
Use the Pathfinder Form in the link below to find your Path.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRADUATE CERTIFICATE
The interdisciplinary Program in Historic Preservation offers masters degree candidates in all of the School of Architecture’s disciplines (architecture, architectural history, landscape architecture and urban + environmental planning) the opportunity to expand their professional studies through specialized training in the theory, practice and ethics of historic preservation.
URBAN DESIGN GRADUATE CERTIFICATE
The Urban Design Certificate program is open to graduate students in any department of the School of Architecture who want to pursue an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the critical questions raised by planetary urbanization, from urban and infrastructural development, to social equity and resilience.
The multi-disciplinary ethos of the School of Architecture offers unique opportunities for students to structure and pursue dual graduate degrees. Dual degrees are offered with Architectural History, Architecture, and Urban and Environmental Planning. Pursuing a dual degree requires admission to each program, meeting the appropriate requirements.
Typically, a concurrent dual degree will require one additional year of study beyond the students designated MLA path. Learn more about our Dual Degrees and Graduate Certificates.
As of Spring 2019, UVA School of Architecture’s Master of Landscape Architecture program (Path 2, Path 2.5, and Path 3) is STEM-designated.
The Master of Landscape Architecture program at UVA, consistent with other schools and programs of Landscape Architecture nation-wide, includes curricular content that is essential to the comprehensive design and construction of landscapes. It teaches students to use scientific, social scientific and/or humanistic approaches on environment-related issues, including instruction in the principles of ecology and environmental science and related subjects such as policy, economics, social aspects, planning, design, natural resources and the interactions of human beings and nature. The program’s STEM-designation (and associated new CIP code: 03.0103) allows our international MLA graduates to apply for the Department of Homeland Security’s optional practical training (OPT) extension program for F-1 students with STEM degrees.
The Landscape Architecture Department also leads the development of Milton LandLab — a collaboration between faculty and students, with support from the FABLAB. Milton LandLab provides a unique opportunity for students to study and propose methodologies and practices for design research based in landscape mediums. Milton LandLab is based at the 172-acre Milton Airfield, located about eight miles east of Campbell Hall, and a formerly operating airport owned by the University of Virginia. As a historically disturbed site (from its use as a WWII airstrip to its present utilization by the Rivanna Radio Control Club's model airplane runway), with frontage along the Rivanna River, forested in parts, meadowed in others, Milton Airfield provides a site for extended study, large-scale intervention, and intimate engagement with landscape media. As a University asset, Milton Airfield is a shared space for learning and experimentation — it offers a unique place for the UVA School of Architecture's students and faculty to engage in innovative research and teaching in landscape design — a place and facility to experiment with landscape forms and processes rigorously on-site and over time.
The Natural Infrastructure Lab (NIL), directed by Landscape Architecture faculty Brian Davis and Michael Luegering, works to develop innovative and culturally significant forms of coastal and riverine infrastructure through landscape design research. They partner with governmental, non-profit, and private entities to focus on the potential of plants, sediments, currents, waves, rocks, and the historical and contemporary human practices that engage them to deliver the services society relies on, including coastal resilience, landscape migration, and flood protection. NIL research products work across scales and provide partners with the concepts, forms, and data-driven insights needed to implement innovative natural infrastructure that enhances human and ecological health over time. The Natural Infrastructure Lab supports the EcoTech course sequence in the Department of Landscape Architecture connecting curriculum and research. These courses include: LAR 6220 - EcoTech II and LAR 7220 - EcoTech IV.