Top Landscape Architecture Masters and Graduate Programs: School List

Dec 23, 2019

Find out which top-ranked schools offer master's degree programs in landscape architecture. See what makes these schools stand out, and decide if one of these programs might be for you.

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Landscape architects design parks, gardens and plazas, working with engineers and building designers to plan the location of buildings, roads and other elements of the site. Graduate programs typically lead to a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree. Master of Landscape Architecture programs may be completed in 1-3 years. The extent of required coursework usually depends on the student's undergraduate field of study. The schools discussed here have all been recognized among national universities by U.S. News and World Report for 2020 and among graduate landscape architecture schools by DesignIntelligence in 2018.

Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

In addition to the standard MLA, Harvard University's Graduate School of Design also offers an advanced MLA for individuals with a professional degree in architecture, an MLA post-professional degree, and a Master of Landscape Architecture and Urban Studies.

Harvard University is the oldest postsecondary institution in the United States. The school took second place in U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the best national universities for 2020.

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program offered by the Graduate School of Design can be completed in 3-6 semesters, depending on the extent of architectural education completed during the student's undergraduate studies. In 2018, the program was ranked number one in the DesignIntelligence list of the best graduate degree programs in landscape architecture in the U.S.

University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA

At the University of Virginia, landscape architecture students can apply for several fellowships, including the Design Education fellowship and the Architecture Thesis fellowship.

The University of Virginia (UVA) is a public university that has received recognition from many organizations, including a fourth-place ranking in the 2018-2019 list of best value public colleges published by Kiplinger's. UVA also ranked 28th among national universities on the U.S. News & World Report list published in 2019.

The School of Architecture offers an MLA program, which was named seventh-best in the 2018 DesignIntelligence ranking of national graduate programs of landscape architecture. The program offers different tracks based upon the student's previous academic experience. The timeframe for completing the program varies from three years, plus an 8-week summer session to four semesters if pursued by a student who has previously completed an undergraduate program in landscape architecture.

University of California - Berkeley, California

The University of California offers both a 2-year and a 3-year MLA program. The University of California - Berkeley offers two MLA programs. The 3-year program is for students who do not have previous education in the field, while the 2-year program is for those who have previously earned an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture or a related field.

Students may also choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks within both programs and they may pursue a concentration in environmental planning.

For 2020, U.S. News and World Report ranked the school #2 among all public schools in the country. It was also ranked #6 on the DesignIntelligence list of the top landscape architecture graduate schools in 2018.

Top Landscape Architecture Master's Degree Programs

There are a few other universities with strong MLA programs:

School Name Distinction Location
University of Florida The university offers the oldest MLA program in Florida. Gainesville, FL
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign About 10% of all winners of the American Society of Landscape Architects Medal are graduates of Illinois. Champaign, IL
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #3 among Top Public Schools in 2019. Ann Arbor, MI
University of Texas at Austin Students in the MLA program can work from landscape architecture studios. Austin, TX
University of Washington The Department of Landscape Architecture focuses on urban ecological design and has completed projects across the world and in underserved neighborhoods in Seattle. Seattle, WA
University of Wisconsin - Madison The MLA program offers tracks in community and urban landscape studies and restoration ecology and ecological design. Madison, WI
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University U.S. News and World Report ranked the university tied at #30 on its 2020 list of best public schools. Blacksburg, VA

MLA programs in landscape architecture are available for students who have no previous experience, as well as trained designers who want to advance their education. Some of the best public and private universities in the country offer excellent programs.

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