Landscape Architecture (LARC)

Graduate Degree Program
College: Agriculture and Natural Resources

Abstract

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is a professional degree program that prepares students for work as design professionals in design firms, nonprofits, and governmental agencies. This program has been recognized by the National Center for Education Statistics as a STEM program under the category of 30.3301 - Sustainability Studies. MLA students take a series of lecture and studio design courses, beginning with an introduction to landscape design principles in the first year and culminating in an advanced research and studio design project in the graduating year. The three-year first professional degree curriculum is for students who have a bachelor’s degree in a non-design field. The MLA is a degree that is accredited by the LAAB (Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board), which allows graduates to sit for the professional license exam (LARE). The two-year post-professional degree curriculum is for students who have a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture or a related design field.

The University of Maryland’s MLA program is characterized by a balance of theory and practice to address the challenges of stormwater management, climate change, therapeutic landscapes, and environmental justice. Through the required courses, concentration electives, and individual research, each student will acquire a thorough theoretical basis, grounding in methods and practices, and exposure to contemporary local and global issues. The required studio courses and the thesis or creative project, conducted with faculty and community partners, advances the knowledge base of landscape architecture through research and community outreach activities.

Our extensive hands-on training and real-world creative problem-solving approaches provide you the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to excel and make a difference. The studio experience provides an opportunity to implement ecological design solutions ranging from development, conservation, and restoration. From creating livable communities to solving environmental design problems, Landscape Architects are committed to helping shape the future while protecting the past.

The MLA program is interdisciplinary in its philosophy and its operation. Individual courses convey concepts and tools from diverse disciplines and studio, research, and outreach projects have a multi-discipline association. Project and research advisors come from faculty in Landscape Architecture, Plant Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, American Studies, Architecture, Urban Studies and Planning, Historic Preservation, Real Estate Development, and other academic disciplines and professional partnerships.

The University of Maryland now offers a dual masters program in community planning (MCP) and landscape architecture (MLA) as well as a dual masters program in historic preservation (MHP) and landscape architecture (MLA). For more, please see our Masters of Landscape Architecture page. 

Financial Assistance

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available to qualified students. These include Teaching, Research, and Administration Assistantships. Assistantships can be 9-month or 12-month appointments and include tuition remission (5 to 10 credits each semester, commensurate with GA appointment), an annual salary, health benefits, and in-state tuition, in exchange for 10 to 20 hours of work per week. Scholarships, fellowships, and other funding sources are available through a variety of external agents, such as the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), the Garden Club of America (GCA), and others, including the following:

For more information on financial assistance and scholarships, please see our Student and Campus Resources page. 

Contact

David Myers, PhD, PLA, ASLA
Associate Professor and Director of Landscape Architecture, MLA Chair

Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture
2146 Plant Sciences Building
4291 Fieldhouse Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Telephone: 301.405.4350
Fax: 301.314.9308
Email: dnmyers@umd.edu

D. Diana Cortez
Lecturer & Advisor
Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

2139 Plant Sciences Building
4291 Fieldhouse Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Telephone: 301.405.4359
Fax: 301.314.9308
Email: dcortez@umd.edu 

Website: http://larch.umd.edu
 
Courses: LARC

Relationships: Architecture (ARCH)    Community Planning (CMPL)    Historic Preservation (HISP)    Landscape Architecture and Community Planning (LACP)    Plant Science (PLSC)

General Requirements

Program-Specific Requirements

  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • CV/Resume
  • Supplementary Application
  • Portfolio PDF Upload 
  • Description of Research/Work Experience (optional)

Portfolio

The portfolio is a compilation of graphic, written or scored work that you have created or observed and recorded. This collection should show your interest and aptitude for the visual language of design. Expertise in design is welcomed but not required. The portfolio should illustrate your interests in a variety of areas related to landscape architecture and environmental design. This portfolio should be uploaded digitally with your application. If you have any questions please email Diana Cortez at dcortez@umd.edu. Portfolios are due no later than the application deadline. 

For more admissions information or to apply to the program, please visit our Graduate School website: www.gradschool.umd.edu/admissions

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant Fall Deadline Spring Deadline
Domestic Applicants
US Citizens and Permanent Residents August 18, 2023 December 1, 2022
International Applicants
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas; A, E, G, H, I and L visas and immigrants January 27, 2023 September 30, 2022

Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at http://larch.umd.edu

The Master of Landscape Architecture program is accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) of the American Society of Landscape Architects and meets the educational requirements for licensure in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The program maintains a balance between design theory and application in a professional degree curriculum. The MLA program builds upon the strengths of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA) and the Landscape Architecture Program (LARC). The PSLA Department is composed of faculty members who specialize in landscape architecture, landscape history, ecology, plant science, urban forestry, turf and golf course management, and landscape management. It provides a strong, comprehensive grounding for landscape design, planning and preservation, landscape assessment, site and ecological systems analysis, plant identification, plant conservation, and plant pathology. Other environmental programs in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources offer knowledge and practical insight into the science of ecology, ecological restoration, water and soil conservation, and forest management. The MLA builds on this collaboration through advanced courses, student advising, and the contribution of non-teaching programs such as lectures, symposia and research projects.

The Master of Landscape Architecture Program is located in the Plant Sciences Building on the College Park campus. Advanced individual computing facilities, personal drafting stations, scanning and printing facilities, and a model-making workshop are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to every student in the MLA program.

Last Name First/Middle Name Graduate Faculty Status Academic Credentials Positions
Ellis Christopher D Full Member B.S., University of Massachusetts, 1988; M.L.A., Cornell University, 1993; Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, 1998 Professor, Landscape Architecture
Professor, Plant Science
Kweon Byoung-Suk Full Member B.S., University of Seoul, Korea, 1985; B.L.A., The City University of New York, 1989; M.L.A., Cornell University, 1992; Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, 1999 Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture
Associate Professor, Plant Science
Myers David N. Full Member B.S., Clemson University, 1978; M.L.A., University of Georgia, 1984; Ph.D., 1994. Director, Landscape Architecture
Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture
Nola Dennis R. Non-Member B.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1979 Instructor, Landscape Architecture
Sachs Naomi Full Member B.A. Women Studies, Brown University, 1992; M.L.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1999; Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2017 Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture
Assistant Professor, Plant Science
Sullivan John B. (Jack) Full Member B.F.A., Ohio State University-Columbus, 1975; M.L.A., University of Virginia, 1980. Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture
Affiliate Associate Professor, American Studies