About Landscape Architecture

A group of landscape architecture students at Pine Lake

Landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota prepares students for careers as engaged designers able to tackle the complex challenges facing urban, suburban, and rural environments. The diversity of landscapes you study in our programs are critically related to issues of ecology, climate change, and urban resilience and will provide you with a highly versatile and globally applicable background upon graduation. We utilize the incredible physical settings of the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota, including the Mississippi River and Great Lakes Watersheds, to examine how problems like climate change and water quality, scarcity, and management affect our communities.

Degree Options

Our faculty will not only help you develop your personal focus, but connect you with the established practice community in the Twin Cities. We utilize a mix of adjunct and full-time instructors in both programs. Many of our adjunct instructors are alumni of our programs and current practitioners, who bring their first-hand practice experiences and direct connections with industry to the classroom.

Landscape architecture student showing parts of a map
What Students Say

"My experience in the Masters of Landscape Architecture program has been engaging, eye-opening, and thoroughly enjoyable. With a variety of professors and classes, we have the opportunity to explore the exciting field of Landscape Architecture in our own ways; using our ranging backgrounds to support ourselves and our peers."

—Nicole Delpizzo (MLA)

Through the Masters of Landscape Architecture program I have begun to develop a deeper understanding of the land - its forms, systems, and social and political histories. For me, this is a key to future design thinking - a mode that shifts away from a human centered world to one of land-based protection and co-libration.

—Torey Erin (MLA)

“The Landscape Architecture program has allowed me to discover my own passions and goals as a designer and as a nature lover. Their collaborations with other disciplines and with community groups have given me the ability to think critically and design creatively, preparing me for the unknown future ahead.”

—Jordan Hedlund (BED, Landscape Planning; MLA)

Graphic created by MLA student Jordan Hedlund for the course "LA 8297 Study Abroad - Madrid Studio"
Image created by graduate student Jordan Hedlund (MLA, '21) for the course LA 8297: Study Abroad - Madrid Studio.
Career Possibilities
Research and Creative Scholarship

The flexibility and breadth of our landscape architecture programs will allow you to pursue unique experiences and customize your degree to fit your specific career goals. Our faculty members represent a network of different focuses in academia as well as the public and private sectors and take pride in helping students find their own unique approach to the field.

View student work

We also have one of the largest student-practitioner mentoring programs of any North American design college, which underscores the strong ties between the college and talented local practitioners. Many firms based in Minneapolis and St. Paul employ or are run by alumni of our programs—some of whom also teach as adjunct faculty. This network extends globally to the international students we attract; the communities, sites, and initiatives we engage; and alumni we send out to create around the world.

Image created by graduate student Sonali Devarajan in a studio course with Professor Karen Lutsky.
Image created by graduate student Sonali Devarajan (MLA, '21) in a studio course with Professor Karen Lutsky.
LAAB Accreditation

The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) accreditation process "evaluates each program on the basis of its stated objectives and compliance to externally mandated minimum standards," to ensure the quality of professional degree programs in landscape architecture (American Society of Landscape Architects). An accredited degree, like the Master of Landscape Architecture, is required to become a licensed landscape architect in the state of Minnesota.

Image created by graduate student Tyler Smith for the course LA 8206: Las Vegas Studio.
Image created by graduate student Tyler Smith (MLA, '21) for the course LA 8206: Las Vegas Studio.

Landscape Architecture in the Twin Cities

Industry connections and community

The Twin Cities area and the State of Minnesota are amazing resources for personal and professional growth. We have a thriving professional landscape architecture community with many diverse models of practice, from traditional consulting to non-profit organization leadership to state and local government practice. We also have great examples of built landscapes, including one of the best public park systems in the world. 

Beyond the metro area, we connect with greater Minnesota and the region through studio courses and projects in other Great Lakes cities. Through our programming, you will have the opportunity to tackle pressing societal problems related to providing clean water, developing equitable societies, and more.

A climate analysis of Peavey Park performed by Adrienne Bockheim.
Landscape Architecture Stories

Adrienne Bockheim (MLA ‘10) discovered her passion for landscape architecture after the realization that it encompassed everything that fascinated her. Her work, first as a graduate student and then as a project coordinator, with the College of Design’s Minnesota Design Center laid the foundation for a career uniting landscape architecture and urban planning. As a principal city planner for the City of Minneapolis, Bockheim plays a pivotal role in transformative projects like the New Nicollet Redevelopment.

Meet Our Faculty and Staff

Our landscape architecture faculty take a pluralist approach to their work. Based on their active research and projects, landscape architecture can mean traditional practice, historic research, or future-focused work on sustainable materials and environmental policy focused on the arts and social justice. Regardless of your passion, the strong faculty-student bonds within our program ensure that you will have space and support to pursue it.

Landscape architecture student and faculty discussing work in studio