Master of Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture student working on a model in the studio

Our Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program is a professional degree, accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB), which is required to become a licensed landscape architect in the United States.

Program Details

The Master of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Minnesota prepares students to approach complex issues facing urban, suburban, and rural environments and envision improvements at multiple scales across human and ecological systems. The program's urban location and close proximity to the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes allows students to explore the impacts of climate change, urbanization, social, and environmental injustice across a wide range of complex and challenging landscapes. These challenges include water scarcity and water quality and its impact on urban and agricultural regions, warming temperatures, reduced biodiversity, riverine flooding, as well as deeply institutionalized practices of discrimination and rapid urban development that continue to marginalize and burden communities of color. Students address these challenges directly by planning and designing interventions at systems and site scales to create more resilient landscape networks.

Our program curriculum is structured around design studios, supported by courses in construction technologies and materials, plant materials and ecology, media and representation (including geographic information systems), history, and research methods. The studio sequence begins with small local sites where intensive field investigations are critical to the design process. Second- and third-year option studios travel outside the state to investigate climate change causes and impacts such as water scarcity and sea-level rise, and other critical issues including remediation of polluted sites and restoration of ecological function. The program culminates in the capstone studio where students develop and research independent projects on the topic of their choosing.

View MLA student work


Programs that are accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) are required to provide reliable information to the public. Programs must report on accreditation status and performance. This information is to help potential students make informed decisions.

View Our Accreditation Letter
Advanced Standing

We also offer an advanced standing MLA, which may be completed in two years instead of three. Students are admitted to this program on a case-by-case basis by the director of graduate studies for a customized two-year plan. Applicants must have an accredited undergraduate landscape architecture degree to be considered. Applicants with non-accredited or related degrees may be considered for partial advanced standing at the discretion of the director of graduate studies.


Learn more about the MLA by contacting the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Credit Overview

Master of Landscape Architecture Degree

The MLA degree offers standard pacing for the majority of graduate students and accelerated pacing for students who are granted Advanced Standing.

MLA OverviewAdvanced Standing
  • 89 total credits
    • 51–83 departmental credits
    • 6–12 elective/minor credits
    • Required capstone project
  • 3 years
  • Waived credits will be considered by the director of graduate studies on a case-by-case basis
    • 45–52 departmental credits
    • 6–12 elective/minor credits
    • Required capstone project
  • >3 years
Full Requirements & Course Descriptions

Learn more about the MLA by contacting the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Concurrent Degrees

Owing to an agreement with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, students may concurrently pursue their MLA with a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. Students interested in pursuing this option should contact their advisor or the Graduate Program Coordinator for details.


Learn more about the MLA by contacting the Graduate Program Coordinator.