Landscape Architecture - Three-Year Program
The three-year Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Michigan is designed to train students from a wide variety of undergraduate backgrounds and previous careers how to authentically employ ecological principles in the design of sustainable landscapes.
Aesthetic theory, cultural engagement, ecological function, and environmental justice all figure prominently in the curriculum. Being part of the School for Environment and Sustainability, our program also provides many unique and enriching opportunities for interaction and collaboration with faculty and students specializing in conservation biology, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, industrial ecology, environmental engineering, environmental justice, environmental psychology, environmental policy, and environmental economics.
To help designers bring new knowledge, technologies, and policy frameworks into their work, our curriculum is based on the practice of thoughtful discourse. It teaches you to reexamine the comfort of old conventions, theories, and methods and to take on new questions that have yet to be answered.
Our students learn how to look carefully at the landscape and its context, and to analyze its ecological and cultural dynamics. They learn how to utilize design precedent, academic research, and collaboration in the development of place. Studio experience prepares you to imagine and construct landscapes that seem entirely new and, at the same time, protect irreplaceable aspects of landscape function and history. You will learn how to visualize your ideas graphically, so that they can be evaluated, re-worked, and ultimately made better through a deeply informed iterative design process.
We also examine how design can respect communities by having students work in the field to experience urban and rural landscapes that pose a range of challenges. Many of our students take advantage of opportunities to learn from faculty working around the world, and to travel abroad to draw upon landscape design around the globe.
View the three-year program Requirements + Courses.
Create Your Path
Our program offers several options to create your own path based on specific interests. Dual degree programs are available in urban planning and architecture, and certificate programs are offered in spatial analysis, industrial ecology and real estate. In lieu of a traditional thesis, you may participate in an interdisciplinary, team-based master’s project.
Build Your Career
Students of SEAS three-year MLA program, go on to practice ecological design as part of urban design, brownfield redevelopment, historic preservation, land conservancy planning, landscape planning, and site planning. They work in all areas of the profession, from public agencies to private firms to non-profit/NGOs.
Our alumni are principals with Smithgroup, Bonner Associates Landscape Design, NineWest, Oehme van Sweden & Associates, HT Harvey and Associates, and DeVries Design, among many others. They work on projects ranging from neighborhood parks and city plazas to urban waterfronts, sustainable community design and development, stream restoration projects, and watershed management plans, Many other students practice in the public sector with agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, state-level departments of natural resources, and city and county park and planning agencies. In these settings, graduates often work as park, forest, wildlife refuge, or community planners.
Alumni of the LA program at Michigan also practice all over the globe, from South America to Asia, from Europe to Africa. Graduates of this program join their fellow SEAS graduates as a part of the largest alumni network on the planet. Walk down a boulevard in Paris, or hike along the Pacific Crest Trail with a Block M on and it won’t be long before someone says ‘Go Blue!’ For new graduates, this sort of international network has proven to be an invaluable resource as they begin their professional career.
Basic statistics on salaries and employment of recent graduates can be found in the MLA Career Website.
For more information on the two-year MLA program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Landscape Architecture Scholarships and Fellowships
After several years in the professional world, I was hesitant to return to school. That feeling was quickly eliminated once I took advantage of all the school and university communities had to offer. My program not only provided me with a deep understanding of the science behind the issues of my interest, but provided me with actual real world experience in addressing these issues and developing solutions. I could not have asked for a better graduate school experience. Go Blue!