MLA Degree Receives STEM Designation

Originally published: 
January, 2019

Because of its highly interdisciplinary focus and its focus on ecological design linked firmly to science, the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program at SEAS will be a STEM-designated degree program, effective immediately.

The program’s STEM-designation (and associated new CIP code: 03.0103) allows international MLA graduates to apply for the Department of Homeland Security’s optional practical training (OPT) extension program for F-1 students with STEM degrees.

The STEM OPT Extension program affords eligible international students holding F-1 visas, upon completion of a STEM-designated degree, the opportunity to extend their stay in the United States by up to 24 months to obtain advanced training in their field (for a total eligibility of up to 36 months)–enhancing students’ overall educational experience and helping to bridge their experience between academia and practice.

The Landscape Architecture program at the University of Michigan is based on a curriculum that is unique nationally, focusing upon ecological design. This approach represents an advance beyond current practice in the field, using science and design to create landscapes that are ecologically deep, socially just, and aesthetically inspiring.

The program has been recognized as visionary, strong, and in a position of leadership both nationally and internationally by practitioners, educators, and by Visiting Accreditation Team members from the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB), who lauded the strong science-based education that students receive, while also commenting upon the extremely strong interdisciplinary context and experiences that students benefit from while on the University of Michigan campus.

With the evolution of SEAS and its cross-campus relationships with faculty and students in programs ranging from Design Science to Urban Design, Urban Planning, Geography, Conservation Ecology and others, the program's interdisciplinary context has gotten even more robust, promising wonderful educational opportunities for students.

If you are interested in learning more about the Landscape Architecture program at SEAS, please email