Graduate studies in landscape architecture attract a broad range of people. Those with undergraduate degrees in landscape architecture may seek specialization within the profession, advanced exploration or an academic career. Others, with degrees in related fields such as architecture, city and regional planning, and environmental design, enter the program to broaden or redirect their design and planning skills. Some students with degrees in fields less closely related (such as humanities or arts and sciences) seek new career options or to focus prior interests through a licensed design and planning profession.
Three degree tracks address the needs of the students with these differing educational backgrounds. The Master of Science (M.S.) in Landscape Architecture is a two-year academic degree program for applicants who have completed a first professional degree in landscape architecture or a professional degree in environmental design, planning, or preservation. The degree may be earned through two years of full-time study or up to seven consecutive semesters (3-1/2 years) of full-time or part-time study. A three-year program for applicants who have no design or planning background leads to the fully accredited professional degree of Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.). This program is for students who intend to complete coursework full time. Applicants with a related design or planning degree may enter the three-year program with advanced standing. Finally, a fast-track option enables qualified candidates within the College’s B.L.A. program to proceed directly into the Master of Science program and work on both degrees. Refer to the previous section for information on the fast-track options.
The Master of Science program serves the advanced professional or the aspiring academic. It is highly flexible and can be customized to reflect the breadth and depth of a student’s interests. The Master of Landscape Architecture program, for the student seeking a first professional degree in landscape architecture, is a more tightly structured curriculum because it leads to the prerequisite work experience that qualifies the graduate for the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.).
Students seeking a multidisciplinary education may choose to pursue a concurrent degree within the College of Environmental Science and Forestry or at Syracuse University.