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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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M.L.A. in Landscape Architecture

Nationally recognized professional education.
The professional M.L.A. program at Penn State equips students with the techniques, principles, histories, theories, and technologies to become leaders in the profession of landscape architecture.

Our mission is to do inspired work grounded in environmental and social good. Are you ready to join us?

The M.L.A. at Penn State provides real professional skills that prepare our graduates for real professional practice from the first day. The combination of a professional education from one of the top programs in the country with experience in research at a Tier-1 research institution means that you will be ready to hit the ground running upon graduation. This dual curriculum approach provides a strong foundation whatever your career aspirations: traditional professional practice, conducting research in a professional office, or teaching at a college of university.

Our M.L.A. degree is accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) and graduates are eligible to sit for the professional license exam (Landscape Architecture Registration Exam).

For those who already hold a B.L.A., the M.L.A. offers a curricular opportunity to turbocharge your professional skills by earning a certificate in Geodesign. Learn more.

Is the M.L.A. right for you?

Our competitive, rewarding, and highly ranked program is designed for students seeking professional training in landscape architecture.

The M.L.A. is open to a diverse array of starting points, including:

  • Change-of-career students, new to design, who seek an accredited, professional education that prepares them to enter the practice of landscape architecture; for these students, time to degree is typically three years.
  • Students who already hold a non-accredited design degree and seek an accredited, professional education that prepares them to enter the field of landscape architecture; for these students, time to degree is typically two and one-half years.
  • Students who already hold an accredited bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture and seek advanced breadth/depth of expertise; for these students, time to degree is typically two years.

Within our inspiring, LEED Gold-rated building, students have access to a specialized Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library, 24-hour access to our own cutting-edge computer studios, as well as a permanent studio desk for each student. All of this plus the additional benefits of attending a Tier 1 research institution.


Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map. (Available July 2020.)

Two students discussing a landscape architecture design project pinned up on wall for review.

Considering the M.L.A.? Consider this.

Our M.L.A. program is consistently ranked among the nation’s best by DesignIntelligence.

  • Our MLA develops creative insight and the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed in practice.

  • You can customize your curriculum with geodesign, education abroad, and other opportunities.

  • Our 20 faculty are truly student-focused; you’ll get to know them well as mentors and colleagues.

  • Our collegial learning community fosters essential critical inquiry and confidence in our students.

  • Our close-knit community of 200 within a large university provides intimate yet vast opportunities.

M.L.A. Students

Students currently enrolled in the M.L.A. program.

Current Cohort

Divya Manek

Divya Manek

Research Focus: Wetland ecology
Academic Advisers: Andy Cole, Leann Andrews
divyamanek@psu.edu


video Sadiqua Ansari Mack Drzayich Alex McCay Lara Garcia Leslie Hendricks Yuhang Hu Yao Ma Shengwei Tan Jie Yang Yiru Zhang

Guides + Resources

Level Up

Enhance your education by getting involved.

Research Centers and Initiatives
Stuckeman Center for Design Computing

A collaborative research and teaching studio-lab focused on developing and testing innovative computational design techniques.

Hamer Center for Community Design

The Hamer Center explores three key topical areas: design/build, community-based research, and public interest design.

E plus D (Ecology + Design)

A collaborative of designers and ecologists who undertake research activated design intervention that improves the ecological health of the designed world.

Assistantships and Fellowship Opportunities

Awarded as available on a competitive, semester-by-semester basis.

RAs are frequently available from our research centers or individual faculty on a competitive basis, as are grants-in-aid and graduate fellowships.

Fellowship opportunities exist both within Penn State and through external funding agencies.

Student Organizations
Landscape Architecture Student Society (LASS)

Focused on advancing the future of design within the community and the profession.

National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS)

Student branch of the National Organization of Minority Architects.

Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA)

Officially recognized by the University as the collective voice of the graduate and professional student body.

Alumni Spotlight

"A well-rounded M.L.A. program, solid mentorship, and a generous scholarship to support fieldwork in India sparked my interest in research and eventually drew me to academia."
Priyam Das

Alumni Spotlight

Priyam Das

M.L.A. in Landscape Architecture 2000

Priyam Das is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. She studies water governance in the global South, focusing on problems of inequality, poverty, and disenfranchisement. Other research interests include urban form and resilient design.

Villagers Laying sewer pipes in Indore, India.
Community mapping in Dong Van, Vietnam.
Women and children at a public standpipe in Gwailor, India.

M.L.A. national rank

7th

Become a steward of the environment. Earn your professional degree from the program that captured 7th overall in the 2019-20 DesignIntelligence Master of Landscape Architecture program rankings.

Faculty Spotlight

Stephen Mainzer points at a student's pinned up work while she watches at right.
Stephen Mainzer points at a student's pinned up work while she watches at right.

Stephen Mainzer

Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

Stephen Mainzer’s research focuses on how human and natural systems intersect to inform how we govern, plan, and access natural resources, particualrly energy resources. As a key collaborator to the E+D (Ecology + Design) research initiative, he is leading the DDREAM (Deep Decarbonization and Renewable Energy in the Appalachian Mountains) project, which attempts to explore how the socio-ecological structure of Pennsylvania might inform a transition from fossil fuels to renewable solar energy, especially in post-coal Appalachian areas.

Portrait of Stephen Mainzer

News from A&A

Fifth-year architecture student named 2021 Corbelletti prize winner

Puja Bhagat, a fifth-year architecture student and Schreyer Honors College scholar, was named the winner of the Department of Architecture’s 2021 Corbelletti Design Charrette.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Puja Bhagat, a fifth-year architecture student in the Stuckeman School and a Schreyer Honors College scholar, was named the winner of the Department of Architecture’s 2021


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Graphic design student earns honorable mentions in national design competitions

Third-year graphic design student Taylor Kuszyk has earned national recognition for her work, collecting two honorable mentions in the UCDA Design Awards and another in Graphex 52.
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Two architecture students receive Erickson Discovery Grants

Katie McRury and Natalie Walter have each been awarded 2021 Erickson Discovery Grants.
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