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Master of Landscape Architecture in Berkeley University of California

Berkeley University of California
College of Environmental Design
Berkeley, California, USA
United States
Landscape & Environment

The two-year M.L.A. degree is the second professional degree for those students with first degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, or environmental design.


The two-year Master of Landscape Architecture is the second professional degree for students with first degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, or environmental design. The degree program requires 55 units and provides the flexibility for specialization in advanced design and research.





-LD ARCH 201 (5) Ecological Factors in Urban Landscape Design


-One or two additional studios selected from LD ARCH 202, LD ARCH 203, LD ARCH 204, LD ARCH 205, CY PLAN 248, ARCH 201 (dependent on student’s background)* (5-10 units)
-LD ARCH 120 Topographic Form and Design Technology** (2 units)
-LD ARCH 135 Advanced Landscape Drawing** (3 units)
-LD ARCH 160 Professional Practice** (3 units)
-One course in landscape history selected from LD ARCH 170, ENV DES 169A, ENV DES 169B, or CY PLAN 240** (3 units)
-One course in landscape structures/infrastructures selected from LD ARCH 121, LD ARCH 226, CY PLAN 213, CY PLAN 214, CY PLAN 217* (3 units)
-One course in landscape plants and their applications selected from LD ARCH 111, LD ARCH 112, LD ARCH 224, LD ARCH 225* (3 units)
-One course in natural factors selected from the departmental breadth list* (3 units)
-One course in social factors selected from the departmental breadth list (3 units)
-LD ARCH 252B Thesis/Professional Project Research Seminar (required for thesis/professional project students only) (3 units)
-LD ARCH 206 or Final Degree Studio: LD ARCH 204, LD ARCH 205, or CY PLAN 248 (5 units)






* Students with architecture backgrounds must enroll in LD ARCH 110, LD ARCH 112, LD ARCH 121, LD ARCH 170, LD ARCH 202, or LD ARCH 205.
** May be waived by petition.






One of several areas of specialization within the field of landscape architecture is urban design. Beginning in the 19th century, landscape architects such as Frederick Law Olmsted and John Nolan demonstrated the special contributions the field of landscape architecture could make to a city’s quality. The tradition continues today.


Landscape architects contribute to urban design by understanding the natural features of the landscape and producing urban form that contributes to both regional and local identity. Urban landscape designers also must consider the perceptions and values of urban inhabitants and often engage users actively in the creation of plans. Large-scale urban systems such as streets and highways, parks, water edges, and utility systems are all in urgent need of visionary design, as are residential areas in declining inner neighborhoods and new peripheral developments.


In addition to having a solid grounding in the basics of landscape design, landscape architecture students interested in urban design should take a course in history and theory of urban form (CY PLAN 240), techniques for measuring and evaluating urban settings (LD ARCH C241), and urban design studios (LD ARCH 203, CY PLAN 248, and others). Courses in land use and other regulatory techniques, land or public economics, infrastructure, and citizen involvement in planning are recommended. Students who desire to pursue an urban design focus should discuss their curriculum with Professors Bosselmann or Hood.




The synthesis and application of ecology and physical science into the traditional practice of landscape architecture can inspire new landscape vocabulary and contribute to the creation of ecologically sustainable built landscapes. Within the urban and rural public landscape, opportunities for the integration of infrastructure and natural systems can promote healthier environments for humans and natural habitats. Areas of specialization may include vegetation management, riparian restoration, urban forestry, and resource conservation and management. Faculty: Kondolf, McBride, Radke.


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Admission Requirements



Students are required to select and complete one of two plans for the degree: Plan I — Thesis, or Plan II — Comprehensive Exam (professional project or designated studio.) The thesis is for students who wish to do original research on a problem in landscape architecture or environmental planning. The thesis committee is composed of two faculty members from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning and a third faculty member from another department at Berkeley. The comprehensive exam format can be either a professional project or a designated studio that demonstrates broad competence plus the concepts and skills necessary to the field of landscape architecture. The professional project consists of a report of not more than 40 pages of text with appropriate professional drawings. It should document a real-world project. The professional project committee is composed of two faculty members from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning and a third member from outside the University community who usually is affiliated with the project.


Students may elect to fulfill the final degree requirement through the successful completion of a comprehensive exam studio taken in their final semester. Students who are in the Environmental Planning Concentration or in one of the concurrent degree programs are not eligible for the comprehensive exam studio option.


In addition, a summer internship (preferably taken the summer before the student’s final year) is recommended. Previous professional experience may be substituted for this internship.


Normative time for the M.L.A. degree is either two years (design background and environmental planning students) or three years (non-design background). A student’s normative time is determined when the student enters the M.L.A. program.

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General information
24 months
Not Confirmed
Email /
+1 (510) 642 7405 / +1 (510) 642 0831
230 Wurster Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Type of Master
Master of Sciences (MSc)
Campus Location
The information of this Master's Degree was extracted from the Official Website of the program.
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