PhD Browser

PhD Program in Landscape Architecture and Architecture

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
College of Fine & Applied Arts
Chicago, Illinois
United States
Landscape & Environment

The Ph.D. Program in Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is a unique, jointly administered program in which students may choose to focus in either Architecture or Landscape Architecture, or work in both. Interdisciplinary study and cross-disciplinary inquiry occur in a congenial work environment, drawing upon a wealth of faculty and resources in a range of campus units.


The School of Architecture and the Department of Landscape Architecture are two of the oldest and most distinguished professional degree programs of their kind in North America. Both benefit from internationally distinguished faculty and from one of the largest academic libraries in the world, with more than ten million volumes and state-of-the-art electronic access to archival and data base information, as well as access to major collections in nearby cities.


The downtown centers of Champaign and Urbana, and also the university itself, offer restaurants, cafes, theaters, clubs, museums, shops, and a wide range of cultural events. At the same time, our handsome campus is calm and peaceful, an excellent place for research, study, and contemplation.


The West Urbana neighborhood just adjacent to the campus, where many students and faculty live, was recognized by the American Planning Association as one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods in America.




Program Structure




The curriculum for each option is broken into three stages consisting of core courses, electives, and the dissertation. All options require 96 hours of graduate work, 64 of which must be earned while in residence. These are grouped in the following three stages. Stage 1 is the master’s degree (awarded at UIUC or elsewhere) from which up to 24 hours of coursework may be credited towards the doctoral degree. Stage 2 consists of 32 hours of required and elective courses and culminates with the passing of the preliminary exam. Of the courses in this phase, at least 8 hours must be earned outside of Landscape and Architecture, and no more than 12 hours may be taken at the 400 level. The final stage is dissertation work which consists of a minimum of 32 hours.


Each student’s curriculum is tailored to his/her individual needs and is determined in close consultation with and under the approval of the primary faculty advisor. Within their area of concentration, students will identify a major area of study and an outside field of study.


All students are required to enroll in the PhD colloquium during the fall of their first and second years of course work.


Stage One


Each option begins with methodology course(s) that introduce the research methods of that discipline. Additional core courses provide a foundation in the basic issues, theories, concepts, and methods of the different options.


Typically, Social and Cultural Factors students will take courses on behavioral/design research approaches, a course on cultural issues in design, an appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative methods course, and a course on historical and contemporary cultural landscapes.


History and Theory students will typically take courses in the history of cultural landscapes, buildings, and cities, as well as more specialized history offerings dependant upon their program goals. Theory-oriented courses include specific seminars in theories of architectural, landscape, or urban design, as well as the philosophies of history.


Technology and Environment students will generally take courses in physical and environmental systems, structures, sustainability, natural resources, and materials science.


Students are encouraged to complete the following prerequisites prior to beginning the program, but in most cases the requirement can be met during the first two years of graduate study.


History and Theory: All students in the History and Theory option are required to have a high-level reading proficiency in one foreign language, to be determined by the student’s advisor. Depending on the areas of concentration, proficiency in additional languages may be required by the advisor. All students in the History and Theory option are required to take LA 505 (Methods in Architectural and Landscape History). Art History 583 (Theory and Methodology) may sometimes substitute for LA 505. These courses are offered each fall in either the Department of Landscape Architecture or in Art History. Additional courses in methodology or theory may be required by a student’s advisor, as deemed appropriate.


Social and Cultural Factors: A pre-requisite requirement for all students in the Social and Cultural Factors option is one 400-level statistics course. In addition students are required to take LA 470 (Social and Cultural Issues in Environmental Design) and one advanced research methods course. A list of approved courses is available from the student’s advisor. A foreign language may also be required by the student’s advisor.


Technology and Environment: All students in the Technology and Environment option are required to have one unit of graduate-level Research Methods (such as Arch 563) and one 400-level statistics course. Other courses may also be required by the student’s advisor.


Stage Two


Each student will choose elective courses in consultation with the primary advisor, to develop breadth of knowledge within the field, depth of knowledge in the specific area of dissertation research, and an area of specialization in an outside field. A minimum of 8 hours of coursework must be from departments other than the home department. The University of Illinois offers a broad range of resources that make the elective options strong and numerous. The program faculty has identified potential elective courses from a variety of University departments including Geography, Psychology, Educational Psychology, Sociology, History, Art History, Anthropology, Linguistics, Philosophy, Theatre, Leisure Studies, Material Science, Computer Science, Urban and Regional Planning, and Agricultural, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. This is just a partial list; courses from additional units may be added as necessary and contingent on the approval of the student’s advisor.


Major and Minor Fields


The major field is defined as knowledge within the field from which the dissertation research emerges. The purpose of the minor field requirement is to insure the correlation of knowledge and methods of inquiry from one field relating to but outside of the major area of concentration. Outside fields should be selected that will broaden knowledge, expand methodological skills, and provide new insights for the major field of study. The subject must be in a field outside the home department A proposed outside minor will not duplicate or substantially overlap the major field or work performed to fulfill requirements for language or research methods.


Stage Two is completed when all course and language requirements have been met, a dissertation proposal has been accepted, and a preliminary examination passed.


Foreign languages are required for all students in the History/Theory option and may be required for some Social and Cultural Factors students.


The language should be a language in which the student will do primary research. This choice must be approved by the primary advisor. Some language requirements may be fulfilled by taking the University approved courses that are designed to demonstrate graduate-level competence. They must be passed with a grade of “B” or better.


Preliminary Exams


The Preliminary Examination tests the student’s competence in the theoretical and methodological subjects of the student’s chosen areas of concentration (major and minor fields). The purpose of this examination is to appraise the ability to synthesize facts, techniques, and ideas as evidence of the ability to pursue independent investigation. The preliminary examination consists of a written exam followed by a comprehensive oral examination with the preliminary examination committee.


Doctoral Candidacy


Once the preliminary exam has been passed and has been recognized by the Graduate College as such, the student is called a «Ph.D. Candidate.”


Stage Three: Dissertation Work


The Doctor of Philosophy degree is the highest academic degree granted by American universities. It is awarded to those who have demonstrated mastery of the field and successfully completed and defended a dissertation. The degree is a clear recognition that the student has the ability to complete a substantial piece of research work, to formally present the results of this work, and to appreciate its significance in the general field. The dissertation embodies the results of original and independent research, and should represent a meaningful contribution to the field.



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Admission Requirements

Admission requirements include the submission of an application with specific and detailed letter of intent of study in one of the following areas: History and Theory, Social and Cultural Factors in Design, and Technology and Environment. The statement in this letter is essential in the assessment of interest and intention with respect to our concentrations and our program faculty. Admission requirements also include the submission of academic transcripts, letters of recommendation from individuals with whom the applicant has studied, GRE exam results, and TOEFL results when required. GRE standards vary according to the student’s stated area of interest. Generally, scores of 600 or above are preferred. The minimum TOEFL score for admission is 95, but higher scores are preferred. This test is waived for students who have studied for two years or more at an American University or a university where English is the only language of instruction.


The annual deadline for receipt of applications for fall admission is 7 January. Applicants should apply on-line to Graduate College Admissions (


Successful applicants may receive a fellowship, assistantship, and/or tuition and fee waiver to help defray their expenses. This information is usually provided with the letter offering admission or arrives soon thereafter. Inquiries should be addressed to:


Chair, Ph.D. Committee
101 Temple Buell Hall
611 Taft Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
or email



– Applicants must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college in the United States or a comparable degree from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for last two years of undergraduate study is a minimum requirement for admission. If your undergraduate study is longer than 4 years, additional semesters may be used to calculate the admission GPA. Please note that proposed programs of study may require a higher GPA than the Graduate College’s minimum standard.

– Applicants enrolled in the final year of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college in the United States or a or comparable degree program from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad, and who meet the GPA requirements stated above will be admitted conditionally pending receipt of final academic credentials showing the undergraduate degree as conferred.

– International applicants must meet minimum requirements based on their country of origin. Please note that proposed programs of study may require a higher GPA than the Graduate College’s minimum standard.




You will need to have several types of information available as you complete the Graduate College application for admission. Below is a quick checklist to see if you have everything you need before you get started. For more detailed information, please see the application instructions.


Personal Information

– If you attended the University of Illinois before, it is helpful to have your UIN, and you need to know the last term you attended.

– You will need to provide information regarding your origin of birth, country of citizenship, and country of legal permanent residence.

– Domestic students are encouraged to provide a social security number, but it is not required.

– U.S. Permanent Residents will be asked to upload a copy of your green card. If you have not yet been approved, but have applied for, US Permanent Residency, you will be asked to upload a copy of your Application Receipt Notice from USCIS.

– International students requesting an I-20 or DS-2019 will be asked to upload a copy of your passport and proof of funding documentation. This is not required at the time of application, but if you are able, you are encouraged to go ahead and upload these materials.

– International students currently in the United States on a non-student visa will be asked to upload a copy of your current visa.

Contact Information

– Current and Permanent addresses and phone number will be required on the application.

– A valid email address will be required to create an application account, as well as to return to login and view any admission decisions.

– What Graduate Program of Study are You Applying To?

– You will need to know your proposed program’s contact information and the degree name.

– Visit your proposed program of study’s web site to determine the application deadline. These deadlines vary by degree program and not all programs admit to all terms. If you apply after the posted deadline, full consideration is not guaranteed and no application fee refunds will be granted.

– Many graduate programs have fields of specialization you can select when applying, as well as ask for potential faculty member you would want to work with. You are encouraged to review faculty profiles and fields of specialization information on the program’s web site.

– If you have already been awarded a graduate degree, please review our duplicate degree policy.

Prior Academic History

– Filling out the application will be much easier if you have a copy of your transcript from each institute of higher education you have attended. You will need to know list attendance dates, expected/awarded degree, academic major, and level of study (undergraduate versus graduate).

– You will need to provide your GPA and GPA scale. For international students, please provide your institution’s GPA scale, do not convert to a 4.0 scale if your institution does not use a 4.0 scale.

– For US Institutions: You will be required to upload a copy of your complete transcript. If your degree has already been awarded, make sure your degree conferral information is listed on the transcript.

– For International Institutions: You will be required to upload a copy of your complete transcripts/mark sheets. If your degree has already been awarded and your degree conferral information is not listed on the transcript, you must also upload copies of your certificate of degree or diploma. If your institution does not provide documents in English, you will need to also upload translations of all credentials.

Test Information

– Non-Native English speakers are required to provide a TOEFL and/or IELTS score to prove English proficiency.

– Some graduate programs require a GRE and/or GMAT score. You will need to review your proposed program of study’s web site for these requirements.

– You will be able to self-report any GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and/or IELTS test scores.

– If you self-report a TOEFL and/or IELTS test score, you will be encouraged to upload a copy of your score report.

– Official test scores must be sent to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for each test listed. You will need to send the test to Institution Code 1836. Some tests allow you to pick a specific academic program to send your test to as well. All tests are received centrally, so feel free to pick whichever program seems most appropriate. No matter which program you pick, we will receive your scores.

Other Required Uploads

– Most graduate programs require a resume or curriculum vitae.

– Most graduate programs require a statement of purpose or personal statement.

– Some programs require other various statements such as a writing sample, research statement, or specific program essay. These requirements will be outlined in the online application, but you should visit your proposed program of study’s web site to prepare these documents.


– You will be required to have letters of recommendation submitted with your graduate application. Most graduate programs require 3 letters.

– In your online application, you will need to provide the following information about each recommender: name, address, title, organization, relationship to you (professor, employer, etc), and email address.
When adding each recommender to the system, you will need to decide whether or not you wish to waive your right to view these letters in the future. This is an important decision and one that cannot be changed post submission.

– After adding each recommender, we will send him/her an email with an online link for them to visit and upload a letter of recommendation. All letters must be submitted online through our system.
It is important to select professional references that can speak to your ability to succeed in your proposed program. Personal references are discouraged.

Credit Card Information

– Domestic applicants will be required to submit a $70 application fee.

– International applicants will be required to submit a $90 application fee.

– If you are a University of Illinois employee (Academic Professional, Civil Service, or Faculty), or a fee waiver recipient (I-Promise Scholar, McNair Scholar, Project 1000 Applicant, Big Ten Academic Alliance Applicant, or SROP Participant), you may select your eligibility for an application fee waiver in the online application.

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General information
Mohamed Bouberki
Not Confirmed
Email /
+1 217-333-1661
Architecture Bldg, 608 Lorado Taft Dr, Champaign, IL 61820
Campus Location
The information of this PhD was extracted from the Official Website of the program.
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