Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning offers a professional graduate degree, the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning.

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

The Master of Landscape Architecture degree is a professional degree accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board, part of the American Society of Landscape Architects and qualifies graduates for licensure in California and elsewhere. The program offers advanced education in landscape architecture and environmental planning from the scale of the site to the region to the ecosystem. The MLA  requires a set of core courses for all students emphasizing cross-scaler analysis, representation, design and planning. This core pedagogy forms the foundation for extended coursework in specialized aspects of landscape design and environmental planning.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

The Doctor of Philosophy encompasses advanced research in the field of landscape architecture and environmental planning.  It requires the development of original research that contribute to the theories, methods, and knowledge in the field. The program particularly emphasizes the development of research which applies social and ecological science methods to illuminate the complexities of decision-making regarding human alteration of the landscape and its outcomes for the local and global environment. The PhD degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning is appropriate for those seeking careers in academia, research institutions, and leadership roles in non-profits, government, and professional consultation.

See Department Website

Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the MLA Program

A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for admission to the graduate program. It is recommended that applicants have completed a minimum of one basic course each in the life, earth and social sciences. In addition, graphics and freehand drawing are strongly recommended for applicants with non-design backgrounds. The MLA 3D is accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board part of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The department also offers two specialized advanced standing options for the accredited degree based on previous degrees, the MLA 2D and the MLA EP.

MLA 3D: First Professional Degree

The three-year MLA degree is the accredited first professional degree. This degree is for students without backgrounds in design, planning, or environmental science who wish to emphasize landscape design.

MLA 2D: Advanced Standing Professional Degree

The two-year MLA degree is an advanced standing option for students with first degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, or environmental design who wish to pursue graduate degrees specializing landscape design.

MLA EP: Environmental Planning

The  two-year MLA in environmental planning is an advanced standing option for students with first degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, the environmental sciences, city planning, or related degrees specializing in large-scale landscape planning and the application of geographic information science (GIS).

Admission to the PhD Program

Admission is granted to a small number of individuals each year. Most successful applicants have completed a Master degree before entering. Students with only a bachelor's degree should apply to the MLA program first or otherwise complete an appropriate Master degree before applying.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

The PhD in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning is offered for students who want to pursue scholarly and research work beyond the master's level. Emphasis in this program is placed on the development of theories and methods that underlie the field of landscape architecture and environmental planning, and the processes of planning and design as they relate to the solution of problems in the natural and urban environment. The PhD degree is appropriate for students seeking careers in research and teaching in landscape architecture and environmental planning, or in specialized roles in government or professional consultation.

Degree Requirements

Students formulate coursework plans (to include the PhD seminar) to develop an individual specialization within the field, which must be approved by the students' program advisers. PhD requirements are as follows: 32 units of upper division and graduate coursework, a two-year academic residency, reading knowledge of a departmentally approved foreign language, successful completion of a qualifying examination, and a dissertation.

Progress toward the degree is evaluated at least annually by the PhD committee. By no later than the end of the third semester, students will be evaluated as to their suitability for completing the PhD degree. Any student who, in the opinion of the faculty, seems unlikely to be able to complete all degree requirements (including dissertation research) will be subject to dismissal.

Curriculum

LD ARCH 255Doctoral Seminar in Environmental Planning (Five semesters)1
Individualized approved study list, as per student’s research interest27

Research

Participation of faculty in research increases the base of knowledge and theory in support of teaching and the profession. PhD students are often involved in these research topics as research assistants. Current topics include natural resource analysis, computerized inventories, environmental impact studies, methods of shoreline classification, principles of forest landscape design, urban livability studies, urban perception, case studies in urban design, morphological studies of the urban edge, environmental interpretation, behavior in parks and open spaces, community recreation projects, and environmental simulation.

Admissions Criteria

Admission to the PhD program is granted to a small number of highly qualified individuals each year. Applicants should have completed a master's degree before entering. Students with only a bachelor's degree should apply to the MLA program first, or otherwise complete an appropriate master's degree before applying.

Master's Degree Requirements

The Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning offers three Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree options accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) structured to provide advanced professional learning in landscape design and planning:

  • The three-year MLA degree is the first professional degree for students with non-design backgrounds.
  • The two-year MLA degree an advanced standing option for those students with first degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, or environmental design.
  • The two-year environmental planning is an advanced standing option for students with first degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, the environmental sciences, city planning, or related degrees.

Degree 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 comprises 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 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 MLA 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 MLA program.

Public Information Policy

Public Information Policy Programs accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) are required to provice reliable information to the public. Programs must report on accreditation status and its performance. This information is to help potential students make informed application decisions. To review this information, click here.

Curriculum

MLA 3D Option (Three Years): First Professional Degree (84 Units Required)
LD ARCH 110Ecological Analysis3
LD ARCH 110LEcological Analysis Laboratory2
LD ARCH 112Landscape Plants: Identification and Use4
LD ARCH 120Topographic Form and Design Technology3
LD ARCH 121Design in Detail: Introduction to Landscape Materials and Construction4
LD ARCH 134ADrawing Workshop 13
LD ARCH 134BDrawing Workshop II3
LD ARCH 135The Art of Landscape Drawing3
LD ARCH 160Professional Practice Seminar3
LD ARCH 170History and Literature of Landscape Architecture3
LD ARCH 200AFundamentals of Landscape Design5
LD ARCH 200BCase Studies in Landscape Design5
LD ARCH 201Ecological Factors in Urban Landscape Design5
LD ARCH 202Design of Landscape Sites5
or LD ARCH 205 Environmental Planning Studio
LD ARCH 251Theories of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning2
LD ARCH 254Topics in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning1
Select one social factors course from departmental breadth list 3
Select one studio requirement from the following:5
Landscape Project Design [5]
or LD ARCH C203
Course Not Available
Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning [5]
Architecture & Urbanism Design Studio [5] (by petition)
Select one of the following:2-3
Thesis and Professional Project Proposal Seminar [3] (required for Thesis/Professional Project Students only)
Elective
Select one of the following:5
Final Project Preparation Studio: Thesis and Reports [5]
Final Degree Studio:
Advanced Project Design [5]
Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning
ElectivesVariable
MLA 2D Option (Two Years): Advanced Professional Degree (LA UG Degree, 49 Units Required; ARCH UG Degree, 55 Units Required)
LD ARCH 110Ecological Analysis3
LD ARCH 110LEcological Analysis Laboratory2
LD ARCH 120Topographic Form and Design Technology 23
LD ARCH 160Professional Practice Seminar 23
LD ARCH 201Ecological Factors in Urban Landscape Design5
Select one course in landscape plants and their applications from the following: 13
Plants in Design [3]
Landscape Plants: Identification and Use [4]
Individualized study list based on the following (some courses may be waived by petition):
Select one or two additional studios (dependent on student's background) from the following: 15-10
Design of Landscape Sites [5]
Landscape Project Design [5]
or LD ARCH C203
Course Not Available
Advanced Project Design [5]
Environmental Planning Studio [5]
Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning [5]
Architecture & Urbanism Design Studio [5]
Select one course in landscape history from the following: 23
History and Literature of Landscape Architecture [3]
Select one course in landscape structures/infrastructures from the following: 13
Design in Detail: Introduction to Landscape Materials and Construction [4]
Landscape Design Construction [2]
Select one course in natural factors from the departmental breadth list 13
Select one course in social factors from the departmental breadth list 3
LD ARCH 252BThesis and Professional Project Proposal Seminar (required for thesis/professional project students only)3
Select one of the following:5
Final Project Preparation Studio: Thesis and Reports [5]
Final Degree Studio from one of the following:
Advanced Project Design [5]
Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning [5]
ElectivesVariable
1

Students with architecture backgrounds must enroll in LD ARCH 110,LD ARCH 110LLD ARCH 112, LD ARCH 121, LD ARCH 170, LD ARCH 202 or LD ARCH 205.

2

May be waived by petition.

MLA EP Option (Two Years):  Environmental Planning (55 Units Required)
LD ARCH 134ADrawing Workshop 13
LD ARCH 134BDrawing Workshop II3
LD ARCH C188Geographic Information Systems4
LD ARCH 200AFundamentals of Landscape Design5
LD ARCH 206Final Project Preparation Studio: Thesis and Reports5
LD ARCH 221Quantitative Methods in Environmental Planning3
LD ARCH 237The Process of Environmental Planning3
LD ARCH 252BThesis and Professional Project Proposal Seminar3
LD ARCH 254Topics in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning1
Select one social factors course from departmental breadth list 3
Select one natural factors course from departmental breadth list 3
ElectivesVariable

Courses

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Anna Livia Brand, Assistant Professor. Cities in the American North and South, including New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and New York.
Research Profile

Danika Cooper, Assistant Professor.

Iryna Dronova, Assistant Professor.
Research Profile

Kristina Hill, Associate Professor.

Richard L. Hindle, Assistant Professor. Patents, landscape architecture, ecology, technology, innovation, fabrication, horticulture.
Research Profile

Walter J. Hood, Professor. Urban design, community development, landscape architecture, environmental planning, landscape design, citizen participation, design of architecture and landscape.
Research Profile

G. Mathias Kondolf, Professor. Ecological restoration, landscape architecture, environmental planning, fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, environmental geology, environmental impact assessment, riparian zone management.
Research Profile

John Lund Kriken, Adjunct Professor.

Karl Kullmann, Associate Professor. Landscape and urban design, landscape and urban theory, digital representation.
Research Profile

Elizabeth S. Macdonald, Associate Professor. Urban design.
Research Profile

David Meyer, Associate Adjunct Professor.

Louise A. Mozingo, Professor.

John Radke, Associate Professor. City and regional planning, landscape architecture and environmental planning, geographic information systems, database design and construction, spatial analysis, pattern recognition computational morphology.
Research Profile

Chip Sullivan, Professor.

Lecturers

Jennifer Brooks, Lecturer.

Joan Chaplick, Lecturer.

Agostino Di Tommaso, Lecturer.

Andrea Gaffney, Lecturer.

Susan Goltsman, Lecturer.

Daniel S. Iacofano, Lecturer.

Brian R. Jencek, Lecturer.

Dawn A. Kooyumjian, Lecturer.

Michael M. Lamb, Lecturer.

Kelley D. Lemon, Lecturer.

Blaine Andrew Merker, Lecturer.

Tim Mollette-Parks, Lecturer.

Paul P. Peninger, Lecturer.

Erik Prince, Lecturer.

Kimberlee Stryker, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Peter C. Bosselmann, Professor Emeritus. Urban design, architecture, city and regional planning, landscape architecture.
Research Profile

Clare Cooper Marcus, Professor Emeritus. Architecture, landscape architecture, environmental planning, medium-density housing, public housing modernization, public open-space design, children_ _s environments, housing for the elderly.
Research Profile

Randolph T. Hester, Professor Emeritus.

Linda L. Jewell, Professor Emeritus. Urban design, landscape architecture, environmental planning, landscapes and structures, on-site design decisions, site planning, sustainable construction.
Research Profile

+ Joe R. McBride, Professor Emeritus. Urban forestry, forest ecology.
Research Profile

Robert H. Twiss, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

202 Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-642-4022

Fax: 510-643-6166

See Department Website

Department Chair/Head Graduate Adviser

Elizabeth Macdonald, PhD

202 Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-643-2965

emacdon@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Tony Tieu

206 Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-642-2965

laepgrad@berkeley.edu

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