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 MLA program is certified as a STEM discipline. 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 contributes 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 the 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 the 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 provides an opportunity to pursue cutting edge research addressing important issues in planning for sustainability under conditions of increasing urbanization and changing climate.  The program emphasizes development of theories and methods underlying the field, and the processes of planning and design as they relate to solution of problems in the natural and urban environment.  The PhD degree is appropriate for students seeking careers in research, teaching, or specialized roles in government or professional consultation.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the PhD degree are 48 units of coursework selected to develop the student’s specialization within the field, a two-year academic residency, reading knowledge of a foreign language relevant to the student’s research, successful completion of a qualifying exam, and completion of a dissertation.  Progress toward the degree is evaluated by the PhD committee each semester until the student advances to candidacy (normally by the end of the fifth semester), and by the student’s dissertation committee thereafter. 

Curriculum

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

Research

PhD students conduct research to advance the field of environmental planning and landscape architecture, increasing the base of knowledge and theory in support of scholarship and professional practice.  PhD students often take an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon methods from diverse fields, to find proactive solutions to problems of sustainability in an increasing urban world subject to more extreme climate and rising sea levels, and addressing issues of equity and justice.  PhD students apply cutting-edge mapping and analytical methods, along with social science approaches, to develop insights and planning tools that can serve to protect at- risk populations, enhance environmental quality and restore ecosystems, and improve social equity.  

Admissions Criteria

Admission to the PhD program is granted to a small number of highly qualified students, usually with strong backgrounds in natural and social sciences relevant to their research interests, and who will have completed a masters degree prior to entering the PhD program. 

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 offers two advanced standing options for students with first degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, or environmental design.  There is a curriculum for students with an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture and a curriculum for students with an undergraduate degree in 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 comprised of two faculty members (the committee chair must be a faculty member from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning) and an optional 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 track or in one of the concurrent degree programs are not eligible for the comprehensive exam studio option.  Students in the concurrent degree programs must see the Graduate Student Affairs Officer for details on degree completion procedures and requirements.

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 provide 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 (79 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 260Professional 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 203Landscape Project Design5
or LD ARCH C203 Course Not Available
LD ARCH 234ADrawing the Landscape3
LD ARCH 234BLandscape Processes through Drawing and Modeling3
LD ARCH 235Design Thinking: Art, Nature, Consciousness3
LD ARCH 254Topics in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning1
Select one social factors course from departmental breadth list 3
Select one of the following: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 -- LD ARCH UG DEGREE (48 UNITS REQUIRED)
LD ARCH 120Topographic Form and Design Technology3
LD ARCH 260Professional Practice Seminar3
LD ARCH 201Ecological Factors in Urban Landscape Design5
Select one course in landscape plants and their applications from the following:3
Plants in Design [3]
Landscape Plants: Identification and Use [4]
Select two additional studios (dependent on student's background) from the following: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:3
History and Literature of Landscape Architecture [3]
The American Designed Landscape Since 1850 [3]
LD ARCH C250Theories of Urban Form and Design3
Select one course in landscape structures/infrastructures from the following:3
Landscape Design Construction [2]
CY PLAN C213Transportation and Land Use Planning3
CY PLAN 214Infrastructure Planning and Policy3
CY PLAN C217Transportation Policy and Planning3
Select one course in natural factors from the departmental breadth list3
Select one course in social factors from the departmental breadth list 3
Select one of the following: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 from one of the following:
Advanced Project Design [5]
Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning [5]
ElectivesVariable
MLA 2D Option (Two Years): Advanced Professional Degree -- ARCH UG Degree (49 Units Required)
LD ARCH 110Ecological Analysis3
LD ARCH 110LEcological Analysis Laboratory2
LD ARCH 120Topographic Form and Design Technology3
LD ARCH 121Design in Detail: Introduction to Landscape Materials and Construction4
LD ARCH 260Professional Practice Seminar3
LD ARCH 170History and Literature of Landscape Architecture3
LD ARCH 201Ecological Factors in Urban Landscape Design5
Select one course in landscape plants and their applications from the following:3
Plants in Design [3]
Landscape Plants: Identification and Use [4]
Select two additional studios (dependent on student's background) from the following: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 social factors from the departmental breadth list 3
Select one of the following: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 from one of the following:
Advanced Project Design [5]
Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning [5]
ElectivesVariable
MLA EP Option (Two Years):  Environmental Planning ( 49 Units Required)
LD ARCH C188Geographic Information Systems4
LD ARCH 200AFundamentals of Landscape Design5
LD ARCH 205Environmental Planning Studio5
LD ARCH 206Final Project Preparation Studio: Thesis and Reports5
LD ARCH 221Quantitative Methods in Environmental Planning3
LD ARCH 222 or one course in natural factors from the departmental breadth list
LD ARCH 234ADrawing the Landscape3
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 landscape architecture history course3
ElectivesVariable

Courses

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Faculty and Instructors

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

Faculty

Danika Cooper, Assistant Professor. Landscape architecture.

Iryna Dronova, Assistant Professor. Urbanization, remote sensing, spatial analysis, urban heat exposure, green infrastructure, resilience, restoration, wetland and urban landscape ecology.
Research Profile

Kristina Hill, Associate Professor. Urban planning, urban design, urban ecology, surface hydrology, groundwater, sea level rise, climate change, adaptation, adaptation to flooding.
Research Profile

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

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

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

David Meyer, Associate Adjunct Professor.

Louise A. Mozingo, Professor. Urban design and planning, design history, social and cultural factors in landscape design.
Research Profile

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. Garden history, symbolism, creative and imagination development, perceptual engagements, inclusive methods and mediums to express landscapes.

Lecturers

Joan Chaplick, Lecturer.

Agostino Di Tommaso, Lecturer.

Daphne Edwards, Lecturer.

Daniel S. Iacofano, Lecturer.

Kelley D. Lemon, Lecturer.

Nathan Lozier, 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

Raymond Lifchez, Professor Emeritus.

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

Michael Southworth, Professor Emeritus.

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

Louise Mozingo

202 Wurster Hall

lmozingo@berkeley.edu

Head Graduate Advisor

Elizabeth Macdonald, PhD

202 Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-643-2965

emacdon@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Jessica Ambriz

206 Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-642-2965

laepgrad@berkeley.edu

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