Landscape Architecture


Program Information:

Program Statement:
    The MLA is an accredited professional degree for students with or without an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture. The degree provides knowledge and skills for students intending to practice or pursue a scholarly career. Graduates meet the academic expectations for professional licensure as measured by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB).
Degrees Offered:
  • Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.)
Program Handbook(s):
Learning Goals:
  • design sites and landscapes via an iterative design process.
  • design landscapes based on an in-depth understanding of natural, cultural, and social systems
  • produce design work with a knowledge of landscape architectural history and theory
  • communicate design ideas visually and verbally, using a full range of digital and manual methods
  • conduct analytical pre-design site assessments and evaluate completed designs for post-occupancy performance
  • understand and use advanced digital applications and techniques to analyze, visualize and model landscapes and landscape functions
  • produce documentation (plans, specifications, contracts) for project construction based on knowledge of construction standards, legal policies, and an understanding of material qualities
  • undertand quantitative and qualitative research methods and recognize the role of research in design practice
  • understand and practice professional ethics
  • develop professional interpersonal and leadership skills
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 2.8 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Melissa Stenstrom
Phone: 515-294-3366
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    Director of Graduate Education, Department of Landscape Architecture
    Iowa State University
    715 Bissell Road
    146 Design
    Ames, IA 50011-3094

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements:
  • Resume/CV
  • Writing sample (approx 5-10 pages; e.g., professional report or term paper)
  • Digital portfolio not to exceed 12 pages and 2MB in size. Applicants from the sciences and humanities should not be intimidated by this! Please contact us for information on what to include if you don't have an art/creative background!
  • Three letters of recommendation are required to be submitted electronically with your on-line application.
  • Program Requires GRE: No
  • Program Requires GMAT: No
  • Program Will Review Without TOEFL or IELTS: No
International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 550
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 79
    IELTS 6.5
    PTE 53
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 105

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    The deadline for completing the full application is January 15. Applications received by the deadline will have the best opportunities for financial assistance. Applications received after January 15 will be reviewed on an individual basis and may not be considered for financial assistance. International applicants should realize that late applications may also delay visa application procedures and prevent fall matriculation. Please contact the Director of Graduate Education (DOGE) if you have exceptional or interesting reasons for not being able to meet the deadline. Spring and summer entry are not available.
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

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