Penn State University

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Department of Landscape Architecture

Graduate Student Opportunities

Learn to Teach

Our department and our university are committed to high-quality instruction. Graduate students interested in learning effective teaching methods can work with our faculty on teaching teams, plus take courses or pursue a teaching certificate through the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. For more information, see link below.

Off-Campus Study and Study Abroad

Opportunities for M.L.A. study abroad are found in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture's (S.A.L.A.'s) Sede di Roma program, focused on addressing urban design within a complex historical fabric; through the recently created International Consortium of Sustainable Urban Design focused on building community capacity through participatory planning and design strategies with partners in Brazil; through the American Indian Housing Initiative, a community design/build partnership project with the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana; and through a bi-annual program in the Czech Republic, engaging students in work on historically significant landscapes.


Students are encouraged to consider any of the graduate-level minors available at University Park . These typically consist of a 6- or 9-credit sequence drawn from a list of courses specified by the minor-granting department. Examples include minors in Ecology (6 credits), Science Technology and Society (9 credits), and Women's Studies (9 credits).

Graduate Research Exhibition

The annual Penn State Graduate Exhibition highlights graduate research accomplishments each spring semester. Our students typically are very competitive representatives of the College of Arts and Architecture. Second-year graduate students should plan to participate in this event, and should seek to involve graduate faculty in critiquing their submission. Our department is so enthusiastic about presenting our student work in this important venue that we make some funding available annually to help offset the cost of exhibition preparation.

Institute for Arts & Humanities Summer Residency

Each year Penn State 's Institute for Arts and Humanities offers summer residency programs for graduate students, consisting of office space in historical Ihlseng Cottage and a stipend to help defray research expenses. This residency is highly competitive, with applications due in early February for the following summer. For more information see link below.

Departmental, S.A.L.A., and Professional Awards

The Alma Heinz and August Louis Pohland Graduate Student Fellowship is a monetary ($2,500) award made annually to two S.A.L.A. graduate students entering their second year of study. This is a school-wide competition in which students apply by submitting their research proposals and M.L.A. transcripts-to-date at the end of the Spring semester. Students are judged on their academic progress and the promise they show for academic excellence. Graduate students may also be nominated by departmental faculty for the College of Arts and Architecture's Creative Achievement Award, comprising a plaque and a medal award. Students may be nominated in one of several categories. Each year semester the American Society of Landscape Architects (A.S.L.A.) recognizes outstanding students of the profession across North America. One or two graduate students may be nominated by graduate faculty, based on the strength of their overall academic progress and the proficiency of their core research. A jury comprised of A.S.L.A. representatives and faculty attend a presentation by nominees, which results in the designation of either an A.S.L.A. Honor Award or an A.S.L.A. Merit Award. Presentations of plaque awards from the A.S.L.A. are made at the annual Landscape Architecture Student Society (L.A.S.S.) banquet at the end of the Spring Semester.

Many other opportunities arise annually for fellowships, scholarships, internships, and graduate research funding external to PSU. Our Graduate Program Coordinator keeps M.L.A. students apprised of these opportunities as they arise.