Penn State University

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Department of Landscape Architecture

M.S.L.A. Degree

New M.S. in Landscape Architecture approved:

Master of Science in Landscape Architecture Degree Requirements

The core curriculum is a two-year research focused 40 credit minimum program including a minimum of 18 credits at the 500-level. Students are required to take graduate level coursework, including graduate seminars (12 credits), graduate colloquium (4 credits), research design (3 credits), and a course in quantitative/qualitative analysis (3 credits minimum). Students must also complete a M.S. Thesis.

Core graduate requirements:

LARCH 501, Research Writing in Landscape Architecture; LARCH 502, Intellectual History and Theory of Landscape Architecture; LARCH 510, Graduate Seminar (12 credits); LARCH 590, Graduate Colloquium (4 credits); LARCH 600, Thesis Research (1-15 credits).

The student and the student’s adviser, subject to the approval of the departmental Graduate Program Committee, determine specific course requirements.

There are two options available:
Option 1: M.S. in Landscape Architecture (Community and Urban Design)

The Community and Urban Design (CUD) Option provides students with in-depth inquiry into the theory and practice of community-based and urban design that responds to trends related to urban growth and change, the rise of the non-profit sector in community governance, and poverty and environmental degradation in urbanized and urbanizing areas. The intent of the CUD Option is to introduce students to theory, methods, and research surrounding specific topics in CUD. Students undertake hands-on design work and research as well as coursework in methods and computer applications, planning and policy, and ethics and society.

Option 2: M.S. in Landscape Architecture (Watershed Stewardship)

The pedagogic foundation of the Graduate Option in Watershed Stewardship is the integration of depth, breadth, and experience for each student. From their undergraduate background students will bring a focus, which will be enhanced via graduate level coursework in their field. They will also be required to take graduate courses in watershed-related disciplines outside their own major: the breadth requirements. And through community focused experience of at least 8 credits of Keystone Projects (FOR 570 and FOR 571) and at least 2 credits of seminars (LARCH 510 or FOR 591A and FOR 591B), students will be challenged to analyze and understand watersheds and creatively synthesize community-appropriate solutions.

You can contact Prof. Andrew Cole, graduate program coordinator ( for information on the MS.