Landscape Architecture

Graduate Degree

The Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture offers the professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree. The department also participates in joint degrees with the Department of Community and Regional Planning (MLA/MCRP) and with the interdisciplinary programs of Master of Urban Design (MLA/MUD) and Master of Design in Sustainable Environments (MLA/MDesSE).

Application Deadline
The application deadline is January 15 each year for consideration for fall admission. Applications received by January 15 will have the best opportunities for financial assistance. Applications received after January 15 will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Application Submission Process
The application submission process for the graduate degree in landscape architecture is available on the ISU Graduate College's program requirements website. All applicants must fill out the appropriate online application form (U.S. or international) and submit other documentation as specified on this site.

Learn more about graduate education at Iowa State, including admissions, assistantships, tuition and fees, credit loads, etc., in the Graduate College Handbook for faculty and students.

Master of Landscape Architecture
The Master of Landscape Architecture is an accredited professional degree for students with or without an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture. The MLA degree provides skills for students seeking to enter landscape architecture with the intent of practicing as a licensed professional in the public or the private sectors, as well as the basic knowledge required for professional competency as measured by the licensing exam. The MLA degree also offers inquiry competencies for continuous post-professional study and research.
The program offers three concentration tracks in a topical area—Theory, Technology/Ecology, and Advocacy—through coursework and/or an optional thesis and creative component. Students’ concentrations in one of the three tracks will be determined by the student in conjunction with his/her major professor. It will also be designated in the Program of Study to be completed by the end of his/her first year. Concentration electives may be selected from within the department and college and from an approved list. In the final year students will be able to take Creative Component or Thesis option with the approval of their major professor and the department Graduate Committee.
Students are able to take advantage of increasing offerings of interdisciplinary graduate-level electives in all college departments, as well as pursue double degrees with Master of Community and Regional Planning (MLA/MCRP), Master of Urban Design (MLA/MUD) and Master in Design of Sustainable Environments (MLA/MDesSE).
Students interested in the double-degree programs should contact the department to receive a detailed description of requirements. The department also teaches in the Graduate Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) administered by the Department of Community and Regional Planning.

Download a PDF file detailing MLA program requirements and proposed course of study

For more information, please go to

Tuition and Fees
Information on graduate tuition and fees can be found on the ISU Graduate College website.

Most graduate students live in off-campus housing, but some choose on-campus housing such as Schilletter-University Village Apartments.

More Information
For more information on the MLA degree program, including faculty research interests and financial assistance in the form of assistantships, contact:
Mira Engler, Director of Graduate Education

For application information and other questions, contact:
Meredith Foley, Graduate Recruitment and Student Services Coordinator