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Department of

Landscape Architecture

Master of Landscape Architecture

About Our Program

The Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture offers an accredited 3-year professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree. The department also offers a 2-year post-professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree. This advanced status applies to American and Canadian students holding a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from an accredited program. Advanced standing will be determined by the MLA application review committee. The department also participates in joint degrees with the Department of Community and Regional Planning (MLA/MCRP) and with the interdisciplinary Master of Urban Design (MLA/MUD) and Master of Design in Sustainable Environments (MLA/MDesSE).

Application Deadline

The application deadline is January 15 for fall admission. Applications received by this date will have the best opportunities for financial assistance. Applications received after January 15 will be reviewed on an individual basis. Admission to the spring semester will be considered in some cases; please contact the Director of Graduate Education if you are interested in this option.

Application Submission Process

Please review the application submission process for the graduate degree in landscape architecture.

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.

Degree Program

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).

The program offers three concentration tracks in a topical area—Theory/Urbanism, Technology/Ecology, and Advocacy/Community—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 (MLA+GIS).

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

View a PDF file containing information on accreditation, program mission and purpose, educational goals, estimated costs, graduation rates

MLA Handbook

Please follow this link.

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 Village Apartments or 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:
Melissa Stenstrom, Graduate Student Recruiter
Heidi Hohmann, Director of Graduate Education