Graduate Studies

Graduate Degree

Graduate study leading to a Master of Landscape Architecture degree is offered in the Department of Landscape Architecture; thesis and non-thesis options are available. Students in the program have the opportunity to work with faculty on a wide range of research and design topics within the profession of landscape architecture. Special program emphasis is placed on watershed planning, landscape management and community planning and design. The design studio courses broadly consider landscape issues related to water, health and habitat in an effort to achieve the department's mission of "…fostering the will and ability to plan, design, build and manage regenerative communities."


The Master's in Landscape Architecture is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board of the American Society of Landscape Architects. LAAB accredited programs are required to provide reliable information to the public. Programs must report on accreditation status and its performance. This information is to help potential students make informed application decisions. To review this information, click here.

View our MLA 2014 Self Evaluation Report


The applicant to the M.L.A. program should have a minimum GPA of 2.80 on a 4.00 scale. A student without a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from an accredited program may undertake the M.L.A. as a first professional degree but is required to undertake additional "leveling" coursework to ensure competency in the field; this typically requires an additional year of study. Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores is recommended but not required. The applicant's submission should include a letter of interest that includes a written statement (no more than 1500 words) explaining his or her interest in pursuing graduate studies in landscape architecture at Mississippi State University. Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic work, motivation, and character should accompany the application. The applicant should also submit a detailed resume. Applicants with degrees from allied fields (such as architecture or civil engineering) should submit a portfolio if they wish to be considered for course reductions during the leveling year. Contact the department's graduate coordinator for more information.

International Applications

The Department of Landscape Architecture welcomes international applications to the MLA program. Please contact Michael Seymour, Graduate Coordinator if you have questions or need additional information.

Computer Requirements

All students in the Department of Landscape Architecture are required to have their own personal computer. Please see the department specific guidelines prior to purchasing a computer.

Graduate Assistantships

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers a limited number of research and teaching assistantships for graduate students. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator (Michael Seymour) for an application and schedule of applicable deadlines.


Click the year for the curriculum information.
Download the curriculum

Leveling Year

Fall Semester
  • LA 1333 Landscape Systems (3)
  • LA 1533 Presentation Methods and Media (3)
  • LA 2544 LA Construction I: Materials (4)
  • LA 2554 LA Design Studio I (4)
  • LA 4723 Professional Practice (3)

Spring Semester
  • LA 1223 Computers in LA (3)
  • LA 1423 History of Landscape Architecture (3)
  • LA 2644 LA Construction II: Grading (4)
  • LA 2654 LA Design Studio II (4)

MLA Year 1

Fall Semester
  • LA 8513 Grad. Studio I: Water (3)
  • LA 8711 Seminar in Watershed Planning (1)
  • LA 8613 Research Methods (3)
  • LA 6113 Design Theory and Criticism (3)

Spring Semester
  • LA 8523 LA Graduate Studio II: Health (3)
  • LA 8721 Seminar in LA Management (1)
  • LA 8741 Proposal Writing Seminar (1)
  • Thesis Option: ST 8114 Stats or SO 8274 Social Stats (4)
  • Non-thesis Option: LA 6514 Ecological Planting Design (4)

MLA Year 2

Fall Semester
  • LA 8533 LA Graduate Studio III: Habitat (3)
  • LA 8731 Seminar in Community Based Planning (1)
  • Thesis Option: Elective* (3)
  • Non-Thesis Option: Elective* (3)
  • Non-Thesis Option:LA 6124 Construction Documentation (4)

Spring Semester
  • LA 8751 Seminar in Contemporary Design Issues (1)
  • Thesis Option:LA 8000 Thesis (6)
  • Non-Thesis Option:LA 8545 Grad. Studio IV: Case Study (5)
  • Non-Thesis Option:LA 6443 Exterior Design/Build Studio (3)

Notes: Electives must be 6000-level and approved by Thesis Chair or Advisor.
See the Bulletin of the Graduate School for complete degree requirements

Program of Study

Thesis and non-thesis options are available. In order to complete the program on schedule, students should decide which option they have selected prior to enrolling in the second semester of graduate coursework.


The thesis option is appropriate for students who already have a BLA, those who desire a career in academia or anyone who has an interest in focused investigative research in the field. The curriculum is designed to assist each student in the selection of a research topic tailored to his or her interests and career goals. In addition to the core courses, the thesis option requires a course in statistics and a minimum of six thesis hours. Examples of recent topics are listed below.

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option is intended to serve students who are primarily interested in design-related investigation and the professional practice of landscape architecture. The curriculum is designed to provide a balanced review of research and practical knowledge requiring additional coursework in construction documents, design/build and ecological planting design. The non-thesis option culminates in a final graduate studio that is tailored to each student's interests, requiring case study research, project critique and advanced design investigation in a chosen subject area.

News and Updates

MLA Student and Alumni Profiles

Useful Links

For recent news about the MLA program as well as examples of work and interviews of students, alumni and faculty, please visit the Department of Landscape Architecture’s Blog.


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Quick Contact

Telephone 662-325-3012
Fax 662-325-7893

Department of Landscape Architecture
Box 9725
Mississippi State University, MS 39762