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How Do I Get a Master of Landscape Architecture Degree?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 30 June 2019
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Earning a master's degree in landscape architecture involves being accepted into and completing all requirements of a landscape architecture master's program. Getting accepted into such a program typically requires that you have a bachelor’s degree and have completed certain undergraduate courses. Earning the master's degree then involves completing all required courses, a thesis and an internship.

The majority of master of landscape architecture programs require a bachelor’s degree before admission. The affiliated major can be related to design or architecture, but this typically is not a requirement, and students with a degree in nearly any subject normally are encouraged to apply. There are, however, some prerequisite courses that usually need to be taken during the undergraduate years, with humanities and science classes frequently being required. In addition, most colleges prefer that students take at least a few art courses before applying for this kind of program, because it often focuses heavily on design. If you are not sure that you have taken the right courses to get into graduate school for this degree, then you should consider asking your college adviser which classes you might need.

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Once you are admitted into a school to get your master of landscape architecture degree, you will need to take a range of courses that will help you design landscapes as a career. You likely will be expected to learn about the materials involved in constructing a landscape, as well as how to identify plants. You may need to take courses that teach the history of urban design, in addition to ecology basics and sustainability principles. In many cases, the number of courses you have to take varies, depending on your previous degree, because those whose undergraduate degree involves landscape architecture typically need fewer credits than those whose undergraduate major is unrelated.

Before you graduate with a master of landscape architecture degree, you usually will need to complete a thesis on this subject. You typically will have your choice of thesis advisers, meaning you can choose a professor to guide you as you work on this paper. An additional requirement of most master of landscape architecture degree programs is an internship. This means you usually will be expected to obtain a position at a firm that practices landscape architecture and, because you likely will be heavily supervised, you may not be paid much, if at all. Aside from fulfilling your degree requirements, an internship may allow you to obtain connections that can help you get a job once you graduate.

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