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.
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.
The Department of Landscape Architecture welcomes international applications to the MLA program. Please contact Chuo Li, Graduate Coordinator if you have questions or need additional information.
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.
The Department of Landscape Architecture offers a limited number of research and teaching assistantships for graduate students. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator (Chuo Li) for an application and schedule of applicable deadlines.
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.
- A Repeat Photographic Study of the Natchez Trace Parkway: Has the Design Intent of the Trace Changed?
- A Ten-Millennia Lens: Landscape, Culture and History at Russell Cave National Monument
- Conservation Planning, What is Used and What is Needed: A Needs Assessment Survey of the Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Creating a Sense of Place or Simply a Good Parking Space? Evolution of the Historic Town Squares of Mississippi
- Cultural Predilection on Design in Planning Ecological Sanitation in Northern Uganda
- Extensive Green Roofs in Mississippi: An Evaluation of Stormwater Retention under Local Climatic Conditions
- Recreation as Destination: How a Public Recreation Space Influences Physical Activity in a Low-Income Neighborhood in a Small Mississippi Town
- The Effect of Policy and Land Use Change on Water Quality in a Coastal Watershed City: An Analysis of Covington, Louisiana
- The Use of General Land Office Records and Geographical Information Systems for Restoration of Native Prairie Patches in the Jackson Prairie Region in Mississippi
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.
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.