Landscape Architecture + Environmental Planning

Second Professional Degree

Two-Year Master of Landscape Architecture

The two-year Master of Landscape Architecture is the second professional degree for students with first degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, or environmental design. The degree program requires 55 units and provides the flexibility for specialization in advanced design and research.

Course Requirements

Core (5 units)

  • LD ARCH 201 (5) Ecological Factors in Urban Landscape Design

Option (37–42 units)

  • One or two additional studios selected from LD ARCH 202, LD ARCH 203, LD ARCH 204, LD ARCH 205, CY PLAN 248, ARCH 201 (dependent on student’s background)* (5-10 units)
  • LD ARCH 120 Topographic Form and Design Technology** (2 units)
  • LD ARCH 135 Advanced Landscape Drawing** (3 units)
  • LD ARCH 160 Professional Practice** (3 units)
  • One course in landscape history selected from LD ARCH 170, ENV DES 169A, ENV DES 169B, or CY PLAN 240** (3 units)
  • One course in landscape structures/infrastructures selected from LD ARCH 121, LD ARCH 226, CY PLAN 213, CY PLAN 214, CY PLAN 217* (3 units)
  • One course in landscape plants and their applications selected from LD ARCH 111, LD ARCH 112, LD ARCH 224, LD ARCH 225* (3 units)
  • One course in natural factors selected from the departmental breadth list* (3 units)
  • One course in social factors selected from the departmental breadth list (3 units)
  • LD ARCH 252B Thesis/Professional Project Research Seminar (required for thesis/professional project students only) (3 units)
  • LD ARCH 206 or Final Degree Studio: LD ARCH 204, LD ARCH 205, or CY PLAN 248 (5 units)

Electives (7–12 units)

Total: 55 units


* Students with architecture backgrounds must enroll in LD ARCH 110, LD ARCH 112, LD ARCH 121, LD ARCH 170, LD ARCH 202, or LD ARCH 205.
** May be waived by petition.

Areas of Specialization

Urban Design in Landscape Architecture

One of several areas of specialization within the field of landscape architecture is urban design. Beginning in the 19th century, landscape architects such as Frederick Law Olmsted and John Nolan demonstrated the special contributions the field of landscape architecture could make to a city’s quality. The tradition continues today.

Landscape architects contribute to urban design by understanding the natural features of the landscape and producing urban form that contributes to both regional and local identity. Urban landscape designers also must consider the perceptions and values of urban inhabitants and often engage users actively in the creation of plans. Large-scale urban systems such as streets and highways, parks, water edges, and utility systems are all in urgent need of visionary design, as are residential areas in declining inner neighborhoods and new peripheral developments.

In addition to having a solid grounding in the basics of landscape design, landscape architecture students interested in urban design should take a course in history and theory of urban form (CY PLAN 240), techniques for measuring and evaluating urban settings (LD ARCH C241), and urban design studios (LD ARCH 203, CY PLAN 248, and others). Courses in land use and other regulatory techniques, land or public economics, infrastructure, and citizen involvement in planning are recommended. Students who desire to pursue an urban design focus should discuss their curriculum with Professors Bosselmann or Hood.

Environmental Planning

The synthesis and application of ecology and physical science into the traditional practice of landscape architecture can inspire new landscape vocabulary and contribute to the creation of ecologically sustainable built landscapes. Within the urban and rural public landscape, opportunities for the integration of infrastructure and natural systems can promote healthier environments for humans and natural habitats. Areas of specialization may include vegetation management, riparian restoration, urban forestry, and resource conservation and management. Faculty: Kondolf, McBride, Radke.