The Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning is offered for students who want to pursue scholarly and research work beyond the master's level. Emphasis in this program is placed on the development of theories and methods that underlie the field of landscape architecture and environmental planning, and the processes of planning and design as they relate to the solution of problems in the natural and urban environment. The Ph.D. degree is appropriate for students seeking careers in research and teaching in landscape architecture and environmental planning, or in specialized roles in government or professional consultation.
Students formulate coursework plans (to include the Ph.D. seminar) to develop an individual specialization within the field, which must be approved by the students' program advisers. Ph.D. requirements are as follows: 32 units of upper-division and graduate coursework, a two-year academic residency, reading knowledge of a departmentally approved foreign language, successful completion of a qualifying examination, and a dissertation.
Progress toward the degree is evaluated at least annually by the Ph.D. Committee. By no later than the end of the third semester, students will be evaluated as to their suitability for completing the Ph.D. degree. Any student who, in the opinion of the faculty, seems unlikely to be able to complete all degree requirements (including dissertation research) will be subject to dismissal.
Participation of faculty in research increases the base of knowledge and theory in support of teaching and the profession. Ph.D. students are often involved in these research topics as research assistants. Current topics include natural resource analysis, computerized inventories, environmental impact studies, methods of shoreline classification, principles of forest landscape design, urban livability studies, urban perception, case studies in urban design, morphological studies of the urban edge, environmental interpretation, behavior in parks and open spaces, community recreation projects, and environmental simulation.
Admission to the Ph.D. program is granted to a small number of highly qualified individuals each year. Applicants should have completed a master's degree before entering. Students with only a bachelor's degree should apply to the M.L.A. program first, or otherwise complete an appropriate master's degree before applying.