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Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Landscape architects combine critical design thinking, planning and design, and knowledge of physical and social sciences, to engage situations of landscape involving health, safety, and wellbeing

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is a STEM-designated degree and fully accredited program that prepares graduate students for the rigors of professional practice, research, leadership, and community engagement. Students combine critical design thinking with creativity, and passion to address diverse landscape architecture and environmental planning projects.

As supporters of the New Landscape Declaration, we emphasize evidence-based inquiry and design thinking that positions students and graduates to engage with and propel the landscape architecture profession into the future as it evolves in response to environmental and societal imperatives.

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Our mission is to teach, learn, research, and apply state-of-the-art practices that create innovative and resilient landscapes focused on human and ecosystem health, safety, well-being, social equity, and quality of life.

We prepare the next generation of landscape architects to engage challenges and opportunities focused on:

  • Landscape dynamics and resilient design;
  • Community planning and design;
  • Design for children and families;
  • Research and evidence-based design strategies;
  • Emerging digital design tools for representation, simulation, and evaluation.

Graduate Landscape Architecture

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is a STEM-designated degree and LAAB accredited program that prepares graduate students for the rigors of professional practice, research, leadership, and community engagement.  Our students, faculty, and local design community seek to understand the impact of human actions on the land and to respond with community-based design strategies. We are dedicated to teaching, researching, and practicing design processes that acknowledge the interdependence of built landscapes and ecological, social, and economic systems.

The department offers three main academic curriculum tracks:

The first half of the academic program prepares students for the current practice and discipline of landscape architecture. It equips them with the core knowledge base, tools, processes, and skills in design, site works, history and theory, planning, research and the culture of professional practice.

The second half of the academic program propels students into the profession and discipline of the future that they will help evolve and lead. It positions students to pursue substantive inquiry into their own, those of the faculty, and those of the larger extended community. Students master bodies of knowledge, pursue evidence-based research, and hone verbal, written, and graphic communication skills.

Throughout their program of study, students combine critical design thinking talents with their intelligence, creativity, and passions to frame, engage and challenge the questions, problems, and situations of landscape that involve health, safety, wellbeing, and quality of life.

The department also offers the following certificates and programs:

  • Graduate Minors and Certificate Programs

Graduate minors are available to all students and consist of nine credit hours of courses, in another graduate degree granting discipline, listed as 400-level or above. A member of that degree’s faculty may serve as a third member of the student’s final project committee. Certificates offered in GIS, Public Policy and Horticultural Science may be of particular interest. Please visit the Graduate Minors and Certificate Page for more information.

  • Inter-Institutional Study

Students at NC State University may also register for courses at local universities (UNC–Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, and Duke University) paying NC State University credit fees. Our students have an exceptional range of courses and programs open to them through these inter-institutional study opportunities. Students may also take courses at the other Raleigh colleges that are members of the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges organization. Please visit the Inter-Institutional Study Page for more information.

Undergraduate Minor in Landscape Architecture

While we no longer offer a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, it is possible for NC State University undergraduate students to take certain landscape architecture courses as electives. Please visit the Undergraduate Minor in Landscape Architecture Page or contact the Head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Meg Calkins, FASLA, for more information.

See Student Work

See more examples of student work here: Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Student Work