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A master’s in landscape architecture online in the U.S. prepares students to become landscape architects with the skills to create innovative and beautiful project designs. The program also focuses on maintaining the balance of ecology and helping students come up with sustainable development ideas that keep the conservation of the environment in mind. There is limited employment growth in the field of landscape architecture; still, 1500 openings are projected for landscape architects each year, on average, over the decade, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. An online landscape architecture master equips the student to deal with the upcoming environmental concerns and challenges related to the field.
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Many online master’s in landscape architecture degree programs are available across the United States. While considering a master’s program, students should keep in mind the college’s infrastructure, the quality of the faculty members, the research facilities available, accreditation of the program and college, and opportunities after completion of the program. Additional factors like the program’s cost, scholarships available, and specializations offered by the institution could affect the choice of a master’s degree. Here are some best master’s in landscape architecture online programs:
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Understanding Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Programs
The master’s in landscape architecture online program is designed to provide historical, theoretical, foundational, skills-based, and technical grounding in the domain of landscape architecture. The core program introduces fundamental design methodologies and helps students develop their design processes and learn about different research methodologies. Usually, the program tries to accommodate students from a variety of academic backgrounds, whether they have had previous training in landscape architecture or not. The student’s curriculum is tailored to their specific background and academic goals. The degree could range from 45 to 78 credits and take about 2 to 3 years to complete.
The program also includes a final study where students can apply design theories and create designs for theoretical or real projects. Most online landscape architecture degrees are accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB), and students can pursue licensure to become licensed landscape architect professionals after completion of the degree.
The curriculum includes environmental design, construction, site grading, critical thinking, storm water management, sustainable site planning, and more. The program is offered in online, offline, and hybrid delivery modes.
Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Degree Types
Three types of online landscape architecture master’s are available for prospective students across the United States. These include a Master of Arts or M.A. in landscape architecture online, a Master of Science or M.S. in landscape architecture online, and a Master of Landscape Architecture or MSLA degree. These programs may have some similarities across their curriculum.
Master of Arts in Landscape Architecture
The Master of Arts or M.A. in landscape architecture emphasizes the crucial factors in creating outdoor designs and spaces. This program benefits students who want to learn more about the nuances of landscape architecture. The curriculum of this degree emphasizes research and understanding the complexities of human behavior and outdoor spaces.
Master of Science in Landscape Architecture
The Master of Science in Landscape Architecture or M.S. in landscape architecture provides research expertise to individuals with professionally-accredited degrees in landscape architecture. The program helps in providing an opportunity to students who want to gain research skills for success in academic positions or professional practice. The curriculum is highly research-focused and studies the impact of socio-cultural context on environmentally responsive behavior.
Master of Landscape Architecture
The Master of Landscape Architecture or MSLA degree teaches students how to plan and design outdoor spaces. Students also learn how to assess, design, and protect landscapes for individuals who want to interact and profit from building connections with natural and artificial environments. This program focuses on preparing students for the professional field of landscape architecture.
Specializations in Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Programs
Taking up specializations at the graduate level will help students strengthen their skills. Specializing in master’s will also get students more industry benefits like higher salaries, career prospects, and better knowledge of the profession. A master’s in landscape architecture helps students prepare for that particular professional practice and take up more responsibilities designated by the role. There are many landscape architecture specializations, such as:
Area of Specialization
Under this concentration, students learn how to identify and use innovations to help society. Learning about digitization and automation processes, and other technological trends will impact the role aspiring students would have as architects.
Construction and Real Estate
This concentration will help students learn more about construction, design, and study. They will understand how to develop new landscapes created to meet the requirements of a particular client. They learn about sustainable site development and managing construction sites.
Digital Drawing and Mapping
This concentration helps students adjust to the digital requirements of today’s advancing technology. Students learn new design techniques and understand different elements that help students make more efficient and faster designs – more flexible than the traditional techniques of design making.
This specialization is one of the sought-after fields as it helps students understand new boundaries to negotiate scenarios between human and animal cohabitation. It is an interdisciplinary field where students must understand dividing climatic zones, territories, inhabitable spaces, and different habitations.
Landscape heritage is one of the tasks landscape architects would have to undertake, so taking this specialization would benefit prospective students. Students will learn how to plan, restore, design, maintain and manage historical and cultural parks, sites, and landscapes.
In this specialization, students understand how to design buildings, environments, or products to make them more open and accessible to different people, regardless of their disability, age, and more.
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Programs
The curriculum of the master’s in landscape architecture online is comprehensive and rigorous and prepares students for professional activities in the field of landscape architecture. It focuses on providing students with a base of knowledge in history, theory, design, ecology, technology, professional practice, and representation. The curricula across programs have certain basic standard courses. Students must also fulfill the requirement of at least two additional electives like design and environmental systems, emerging dimensions in urban ecology and sustainable practices, theories and analyses of architecture, etc.
The master’s in landscape architecture online programs focus on giving students a strong hand in the practical aspects of landscape architecture. Students, through their curriculum, are exposed to different practitioners and work throughout the program to gain individual experience with a combination of direct engagement with professionals and theoretical series of seminars and lectures. The curriculum of the programs would differ depending on the type of degree; however, the coursework could include certain common landscape architecture courses, including:
Drawing as a Process
Site Design Studio
Historical Precedents of Landscape Architecture
Ecological Foundations of Design
Landscape Architecture Design Studio
Digital Graphics for Landscape Architecture
Advanced Landscape Graphics
Theories of Landscape Change
People and the Environment
Site Inventory and Analysis
Cultural Resource Preservation and Landscape History
Designing Healthy Communities
Critical Inquiry in Landscape Architecture
Designing Public Spaces Studio
Aesthetic Assessment of Landscapes
Research Methods in Landscape Studies
Principles of Landscape Ecology
By completing the landscape architecture master’s program, students will get a dynamic and adaptive understanding of landscape architecture. After graduation, students will be able to demonstrate certain skills, including the ability to:
demonstrate basic knowledge and expertise of the key systems, elements, and principles of designing, which will enhance two- and three-dimensional designing and planning;
produce sustainable designs and plan proposals that will reflect the awareness of ecological and climatic factors and historical implications of a given site;
creatively design solutions and conduct research to analyze findings appropriate in the process of planning and designing;
demonstrate professional skills to be able to evaluate key features and processes to use a site, like individual plant species, soil types, wildlife, climatic conditions, and so on, which would determine the constraints and opportunities that come with designing landscape architecture;
apply the principles of sustainability while designing and planning drainage plans, outdoor spaces, and more;
consolidate research ideas and present them convincingly and concisely during verbal or written presentations; and
display professionalism in applying graphic media to communicate concepts and ideas which reflect the project proposals and design processes.
Accreditation for Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Programs
Accreditation is a unique process of evaluating colleges and programs across the country to ensure they maintain appropriate educational quality. Non-governmental bodies execute this process, awarding the status based on peer evaluation. While deciding where to do a master’s degree, students must apply to accredited master’s in landscape architecture colleges to access a host of benefits. It is also advisable to check whether the institution they are applying to has been granted Regional or National Accreditation. Some of the independent bodies across the United States that award accreditation are:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Timeline for graduating from Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Programs
Most master’s in landscape architecture programs range from 45 to 78 credit hours and take 2 to 3 years to complete. It is noteworthy that factors like curriculum, thesis, coursework, concentration, final exam, program structure, synchronous or asynchronous learning, etc., will determine the exact time it will take to complete the degree. Students can take up their master’s in landscape architecture in two modes:
Full-time: full-time master’s are intensive modes of study that will take 2 to 3 years to complete.
Part-time: part-time master’s are a more flexible study method and take between 3 and 4 years to complete.
Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Programs Admission Requirements
While applying to an online landscape architecture master’s, students must determine the program-specific requirements. Universities across the United States mandate different requirements. Some of the common master’s in landscape architecture online admission requirements are:
CGPA- The Cumulative Grade Point Average or CGPA of 2.25 and above is required by most colleges
GRE– Graduate Record Exam or GRE scores above 290 or more are required by some colleges (requirement might differ from college to college)
Accelerated Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Programs
Accelerated master’s programs help students fast-track the timeline of completing their degrees. Students complete similar coursework as a regular master’s program, except that they can complete the degree in 1.5 years or less, depending on the number of credits completed per semester. Taking up an accelerated master’s program is a cost-efficient option for students. It is a valuable option for individuals working full-time or part-time with other commitments. Some institutions offering accelerated master’s in landscape architecture online programs are The University of Arizona and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Free Courses for Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Students
Ample master in landscape architecture online courses are available for students over the internet. These free courses will help students understand the demands that the program requires of them and orient their mindset toward the field of landscape architecture. Here are a few free courses master’s in landscape architecture students can explore:
This course helps students understand the requirements of landscape architecture. Students learn about sustainable architecture that involves creating tree planting and maintenance, designing a well-functioning garden, and developing detailed information on ecology related to different landscapes.
In this course, students are taught to express materials in aesthetic form. They understand how architecture is both a technical achievement and a cultural expression. The course will also introduce to students the idea of architectural imagination.
Johns Hopkins University offers this course to understand the best practices in creating sustainable cities. Students investigate problems and work with current problems on parking management, healthy building, and energy-efficient building.
How to Pay for a Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Program
The cost of a master’s in landscape architecture degree online would differ from institution to institution. Factors like course materials, electives, travel, and tuition fees would determine the program’s total cost. The tuition fee for an online master’s in landscape architecture would be a minimum of $18,260 (approximate and unconfirmed), depending on the different demands of the institution. Some ways to fund one’s graduate studies in landscape architecture include:
Graduate school scholarships can help students partially or wholly cover the degree’s cost. Students having meritorious academic records can apply for such scholarships. Many national institutions, private enterprises, and industry-specific organizations provide scholarships.
Grants awarded to graduates are a good way for students to seek financial assistance to help them bear the cost of a master’s. Grants are given based on the specific education and research area of students but more on financial needs.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form helps students apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. The institutions to which students will apply could use data from FAFSA, which will help determine if a student is eligible for aid.
Students can build excellent contacts in their professions and fund their education parallelly through a graduate assistantship. Graduate assistants help faculty members or their departments or other departments in the institution in developing programs, teaching students, and performing other academic activities. In turn, their fees are reduced or waived.
Scholarships for Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Students
Prospective graduate students can apply for different types of scholarships to fund their education. Such scholarships will help students in funding their education and alleviate the financial pressure they could be under. Examples of some of the scholarships available for a master’s degree in landscape architecture are:
Steven G. King Play Environments scholarship was created by Steven G. King through the landscape architecture foundation. This scholarship aims to recognize students with the skills and potential to design play environments.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals, or NALP, awards scholarships to students enrolled in horticultural or landscape architecture programs at two- or four-year colleges. These scholarships are funded by individuals who want to support the next generation of professionals in the field of landscape architecture.
Award/Amount : $3,000
Application Deadline: November 05, 2022
FAQs about the Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Program
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a master’s in landscape architecture consist of?
A master in landscape architecture is an integrated program that applies the techniques and principles of architecture, urban planning, urban design, soil science, agriculture, and more to design outdoor spaces. In this program, students learn about the art and science of creating places for people keeping in mind sustainability and the advancement of technologies.
What can you do with a master’s in landscape architecture degree?
Landscape architects usually collaborate with architects, engineers, community planners, biologists, surveyors, agronomists, foresters, and other professionals. Landscape architects could also be employed in public, private, and academic organizations like civil engineering firms, architectural firms, forest service, national park service, bureau of land management, and soil conservation service. One could also work in land planning and development firms to design landscapes.
How long are landscape architecture master’s?
Master of landscape architecture could take about 2 years to complete. However, in cases where students opt for accelerated or integrated master’s, the program could be completed in a shorter period. The duration is longer if students take up this program in part-time mode or hybrid mode—factors like asynchronous or synchronous learning, concentrations, and fieldwork influence the timeline.
Is landscape architecture master’s worth it?
A Landscape architecture master will be worth it for students who want to design outdoor areas and structures to achieve environments and esthetic and social-behavioral outcomes. The field will interest individuals who want to design, plan, and implement sustainable landscapes.
Do you have any field experience in a landscape architecture master’s program?
The landscape architecture master’s curriculum is designed to develop professionals ready for the field after completion of the program. Most institutions across the U.S. offering master’s in landscape architecture have field-based experience or internship experience as part of their program.
Careers and Salary Outlook for Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Graduates
After completing a landscape architecture online master’s, students can work in varied settings related to landscape architecture. They can take up roles in related occupations of design, architecture, communications, etc. Graduates also have the option to work for non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and more. There are many roles where graduates can use their online master’s in landscape architecture degree. Some of the roles include but are not limited to:
Residential Landscape Architect
Computer-Aided Design (CAD Designer)
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the landscape architecture job outlook is stable at 0% with little or no change compared to the average for other professions. Here is a list of a few occupations in the field of landscape architecture, along with their median annual salaries and job outlook:
Landscape architects are oriented toward designing parks and other outdoor projects. They usually spend most of their time in office spaces where they create models, prepare designs and meet with different clients.
Architects spend their time planning and designing factories, office buildings, and other important structures. They also develop plans, consult with engineers and meet with clients to work on various projects. Architects are required to prepare the initial drawing and review the progress of the construction projects.
Industrial designers combine business, art, and engineering projects to be able to develop concepts for the products which will be manufactured. They test facilities, inspect homes or workplaces, and places where the product will be manufactured as well.
Certifications and Licensing for Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Graduates
A professional certification adds to one’s credibility and the landscape architecture master’s degree. Certifications assure employers that an individual has the necessary skills and knowledge to execute projects effectively and efficiently. To become a certified landscape architect, students must pass an exam and renew the certification once every year.
Certified Landscape Architecture – The Certified Landscape Architecture credential is one of the most common certifications amongst landscape architects. It is awarded by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards or CLARB. This advanced certification will help individuals showcase their professionalism in this field. Having this certification can help professionals get designations like senior landscape architects.
Association of Professional Landscape Designers Certification – This certification can be an advantage when gaining employment as a landscape designer; it demonstrates to employers that the candidate can be trusted to provide a quality measure of work.
Licensure is a legal and formal method of recognizing that an individual has the skills, abilities, and knowledge to practice in the field of landscape architecture without endangering the safety, wealth, and health of the public. Students will also need to meet the jurisdiction’s requirement in examination, experience, and education to provide the services of landscape architecture or use “landscape architect” as a title. CLARB facilitates this process of licensure. Students pursuing an online master’s in landscape architecture program can also read more about License Certification for Landscape Architecture mandates mentioned by the New York State Education Department office.
Additional Resources for Master’s in Landscape Architecture Online Graduates
Prospective students taking up master’s in landscape architecture online programs can benefit by joining professional organizations apart from engaging in college-related events and organizations. Such organizations will provide a professional bend of mind to individuals wanting to understand the landscape architecture world better. Here are some to consider:
American Society of Landscape Architects – The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is a professional organization for landscape architects in the United States. The organization represents more than 15,000 members across the country and worldwide. ASLA focuses on planning, designing, and stewardship of equitable, safe, resilient, and healthy environments.
Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board – The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board (CLARB) works towards protecting public safety, health, and welfare by establishing and promoting professional licensure standards. They help landscape architects document and verify their experiences and provide examinations, education, and licensure.
Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture – The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA)’s mission is to support, encourage, and further education in the field of landscape architecture related to teaching and public services. The organization focuses on research opportunities and scholarships for individuals in different aspects of landscape architecture.
Landscape Architecture Foundation – The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) plays a crucial role in solving the issues that have recently affected us, like species extinction, climate change, inequity, and rapid urbanization.
Environmental Design Research Association – The Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) is an interdisciplinary organization founded by design professionals, students, educators, social scientists, and facility managers. EDRA aims at social awareness and works with the social responsibility agenda of developing healthier and more democratic human environments.
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