The First Professional Degree Program in Landscape Architecture is a fully accredited, professional program that focuses on the design of the urban environment. The course work focuses on investigating aesthetic, ecological, and social/cultural concerns as a means of establishing sustainable urban communities. Within this philosophical context, the Program is designed to heighten the student’s sensitivity to and knowledge of the skills and values fundamental to the landscape architecture profession.
The Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture provides national leadership in the study of cultural, design and environmental issues that affect underserved urban communities. The greater Baltimore-Washington region serves as a field of inquiry and practice for faculty and students to gain real-world urban practice. Additionally, course work is enriched by field trips to significant sites in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and throughout the east coast area. Design studios address issues such as enriching community life in redeveloping neighborhoods, renovating the pedestrian realm, enhancing public spaces, and solving urban environmental problems within these and other urban project realms. Recent studio projects in real-world community settings have included: urban strip shopping center revitalization, transit and greenway development, community park/playground design, regional park design, public plaza design, and urban in-fill housing site design. Students are also exposed to various career avenues through contact with professional offices, public agencies, and community organizations.
The Program is dedicated to framing landscape architecture study areas (design studio, history/theory, technical skills, technology/media, environmental resources, community service) through the development of critical thinking and analysis skills. Students are challenged in both design studio and other courses to develop processes through drawing, writing, building and discussing ideas as a means of improving the communication of design studio concepts and ideas in seminar-oriented courses. In particular, the design studio sequence builds these critical thinking skills as the physical scale, human functional program, and complexity of the urban context increases from Studio I through Studio VI. A variety of software and 3-D modeling programs, including AutoCAD, AdobeSuite, SketchUp, and ArcGIS, are employed to support design studio learning and communication.
The First Professional Degree Program is intended for students who have an undergraduate degree that is NOT a professional degree in Landscape Architecture.
The First Professional Degree Program is a fully accredited program by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) of the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA). In the State of Maryland, graduates from an accredited graduate program are eligible after three years of full-time, professionally supervised employment to take the national Landscape Architecture Registration Exam (LARE).
* or approved course
** can be any 500 or higher level course across the University. The course can be less than 3 credits but 9 credits total are required to fulfill the requirement.\
***Upon achieving Master’s Candidacy, the student will continuously register in Fall and Spring terms for LAAR 797 (Thesis Guidance) until the Master’s Thesis is completed and submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for review. The course is used only when the curriculum is near completion, and the student is completing the research and writing of the thesis. The course registration maintains the student status as a matriculated, full-time student (student is registered for 3 credit hours and the system reports a full-time 9 credit hour load). After the Intent to Defend the Master’s Thesis form has been accepted by the School of Graduate Studies, this course registration will be changed to LAAR 799 (Thesis Defense) for the given semester and count for 3 credit hours of curricular coursework (LAAR 799 will also count for 9 credit hours of load). Other courses cannot be substituted for LAAR 797. The only eligible grade for LAAR 797 is the grade of “S” and the only acceptable grade for LAAR 799 is “P/F” (Pass/Fail).