Mar 04, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Landscape Architecture, First Professional, MLA

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Program Description

Members of the landscape architecture profession serve as stewards of the land, and the profession covers a broad range of issues that deal with the design, planning, conservation, and management of outdoor open spaces in the built and natural environments. Practicing landscape architects work on a wide range of projects, including but not limited to, community and city-scale design; habitat and environmental restoration; public parks and recreational open space systems; brownfields and the reclamation of industrial sites; greenways, pedestrian path systems and bicycle path systems; streetscapes, waterfront design, infrastructure and stormwater management systems; conservation of wilderness areas and trails; theme parks and resort design; cultural landscapes and heritage preservation; memorials and cemeteries; campus and institutional design; and residential gardens. Landscape architects are creative professionals who blend art and science and hold an environmental imperative and social conscience. They are excellent facilitators and collaborators, able to bring various disciplines and experts together to work on complex projects in outdoor natural or built environments.

South Carolina, like most state registration boards, requires professional landscape architects to have a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in landscape architecture, recognizes two types of first professional degrees: the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA), and the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA). Clemson offers two Master of Landscape Architecture tracks: the accredited First Professional Degree (three+ years) geared towards students without an undergraduate degree in design and the Second Professional Degree (two years) for students with an accredited undergraduate landscape architecture degree. The First Professional MLA is also the terminal degree that qualifies graduates to teach landscape architecture in a university setting.

Clemson offers two Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) tracks-a first professional degree and a second professional degree. Research and study in important topics of national and international consequence further ensure the marketability of Clemson’s MLA graduates. Students come from a variety of disciplines, such as planning, history, English, biology, geology, geography, environmental science, various social or natural sciences, art, or other disciplines. Application requirements are available at

First Professional MLA

The three-year first professional degree is designed to provide students with a professional education and an opportunity for research and/or in-depth project work. In the first years of the program, students focus on core competencies for the profession. In the final year, more graduate-level work, project-oriented research connected to a team project, terminal project, or thesis are emphasized. Study abroad and summer off-campus experiences are optional. Curriculum requirements are available at

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