Today’s urban environment is increasingly defined by shifting demographic, economic, and ecological systems; their overlap establishes dynamic environments and oftentimes reveals competing priorities. By recognizing that these shifts shape our public spaces, it is the intent of the Graduate Program of Landscape Architecture to frame these concerns as guiding factors in the design and construction of the urban landscape.  In this manner, those spaces by which the landscape is defined – such as infrastructure systems, urban watersheds, industrial sites, suburban communities, and city fabric – become the laboratories for the program’s educational focus. The curriculum places an emphasis on design of the built environment including its social dimension, sensory experience, and ecological systems.
Working in conjunction with allied design disciplines represented within the school – including Architecture, Urban Design, Community and Regional Planning, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – the professional curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary endeavors that serve the needs of the community, the state, and the society at large.
The program’s pedagogy thereby situates design as a process of inquiry, whereby the coordinated design curriculum introduces a set of representation, spatial, theoretical, and material practices by which to integrate the landscape’s structure, function, and change over time. Working from measure to agency, data to decision, the pedagogy positions design as a synthetic endeavor that evolves as much from context and speculation as it does from questions of technique, beauty, and delight.  
Research and work advanced by the program’s students and faculty reflect the above aims. From urban streams to urban forests, parks to cemeteries, streetscapes to city blocks, historic landscapes to military training grounds, the endeavors seek to integrate aesthetics (what a landscape looks like) with performance (what a landscape does).
We hope that you join us,
Jason Sowell, Director + Associate Professor
The Master in Landscape Architecture First Professional Degree is accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB). The program received a six year accreditation period, the maximum offered by the LAAB, in the spring of 2013.
The program is currently ranked 11th nationally by Design Intelligence and has maintained a national ranking since its initial accreditation in 2006.
The program’s students have received numerous American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) design awards at both state and national levels.
Three of the faculty have been recognized for their teaching. Hope Hasbrouck was named one of “The 25 Most Admired Educators” by Design Intelligence in 2012. Allan Shearer was included in the list of “Most Admired Educators” by the Design Futures Council in 2013. Jason Sowell received the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2010 National Excellence in Design Studio Teaching.
LAAB accredited programs are required to provide reliable information to the public. Programs must report on accreditation status and its performance. This information is to help students make informed application decisions. Click here.
The Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture adheres to the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program Policy Statement established by The University of Texas at Austin.
Students may choose from several programs to supplement their professional design education and specialize in particular topics of interest. These programs, offered through the University and the School of Architecture, build on a wealth of resources and faculty talent. Each can be pursued in tandem with the MLA.
The Graduate Portfolio Program in Sustainability, directed Dr. Shearer, provides graduate students with a trans-disciplinary framework to study and research issues related to sustainability. Students may take courses from the School of Architecture, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, McCombs School of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Engineering, College of Natural Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, and the School of Education.
The Certificate in Latin American Architecture gives students a unique opportunity to focus their studies on pressing urban issues common to all the Americas. Offered in conjunction with LLILAS and the Benson Library; and taught by School of Architecture Faculty – including Prof. Gabriel Diaz-Montemayor, Fernando Lara, Sarah Lopez, and Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla –  the certificate allows students to develop a comparative approach to architectural education and scholarship, and provide tools to engage in the effect that globalization has on architecture and place more broadly.