MLA I Application Instructions


[  ] Follow the application instructions for all SOA graduate programs.
[  ] See below for MLA I application requirements.


Students accepted to the MLA I are expected to attend the summer Foundation Studio unless the requirement is waived upon admission.


[  ] Follow the Graduate School instructions to submit the application, application fee, transcripts, and test scores.

The GRE is **WAIVED** for Fall 2024 MLA applications. It may take 72 hours to be removed from your MyStatus after you submit your application. There is no reason to reach out in the interim. 


[  ] Upload your statement through MyStatus.

+ A 1,000-1,500 word essay that addresses your interest in the MLA I program with respect to your academic and professional objectives, the factors that led you to apply to the SOA, a situation or job that helped you define your interest, your most substantial professional contribution and why you view it as such, and/or any other factors related to your academic or professional experience that you wish to convey to the admissions committee.
+ You may submit your ApplyTexas online application before finishing your statement of purpose. You can later upload your statement through MyStatus.


[  ] Manage and track your letters through MyStatus.
[  ] Provide recommenders' emails as part of the ApplyTexas online application.

+ Recommenders may include former instructors and professional employers.
+ Letters should include comments on the applicant’s intellectual, communicative, and leadership abilities as well as their capacity for creativity and relevant personal characteristics.
+ After you submit your application and pay your application fee, notification emails will be sent to your recommenders. Any delay in submitting your application or application fee will delay the notifications to your recommenders.


[  ] Upload through MyStatus


[  ] Upload the optional studio supplement as a single pdf through the studio supplement credential on MyStatus.

The Studio Supplement consists of a number of creative exercises to be completed by the applicant over a period of 3-4 weeks. These exercises do not presuppose a background in art or design. They are intended to provide all applicants with an equal opportunity to demonstrate skill in critical making, visual thinking, creative experimentation, and material exploration.

The studio supplement is OPTIONAL for Fall 2024.


The following exercises are to be executed on suitable paper (minimum 80 lb) of any size 8”x10” or larger, cleanly scanned, and uploaded as a single pdf through MyStatus

  1. Describe the movement of a mechanical object, in a series of three drawings each on a separate page, using contour and profile line only (medium: graphite or pen - black ink only). 
  2. Produce a freehand tonal drawing of an exterior environment you inhabit frequently (medium: graphite or charcoal).
  3. Create a map describing the place where you are (medium: pen, mixed media, or digital composition). 
  4. Interpret one of the following terms through an observational freehand drawing: emergence, subsidence, succession (medium: graphite, pen, charcoal, or watercolor).


[  ] Upload a portfolio as a single pdf through a miscellaneous credential on MyStatus.

A portfolio is REQUIRED for all MLA I Advanced Placement applicants.

A portfolio is OPTIONAL for MLA I applicants without a background in art and design. In MyStatus, upload a document that states you do not have a background in art and design to fulfill the portfolio requirement. 

The portfolio helps the reviewers determine your potential to perform successfully in a studio-based design curriculum. Students without a background should complete either a portfolio, studio supplement, or chose to complete both to showcase their creativeness.

In order to review each application fairly and accurately, the reviewing committee requires evidence in one or more categories:

  • The level of creative skill you possess in any medium.
  • The extent of your interest in the proposed degree program, made evident through your abilities in composition, physical form-making, or perception of the environment.
  • Your ability to translate ideas into physical form, even if in simple terms such as drawing.

Portfolios should be designed and formatted for on-screen viewing. The maximum file size is 25 MB.


For each project, list the applicant’s name, the project’s date, and an indication as to whether the project was academic, office-related, or personal. In the case of collaborative or professional work, the contribution by the applicant must be precisely described.


The organization of the portfolio is a design exercise. It should be clear, succinct, and thoughtfully composed to best reflect your interests and skills. The quality of the work is of greater importance than quantity.


The portfolio must show work in the arts or design. The work should include examples of freehand drawings and/or three-dimensional work executed by the applicant. The committee places emphasis on drawing skills. Those applying for advanced placement or for a second professional degree are expected to submit examples of work demonstrating their ability to pursue study at an advanced level.

Applicants without backgrounds in landscape architecture are not expected to show landscape architectural skills but rather creative, artistic or perceptive skills through drawing, painting, or three-dimensional explorations (models). Applicants with backgrounds in landscape architecture, architecture, or environmental design are expected to present a high-quality portfolio showing well-developed graphic skills and a well-developed sense of design, space, form, and volume. Photographs of models help and should be used when possible. Show at least three steps of design development in a specific project and your progression/thought process. The committee assumes your portfolio and its format represent your best abilities in design.

The portfolio helps the reviewers associate your desire to enter graduate landscape architecture school with your potential to perform successfully in a studio-based design curriculum. It should demonstrate the ability to take an idea and adeptly convey it visually. Hand drawings, particularly gestural drawings, in addition to a wide range of drawings such as landscapes, human figures, and perspectives are strongly encouraged.

Please note: Photographs of landscapes (including travel photographs) as examples of creative work are not acceptable except for studio arts applicants with a major in photography.

Friday, Dec. 15, 2023 at 5:00 PM 

Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2024 at 8:00 AM 

Friday, April 5, 2024 at 8:00 AM 

Friday, April 26, 2024 at 8:00 AM

Burnt orange graphic notifying applicants that the GRE is waived for Fall 2024