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Master of Landscape Architecture Program Information

1-Year Plus Thesis MLA

1–Year Plus Thesis MLA
The 1–Year Plus Thesis MLA Program is an accelerated scholastic degree designed for students who have both a professional degree in landscape architecture and considerable practical experience. The program is designed to allow seasoned practitioners an opportunity to earn an advanced degree by completing focused studies in an individually tailored program.

Admission Requirements– 1–Year Plus Thesis MLA Program

This degree program is available on a limited basis to seasoned practitioners who wish to undertake scholarly activity within a narrowly defined area of landscape architecture. Applicants to the 1–Year Plus Thesis MLA Program must meet admission requirements for the 2–year MLA Program. In addition, applicants for this program must demonstrate by portfolio that they meet or exceed all professional requirements for the MLA degree. Students admitted to the two–year MLA Program may not transfer to the 1–Year Plus Thesis MLA Program.

Application Procedures and Deadlines


Virginia Tech encourages prospective graduate students to apply online. General instructions for applying to the Graduate School and relevant resources are available on the Graduate School website.

When all required materials have reached the Graduate School, the application is forwarded to the Landscape Architecture Program for review and recommendation. The Landscape Architecture Program's Graduate Curriculum Committee reviews each application and forwards a recommendation to the Program Chair for endorsement. The Program Chair forwards this recommendation to the Graduate School. The Graduate School then approves or declines the Landscape Architecture Program's recommendation and sends a corresponding letter to the candidate. The entire process typically requires 3 to 5 weeks from the time all application materials, including letters of recommendation and official transcripts, are received.

The Landscape Architecture Program's Graduate Curriculum Committee makes decisions regarding financial support during the months of March and April. Applications received prior to February 15 receive full consideration regarding financial assistance. Though the Program will review applications received after February 15, there is a very low likelihood of these applicants receiving financial support during their initial year of study.

Required and Supporting Application Materials


Candidates for admission are evaluated using a broad range of information. Traditional measures of academic capability are often useful in determining preparedness to study at the graduate level. Candidates are required to provide transcripts from their undergraduate degrees.

In addition to these standard academic measures the Landscape Architecture Program requires submissions that relate more specifically to the candidate’s area of interest in, and aptitude related to, landscape architecture.

All candidates must submit:


•   Transcripts of undergraduate degrees and post graduate work. Two copies are required – one copy should be sent to the Graduate School and one copy sent directly to the Program offices in Blacksburg.

All candidates must submit the following required and supporting materials to the Landscape Architecture Program office in Blacksburg:

•   A written Statement of Purpose.
The Statement of Purpose is required in addition to the questions asked on the Graduate School application. The Statement of Purpose must describe the candidate’s specific focused interest in landscape architecture and indicate what informs his/her interest. The Statement of Purpose should also demonstrate how the candidate’s educational focus area relates strongly to the research/scholarly interests of the faculty. In addition, the Statement of Purpose should indicate which location (Blacksburg campus or Washington Alexandria Architecture Center) would be the candidate’s primary educational venue and the reasons for this selection. The Statement of Purpose is a critical component of any application to the MLA program. The Graduate Curriculum Committee relies heavily on the Statement of Purpose in determining the candidate’s likelihood for success and to determine the fit between the candidate’s educational interests/needs and program resources.

•   A professional portfolio.

•   Three (3) letters of recommendation.

•   A completed draft Program of Study.
The request for a completed draft Program of Study implies that candidates will have declared their intent to qualify for the –Year Plus Thesis MLA Program in advance of filing an application and will have selected and communicated with a potential major professor. This degree program focuses on the academic dimension of landscape architecture and can be used in preparation to applying for the Landscape Architecture Ph.D. program in the School of Architecture + Design. To be eligible for the 1–Year Plus Thesis MLA Program, candidates must demonstrate that they possess a combination of education and experience that meet, or exceeds, the professional requirements of the MLA degree.

Foreign candidates must submit the following additional required materials:

•   Scores for the GRE General Test

•   TOEFL scores for foreign students having English as a second language.

•   Candidates who do not achieve a TOEFL score of 620 (paper–based) or 260 (computer–based) must take the English Placement Test administered by the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute during the Orientation Program prior to the beginning of the semester (See the Graduate Catalog).