MLA
Master of Landscape Architecture

Katie Klein, Roxanna Marashi, Mallory Piazzola and Michael Russell, GRASS I Project, 606 Studio
Katie Klein, Roxanna Marashi, Mallory Piazzola and Michael Russell, GRASS I Project, 606 Studio

Overview

The Department of Landscape Architecture welcomes graduate students from a variety of academic disciplines who are concerned with the shaping of our physical environment. Students learn current and advanced methods for establishing strong, well-defined, and mutually life-sustaining and enhancing relationships between people and the land. The curriculum, leading to a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree, emphasizes case study projects at scales varying from the garden to the region.  Courses include frequent review, discussion, field trips, and seminar sessions. In addition, the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies, located on the Cal Poly Pomona campus, is a tremendous resource for students.

We invite you to learn more about our program, the faculty, and the capstone of our curriculum, the award-winning 606 Studio and thesis option and the admission process through studying the GRADUATE PROGRAM GUIDE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS. You will also find a list of FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS in the GUIDE. Check out this document before contacting us as it will answer most of your questions. 

Graduate Program Options

There are two program options leading to the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), based on the applicant's previous education and experience:

Three-Year Program:  Students with undergraduate degrees in non-design disciplines take a series of preparatory courses designed specifically to meet their needs. These preparatory courses, which begin in Fall quarter, will normally require one year of study before the student proceeds with regular graduate coursework.

Two-Year Program:  Students with previous degrees in landscape architecture or architecture may apply to complete the program in 2 years (6 quarters/4 semesters), joining students with non-design degrees during their second and third years of the program.

Culminating Experience: During the culminating year of both program options, students have the option to participate as part of a team in the 606 Studio, addressing the challenge of fitting people and natural systems together to create functioning ecosystems in collaboration with a team of faculty. An individual thesis option is also available.

Italy Study Abroad Program: Graduate students may participate in the popular Italy Study Abroad Program during the fall quarter of their second year of study.

Admissions

We invite you to learn more about our program, the faculty, and the capstone of our curriculum, the award-winning 606 Studio and thesis option and the admission process through studying the GRADUATE PROGRAM GUIDE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS. You will also find a list of FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS in the GUIDE. Check out this document before contacting us as it will answer most of your questions. 

Application procedures require you to submit materials to both the University Admissions Office and directly to the Department of Landscape Architecture. Attention to the procedures and timely submission of all required materials will enhance your chances of acceptance to the program. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

Applicants without undergraduate degrees in Landscape Architecture or Architecture apply to the 3-year MLA program. Applicants with undergraduate degrees in Landscape Architecture or Architecture may apply to the 2-year MLA program. Classes are taught in sequence and students begin the MLA program fall quarter.

Deadlines

The Department accepts applications for Fall quarter only.

Applications are available beginning October 1 of each year. The deadline for submitting the application and accompanying fees is January 15, for admission the following Fall term. All supporting materials (transcripts, TOEFL scores, GRE scores, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation) must be received by February 15. Prospective students are encouraged to apply early in the application period to ensure that all documents are received prior to review. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

For additional information on Admission Requirements and Deadlines, please refer to:
http://www.cpp.edu/~admissions/graduate/masters/before/requirements-dead...

Your application should be received no later than January 15th.

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Materials submitted to the University

The Office of Admissions and Outreach requires the following material sent directly to them:

  • The CSU application for graduate admissions is handled online here. When you apply online, be sure to print it out before you submit the application as you will need to send a copy of the application to the Department of Landscape Architecture. For any other questions regarding application procedures, please contact the Office of Admissions and Outreach (909 869-3210).
  • Official copies of your transcripts from ALL schools attended should be sent directly from the schools to the Office of Admissions and Outreach.
  • Official copies of your TOEFL score sent directly to the University (ETS Code: 4082). For admission to any graduate program at Cal Poly Pomona, you would need to have a minimum TOEFL score of 80.

The mailing address is:

Office of Admissions and Outreach
Cal Poly Pomona
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768

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Materials submitted to the Department

Copy of your Application to the University

Include a copy of the application you submitted to the university or a department record of application

A Copy of your Department Record of Application for Graduate Admission

You can download the pdf by clicking here

Transcripts

Copy of Transcripts (does not have to be official)

Statement of Intent

The Statement of Intent should answer two questions, and be a maximum of 600 words long. Appended to the Statement of Intent is your answer to the questions about the evolution of landscape architecture (an additional 400 words). Please single space and use
an 11 to 12 point font. As such, the Statement of Intent includes:

  • Relevant experience
    What interests or experiences make you a great candidate for a career in landscape architecture? Highlight interests or experiences that might otherwise be missed in your resume or package.
  • Fit to program
    What experiences, interests, or attitudes make you a good "fit" for Cal Poly Pomona's landscape architecture program? Why do you want to come to Cal Poly Pomona's Masters in Landscape Architecture program in particular?

In order for us to assess your scholarly potential for the MLA degree, please also write, on a separate sheet appended to the Statement of Intent, a short 400-word statement answering the following question: "What are the top three challenges facing our society today? Why do you consider those the top three challenges? What can landscape architecture do to address these challenges?" Include references to the work of others in an appropriate format.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of reference. We strongly recommend that at least one of your reference letters be from a faculty member at a university or college program. One of your reference letters can be from a job, volunteer position, or other individuals familiar with your work. It is the applicant's responsibility to contact the references for letters of recommendation, which should be sent by the references to the Department of Landscape Architecture. 

GRE Scores

Applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examinations. Submit a copy of your notice of the scores. For more information, visit:
http://www.ets.org/gre

ETS Code for the Department of Landscape Architecture: 4405

TOEFL Scores (For Applicants with Bachelor Degree from an International University)

International applicants whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Include a copy of your notice of your scores. For admission to any graduate program at Cal Poly Pomona, you would need to have a minimum TOEFL score of 80.

For more information about TOEFL exam, visit:
http://www.ets.org/toefl

Portfolio

The portfolio package should be a maximum of 8.5x11 size paper (letter size paper) and minimum 10 and no more than 40 sides (5 to 20 pages if double‐sided). Where possible, please print on both sides of the page (double sided). Include a cover on your package ‐ it should include your name, contact information, address, phone number, email, and the program to which you are applying (MLA 1 or MLA 2). Portfolios should be easily opened/accessed and easy to leaf through. In order to ensure that your work is carefully considered, you must provide a hard copy portfolio. However, if you so chose, you can include a URL for online work or include a CD or DVD of digital work in a standard format such as pdf, jpg, or tiff.

The portfolio does not need to be design work or landscape architecture‐related. We recognize that many candidates come from academic backgrounds with little to no art or design experience. Feel free to include work that you think provides evidence that you are a creative thinker and problem solver. If your work is non‐traditional, ensure that you annotate it or explain it in some way so that faculty is able to interpret your process and the significance of your accomplishment. For example, past students have submitted knitting patterns, dance routines, cake decorating, original recipes, musical scores and computer programs that illustrate their problem-solving capacity and their ability to be creative in an attempt to find a range of solutions to a given problem. Please provide sufficient explanation for faculty interpretation. We strongly encourage you to include a sample of your writing in the portfolio: this could be a few pages from a report, a chapter out of a thesis, article, etc. The sample of writing included in your portfolio should not exceed 10 pages in length.

If you include group projects, please be sure to specify the role you played in the project.

Address

Please mail the required material to:

Kris Penrose
ATTN: MLA Application 

Department of Landscape Architecture
Cal Poly Pomona
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768

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International Applicants

Known for its outstanding academic programs, Cal Poly Pomona offers excellent education for international students who wish to pursue a degree in the United States. The Graduate Program accepts non-resident and foreign students. International applicants or applicant who completed their undergraduate in an international univeristy, whose instruction is done in language other than English must take TOEFL exams in addition to all requirements listed above. 

TOEFL Scores

International applicants whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Include a copy of your notice of your scores. For admission to any graduate program at Cal Poly Pomona you would need to have a minimum TOEFL score of 80.

For more information about TOEFL exam, visit:
http://www.ets.org/toefl

ETS Code for the Department of Landscape Architecture: 4405
ETS Code for Cal Poly Pomona: 4082

You can use either code for official score submision. 

Current and future International Students in Cal Poly academic programs must contact the International Center for information regarding visas, guidelines for maintaining academic progress, and procedures for internships and post graduation work.

For additional information on Incoming International Students and requirements, please refer to:
http://www.cpp.edu/~international/students/incoming-students/index.shtml

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Contact

For more information on admissions to the Master of Landscape Architecture, contact the Graduate Coordinator:

Weimin Li, Ph.D., ASLA
Office Phone: (909) 869-2715
Email: wli@cpp.edu 

or Administrative Coordinator: 

Kristopher Penrose

Office Phone: (909) 869-2673

Email: kapenrose@cpp.edu

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Curriculum

To prepare students with comprehensive knowledge, advanced skills and rich practical experience to solve ecological, environmental and social issues of the 21st century through landscape design and planning, the MLA program is currently employing a curriculum that covers a wide variety of learning subjects pertinent to landscape architecture. The curriculum is a three-year sequence consisting of a 4-quarter preparatory year (required for students with non-design backgrounds) and two years of professional study of Landscape Architecture with an emphasis on human ecosystematic design and planning. A breakdown of the program curriculum by different subject categories is available in the following table. While some courses fall into only one subject category, e.g., LA 555 Seminar on Human Behavior in Landscape in the History, theory and criticism group, some other courses are categorized into different subject groups for their wider range of subject coverage, such as LA 604 Environmental Analysis in the Natural and cultural system group and Public Policy and Regulation group.

In the curriculum, the highest percentages of courses fall within two major categories, "natural and cultural systems including principles of sustainability" and "design, planning and management at various scales and application". Such arrangement in the curriculum echoes the program's strong focus on sustainable human ecosystematic design and planning at various scales. To provide necessary supplements to these cores categories, the curriculum has good coverage of courses on landscape history, theory, policy, design implementation, plant and ecosystem, computer application and advanced technologies, and research methods and activities. These courses provide important knowledge, skills and techniques for students to conduct advanced landscape design and planning. Additionally, the curriculum also offers limited but valuable courses on professional ethics, values, and practice to help students build solid connections between their graduate and future professional experience. There is one course for visual communication, i.e., LA 511/L Graphic Design.

In California State Polytechnic University, courses are taught on a quarter-based system. Quarters are ten weeks in length with a one week final period. Students receive one unit for each hour of lecture contact per week and one unit of credit for every three hours of studio contact per week. Credits that student obtained during the preparatory year are not counted as degree requirements. In order to graduate, MLA students need to complete 72 units of credits at minimum during their second and third year of study. The following is the typical program of study for each year of students in the program.

The department supports a number of minor programs within the university. Minors are generally not easily attained while completing required core course work but a number of minor courses can be utilized as directed electives and upper division synthesis courses. Students are currently pursuing minors in horticulture, landscape irrigation, languages and regenerative studies.

The department has a broad list of directed electives that support entry into the profession and diversified expertise in the graduating class.

History, Theory and Criticism:

LA 322 Regional Landscape History

LA 423 The Urban Landscape

LA 424 World Garden

LA 521/L Landscape Awareness

LA 552 Seminar on Theory and Literature

LA 555 Seminar on Human Behavior in Landscape

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Natural and cultural systems including principles of sustainability:

LA 302/L Intermediate Landscape Design

LA 303/L Intermediate Landscape Design

LA 512/L Methods and Applications of Landscape Architecture

LA 555 Seminar on Human Behavior in Landscape

LA 556 Human Behavior and Landscape Design

LA 576 Seminar on Landscape Planning

LA 602/L Landscape Design Natural Processes Service Learning

LA 602S/L Landscape Design Natural Processes

LA 604/L Environmental Analysis

LA 606/L Ecosystematic Landscape Design

LA 606S/L Ecosystematic Landscape Design Service Learning

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Public policy and regulation:

LA 576 Seminar on Landscape Planning

LA 604/L Environmental Analysis

LA 606/L Ecosystematic Landscape Design

LA 606S/L Ecosystematic Landscape Design Service Learning

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Design, planning and management at various scales and applications:

LA 302/L Intermediate Landscape Design

LA 303/L Intermediate Landscape Design

LA 509/L Foundations of Landscape Architecture Design

LA 510/L Foundations of Landscape Architecture Design

LA 512/L Methods and Applications of Landscape Architecture

LA 602/L Landscape Design Natural Processes

LA 602S/L Landscape Design Natural Processes Service Learning

LA 604/L Environmental Analysis

LA 606/L Ecosystematic Landscape Design

LA 606S/L Ecosystematic Landscape Design Service Learning

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Site design and implementation: materials, methods, technologies and applications:

LA 531/L Landscape Construction and Design

LA 532/L Landscape Construction and Design

LA 541/L Landscape Planting

LA 632/L Landscape Technology

LA 606/L Ecosystematic Landscape Design

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Written, verbal and visual communications:

LA 511/L Design Graphics

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Professional practices:

LA553 Seminar on Professional Directions

LA 652 Graduate Seminar

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Professional values and ethics:

LA 551 Seminar on the Profession

LA 652 Graduate Seminar

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Plants and ecosystems:

LA 540/L Plant Ecology and Design

LA 540S/L Plant Ecology and Design Service Learning

LA 541/L Landscape Planting 

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Computer application and other advanced technologies:

LA 499/L Special Topics for Upper Division Students 

LA 505/L Introduction to Information Technology in Landscape Architecture

LA 565/L Advanced Information Technology in Landscape Architecture 

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Research Methodologies, Projects, Theses and Degree:

LA 601 Design Research

LA 652 Graduate Seminar 

LA 692 Independent Study 

LA 694 Thesis/Project Research

LA 695 Master's Degree Project

LA 696 Master's Degree Thesis

LA 699 Master's Degree Continuation

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