Polytechnic University Graduate School

Landscape Architecture

Overview:

The Landscape Architecture program at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico offers two graduate curriculums leading to the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), both of which require thesis work.

Self Evaluation Report for the Master of Landscape Architecture Degree (2012)

Philosophy

At Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico‟s Landscape Architecture Master Degree Program, humanistic, intellectual, creative, and technological endeavors encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to explore and excel in a discipline that impacts the public realm, the quality of life, the environment, and the future physical development of the island.

The program strives to imbue students with social, ecological, and global responsibilities, empowering them with professional skills essential for inquiry, critical thinking, competent and creative „engagement‟, and leadership through outstanding scholarship.

Strongest students excel at communicating their intentions and realizations, also at conveying technological skills verbally and graphically, being passionate about the stewardship of the landscape entrusted to them, and to the people who everyday live, work and play in it.

Graduate Profile:

The graduate program intends to develop in the newly formed Landscape Architects, competence in areas of a social, environmental and aesthetic nature. We strive to encourage students to gain: an understanding of how individuals and groups respond to and affect their built and un-built environment; an awareness of the principles and theories that deal with environmental context, and the landscape architect‟s responsibility with respect to global environmental issues; and, an understanding of ways in which different forms are successful or unsuccessful in satisfying programmatic, technical, accessibility and contextual objectives in a design proposal.

Students completing the LA degree will be able to acquire knowledge and skills in the:

  • Assessment of past and contemporary landscape architecture forms, in light of theoretical tenets in order to be able to inform future changes.
  • Dexterity and understanding of the research process requires to guide or support a design practice.
  • Understanding of the heterogeneity of urban, suburban and other conditions associated to development, and how these conditions influence human and environmental growth, development and survival.
  • Ability to integrate all skills and knowledge gained in positions of leadership at local, regional and international levels.
- Admission Requirements

The first professional degree (MLA III) option is a program designed for individuals who have completed a four-year Bachelor degree in any discipline, having obtained a minimum GPA of 2.85/4.00, from an accredited institution. The post-professional (MLA II) degree is a two-year post professional program intended for students who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA), a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA), a Bachelor in Architecture (BArch), or a Master‟s in Architecture (MArch). Applicants to the MLA II degree must have completed a degree at an accredited institution with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.85/4.00.

Applicants must meet the following general admission requirements to either curricula, MLA II or MLA III: a) submit an essay (1,200 words maximum in length) describing a local landscape architectural issue, accompanied by an image representative of said issue; and, b) conduct an interview with the program director and/or admissions committee.

- Pre-Requisite Structure

Candidates to the first professional degree (MLA III) should have completed the subsequent pre-requisite courses at an undergraduate level with a minimum grade of C, from an accredited institution: Biology, and Botany, prior to entering the program. Applicants to the post-professional degree (MLA II), who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA), a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA), must complete AutoCad as a pre-requisite prior to entering the MLA program. For those candidates holding a Bachelor in Architecture (BArch), or a Master‟s in Architecture (March), Biology, and Botany serve as pre-requisites to the program.

- Degree Offered

The Landscape Architecture Program includes two curricula: a three-year first professional degree (MLA III), and a two-year post-professional degree (MLA II) leading towards one degree: a Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.).

Thesis is required for all Master of Landscape Architecture candidates. For both program offerings, Thesis consists of 5 credit-hours of Theory and Research, and 6 credit-hours of Design/Thesis work.

The thesis research shall be directed by a member of the faculty, which also acts as the student‟s graduate committee chairperson. The purpose of the thesis is to expose the student to a reasonable independent research experience that enhances his/her academic development. The student should prepare, carry out and report a structured and methodical study of pertinence to the profession. Publication of this work in journals, conference proceedings, and/or presentations will be strongly encouraged.

Curricular Sequence

The Master of Landscape Architecture focuses on landscape architecture design and theory within a challenging studio-based curriculum. In addition to the development of a strong foundation of traditional knowledge and skills, the program is committed to scholarship in its various forms, as a means of learning and serving diverse communities and individuals.

The breakdown of credit-hours for the MLA III and MLA II offerings is as follows:

  • For students enrolled in the first professional degree track, 58 credit-hours comprise core courses, 11 credit-hours Research and Thesis work, and 9 credit-hours elective courses, for a total of 78 credit-hours.
  • For students enrolled in the post professional degree track, MLA II, 40 credit-hours comprise core courses, 11 credit-hours Research and Thesis work, and 9 credit-hours elective courses, for a total of 60 credit-hours.

The required design studio curriculum is organized as a series of units exploring three major themes:

Design process - Considers landscape design skills, including concept abstraction and design development, site analysis, communication and techniques to create "built landscapes‟ of a scale and character appropriate to their uses.

Integral to the graduate curriculum, the design studio addresses conceptual and applied design. The studio format entails lectures, demonstrations, site visits, one-on-one critiques and instruction, as well as group discussions.

The limited number of participants in the design studio allows for greater interaction between faculty and students. Multiple design philosophies are presented, in order to offer students all available options for their consideration.

Site and landscape - Planning integrates bio-regional contexts, historic land use and appropriation, also contemporary programs at a variety of scales, in order to seek a creative synthesis of environment, human use and also landscape manipulation.

Urban, rural and regional landscape design - Involves the systematic evaluation – employing principles of natural science, rural and regional ecology and landscape design – of a variety of sites in order to creatively develop new approaches to landscape design interventions within the structure of the „city‟, its suburbs, the countryside and entire regions.

Landscape Architecture - Flowchart - PDF Format

Faculty

  • Angueira Andraca, Olga – Master of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, 2004; BArch, University of Miami, 2001.
  • Aparicio Pagán, Luis E. – Master of Architecture, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, 1998; Bachellor of Environmental Design, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, PR, 1992.
  • Areces Mallea, Alberto – PhD, Doctor of Philosophy, Biology, CUNY, New York, 2003; Master of Philosophy, Biology, CUNY, New York, New York, 1996; Licensure in Biological Sciences and Botany, University of Havana, Cuba, 1969.
  • Colón Arizmendi, Edmundo – BS in Civil Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez 1974.
  • Colón Izquierdo, Edmundo - Master of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Massachusetts, 2006; BArch, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, 2004.
  • Cora Bonet, Viviana – Master or Architecture, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, 2004; Bachelor of Environmental Design, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, 2001.
  • García Ortega, Ismael - Master of Public Administration, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, 2001; BA Social Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, 1993.
  • Irizarry Acevedo, Ramón - Master of Landscape Architecture, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2003; Bachelor of Science Agriculture, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, 1998.
  • Lorenzo Torres, José - Master of Urban Design, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Massachusetts, 2005; BArch, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, 2001. Olivieri Cintrón, Luis – Master of Science, Agricultural Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, 1985; Bachelor of Science, Agricultural Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, 1982.
  • Payán Aparicio, Fernando – Master of Science, Horticulture, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, 1973; Bachelor of Science, Agronomy, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, 1970.
  • Rigau Pérez, Jorge – Master in History, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, 1993; BArch, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 1975.
  • Rodríguez Toledo, Marisabel - Master of Landscape Architecture, Cornell University, 1996; Bachelor of Arts, Education, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, 1982.
  • Suárez, Jaime - Master of Arts, Columbia University, New York, New York, 1970; BArch, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, 1969
  • Terrasa Soler, José Juan - Master of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Massachusetts, 2007; Master of Environmental Studies; Yale University, Connecticut, 1997; Master of Science, Biology, University of Michigan, Michigan, 1992; Bachelor of Science, Biology, Mount Saint Mary‟s College, Maryland, 1990.
  • Velázquez Figueroa, Juan Carlos – Master of Fine Arts, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain, 1988; Bachelor of Fine Arts, School of Fine Arts, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1985.
  • Victorio Sánchez, Jammile A. – Master of Architecture, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, 2005; Bachelor of Environmental Design, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico 1999.
Contact Information

Marisabel Rodríguez, MLA
Landscape Architecture Director
E-mail: mrodriguez@pupr.edu
Phone: 787 622-8000 x. 663