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Master of Landscape Architecture

The Landscape Architecture Master degree at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico provides a cutting-edge career opportunity. PUPR offers two graduate curricula leading to the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), both of which require thesis work. Persons from all academic backgrounds (Bachelor’s) can join the Master’s degree (first professional) as a career change opportunity. Individuals who already hold a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture (first professional) or Architecture can pursue the post professional Master’s degree.

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Overview

The Landscape Architecture Master degree at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico provides a cutting-edge career opportunity, considered of vanguard in the construction field worldwide. PUPR offers two graduate curricula leading to the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), both of which require thesis work. Persons from all academic backgrounds (Bachelor’s) can join the Master’s degree (first professional) as a career change opportunity. The MLA degree is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). Individuals who already hold a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture (first professional) or Architecture can pursue the post professional Master’s degree.

Self Evaluation Report for the Master of Landscape Architecture Degree

 

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, quality of life, the environment, and the future constructed landscape in 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.

Our students excel at communicating their intentions and understandings, while applying newly acquired knowledge, and conveying technological skills, verbally and graphically. Program graduates are passionate about the stewardship of the landscape entrusted to them, and the added value afforded by landscape architecture to the people who live, work and play on the land.

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 required to guide or support a design practice.
  • Understanding of the heterogeneity of urban, suburban and other conditions associated to the built milieu 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. Learning goals respond to contemporary topics regarding global climate change, sustainability, storm water management, plant endemism, among others, as they relate to human needs.

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.

Program participants interrelate in the small design studio in order to allow for greater interaction between faculty and students. Multiple design philosophies are presented, in order to offer students multiple theoretical framework options for their consideration.

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

Urban, Rural and Regional Scales – Involves the systematic A systematic analytical approach employing principles of natural science, rural and regional ecology and landscape design is applied to a variety of sizes, conditions and their ensuing complexities, in order to creatively develop landscape architectural design interventions within the structure of cities, suburbs, the countryside and entire regions.

Landscape Architecture Flowchart