The Master of Landscape Architecture program focuses on the internal strengths of the department--urban and community design (plus related research issues), landscape restoration (historical and ecological), and health and design.
Clemson M.L.A. graduates have historically had a variety of employment opportunities nationwide. Employment of landscape architects is concentrated in urban and suburban areas throughout the country, although many work in rural and wilderness areas (particularly landscape architects employed by federal government engaged in the design and management of parks, recreation and natural resource areas). Because the M.L.A. is the terminal degree in the discipline, Clemson graduates will qualify for appointment as faculty in landscape architecture programs throughout North America and, thereby, influence future generations of practitioners.
The 3-year first professional degree is designed to provide students with a professional education and also an opportunity for research and/or in-depth project work. Because students hold bachelor's degrees from an array of backgrounds it is necessary for them to gain landscape architectural skills. Those proficiency courses are also required for professional accreditation.
Students begin with a rigorous summer experience that provides an in-depth orientation into the profession and discipline. In the first years of the program students focus on co-requisite proficiency requirements, while beginning with a few important graduate level courses. More graduate level work, project-oriented research connected to a team project, and/or a thesis project are emphasized during the final year. Summer off-campus experiences are optional. Students take 45 credits of co-requisite proficiency coursework, 43 credits of graduate level courses for a total of 88 credits.
To qualify for admission to the three-year First Professional degree students must hold a bachelors degree in any discipline from an accredited college or university. Students will come from a range of disciplines such as planning, history, English, biology, geology, geography, environmental science, various social or natural sciences, art or other disciplines. Prior Education in a design field is not required for the First Professional Degree.
The second professional degree in landscape architecture is a two-year program limited to students who hold an accredited five-year professional B.L.A. degree. Second professional degree students will take a total of 42 credit hours to earn the degree. Similar to the first professional degree, second professional degree students can choose to engage in sophisticated team studio projects or complete and individual thesis project in the final semester.
Students in the two-year Second Professional degree must hold a five-year Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree. Students with other accredited design degrees such as a Bachelor of Architecture (B.ARCH.) and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (B.S.L.A., generally a four-year degree) will move into the First Professional program but will be allowed to complete the work in less than three-years depending on individual backgrounds and experiences. Admission into the program will be based upon GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, academic background and related transcript, statement of purpose, a creative protfolio, and work experience, if any. International students are expected to have exceptional TOEFL scores complementing the GRE.