Landscape Architecture


Degrees Offered


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.

This program will consider applicants for conditional letters of admission (CLA’s) pending successful completion of an approved English as a Second Language (ESL) program. More information can be found on the Conditional Language Admission page.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Program of Study

First Professional MLA: The three-year first professional degree is designed to provide you with an opportunity for research and/or in-depth project work. If you are accepted into the program, you will begin with a rigorous summer experience providing an in-depth orientation into the profession and discipline. Initially, you will focus on co-requisite proficiency requirements, while beginning a few important graduate-level courses. More graduate level work and project-oriented research are emphasized during the final year. Research opportunities include project-based studies or traditional thesis research in the areas of health and design, community growth and change, and restoration (historic cultural or environmental). You will receive considerable assistance from faculty with expertise in those areas of focus.

After receiving your MLA, you will be prepared to fill numerous private and public sector jobs. Public sector jobs include work with the National Park Service, US Forest Service and the Departments of Natural Resources in many states. Because the MLA is the terminal degree, you also will be qualified to teach landscape architecture at the university level. Private sector jobs include landscape architectural firms and multidisciplinary firms including architects and/or engineers.

Second Professional MLA: The second professional degree in landscape architecture is a two-year program limited to students who hold an accredited five-year professional BLA degree. Second professional degree students will take a total of 51 credit hours. If you are accepted into this option, you will begin with advanced studios and research support courses and conclude your experience with focused research. Research and employment opportunities are the same as with first professional degree students.


The Gunnin Architectural Library has more than 46,000 volumes of books and bound periodicals and 183 periodical subscriptions. The library maintains a collection of audiovisual equipment, digital still and video cameras and architectural drafting aids for use by students and faculty in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. Approximately 130,000 slides in the fields of art and architecture are available to students, faculty and staff of Clemson. The Gunnin Architecture Library also houses a collection of more than 2,500 planning documents from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. In addition, the library has a collection of approximately 1,250 videos related to the fields of architecture, city and regional planning, construction science and management, landscape architecture and visual arts. Printing, copying and scanning facilities are also available in the library.

The Clemson University School of Architecture Digital Design Shop (CUSA.DDS) is a CAD/CAM research lab for students and faculty experimenting with digital fabrication, CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping. The facility has a full array of state-of-the-art equipment (laser cutters, CNC routers and 3D printers) to undertake and pursue these research agendas. The CUSA.DDS explores the possibilities of digital design and issues of materiality/tactility by synthesizing these tools into one facility and is designed as a platform for experimentation in these research areas.

Located on the basement floor of Lee Hall, the fully equipped Wood Shop Facility enables students to work in wood and various other materials. Students are encouraged to use the shop for academic assignments and other projects, and courses are offered in furniture design and building and in product design.

TheLee Gallery complements and enhances the educational programs offered by the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities by promoting the visual arts through exhibitions that explore contemporary issues in art, architecture, cultural diversity, new media explorations and collaborative approaches to art making. Final thesis juries and a final-year exhibition are held in the historic gallery built in 1958 by Lockwood Greene Engineers Inc. with Dean Harlan E. McClure as consulting architect.

Lee Hall is home to several smart classrooms. Computer workstations available in the third- and fourth-year design studios as well as on the second floor of the graduate studio tower have current versions of major software applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, FormZ, InDesign, Quark, Flash, AutoCad, Word, iMovie and others. Each smart classroom also has projection capabilities for classroom and tutorial applications.

Our Students

The majority of graduates take positions in private sector design offices. About one-third work either in the public sector or academia.

The program has approximately 12 students. Of those, nine are women, nine are full-time students and two are international students. We anticipate that the program will grow to about 35 students over the next few years.

Students in the first professional degree program hold degrees in history, fine arts, biology, environmental education, architecture, English, sociology and other fields.


Application Information

In addition to submitting the Clemson University Graduate School application (, you will also be required to submit a portfolio of creative and design work. The portfolio should emphasize your skills through a comprehensive representation of creative works. If you have no prior design experience, you should demonstrate creative ability through drawing, photography, art, computer or a related creative field. Your portfolio will play a major role in the admissions decision process. The deadline for application and all supporting material, including your portfolio, is February 15. Review of candidates will begin immediately after this date. To be considered, your application file must contain all the documentation listed above. If your application is received after the deadline date, it may be considered in the late spring on the basis of available space.

Required Documents


The MLA program provides several assistantships each year which are comprised of a $5,000 stipend and a tuition reduction. You must be enrolled in a minimum of nine credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work 10 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the school. A number of students will also be supported by externally funded projects.


Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)