Landscape Architecture 2016-2017 Fact Sheet

For Prospective Students

The Landscape Architecture program at Illinois is the third oldest in the nation and was one of the first eight to be accredited, in 1929. The Department is proud of the achievements of its graduates. They include landscape architecture department heads and principals in design firms. Four graduates have received the profession's highest award, the ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) Medal, and nearly 10% of ASLA Fellows are Illinois graduates.

The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) at Illinois are accredited first professional degree programs. Students in both programs are required to complete a professional internship. Interns have worked in China, Germany, Italy, and India in addition to the United States.

The BLA normally takes four years (eight semesters), plus one summer internship, to complete. BLA students may enter as freshmen or transfer into the second year of the program. Admission is based on grades, test scores, and academic coursework. For more information please see:

MLA students who enter with BSAS or BArch degrees usually require two-and-one-half to three years (five to six semesters), plus a summer internship, to meet accredited degree requirements. The MLA is a three-year (six semester), plus summer internship, accredited program for all other students. Those who enter with BLA degrees complete a two-year post-professional degree program. Requirements for MLA admission include a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) undergraduate GPA, satisfactory GRE scores, and references. International students must demonstrate a minimum level of English proficiency. Applicants with design degrees are required to submit a portfolio. For more information please see:



Costs for a full-time BLA student for academic year 2016-2017

Costs for a full-time MLA student for academic year 2016-2017


Student Demographics (Spring 2016)

BLA     57% female, 43% male

MLA    82% female, 18% male


Academic Progress

BLA students must maintain a minimum overall 2.0 GPA (4.0 scale). Students failing to meet this requirement are placed on academic probation and have one semester in which to improve their GPA's. BLA students may study abroad for one semester and stay in sequence/graduate in the normal expected time.

MLA students are expected to maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale). Those who fail to meet this requirement are placed on academic probation and have one semester in which to improve their GPA's.


Student Recognition

BLA and MLA students receive travel (international and domestic) fellowships, tuition scholarships, planting design awards, and Wadsworth Internship Scholarships. For the first time, in 2014, two $5,000 scholarships were awarded to entering freshmen.

Incoming MLA students receive fellowships which provide from one to three years of funding (tuition waiver plus partial fee waiver and stipend). MLA students are also funded (tuition waiver plus partial fee waiver and stipend) through teaching and research assistantships. Approximately 25-30% of MLA students are funded in any given semester.


Graduation and Time to Degree


The higher number of semesters (>8) reflects the large enrollment of transfer students, many of whom complete more than one year of college prior to entering the program.



Alumni Achievement


The majority of our recent BLA graduates are employed in private practice. In the past six years, 40% were employed in landscape architecture or multidisciplinary firms, 20% work in design/build, and 10% are employed in private practice. Approximately 15% have pursued graduate degrees. In addition, many BLA graduates are active in community garden and arts groups.


Approximately 70% of recent MLA graduates are employed in the private sector. Many work for highly regarded firms, including Balmori Associates, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, SWA Group, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, AECOM, and Carol Johnson Associates, among others. Other MLA graduates work in the public sector, from park districts, to government agencies, to the Peace Corps.  Some MLA graduates go on to teach at the university level. Approximately 20% are engaged in volunteer service. They serve on boards and commissions, act as mentors, and do pro bono design work.