Congratulations and best wishes to our 2021 BLA, MLA, MSUD, and Ph.D. graduates!

We understand that it can be daunting to determine how to cover the expenses of a degree. We do our best to put you in touch with financial resources that will help you pursue your degree.

External Sources of Funding

Merit and need-based funding is available from the University and the Graduate College. For Undergraduate students, the Office of Student Financial Aid provides a wealth of information about sources of funding, while for graduate students, the Graduate College provides support and resources for students seeking financial help: Financial Aid (including a Fellowship Finder) and Financial Assistance.

Our department nominates graduate students for the following University and College awards:

  • Graduate College Fellowships (stipend plus full tuition and partial fee waivers) are for under-represented minority students who show potential for success in graduate study.
  • Creative and Performing Arts Fellowships (full tuition and partial fee waiver, plus a stipend of $6,000 – one semester only) are awarded competitively to students, based on creative achievements.
  • University Fellowships (full tuition plus fee waiver) are allocated through a complex campus competition system. Fellows are expected to perform teaching and research duties.

Our department also nominates graduate students in their final year of study for American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) National Student Awards.

Departmental Sources of Funding

Through the great generosity of alumni and friends, the department is able to offer a variety of fellowships, scholarships, and prizes on a competitive basis to the most qualified undergraduate and graduate students. These much appreciated gifts make it possible for students to pursue education in landscape architecture, to travel, and to undertake exploratory research.

Opportunities for merit-based financial aid for graduate students include fellowships and assistantships that provide tuition and partial fee waivers.  Teaching and Research Assistantships (full tuition waiver, partial fee waiver, and salary) are available to MLA and PhD students with the experience needed to perform specific research or teaching tasks. These assistantships are employment contracts between a student and the Department or an individual faculty member, and are usually awarded on a one-semester basis.

Below is a list of some of the awards our department offers.

For BLA, MLA, or PhD students

  • Diffenbaugh Trust Fund Fellowships for legal residents (past or present) of the State of Missouri
  • The Fiel Fellowship, the Pauline Kennedy Prize, and the Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship to support travel and study inside and outside of the United States and for thesis fieldwork

For BLA students

  • Natalie B. Alpert award for best history/theory paper and/or landscape design (up to $1000)
  • The Dan Ryan Prize for outstanding graphic skills and a willingness to help others, awarded to a student in the second semester of core BLA classes ($500)
  • The Gary Kesler Prize for excellence in LA 342 – Site Engineering ($500) honors beloved emeritus faculty member Gary B. Kesler (RLA, FASLA, FCELA), who taught in the Department of Landscape Architecture from 1980 to 2008 and served in a wide range of leadership roles, including BLA Program Coordinator, Associate Head, Interim Department Head, and Director of the East St. Louis Action Research Project.
  • The Bruce Borland Golf Course Design Scholarship for students demonstrating a passion for golf and golf course design, financial need, and a high GPA ($1000)
  • Mrs. Brenton Wadsworth Business Internship Scholarship for outstanding performance in the professional internship ($500-$1000)

For MLA students

  • The Kluesing Fellowship (full tuition and partial fee waiver, plus academic year stipend of $10,000) is given by the Department in memory of Cherie Kluesing, a former graduate student and faculty member. The fellowship is intended to further her aspirations, namely the creative integration of fine arts in landscape design. MLA applicants interested in being considered for this important opportunity must submit a statement of interest (approx. 300 words) explaining the relevance of their background and interests to the intent of the fellowship. The portfolio and reference letters are also particularly important and must indicate extraordinary creative achievements. One fellowship may be awarded annually for up to three consecutive years of study (contingent upon progress toward completion of degree).

For PhD students

  • The Vincent Bellafiore Fellowship honors the memory of Vince Bellafiore (1943-2014), who served as Head of the Department of Landscape Architecture from 1985 to 2000. A distinguished leader in the profession and education alike, Vince served as president of both the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). He was made a Fellow of ASLA in 1989 and was awarded the ASLA President’s medal in 1993. The fellowship provides support for one full year of study, including tuition, most fees, and a stipend of approximately $12,000.
  • The Debra L. Mitchell research fellowship, which includes tuition and a stipend of $12,000, for an incoming student who wishes to conduct research in landscape history of the Islamic world or the Mediterranean, using humanities methodology.

Applying for Departmental Funding

Prospective students:  When you apply for admission to one of our programs, your application is automatically reviewed for several awards. You do not need to do anything extra – just submit your application, and you will be considered for these scholarships. Admitted students will be notified of any additional financial support offers through the admissions process.

Continuing students: While the department may nominate you for some awards, other awards will require a competitive application process. Students will receive announcements and calls for proposals for awards throughout the course of the academic year. Information sessions are also conducted to provide an overview and answer questions.

More information about these funding opportunities can be found in our BLA Handbook and our  MLA Handbook.