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Do you find it difficult to choose between degree programs? You may not need to.

Some of our MLA students pursue a joint degree in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. This joint degree program can broaden your perspectives and equip you with skills that will be useful in a variety of careers.

Students who pursue joint programs often find that knowledge from just one discipline is not enough to solve the kinds of problems they want to solve. Atyeh Ashtari, one of our MLA graduate students, received a traveling fellowship to be the only Landscape Architecture student on an Engineers Without Borders irrigation project in Ecuador. Because of this experience, she decided that she needed more knowledge from other disciplines and chose to pursue a Master in Urban Planning degree in addition to her MLA degree. She hopes to combine her landscape architecture and urban planning knowledge to address the design challenges of the 21st century.

A joint degree is a campus-approved program in which a student concurrently pursues two specifically identified degrees, and those degrees are conferred simultaneously. The total time for the two degrees can be decreased through the acceptance of required courses in one program as electives in the other.

Students interested in pursuing joint degrees should consult both departments, as they must be admitted separately to each program. Once admitted, students must be enrolled in each program for at least one academic year after admission and must complete the requirements for each degree.

Students may propose a joint program combining the MLA with the Master of Urban Planning (MUP). Such students submit a proposal to the Academic Coordinator describing the interdisciplinary value of the proposed joint program and show how the second degree serves as a specialization in the landscape architecture curriculum. Typically, students are required to complete a number of Urban Planning courses prior to applying to a joint program. Both units must approve the proposal. The proposal, plan of study, and a petition are submitted to the Graduate College for approval.

For ease of scheduling and meeting concurrent enrollment requirements students in a joint program, we encourage students to focus on one program or the other in any given semester.


Students in the MLA/MUP program must complete all MLA degree requirements, including any required 200- and 300-level prerequisites, 24 hours of graduate level Landscape Architecture courses, and 40 hours of Urban Planning course work. Students complete a minimum of (a) 88 total hours of graduate-level credit, or (b) a minimum of 40 graduate-level hours for the MUP degree and 40 graduate-level hours for the MLA degree. At the department’s discretion, up to 8 hours of graduate-level UP course work may be applied to the MLA degree. The student will complete a joint MLA thesis/MUP thesis project, working under either the LA or UP rubric, with committee members representing both units.