Ph.D. Program

Landscape architects address some of the most complex social, cultural and ecological issues our planet faces. These issues demand experts with specialization grounded in research, experts who can inform policies, train new generations of designers, and generate new knowledge.

Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture student presents talk to faculty and students at Erlanger Evening


If you want to deepen your knowledge of landscape history, theory, and/or practice and to contribute to the discipline of landscape architecture in meaningful ways, consider applying to the Ph.D. Program in Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois.

In this unique, jointly administered program, students focus on either architecture or landscape architecture, or they may work collaboratively in both areas. Regardless, they use rigorous theoretical frameworks and research methods to investigate social, cultural, historical, theoretical, technical, and/or environmental aspects of those fields.

The School of Architecture and the Department of Landscape Architecture are two of the oldest and most distinguished academic units of their kind in North America. They benefit from internationally renowned faculty and one of the largest academic libraries in the world, with more than 14 million volumes; 24 million other items and materials in all formats, languages, and subjects; and state-of-the-art electronic access to archival materials and research databases. In a congenial and interdisciplinary work environment, Ph.D. students and faculty work together to advance knowledge and extend the boundaries of their disciplines.

Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture student presents talk to faculty and students at Erlanger Evening

To learn more about areas of specialization, please visit the joint Ph.D. in Architecture and Landscape Architecture information page.

To learn more about areas of specialization, visit the joint Ph.D. in Architecture and Landscape Architecture information page.

Ph.D. faculty currently accepting new advisees

International Students: STEM Classification and OPT Employment

Our Ph.D. degree is STEM-classified, so international students with an F-1 visa are eligible to remain in the US for CPT (Curricular Practical Training) and OPT (Optional Practical Training) employment for up to three years and two months after graduation, and those granted an H-1b visa can stay an additional six years (total of nine years).

Application deadline

The deadline for applications for matriculation in Fall 2024 is January 15, 2024.

Ph.D. applicants wishing to be nominated for the Illinois Distinguished Fellowship, the Graduate College Fellowship for Underrepresented Students, the Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities and Arts, the Aspire Fellowship for Underrepresented Students, and/or the Diffenbaugh Fellowship should complete submission of all application materials by December 15, 2023, and should contact the Ph.D. Program Chair, Prof. Tait Johnson, by email ( to identify the fellowship(s) of interest.

Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture Graduates and Dissertation Titles: Complete List

Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture Graduates and Dissertation Titles: Complete List

Year completed Student Dissertation title Advisor
2008 Rachel Leibowitz Constructing the Navajo Capital: Landscape, Power, and Representation at Window Rock Dianne S. Harris
2008 Assia Lamzah The Impact of the French Protectorate on Cultural Heritage Management in Morocco: The Case of Marrakesh D. Fairchild Ruggles
2009 Sungkyung Lee Narrated Landscape as Counterweight to Perception of Placelessness in Contemporary Urban Landscape: Re-Visioning Place in Gwangbok-Dong and Nampo-Dong, Busan, South Korea Laura Lawson
2011 Chuo Li Chinatown and Urban Redevelopment: A Spatial Narrative of Race, Identity, and Urban Politics, 1950-2000 D. Fairchild Ruggles
2012 Abbilyn Miller Determining Critical Factors in Community-Level Planning of Homeless Service Projects Laura Lawson
2014 Nicholas Brown Landscape, Justice, and the Politics of Indigeneity: Denaturalizing Structures of Settler Colonialism in the Alberta/Montana Borderlands Dianne S. Harris
2014 Martin Holland Empty Chairs, Broken Lives’: The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum David L. Hays
2014 Xiaolu Zhou Investigating the Association between the Built Environment and Active Travel of Young Adults Using Location Based Technology William C. Sullivan
2014 Bin Jiang Establishing Dose-Response Curves for the Impact of Urban Forests on Recovery from Acute Stress and Landscape Preference William C. Sullivan
2014 Douglas Williams Fertile Ground: Community Gardens in a Low-Income Inner-City Chicago Neighborhood and the Development of Social Capital among African Americans William C. Sullivan
2015 Zheng Li Managing Historic Mountain Landscapes near a Modern City: the Case of the Beijing Western Hills, 1912-2012 D. Fairchild Ruggles
2016 Sonal Mithal Modi Embodied Knowledge of Landscape: Accommodating Ongoing Subjective Experience in the Presentation of Heritage Landscape David L. Hays
2016 Dongying Li Access to Nature and Adolescents’ Psychological Well-Being William C. Sullivan
2017 Steven Burrows Indiana State Parks and the Hoosier Imagination, 1916-1933 M. Elen Deming
2017 Pongsakorn Suppakittpaisarn Green Stormwater Infrastructure, Preference, and Human Well-Being William C. Sullivan
2018 Molly Briggs The Panoramic Mode: Immersive Media and the Large Parks Movement M. Elen Deming
2019 Xiangrong Jiang Green Infrastructure and Human Health: Nature Exposure, Attention, and Well-Being William C. Sullivan
2019 Jennifer L. Thomas Landscape, Madness, and State: The Emerging Insane Asylum System of Nineteenth-Century New York State David L. Hays
2020 Amir Habibullah Modern Islamic Gardens and Cultural Identity: Three Case Studies from North American and Europe D. Fairchild Ruggles
2020 Yexuan Gu Discerning the Role of Geodesign in Landscape Architecture: Exploring Its Relations with Systems Thinking and Resilience and Its Role in Planning Support System (PSS) Technologies Brian Deal
2021 Michael King Measured Shadows of Thomas Jefferson: A Transit from Amateur Landscape Gardening to Professional Landscape Architecture David L. Hays
2021 Yoonshin Kwak The Integration of Urban System Science and Physical Design: Dynamic Simulation Technologies for Urban Resilience Brian Deal
2021 Fatemeh Saeidi-Rizi Psychological and Neurological Implications of Walking in Urban Nature William C. Sullivan
2022 Le Zhang Ecological Design and Smart Landscapes: Boosting the Connection between Scientific Findings and Design Approaches with Smart Technologies Brian Deal


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