Master of Landscape Architecture


Program Description

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) graduate degree program offers an accredited three-year curriculum. This professional course of study is highly demanding with a large proportion of the curriculum being required coursework. Design studios are integrated with courses in landscape history and theory, site analysis and planning, and management of environments. Within this challenging program, opportunities to develop an individual identity and special skills are made possible through the selection of specialized topic design studios, thoughtful engagement with electives, and especially through the execution of the Graduation Project.

The academics are coupled with experience in the contemporary profession with internships available for credits. By working in firms or agencies related to student's areas of interest, design development, and documentation skills are honed for future practice. Students build and expand their professional network through these positions and small student-faculty ratios.

The School coordinates a public lecture series with students, faculty, and guests from local landscape architecture affiliates. These informal discourses offer feedback and advice from a broad audience of students presenting their initiatives and projects.

Our full-time faculty and local professional design community are actively involved in studio reviews, graduation project committees, and mentorship programs. Within the Faculty of Applied Science, students have access to a research library ranked among the best in Canada and other faculty members in engineering or community and regional planning. With Study Abroad, there are opportunities to be engaged with the ever-changing cultural concerns in architecture and landscape architecture.

Our Master of Landscape Architecture program offers a professional design education in a small program with a deep commitment to the discipline.

Our accredited, three-year professional course of study is demanding but will develop the values and skills needed to be successful in the practice of landscape architecture. Required courses in history and theory, site analysis and planning, and environmental management are integrated with comprehensive design studios. We encourage you to develop your own individual identity through thoughtful engagement, opportunities to direct your study focus through specialized design studios, and the execution of your final graduate project.

Our low student-faculty ratio means close and regular contact with our full-time and adjunct faculty. Our close connections within the school and across campus allow you to expand the reach of your studies to related disciplines, such as architecture and urban planning. And opportunities to study abroad at one of our partner universities around the world allow you to engage with the ever-changing cultural concerns in architecture and landscape architecture.

Our students routinely pursue co-operative work experience in order to expand their professional network and to gain credit towards their degree. By working in firms or agencies related to your areas of interest, you can hone design development and documentation skills for future practice.

We have a strong connection with the local professional design community, which takes part in our studio reviews, graduate project committees, and mentorship programs. We coordinate an informal lecture series with students, faculty, and guests from local landscape architecture affiliates. These discourses offer feedback and advice from a broad audience for students presenting their initiatives and projects.

As a student at UBC Vancouver, you will have access to world-class facilities and a research library ranked among the best in Canada. As a student in Vancouver, you will have access to the city and region as a living laboratory, further enhancing your studies in landscape architecture.

Why study landscape architecture here?

Top ten reasons to study landscape architecture at UBC.

Tradition of excellence

The University of British Columbia is a global center for research and teaching, ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Our school is recognized for its commitment to sustainable research, ranking 20th in the 2015 and 27th in the 2016 QS World University Rankings, the highest of all Canadian architecture schools.

The place

Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life. With diverse geographic regions and climates, a rich, multi-cultural history, and a dynamic arts and culture scene, Vancouver is an amazing place to work and study.

Award-winning faculty

Our faculty are internationally renowned experts in their fields and have chosen to teach here in part because of our school’s reputation for excellence in research. Join us and you will learn from the people who are changing the way we think about design.

Tight-knit community

With low faculty to student ratios, at SALA we get to know you by name. We are proud of our small studios, intimate seminars, and personalized learning opportunities. Our support structure ensures that you have a successful experience. From academic guidance to health and wellness, we have an array of services to help you achieve your personal, academic, and professional goals.

Mentor program

When entering our program, we pair you with a professional mentor. Our mentor roster includes many of the most prominent landscape architects in Vancouver. Paired with you through to licensure, your mentor will not only contribute to your experience while at SALA but will help make your transition from school to practice smoother.

Real-world experience

Our optional four-month co-op program provides the opportunity to integrate your academic learning with practical experience, gain marketable skills, earn money, try out new jobs, and expand your network of mentors and potential employers.

Interdisciplinary opportunities

Our architecture and landscape architecture programs are closely connected and share many core courses and electives, including design-build and study abroad opportunities. As a landscape architecture student, you will also be able to register for an architecture studio. This cross-pollination of ideas fosters a holistic design culture within the school.

International Experiences

As a SALA student, you will be able to attend summer electives and studios set abroad. These courses range from 3 weeks to a full semester. In recent years, we have taken students to Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, and the Netherlands. For a more immersive experience, you can also spend up to a year at one of our partner universities.

Employment Opportunities

We have a wide variety of employment opportunities. We currently offer 90 annual teaching assistantships and nearly as many research, administrative, and technical positions. Whether it is leading an undergraduate seminar, analyzing data in the lab, or assisting in the workshop, you will find a position that is right for you.

Our students get involved

Our students organize lunchtime lectures, host weekly social events, and curate gallery exhibitions of their work. They create public art on campus, organize design builds, and attend conferences around the world. They are passionate about what they do, and we hope you will be too.

What can I do with my degree?

Our Master of Landscape Architecture program prepares you to enter the world of practicing landscape architects. Your degree is certified by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, which is recognized in Canada and the US. British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario have regulatory bodies for the landscape architecture profession and non-regulatory bodies in the other provinces. In British Columbia, you must complete the internship program to become eligible to register as a licensed landscape architect with the BCSLA.

The practice of landscape architecture is growing quickly. Awareness of the profession is also on the rise. Municipal governments are especially looking for the specialized knowledge of landscape architects for green space projects. Today’s firms range from small, one- or two-person teams to large multinational groups. Similarly, landscape architects can work on a huge scale of projects, from individual sites to large-scale developments. The Government of Canada predicts fair growth in several regions across the country for the profession, with low levels of unemployment due to a shortage of landscape architects.

While the majority of our graduates have gone on to careers directly in landscape architecture, that path is by no means the only one. Over the course of your studies here, you’ll gain invaluable skills in:

  • Design and visualization
  • A variety of digital media tools
  • Communication and presentations
  • Project management and organization
  • Sustainability and resource management

There are a number of positions that benefit from an education in landscape architecture. Some of our alumni have pursued:

  • Urban design planning and policy
  • Sustainability research
  • Energy management
  • Resort planning and analysis
  • Construction
  • Farming

You can also pursue further education through a post-professional degree program. Our Master of Urban Design and Master of Advanced Studies in Landscape Architecture programs are geared towards those who already have degrees in landscape architecture and want to continue exploring the academic side of the field.


The three-year Master of Landscape Architecture degree requires the completion of 110 credits, which includes your graduate project. If you already have a design degree or advanced design education, you may receive advanced placement into a two-year variant, subject to faculty approval.

A typical course of study

Year one

Term One

  • ARCH 515 Design Media I
  • LARC 316 Trees and Shrubs in Landscape
  • LARC 501 Landscape Architecture Design Studio I
  • LARC 511 Introductory Workshop
  • LARC 522 Landscape Architectural History

Term Two

  • ARCH 517 Design Media II
  • LARC 502 Landscape Architecture Design Studio II
  • LARC 531 Landscape Technologies I
  • LARC 541 Landscape Planning and Management


  • Electives

Year two

Term One

  • LARC 504 Landscape Architecture Design Studio IV
  • LARC 525 Research Methods
  • LARC 532 Landscape Technologies II
  • LARC 540 Site Analysis and Planning

Term Two

  • LARC 503 Landscape Architecture Design Studio III
  • LARC 523 Landscape Architectural Theory
  • Electives


  • Electives

Year three

Term One

  • LARC 505 Landscape Architecture Design Studio V
  • LARC 595 Graduate Project Part I
  • Electives

Term Two

  • LARC 551 Professional Practice
  • LARC 598 Graduate Project Part II
  • Electives


TOEFL (IBT) overall score requirements


  • ibT Reading 22
  • ibT Writing 21
  • ibT Listening 22
  • ibT Speaking 21

IELTS overall score requirements


  • IELTS Reading 6.5
  • IELTS Writing 6.5
  • IELTS Listening 6.5
  • IELTS Speaking 6.5
Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Applied Science oversees administrative procedures for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the School of Community and Regional Planning, the School of Nursing, and a ... Read More

The Faculty of Applied Science oversees administrative procedures for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the School of Community and Regional Planning, the School of Nursing, and all engineering activities at the Vancouver campus and the School of Engineering at the Okanagan campus. Read less