The Master’s Project (LA 699) or Thesis (LA 503) is a project of high academic standard presenting independent work that contributes to the body of knowledge, approaches to design and methods in landscape architecture. Each student’s topic may be selected from a wide range of theoretical and practical design issues. It may be an original investigation, an original interpretation of existing scholarship, or an application of innovative strategies for the solution of a specific design challenge. Most importantly, the project should demonstrate a creative engagement in understanding landscapes and landscape change and effectively communicating one’s ideas.
There are five required courses designed to help students define a suitable master’s project:
- LA 620 Culture and Context of Landscape Architectural Research I
- LA 621 Methods of Landscape Architectural Research II
- LA 695 Research Proposal Development
- LA 699 Master’s Project Clinic (2 terms)
Project topics often follow an area of concentration that is a strength of the faculty. Typical topics focus on design theory, landscape history and preservation, landscape planning, landscape ecology, or urban design.
All projects must have a written component that includes:
- A problem statement that casts the project in broader, more generalized terms.
- A thorough literature review, or re-cap of the state of the knowledge, as it pertains to the project.
- Goals and objectives for the project.
- A defendable methodology for exploration, creative inquiry, applying theory or process, or for testing an hypothesis.
- The core analysis, exploration, art-making or design.
- Findings and conclusions that offer new insights or knowledge that is prescriptive or applicable in some transferable way to a broader audience.
Students are encouraged to discuss possible topics with faculty at the earliest opportunity. Students may also take independent studies and reading courses with faculty while formulating the project.
To find past Master Projects, please use the School of Architecture & Allied Arts Terminal Projects Database.
See past examples of master's projects in the Landscape Architecture gallery.