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Master of Landscape Architecture

What do New York City’s Central Park, the gardens of Versailles and the Copacabana Beach promenade share in common? They’re all iconic examples of landscape architecture. 

Landscape architecture involves designing human and natural processes at different scales including urban green space, built urban systems involving infrastructure, and transportation. The Master of Landscape Architecture prepares students for professional practice, as well as to be leaders and catalysts for positive local and global change.


Program Philosophy

Landscape architects provide innovative solutions to environmental and urban challenges in international and local contexts. 

Five principles are key to the curriculum design and delivery: process and form, design studio-based, interdisciplinarity, sustainability, and real-world problem solving. The program explores professional practice and design involving urban design, ecological design, regional landscape systems and cultural landscapes. 

This first professional degree program meets all the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects accreditation requirements. 

Program Structure

The Master of Landscape Architecture is a first professional course-based graduate degree accredited by Landscape Architectural Accreditation Council (LAAC) of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA). SAPL offers Alberta’s only professionally accredited Landscape Architecture degree. 

Open to applicants from any undergraduate discipline. The program begins with a Foundation Year to provide students with knowledge and skill they will need to continue with the MLA professional degree. Students with previous related design degrees (for example, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture or the Bachelor of Design in City Innovation with the Landscape Architecture concentration) may have some or all of the Foundation Year courses waived.

All applicants admitted to the MLA program start in the fall term.

Landscape Architecture as a Career

Landscape architects work in private practice, as well as in larger interdisciplinary consulting firms, and different levels of government (municipal, provincial, federal). Landscape architects have a range of practice expertise in technology and construction, plants, soil, irrigation, public space and street design, recreational amenities, climate change adaptation, low impact development, project management, habitat and park design, industrial landscape restoration and reclamation, urban design, and visual communication.   

MLA Student Work

Student spotlights

Jackson Brandt (MLA'19) - Landscape architecture grad meets challenge to design fire suppression for hard-hit Waterton area. His capstone project combines natural firebreak with walk-in campground.

Karly Do (MLA'20) enjoys a quiet moment in the Old Botanical Garden in Zurich, Switzerland

Message from the Associate Dean (Landscape Architecture)

The Master of Landscape Architecture in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape is the newest Landscape Architecture professional degree program in Canada. Our first class was admitted in 2015 and accredited three years later in 2018 by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects with our first graduates. The Calgary and Southern Alberta region provides a living laboratory for exploring a rich glacial history of evolving land forms and processes. Biologically diverse ecological subregions from prairie to badlands, to parkland to foothills to Mountains are all within easy access from Calgary. 

The profession of Landscape Architecture is a growing field of practice that includes a wide range of areas at different scales from residential to regional including urban design, public spaces, parks and recreation, climate change adaptation, green infrastructure, low impact development, water resources management, transportation, spatial land use design, and habitat restoration. As a relatively new Canadian MLA program, and currently the only one in Alberta, our program is designed to address contemporary areas of emerging practice in Landscape Architecture which focus on the critical ecological, social, and cultural challenges of placemaking and sustaining biological life support systems in urban regions and regional environments.  

Our MLA Program has quickly achieved recognition for providing a quality professional education experience in Landscape Architecture. We look forward to answering any questions you may have about our program or admission requirements admissions@sapl.ucalgary.ca.

Enrica Dall'Ara, Interim Associate Dean, Academic (Planning and Landscape Architecture)

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