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What will I learn?

The Graduate Program of Landscape Architecture + Urbanism at the USC School of Architecture explores the role of Southern California and global geographies as generators and solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges of climate change, social and environmental justice, and the role of technology. In our program, we research these issues and develop multilayered proposals using design thinking to address extreme natural and social conditions affecting people, infrastructure and the environment.

USC offers an exceptional opportunity to study the entirety of the built environment in an integrated design research setting. Full-time faculty is actively engaged in research topics that include urban ecology, cultural agency, alternative infrastructures, climate change adaptation, and environmental justice. Part-time faculty come from some of the most active and innovative practices on the West Coast. Students come from a wide variety of undergraduate majors including architecture, environmental science, visual arts, liberal arts, and urban planning. Our graduates utilize their skills in design, communication, and critical thinking to take on complex issues and projects.

The MLA program curriculum blends design studios, media and representation, history and theory, construction documentation, plant materials and ecology, and urbanism. The studio sequence builds design and communication skills within the process of understanding site, context, and strategies for intervention. We begin with small local urban sites where intensive field work is critical to site understanding and build up to a year-long investigation of relevant topics and site investigations in the third-year design research seminar and studios. Second-year studios provide opportunities to examine design responses to climate change impacts and collaborate with architecture students in an integrated setting.

Which department am I in?

USC School of Architecture

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
US$57,256.00 per year
Start date

Expected January, August 2023


University of Southern California

University Park Campus,



90089, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have a Bachelor degree earned at an institution recognized by the Ministry of Education.

For international students

Individuals who have completed a four-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, or its equivalent, with no prior degree in landscape architecture, architecture or environmental design, are eligible for admission to the program.


Applicants who have completed a LAAB (Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board), or equivalent, degree in landscape architecture may be granted advanced placement of two semesters, subject to the review of the admission committee.

TOEFL: 95 or above, with 20 or above in each section.

IELTS: 6.5 or above, with 6 or above on each band

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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