June 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm #162438
So here’s another thing to ponder:
I attended a well respected graduate school that I actual love dearly – UVA. I graduated in ’99. At that time (and I think this is still true) graduate level architecture students could “earn” a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture by adding only 1 year of course work. Even if they decided in their last year of grad school “hey…let’s get an MLA…why not?”
Thoughts?June 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm #162447Alan Ray, RLAParticipant
I hope they have a bachelor degree in LA…I have friends w/ MLA’s from the the so-called best programs in the country and they can not pass the lare….so…get the ed somewhere….June 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm #162446
Nope…no BLA. Oh…and if an MLA candidate wants to get a Master’s in Architecture they have to add two years of education.
This really got me a bit annoyed when I was there. I hold a studio based, four year Bachelor’s in Ornamental Horticulture and Environmental Design. I entered UVA as a Path A student beacuse I did not have a BLA and spent 3 1/2 years earning an MLA. At graduation the highest awards were the ASLA Honor and Merit Awards. I was the only candidate nominated by the faculty that entered the graduate school specifically to earn an MLA. The other candidate were Architecture students who picked up the 1 year MLA. I thought “wow…what an insult to the rest of my classmates.” I won the Merit Award. The Honor Award went to an architect who is current practicing architecture.June 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm #162445
I can’t imagine that MLA was accredited, there is no way CLARB would recognize that degree. Anyway, now it’s two years only if the arch student had some landscape courses in their undergrad. I know UVA is starting an MSLA for those with an accredited BLA, and that will be about a year. All schools should have this.June 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm #162444
When I was there, the MLA program for a candidate with a BLA (a Path B candidate) was two years long.June 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm #162443
According to their website…it still is, like almost all other schools. I guess new MLAs take three? Anyway, I contacted them a while back for my article in LAM and they had stated they were indeed starting a MSLA for those with substantial work experience and don’t need an accredited degree (because they already haveone), slated to start admission in 2013.June 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm #162442RobotParticipant
I kind of wonder what the point of the MSLA is if you already have substantial experience. Is it solely for the prestige that comes along with having a masters? I’m not sure what you can accomplish in a year. I also haven’t looked at the program, so may be way off here.June 3, 2011 at 9:13 pm #162441
An MSLA will allow you teach at most institutions (having a masters had become a common union rule), as well, it allows those with experience to skip the BS of exploratory studios they already did in thier undergrad and get right to the point, a research thesis. I wanted to go back to study new plant materials and environmental psychology, but it was a traditional MLA and it was essentially a repeat of my undergrad. Not worth the time or money. It makes sense for professional development and service to the profession for more schools to offer the MSLA.June 3, 2011 at 9:27 pm #162440RobotParticipant
This is as I figured. I’m in an MLA program, and have seen those with experience sort of twiddling their thumbs during the required exploratory studios that you mention. That part of the MLA curriculum does seem to be a time waster for those who have been in the professional world for a while. But…I wonder about the quality of research that could be conducted in a 1 year program. Not saying that high quality research couldn’t be done in that period, but I know I would probably have a difficult time with it.June 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm #162439
It is the standard thesis period. You generally have two semesters to do your thesis in a structured program…the first semester starts with research methods and outlines the project, the second semester is writing the thing. Also, reducing the academic burden by not having a studio to speak of allows the program to be opened up to working professionals who can make it to campus once or twice a week. For the same reason, I think the quality of the research will be better, as more time can be devoted to the research, as most programs have just one semester devoted to thesis creation instead of two.
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