MLA program with emphasis on higher education career?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums EDUCATION MLA program with emphasis on higher education career?

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    Jarett Crump

    Hello all, my name’s Jarett and I wanted to get into the conversation on here.  Here’s a little bit of background:  I’m currently a Landscape Designer/Salesperson at a mid-level landscape company in northeast Tennessee.  I have worked there for about 8 months and am not happy with my job.  I am in the process of researching MLA degree programs and wanted your input.  I received my BS in Landscape Horticulture from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.  I have professional experience and have a heavy emphasis on landscape design.  I want to find an MLA program that has an emphasis on the Theory/History of Landscape Architecture.  So far I’m looking into University of Illinois, Ball State, University of Michigan, Ohio State, Auburn, and Oklahoma.  I will be applying for the Fall 2013 semester and I intend on pursuing a career as a landscape architecture professor at a university/community college.  Any advice would he really helpful!



    Jarett Crump

    Thanks for the insight!  BUMP, any more input guys?

    Tosh K

    I think Matt covered it well: GSD, Penn, UVA, and UC-Berkeley are the established older programs and maintain a level of academic standard that is a ground work or for pursuing personal research.  UT-Austin, UofMN, UGA, UW and LSU all also have very respected programs that integrate research into their curricula.  A number of new programs have been popping up and it may be worth looking into them and seeing who teaches – those active in CELA will inevitably have valuable contacts.

    Increasingly PhD is desired at upper tier programs to teach (most foreign graduate programs are PhDs), though MLA is enough IF you can demonstrate yourself as a good researcher/writer that has an expertise in an area of interest to a program you want to teach in (landing grants, curating exhibitions, publishing articles).  It doesn’t hurt to have a research oriented practice on the side. 

    It may help to be around graduate students that are transitioning into teaching (like the PhD students at the GSD, or programs like UVA/UMN that actively hire and foster younger faculty).  If you know what area you want to teach in, it may help to look at programs where the leading faculty in those areas reside (for History/Theory that would be UVA, UC-B, GSD, Penn I believe they all have an architectural history PhD program).

    Fred Besancon

    Another program to look at is RISD – namely its connection to Brown University which includes Brown’s Sheridan Center for Teaching. 

    A number of MLA students (myself included) have gone through this.  The Sheridan program is a one year long series of lectures, workshops, and seminars focusing on how to learn to teach at the university level.  What was helpful was that RISD hold its own seminars where you look at how to apply teaching techniques in a art / design setting.  RISD also makes it easy for master’s students to teach during the school’s Wintersession term (a short 6 week term focused on experimental courses).  I found the Sheridan program very helpful as I got into teaching part-time locally.


    If you are interested, try getting a hold of Nancy Friese at RISD who was the liason between the campuses while I was there back in ’08 (she also teaches in RISD’s art education program).

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