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 MLA program prepares students for professional practice as Landscape Architects, as well as to be leaders and catalysts for positive local and global change.


Program Philosophy

The Master of Landscape Architecture program explores professional practice and design involving urban design, ecological design, regional landscape systems and cultural landscapes. Landscape architects provide innovative solutions to environmental and urban challenges in international and local contexts.

The MLA Program is design studio based and explores the design and planning complexities of project work at different scales from site-specific to regional. Processes and forms in ecology, urbanization, land use and social dynamics are explored through core courses, study abroad opportunities, and intense special topics courses with experts. Throughout the degree, students have a chance to work and learn from professionals from different disciplines including engineers, architects, and planners, and to work on projects directly involving communities, local governments and the development industry.

The MLA first professional degree program meets all the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects accreditation requirements. For our program, five principles are key to our curriculum design and delivery: process and form, design studio-based, interdisciplinarity, sustainability, and real-world problem solving.

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.

The Master of Landscape Architecture degree is a two-year course-based degree program for students with a design-related undergraduate degree. An additional Foundation year is required for students with a non-design undergraduate degree.

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.   

Explore 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 MLA is a three year course-based first professional degree program at the Masters Level. The first year is a foundation year followed by the Masters 1 and Masters 2 years. The Foundation Year focuses on design skills and design thinking for students coming from non-design undergraduate degree backgrounds. Applicants who have completed pre-professional undergraduate design degrees, or have equivalent qualifications can be admitted directly into Masters 1 

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)

Explore other SAPL programs

If you're interested in this program, you might want to explore other SAPL programs.

Master of Architecture

Master of Planning

Master of Environmental Design

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Answers to your questions about MLA admissions. 

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