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Thread: Landscape Architecture and Planning

  1. #1

    Landscape Architecture and Planning

    I was wondering if it was possible to get in to planning with Masters in Landscape Architecure. With the job growth outlook being 2-3 times greater for LA than UP, I think it might be more prudent to pursue the MLA first and perhaps tackle UP down the road should it be necessary. But can you get in to Planning with just an MLA? I have a BA in Psych and 3 years experience in Systems Administration, Web servers, databases, etc.

    Thanks,

    Sean

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    An MLA alone will have a tough time getting into planning, except for those large offices seeking that discipline...and then you would work only within that field. You never stated what you want to do: would you like to be an LA, or a planner? Why? Reflecting on these may help your decision. With a BA in psyc and systems experience, you probably can get into a planning school; I am not sure you can obtain (easily) and MLA without the bachelors in the field.

  3. #3
    Originally posted by mike gurnee
    An MLA alone will have a tough time getting into planning, except for those large offices seeking that discipline...and then you would work only within that field. You never stated what you want to do: would you like to be an LA, or a planner? Why? Reflecting on these may help your decision. With a BA in psyc and systems experience, you probably can get into a planning school; I am not sure you can obtain (easily) and MLA without the bachelors in the field.
    Well I would say I have an almost equal interest in the two areas: 55%UP 45% LA. The problem is, though, that I want to remain viable for employment in the long-term. I really don't want another 5+ month vacation like the one I am "enjoying" now and LA has a much higher projected growth rate and similar median income distribution. It would also appear that people with MLA's might be able to expect more money with a Masters than Planners. Though, I haven't finished digesting all the stats yet.

    My main area of interest in both pursuits is the design of spaces, the challenge of visualizing spaces and places people can use, enjoy, and admire. Both pursuits would seem to satisfy that need.

    Just to note, most MLA programs I've seen have a path for folks with non-LA Bachelor's.

    Thanks,

    Sean

  4. #4
    Cyburbian poncho's avatar
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    There are the paths for the MLA for non LA bachelors, but beware, it is about the same as getting another bachelors. Ton's of core classes you have to take to catch up if you don't have a design background. Let me know if you find different, but in my research this is the case.

  5. #5
    Which programs have you looked at? I've checked out Ohio State http://knowlton.osu.edu , U of I and University of Colorado Denver. You do need to take some core courses but you do wind up with the same classes as any MLA masters it would seem.

  6. #6
         
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    If your interest/passion truly lies with the designing of spaces/places, then I'd lean toward the LA program. And, make sure it's a damn good one.

    If you lean more toward planning, with its less design-oriented emphasis, then I'd think carefully about that LA degree. My experience is that LAs are at a disadvantage in the real-world of planning because of the lack of background in economics, public administration, planning theory, land use law, political science, statistics, etc., etc.

    I'd also seriously consider opening an ice cream shop. Nobody is ever in a bad mood when they go get ice cream. Think about it. : )

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