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Thread: Choices: BLA. MLA, MCRP?

  1. #1
    Sep 2007
    san francisco, ca

    Choices: BLA. MLA, MCRP?

    I tried to search for information on this topic but I think that I just need to ask. I am on the verge of a career change and I'd like some input. I would like to start graduate school next fall after working in environmental consulting and my options are: BLA, MLA, BLA/MLA, MCRP, or MCRP/MLA. I am really interested in both planning and landscape architecture. The BLA program is accredited but the MLA is not. It is more a "free learning" environment or whatever the student wants. I was told that the BLA was a typical design degree. I have taken a course in planning and really enjoyed it so I am thinking of incorporating that in my grad studies also. I am looking for versatility as I dont have that in my current career. The other thing that I was considering was approaching the university with a BLA/MCRP option. I think that I would like more than typical design. I am interested in restoration projects and how fast growing urban areas are going to deal with maintaining wild places. But I would like the option to design later down the road. So, here are my questions. Would a BLA/MLA or BLA/MCRP serve me better? Should I even get the BLA? Just go for the MLA or the MLA/MCRP degree? What are options for employment? HOw would employers view the various degrees? Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Dec 2006
    If you can pack up and move, I would say go to an accredited MLA program somewhere else. I have heard that University of Michigan's LA program is more ecology based. Don't put yourself through 5 years of college, just hunker down and do a three year landscape architecture grad program. I think the MLA is more in line with the work you want to do.

    Landscape architects are very versatile. You can pick up restoration and design work on the job, and you don't always need to have multiple degrees. If you would like to focus on wetland restoration, a masters in wetland science and licensure as a professional wetland scientist (PWS) goes a long way, too.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting
    I agree - a univeristy with a BLA, MURP and MArch so you can coat your classwork amongst all the disciplines would be best with a final degree in landscape architecture

    I would push for Syracuse/College of Environmental Science and Forestry for this - they have the above stuff, but they also have a wildlife management program and environmental management and even urban forestry

    good luck - sounds like a good project given exurban development practices we have now -

  4. #4
    Mar 2006
    athens, ga
    IMHO, go for an accredited MLA. Choose a program that has ties to a planning program. Take lots of planning classes along the way. If you want the planning degree, get it too.

    Here's the downside: Within the profession, there is a (somewhat deserved) perception that MLA's don't have the techical skills that BLA's do. I had to talk a former boss into *not* putting "BLA only" in his job ad. There's some truth to it - BLA's pack a lot into 5 years of schooling, and it's had to cram that into a 3-year graduate program.

    Hope this helps.

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