MLA Accreditation

Typically, an accredited degree in landscape architecture is needed for licensure. A professional license is required to practice landscape architecture. The national Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) recognizes two accredited undergraduate degrees, the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and the Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA), and one accredited graduate-degree program, the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA).

In September 2019, the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program at the UHM School of Architecture achieved LAAB Accreditation Candidacy status. Upon graduation of the first MLA I class (anticipated in 2021), the program will seek initial LAAB accreditation. LAAB program accreditation, once granted, will be retroactive and include the first graduating class.

Important aspects of the MLA program’s curricular structure and assessment of quality of student learning are closely guided by LAAB Accreditation Standard 3 “Professional Curriculum,” which identifies key components of a professional landscape architecture curriculum. The MLA program’s educational goals and student learning objectives (SLO) include:

MLA SLO 1: History, theory & criticism

Knowledge and skills in the areas of design history, design theory, criticism, critical thinking; interdisciplinarity; sustainability, resiliency, stewardship; and health, safety, welfare.

MLA SLO 2: Design processes and methodology

Knowledge and skills in critical thinking, analysis, ideation, synthesis, site program and iterative design development at various scales, and design communication.

MLA SLO 3: Natural and cultural systems and processes

Knowledge and skills in plants and ecosystems sciences, with a focus on tropical climates and Asia/Pacific; built environment and infrastructure; human factors and social and community systems; human health and well-being; as well as Hawaiian sense of place and cultural practices.

MLA SLO 4: Communication and documentation

Knowledge and skills in written communication, oral communication, visual and graphic communication/representation; design and construction documents; numeracy, quantitative problem-solving/communication; and community and client engagement.

MLA SLO 5: Implementation

Knowledge and skills in construction technology and site engineering; site materials; use and management of plants and vegetation; and policies and regulation.

MLA SLO 6: Computer applications and advanced technologies

Knowledge and skills in 2D and 3D visualization and modeling; design communication from conceptual to construction drawings; and geospatial analysis.

MLA SLO 7: Assessment and evaluation

Knowledge and skills in site assessment, pre-design analysis, landscape performance, post-occupancy evaluation, and visual and scenic assessment.

MLA SLO 8: Professional practice

Knowledge and skills in leadership; values, ethics; practice; and construction administration.

MLA SLO 9: Research and scholarly methods

Knowledge and skills in quantitative and qualitative methods; establishing a research hypothesis; framing research questions; literature/case study review/precedent review; research integrity and protection of human subjects; and communication of research.

MLA Program Public Disclosure Page ASLA and LAAB Licensure Info