Master of Landscape Architecture

The UHM School of Architecture offers Hawaii‘s only LAAB-accredited professional landscape architecture degree. The field of landscape architecture comprises the analysis, planning, and design of natural and built environments. Landscape architectural practice presupposes a deep understanding of environmental systems and a commitment to the highest standards of design.

A professional license is required to practice landscape architecture. An accredited degree in landscape architecture is needed for licensure. The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is a professional degree recognized by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).

MLA Mission

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa prepares its graduates to become leaders of the next generation of landscape architects. Trained in the extraordinary Hawaiian landscape, students are equipped with emerging tools and strategies needed to enhance a beautiful, resilient and healthy built environment.

As the only professional landscape architecture program in Hawai‘i, situated within a Carnegie R1 Land, Sea and Space Grant university, the MLA advances contemporary urban landscape design teaching, theory and practice in the state and tropical Asia-Pacific coastal regions with a dedicated focus on ecological and social sustainability by design.

Program Information

Its emphasis on contemporary, sustainable urban/landscape planning and design in tropical Asia-Pacific regions, where the majority of growth will occur in the upcoming decades, distinguishes this MLA from other North American landscape architecture programs.

Hawai‘i, with its rich natural and cultural history and manifold environmental and social challenges, provides a unique place of learning and opportunity for cutting-edge landscape architectural research, teaching, and practice. There is no other place in the United States where the aspirations of twenty-first century landscape architectural practice converge so seamlessly with the philosophy and culture of the local ancient, indigenous community.

To accommodate applicants’ varying levels of preparedness through their undergraduate education, the MLA program includes three closely intertwined tracks:

First-professional MLA Track (MLA I)

This three-year degree track is open to applicants with four-year bachelor degrees with majors in any field of study.

MLA I Program Chart
First-professional MLA Advanced Placement Track (MLA I AP)

In the MLA I AP degree track, applicants with professional degrees in architecture or pre-professional undergraduate degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, or environmental design may be granted advanced standing of up to two semesters.

MLA I AP Program Chart
Post-professional MLA Track (MLA II)

This two-year post-professional degree track is open to applicants with professional undergraduate degrees in landscape architecture (BLA, BSLA, or equivalent) that fulfill the requirement for landscape architectural licensure.

Program Chart


For additional MLA information, please contact:

Judith Stilgenbauer, ASLA
Professor & Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program

Please follow our MLA activities on Instagram:

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Catalog


The MLA program invites applications from prospective students who are interested in rigorous graduate studies in landscape architecture and have the motivation to make substantial, innovative contributions to the field.

Applying to the MLA entails a two-step process comprised of (1) a general UHM Graduate Division application and (2) submission of MLA-specific supplemental application materials. The link below leads to detailed information about MLA program admissions standards, as well as required materials and steps in the application process.

How to Apply

MLA Accreditation Status

The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) at its February 9, 2023 meeting granted initial accreditation for a period of six (6) years to the course of study leading to the professional MLA degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This six-year period of accreditation ends December 31, 2028.

According to LAAB’s standards, this initial accreditation also applies to MLA degrees awarded by UH Manoa in May 2022 and May 2021.

LAAB-required MLA Program Public Disclosure Information

Professional Fee

In addition to UHM graduate tuition and fees, all UHM School of Architecture students, including MLA students, are assessed a professional fee in the amount of $500 per semester at the time tuition is paid. These fees help pay for the operational costs of the school’s IT Lab and Fabrication Lab. Students pay additionally for materials which are provided at cost.
The following link leads to MLA program tuition info (refer to “School of Architecture” header):

MLA Program Instructors

Full-time faculty:

Part-time faculty:

Student Work

Living Edge
Spring 2020, ARCH 652 Site Design Studio
Professor: Phoebe White
Visioning a Climate-Resilient Sand Island
Malu Stanich, Ireland Castillo
Spring 2020, ARCH 743 Urban Design Studio
Ku‘u Wahi Pana ‘O Muliwai‘olena
Matthew Higa
Spring 2019, ARCH 652 Fundamentals of Landscape Design
Sinclair Annexes Planting Design
Olga Douglas
Spring 2019, ARCH 484 Plants in Design
Professor: Grace Zheng
Land Mosaics - Reading Spatial Patterns
Matthew Higa
Spring 2019, ARCH 483 Urban Ecological Analysis and Design
Professor: Simon M. Bussiere
Analyses and Frameworks
Matthew Higa
Fall 2018, ARCH 651 Fundamentals of Landscape Design
Professor: Simon M. Bussiere