Landscape Architecture, PhD

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Landscape Architecture

Head of the Department D. Fairchild Ruggles

PhD coordinator: Mohamed Boubekri

overview of admissions & requirements:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

department website:

program website:

department faculty:

college website:

school office: 101 Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, 611 Lorado Taft Drive, Champaign, IL 61820

phone: (217) 333-0176


Graduate Degree Programs in Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture, MLA

optional concentration: Medieval Studies

Landscape Architecture, PhD

optional concentration: Medieval Studies

joint programs:

Landscape Architecture, MLA & Business Administration, MBA

Landscape Architecture, MLA & Urban Planning, MUP

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers work leading to the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree and the PhD degree. The programs enable students to gain fresh insights and to conduct new research pertaining to land and its use by people. The PhD program is jointly administered with the School of Architecture and emphasizes both interdisciplinary study and cross-disciplinary inquiry. Areas of concentration include history and theory; technology and environment; and behavioral and cultural factors in design. Before submitting an application, students should consult the department website for information regarding the specific areas of study and the time needed to complete the requirements.

Several faculty members in the department also participate in the doctoral program administered by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. See the program description under Regional Planning, PhD for more information.


The Graduate College admission requirements apply. Students are admitted on an individual basis according to a review of their prior accomplishments with an emphasis on academic achievement. The doctoral program prefers candidates with master’s degrees: MLA, MArch, or related fields such as art history, ecology, geography, or planning. All graduate students must begin their studies in the fall semester.

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in the PhD program.

Financial Aid

Students compete for fellowships, tuition and service fee waivers, and assistantships. Selection is based on the academic achievement and qualifications of the student.

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Landscape Architecture

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's Program Curriculum and the Graduate College Handbook

Research Methods

Students must complete at least one research methods course.

In addition to research methods courses taught within the School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture, students are encouraged to consider similar courses in other units, consulting with their advisors to determine whether those meet the research methods requirement.

Preliminary Exams

In consultation with their advisors, students select a committee of faculty members for their preliminary exam. Upon completion of coursework, students prepare a dissertation proposal and undertake the preliminary examination in two parts: written and oral.Policies governing the preliminary examination are detailed in the Ph.D. Program Handbook. Upon passing the preliminary examination, students are advanced to candidacy and may proceed with work on their dissertations.


Because the Doctor of Philosophy degree is primarily a research degree, candidates are required to demonstrate a capacity for independent research by producing an original dissertation on a topic within the discipline of Architecture.

Dissertation Defense

After completion of the dissertation, the student is required to defend the dissertation before their Dissertation Committee in a public forum, an event known in the Graduate College as the Final Exam.

Landscape Architecture, PhD

Elective coursework in major field28
Colloquium coursework2
PhD Colloquium (taken twice)
Outside study (courses outside of Landscape Architecture and Architecture)8
Language Requirement: Required for all students in the History/Theory option and for some Social and Cultural Factors students
LA 599Thesis Research (max applied toward degree)32
Total Hours64

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
All students are required to enroll in the PhD colloquium during the fall of their first year of course work.
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 24 (not including 599)
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? No, but Masters level requirements must be met (32 hours min)
Qualifying Exam Required: Yes
Preliminary Exam Required: Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required: Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required: Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0