Master of Landscape Architecture
More than ever, the world needs more informed, more innovative, more critically involved landscape architects. Globally, population growth, changing climate, and continued depletion of natural resources question historical planning and design models. Landscape architects have emerged among design professionals to lead in the reclamation, organization, and understanding of our cities to meet these 21st century challenges. Among American cities, Chicago presents unique opportunities to test and celebrate the potential of urban environments to transform these conditions of crisis to promise, neglect to value, banality to poetry.
Chicago is geographically positioned within the Great Lakes Basin, where twenty percent of the world's fresh water supply is both a vital natural resource and an economic catalyst for the mega-region. While Chicago enjoys the legacy of a world-class park system sponsored by the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the world-renowned Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Prairie School Landscape aesthetic, it is steadily being transformed by a set of contemporary interests. Millennium Park, Chicago Green Roof and Sustainability Initiatives, Green Streets, the Bloomingdale Trail, and the regeneration of the Chicago River, characterize the emergence of Chicago’s 21st century landscape.
In this context, IIT students learn in an unsurpassed setting, utilizing enviable natural and urban resources with world-renowned faculty and colleagues within the only accredited landscape architecture program in Chicago. Grounded in the tradition of design excellence, technical expertise, and acute visual judgment established by Mies van der Rohe within IIT's College of Architecture, the landscape architecture program is similarly inspired by the legacy of Alfred Caldwell. Caldwell was a long-term instructor of landscape design at IIT and a frequent collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. Like his mentor, the great prairie landscape architect Jens Jensen, Caldwell's search for the "spirit of the native landscape" was driven by an attention to craft, a hands-on bootstrap energy, and a deep understanding of the plants, construction materials, and ecological needs of the Midwestern landscape. The program's philosophy strives to embrace these timeless ethics while critically incorporating contemporary scientific, ecological, cultural, technical, and artistic influences. We welcome you to join us in being an instrumental part of our program.
Additional Admission Requirements
To be admitted without conditions to the Master of Landscape Architecture program, an applicant is required to have prior college-level coursework in freehand drawing, biology, and earth science (geology, physical geography, or hydrology, etc.). Candidates lacking these prerequisites may be admitted on the condition that they complete the required coursework before enrolling. Candidates will be notified upon admission of their program of study, which is determined by prior academic training and professional experience, as well as portfolio content.