MLA Accreditation

Site plan by MLA candidate Sarah Wang from a studio led by visiting professor Kristi Dykema.

MLA program receives full, six-year term of accreditation

Posted by Liam Otten October 8, 2013

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program in the Sam Fox School has received a full, six-year term of accreditation from the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).

Launched in 2010, the MLA is the first such program in the state of Missouri. It enables students to earn a professional MLA degree in either two or three years, depending on undergraduate background.

"Earning professional accreditation marks an important milestone for the MLA," says Bruce Lindsey, E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration and dean of the College of Architecture and the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. "While the program has been in place for four years, the accreditation substantiates the work of the students and faculty and helps direct the program toward its mission of educating future leaders in the field. I'd like to congratulate our faculty and students; without their dedication and passion, we wouldn't have been able to accomplish this in such a short period of time."

Accreditation followed a series of site visits from LAAB representatives during the 2012-13 academic year. These included interviews with Sam Fox School faculty, staff, students, and other area architects; an independent evaluation based on program objectives and professional standards within the field; and a process of self-evaluation by the school.

"Residing in St. Louis, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, one comes to appreciate the enormous complexity of natural and manmade systems as well as the intersections between them," Lindsey says. "At the same time, working within the context of a world-renowned research institution provides both international and interdisciplinary perspectives. It helps to shape the questions we ask and the problems our faculty and students set out to solve.

"Sustainability is today's most pressing challenge, for architects and landscape architects alike, but also its most promising opportunity," Lindsey adds. "Sustainability is not a single, discreet discipline. It is an approach, an emphasis, a value. It is a practical and philosophical ideal that informs everything we do."

For more information about LAAB accreditation, visit: www.asla.org/accreditationlaab.aspx.