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Landscape Architecture

Dual Degrees

Simultaneous Graduate Degree Programs for Landscape Architecture Students

Two dual (simultaneous) graduate degree programs are available to students in the Landscape Architecture program: the simultaneous Master of Landscape Architecture/Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MLA/MURP) and the simultaneous Master of Landscape Architecture/Master of Natural Resources (MLA/MNR).

MLA/MNR Dual Degree:

The MLA/MNR Degree Program recognizes that there are few fields of study so intertwined as landscape architecture and natural resources. The dual MLA/MNR degree puts Virginia Tech at the forefront of integrating knowledge to improve management of the environment. The dual degree includes the core courses from the MLA and MNR degrees, along with the capstone requirements of each.

MLA/MURP Dual Degree:


MLA/MURP Degree Program
Administrative Procedures
The MLA/MURP Dual Degree


Many professions and advanced nonprofessional studies are intertwined in numerous ways. Many positions in the allied professions represented within the College can best be filled by persons who possess the knowledge and skills of multiple fields.  Those who master core material in more than one field acquire the flexibility to engage in a wide range of activities within multiple fields and become bridge-builders between them.  Many rise to leadership positions because of their multi-disciplinary perspective.

MLA/MURP Degree Program

The MLA/MURP Degree Program recognizes the value gained by mastering core knowledge and skills in two areas in less time than needed to master core and specialized material in individual fields separately especially where electives in one field are closely aligned to the core material of an allied field. 

The MLA/MURP Degree Program features the effective coordination of course requirements in two fields that assures the integrity of each while also saving time and cost to the student.  This coordination may consist in the effective sharing of electives and/or the substitution of significantly relevant courses from another field. Any reduction of credit requirements by virtue of substitution, however, is based on the significant relevance of the courses to the program for which they are being accepted. Significant relevance may be indicated by the close relationship of content, complementary between the fields, methodological similarities (whether quantitative or qualitative or both), and other criteria.

As a general proposition, the integrity of each field is assured when students master the core material in each, and choose electives that integrate understanding of each. Virginia Tech, will award two masters degrees for a minimum of 54 credit hours provided the core material for each degree has been mastered and there is a capstone product for each (that is, not one product meeting capstone requirements of both degrees).  

Administrative Procedures

MLA/MURP degree students must be admitted to both programs following the admissions procedures in each.

Students may apply for admission to both programs before enrolling in either, or they may apply after first being admitted to and enrolling in one.  In the latter case, application to the second program should be made before half the coursework in the first has been completed.

A capstone product is required of each program.  However, it is recognized that the capstone product for both may bridge the fields of each degree.

Both degrees must be earned simultaneously although a student may opt out of one degree program to receive the other masters degree provided requirements of that degree are fulfilled. 

All grades earned in simultaneous degree status are used for purposes of determining academic good standing, academic probation and graduate requirements.

Students must be in good standing in both programs to continue in the dual degree program. Students who are dismissed from either program are no longer considered to be in the dual degree program. They may, however, enroll in courses for credit within the degree program in which they remain in good standing. Students may not take courses in the program from which they have been dismissed.

The MLA/MURP Dual Degree

The MLA/MURP degree program recognizes the fundamental linkage between planning and design of the natural environmental as impacted by humans. 

The MLA program has three options more particularly described in the Graduate Catalog than offered here.  In general, students are admitted to one, two, or three year MLA graduate study options depending on the nature of their undergraduate preparation or professional background.  The 3-year MLA option requires 80-84 credit hours of coursework, with 18 elective credit hours, while the 2-year MLA requires 50-54 credit hours with 15 elective credit hours.   Students in the 2-year MLA can choose to do their graduate work in either Blacksburg or Alexandria. The curricular requirements are similar at both locations. 

The MURP program requires a minimum of 48 credit hours usually completed over two years of full time study (excluding summers).  It includes 22 credit hours in core courses plus a capstone requirement ranging from two credit hours for a professional practicum, to three credit hours for a major paper, and six credit hours for a thesis.
The 3-year MLA/MURP degree requires completion of a minimum 86 credit hours while for the 2-year MLA/MURP degree the minimum is 62 credit hours.  Individual programs of study will reflect students’ varied backgrounds and needs. View conceptual programs of study for the MLA/MURP degree options.