Master's degree programs

The school offers two master's degrees: a Master of Science (MS) in Natural Resources and Environment and a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA).

Master of Science

MS students gain a common foundation in ecological science, environmental governance, and integrated assessment via three core courses before specializing in one or more of the following fields of study:


Master of Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture teaches the ecological principles of sustainable design and how to employ them in all settings, from the inner city to the rural countryside. Students synthesize information about ecological processes, human behavior, institutions and urban patterns to create landscapes that work aesthetically, ecologically, socially and economically.

  • Three-year accredited MLA degree
  • Two-year program for those individuals interested in obtaining a second degree in landscape architecture at the master's level, practicing landscape architects seeking advanced education, and those interested in pursing a doctoral degree.


Opus requirement

All SNRE master's students are committed to a capstone/opus as part of their degree requirement. Whether the opus is a group project, practicum, or thesis, students demonstrate critical thinking about an environmental problem and the application of appropriate analytical problem-solving techniques. 

Master’s projects are interdisciplinary problem-solving experiences conducted by groups of at least four master’s students as the capstone of their academic programs. Projects provide students with a team experience that approximates a future work environment.  At the same time, they also provide client organizations with solutions to complex environmental issues and useful products. The projects focus the substantial capabilities of our students and faculty on problems faced by real-world clients. Project ideas are developed by faculty, students, or clients.

Other capstone options

The vast majority of students opt to do a master’s project, but students may also choose to do a practicum or thesis instead. All capstones include evaluation by faculty of the final product.

  • A practicum is a supervised practical application of a previously developed or studied theory. Practicum groups consist of one to three students.
  • A thesis is an individual work that is creative, scholarly, and based on independent research.