Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Landscape Architecture

The Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture is a unique degree and attests to the value placed on research in advancing the profession of landscape architecture at the University of Michigan. Michigan is one of the few American universities that offers such a degree; with other universities offering similar doctorates in Environmental Design and Planning. The UM program, which is the largest and oldest in the country, supports students who wish to advance scholarship in landscape architecture and who typically pursue academic careers upon graduation. Landscape architecture graduates of the University of Michigan serve on faculties worldwide including the Cal Poly Pomona, Guelph University, the University of Massachusetts, Kansas State University, Louisana State University, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University, the University of British Columbia, Texas Tech University, and Virginia Tech University.  Detailed information on Ph.D. career placement is available at the SNRE Career Services website.

The Ph.D. cohort is an integral component of the School's community of scholars and a vital resource for carrying out the Program's educational and research objectives. Ph.D. students are important resources for students in the MLA curriculum, and the MLA program is also a resource for teaching the next generation of landscape architecture faculty in the nation. Many PhD students have held multiple Graduate Student Instructor appointments over the course of their student careers.

Course of Study

The doctoral programs are tailored to the goals of each student; no two students in the program are likely to take an identical set of courses. At the same time, however, the programs are guided by a framework to assure that each student's academic efforts will lead to demonstrated research creativity and competence.

Since students in the programs come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, it is important that this framework be interpreted to take advantage both of the individual's past accomplishments and the resources available at the University.

Admission to the doctoral program includes the assignment of an advisor and one or more faculty
who agree to serve on the student’s Interim Guidance Committee (IGC). During the first year of study, the student will prepare a detailed Course of Study, working in cooperation with the faculty advisor, IGC members, and other relevant faculty. The Course of Study is the plan that focuses a student's academic program, and is used to guide the student's efforts. The Course of Study is not intended to be an unalterable contract, and it is understood that it may be modified.

The Ph.D. is granted by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies (generally referred to as
Rackham). Degree requirements for all doctoral programs can be found in the Rackham Graduate
School Academic Policies. Rackham stipulates that from the time of initial enrollment, Candidacy should be
achieved within 3 years, and the Ph.D. should be completed within 7 years. Our Doctoral handbook provides a timeline and additional details of our expectations and requirements.

For more information on the doctoral programs, contact