Completing an MLA capstone represents the culmination of your graduate program with the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington. It is designed to be a project and process that builds your confidence and sense of competence in the field of Landscape Architecture, particularly in developing your ability to connect theory and practice and to broadly reflect on those connections.
The faculty is committed to helping each of you complete your capstone whether in the form of a thesis or project. They will work with you to frame, shape, and develop it, sharing their experience and expertise.
As approved by our faculty, the Department offers three capstone options for Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) students. Whichever option you pursue, your work should exemplify the highest standards of professional education representing the culmination of the MLA education.
The first option is the Thesis, for which four alternative types have been approved: Research, Design, Design Critique, and Professional Project. The Thesis option offers the opportunity to pursue design research in the format of a traditional thesis. With guidance from a faculty thesis committee, this work is done individually or may be petitioned for collaboration with one or more other students.
The second option is a Group Project for small groups of students wishing to engage a collaborative research agenda related to landscape architectural scholarship and inquiry. This option offers the opportunity for small teams of students to work over the course of a full academic year (three quarters) on an advanced design or research problem with the guidance of a faculty member, culminating with an integrated record of findings in the form of a project report.
The third option is a Studio Option in which students work with a studio instructor over two quarters (winter and spring) on a project or theme determined by the instructor, following the Capstone Seminar. This option offers opportunities to work on a project at an advanced level over two academic quarters, culminating in rigorous output and deliverables.