Top Master’s in Landscape Architecture Programs in Canada

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Earn Your Master’s in Landscape Architecture in Canada

Have you ever walked through a beautiful public park or recreation area and marveled at its layout, design, and features? Has your awe made you question what it would be like to have a hand in creating such places yourself? If you have a deep love for the outdoors as well as an interest in design and development, then a career in landscape architecture allows you to combine those two passions.

With several large, ultra-modern cities surrounded by ending miles of dense boreal and deciduous forests, Canada can provide an excellent backdrop to your pursuit of a career in landscape architecture. With your undergraduate degree already in hand, you may be ready for admission to one of the many landscape architecture Master’s degree programs offered by the country’s institutions of higher learning. Such a degree could qualify you to work in a wide array of roles in the landscaping industry.

What is a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture?

Landscape architects are tasked with the creation of functional and attractive outdoor areas such as:

  • Parks
  • Playgrounds
  • Gardens
  • Campuses
  • Residential neighborhoods

As part of their jobs, they identify the ideal spots for structures, roads, pathways and landscaping features. Other responsibilities include analyzing environmental reports, drafting layouts and design schematics, authorising the selection of materials and components as well as coordinating the efforts of civic officials, engineers, and contractors. If your undergraduate studies focused on city planning, geography, or engineering, you may find yourself to be well-prepared to tackle the coursework you will encounter in your landscape architecture Master’s degree program. If they did not, no need to worry; the skills you acquired through your general studies in mathematics, computer science and communications may also serve you well in such a program.

The earliest courses offered in most landscape architecture Master’s degree programs in Canada are focused on helping you develop a strong foundation of fundamental knowledge in the areas of urban and rural design, ecology and ecosystems, project planning, and construction management. As you progress through your program, the advanced curriculum is structured to help you apply that knowledge using the most current technologies in the industry. Practicums or internships may be available to help you gain working experience prior to the completion of your degree. Those programs may open the door to career opportunities.

Typically, a Canadian Master’s degree in landscape architecture takes between two to three years to earn. Some programs may require you to take a graduate school entrance exam before applying; others my ask you to submit a design portfolio of any landscaping work you have done in the past. In some instances, a school may require that you take a couple of leveling courses in drafting and digital design before beginning the standard coursework.

Why Get Your Master’s in Landscape Architecture?

Depending upon your career aspirations, a Master’s degree in landscape architecture may be a requirement. For example, jobs with firms that design areas in the world’s largest urban centers or on the campuses of prestigious companies or colleges tend to be quite competitive. Having a Master’s degree may help distinguish you from the many others looking to secure such employment. Yet even beyond meeting the necessary requirements for a certain job, a Master’s degree offers you a number of other benefits.

The wide range of skills taught in a typical Master’s degree programming may be applicable to several different areas outside of landscaping design, such as city planning, civil engineering, or environmental science. Plus, there’s the fact that, on average, those with Master’s degrees tend to make more throughout the span of their careers than those with less education.

What Careers Will Your Master’s in Landscape Architecture Prepare You For?

A Master’s degree in landscape architecture can prepare you for several different career paths. Oftentimes, landscape architects are employed by private firms whose services are contracted by public agencies. They may also be employed by cities and municipalities themselves as part of urban development or parks and recreation departments.

You may also find a number of career opportunities outside of yet still related landscape design. These can include:

  • Environmental assessor: This job entails assessing the geological, hydrological, and ecological aspects of a given area to develop zoning and construction requirements.
  • Recreational developer: Working in recreational development includes assisting in the design and creation of amusement parks, zoos and shopping centers.
  • Reclamation engineer: In this job, you work with local community and business leaders to improve the environmental conditions of the surrounding land.

With several top-flight universities offering outstanding Master’s in landscape architecture programs, Canada may just be the ideal place to pursue your degree. The knowledge and skills that you will acquire as part of your studies will qualify you to craft beautiful outdoor spaces anywhere in the world.