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Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture and Design Research

Landscape Architecture Track

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The Ph.D. degree is appropriate for students seeking careers in research and teaching in landscape architecture and environmental planning, or in specialized roles in government or professional consultation. The Landscape Architecture Track of the Ph.D. in Architecture and Design Research crosses between the School of Design and the School of Architecture. PhD candidates work with landscape architecture and allied disciplinary faculty to focus on diverse landscape architecture topics across the program’s communities of practice in design for resilience, community engagement, people and place, and design education and pedagogy.

The faculty seek highly qualified individuals with master’s degrees in landscape architecture or closely allied fields. Students with only a bachelor's degree should apply to the MLA program first, or otherwise complete an appropriate master's degree before applying. Applicants must demonstrate relevant background and experience, as well as capabilities for advanced academic study. In addition to the Virginia Tech Graduate School application requirements, applicants must submit a portfolio and a 2,500-word statement of research focus. The Graduate School requires international applicants to submit official TOEFL test scores.

Current students are addressing some of the most pressing problems in our contemporary world, such as food access, water quality, social and cultural equity, and environmental degradation. Community resilience studies use a GeoDesign framework to investigate disturbances to urban ecosystems, especially those caused by design activities and impacting community health and well-being. The design education community seeks to advance professional education in landscape architecture to propel the profession through critical design and planning practices. Ph.D. candidates contribute to the core of the program’s academic degree offerings as well as scholarship and engagement.

Degree Requirements for the Landscape Architecture Track in the Ph.D. in Architecture and Design Research

Students formulate coursework plans to develop an individual specialization within the field, which must be approved by the students' program advisers. Ph.D. requirements include 90 credit hours of graduate study and dissertation, an academic residency, successful completion of a qualifying examination, preliminary exam, and a dissertation. Many students also complete the Future Professoriate Certificate offered through the Graduate School.

To apply, visit the Graduate School Application Page.

For more information, please contact Mintai Kim, Ph.D. Architecture and Design Landscape Architecture Track Coordinator at