After earning his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Horticulture at Auburn University, Jesse Holt decided to further his education by entering Auburn’s Master of Landscape Architecture program.
The Master of Landscape Architecture is a two-year, six-semester program dedicated to teaching and equipping graduate students with real world components to prepare them for future careers as landscape architects. Auburn MLA seeks to teach students how to meet environmental challenges through innovative design. Three areas of inquiry guide Auburn MLA’s teaching and learning strategies: ecological urbanism, environmental justice and global challenges.
“Landscape Architecture is a program that concentrates on the urban, as opposed to just yards and working with plants,” Holt, 23, said. “It’s trying to impact the community and hopefully help places grow.”
Holt says he entered the program because he “wanted a different perspective on what the undergraduate program offered.” He has been studying with the Auburn MLA for three semesters and says he enjoys the challenges of the program.
“It was really challenging at first because I was so used to the practicality of my horticulture major,” Holt said. “In landscape architecture, there’s so much more impact you can have – more than just a pretty yard that looks like everybody else’s yard. Now I really appreciate that aspect of it.”
Students in the MLA program are enrolled in classes of no more than 16 people, and they attend 12 hours of studio per week to work on projects and receive valuable feedback from professors and peers.
“Studio is beneficial because it gives us the opportunity to push ourselves and be surrounded by our colleagues who are creative, helpful and able to give you a viewpoint on your project that you may not have seen,” Holt said. “Also during studio, our studio professor critiques us on a regular basis to help us refine our design.”
Auburn MLA’s research, teaching and outreach programs emphasize urban and regional landscape systems, and they allow students to work with real clients and real communities.
Holt says that after he graduates, he wants to work with urban landscaping to impact a larger city, but he says he may return to the things he learned about during his undergraduate career.
“While I’m younger, I want to go work for a firm somewhere in a city,” Holt said. “I think later on, I want to go back to what they taught me in horticulture and maybe open a nursery or something like that.”
“I hope with this program to be able to go out into the city, be able to help people, help the community grow, hopefully economically impact places and put my stamp on things,” Holt said.
To learn more about Auburn’s Master of Landscape Architecture, visit http://cadc.auburn.edu/studentservices/Pages/APLA/APLA_LAND_PROG.aspx.