Landscape Design

College of Professional Studies

Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.), Graduate Certificate
Location(s): Arlington Graduate Education Center

Program Overview

The Landscape Design graduate certificate or master's degree program is ideally suited for landscape professionals seeking to upgrade skills, individuals who want to become professional landscape designers, amateurs with an interest in the art of garden design, institutional horticultural staff, nursery employees and garden-design writers. Courses are geared to small-scale landscape design applications with emphasis on sound design principles, good site engineering methods and creative use of plant materials.

The part-time graduate certificate program offers classes evenings and Saturday mornings for five eight-week terms during the calendar year. 

  • 13 courses, 28 credits required (includes one introductory course)
  • Studio design courses meet one evening per week at tat GW's Arlington Graduate Education Center
  • Plants classes meet at the U.S. National Arboretum and other local public gardens on weekdays or Saturday mornings


The 46-credit master of professional studies degree in Landscape Design combines the Landscape Design graduate certificate program with the 18-credit Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Landscapes.  Students acquire an understanding of best practices in landscape conservation and sustainability, adapted to the small scale landscape.

These programs are highly successful with a strong reputation in the regional industry. Area landscape-design firms, plant nurseries and contractors frequently seek out GW graduates. Graduates often go on to pursue advanced degrees in landscape architecture. The program enjoys a unique partnership with local architecture programs such as Virginia Tech (Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center) and the University of Maryland, allowing Landscape Design graduate certificate graduates favorable opportunities for transfer.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – April 1
Spring – October 1
Summer – March 1

Recommendations required:

Graduate Certificate: none required
Master of Professional Studies: two (2) recommendations (preferably one from a current supervisor)

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript.  Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be uploaded to your online application.  Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed, course-by-course evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grade-point average (GPA), United States degree equivalency, and date of degree conferral. View a list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250-500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this field and describe your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also, discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, as well as any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.

Additional requirements:

A resumé and successful completion of PSLD 6100 or equivalent.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
College of Professional Studies – Office of Admission
The George Washington University
44983 Knoll Square, Suite B56
Ashburn, VA 20147

Contact for questions:
CPS Office of Admissions
[email protected] ~ 202-994-2083 (phone) 
9:00 am – 5:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday