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The realm of Landscape Architecture explores a range of systems and scales within urban environments to examine functional landscapes and patterns of urban growth. The Urban Landscapes Certificate explores landscape design issues in the urban environment, and applies landscape urbanism principles to a variety of urban conditions. Students investigate and discover design opportunities through ecological studies, planning concepts, project assignments to design public and open space frameworks, and sustainable design policies at the local, urban, and regional scales.

Certificate Enrollment

The Urban Landscapes Certificate is fully online and open to students studying from anywhere in the world.

Enrollment in the Urban Landscapes Certificate requires the submission of the Certificate Application Form to Continuing Education in the Registrar's Office. For additional information, please contact us by email at or by phone at 617.585.0135.

Certificate students must begin academic coursework in the program within two academic semesters of submitting the enrollment materials.

Program Requirements

The Urban Landscapes Certificate requires the completion of 3 courses for a total of 9 credits. Urban Landscapes Certificate students take the same courses as students in the Landscape Architecture degree programs. 


Three Courses / 9 Credits

*LAN2001 Ecological Analysis and Conceptual Frameworks requires the permission from the Program Director to register. Interested students should email

Courses are offered in the fall and spring semesters. Visit Continuing Education Courses for current offerings.

Learning Goals

HTC3034 Contemporary Landscape Architecture Seminar

  • Understand the historical emergence and evolution of key themes that continue to drive current international debates in urban design, theory and practice.
  • Understand that urban design and planning ambitions are influenced by a wide variety of factors: physical, political, economic, social and cultural.
  • Become familiar with theorists and practitioners in urban design since the nineteenth century.
  • Develop design thinking skills to understand the dynamics of the urban form and the complex interactions between urban form, climate change, community, culture, and sustainability issues.
  • Utilize understanding of historical context in analysis beyond case studies presented and discussed in class.

MNS2004 Ecology Systems

  • Understand ecological systems and processes that are integrated into landscape.
  • Review projects and practices that incorporate ecological thinking into design.
  • Understand project sites as part of greater regional systems.
  • Discuss the challenge of applying ecological science to creating sustainable mega-regions.
  • Analyze, interpret, and represent landscape patterns and ecology in order to propose alternative scenarios based on hypothetical circumstances from which we can anticipate challenge to socio-environmental systems.

TSM2013 Public Policy and Environmental Ethics for Sustainable Communities

  • Read and follow public policy documentation, and interpret policy.
  • Translate policy goals and directives into, and evaluate impacts on built form.
  • Draft policy guidelines and understand the process of policy development, from draft bill to agency rulemaking.
  • Critically evaluate policy directives and make recommendations for improvements, eliminate unintended consequences, and identify potential for stronger outcomes.
  • Understand how policy impacts their professional behaviors, particularly with regard to design products and built environments.

LAN2001 Ecological Analysis and Conceptual Frameworks

  • Generate methods for inquiry for data extraction, analysis, and synthesis related to site, space and experience.
  • Evaluate data, assess and define its value, and discover patterns and systems with the constructed environment.
  • Translate analysis into conceptual frameworks for spatial design applications.
  • Represent complex sets of ideas, information, and concepts in compelling and articulate graphic formats - diagrams, drawings, details and descriptive vignettes - and in verbal presentation.
  • Develop and define metrics for evaluating landscape performance in existing and alternative scenarios.