Doctors: Here or There?


  • Mary Myers
  • Lolly Tai



The PhD is a relatively new phenomenon in landscape architecture (LA). As there is a dearth of information on this topic, a survey was conducted of 85 Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) member institutions through a chairs' list-serve. The survey's purpose was to: identify institutions presently offering a PhD programme; determine how candidates choose among programmes and ways that they benefit from the PhD degree; and effects of the PhD upon the landscape architecture profession. The survey generated an 88 percent response rate (n=75), and results indicated that fewer than a dozen institutions in the United States of America and abroad offer a PhD in landscape architecture. The survey revealed that although some PhD candidates come from practice, most come from academia. Their ultimate goal is to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to conduct substantive, original research. PhD candidates select institutions based on several criteria: a programme's concentration areas, the expertise of its faculty, the duration of its programme and residency, and cost. Most of the surveyed PhDs came from academia and returned to it. Views on how the PhD will impact the landscape architecture profession vary, and some survey respondents believe landscape architecture PhDs will benefit academia more than the profession. But there was agreement that PhDs allow long-term meaningful research projects, run by sophisticated teams. PhDs in landscape architecture, it was agreed, will make the profession more credible as a fully fledged, mature academic discipline and increase funding opportunities for research.


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How to Cite

Myers, M., & Tai, L. (2004). Doctors: Here or There?. Landscape Review, 9(1), 215–221.



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