Landscape Architecture College of Design

Graduate Financial Aid

Teaching Assistantships

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers 23 to 28 competitive, 25-percent time, Teaching Assistantships per academic year. Generally, students must have a 3.5 GPA or better to be considered. Benefits include salary, tuition benefits and the Graduate Assistant Health Insurance Plan.

TA responsibilities differ by course, but may include: assisting with critiques, maintaining course websites, grading papers and exams, researching course materials, helping with lecture presentations, proctoring exams, and leading discussion sessions.

The Department offers Teaching Assistantships for a number of courses, from undergraduate drawing courses to graduate technical courses. We match our students’ strengths and preferences to courses.


Thanks to our generous donor support, the department also offers the following competitive fellowships to our top students.

Ager Fellowship


This gift was founded by distinguished alumnus, Xiaowei Ma (MLA 1998). Ma is the founding principal of Ager Group, an international multidisciplinary design firm offering integrated services in urban planning, landscape architecture, and architecture. This gift demonstrates Mr. Ma’s commitment to the Department’s role in educating leading professionals by supporting outstanding graduate students for global practice.


Steven Andrews Fellowship


This gift honors the memory of Steven Andrews, who received a Master of Landscape Architecture degree in 2004. Steven was held in high esteem by faculty and classmates alike and provided leadership to his studio classmates. The fellowship is awarded to deserving students who demonstrate academic achievement, design accomplishments and, above all, leadership—especially leadership that demonstrates caring action—to peers, the department, and/or the community.


A. Dale Chapman Fellowship


The Chapman Forestry Foundation awards annual scholarships to students in the landscape architecture program. Criteria for this award includes: full-time undergraduate students going into 3rd, 4th, or 5th year of the design studio sequence with a minimum 3.0 overall GPA, full-time entering or continuing graduate student majoring in landscape architecture, an active member of the student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects the previous academic year, and possible consideration of financial need.


Founders Fund Graduate Fellowship


The intent of the gift is to honor all founders of the department of landscape architecture, including key volunteers and donors Herb Baldwin, Roger Clemence, and Roger Martin. The Fellowship will be awarded annually to deserving student(s) through the department head, or through the department head’s agent, such as the director of graduate studies or a departmental scholarship committee.


Girard K. Gray Fellowship


This fund supports architecture and landscape architecture students enrolled in graduate programs who demonstrate unique collaborative design leadership expertise in working with fellow students, faculty, the profession, or the public. Collaborative leadership is defined as the demonstrated ability to lead other individuals, to discover creative and outstanding architectural and/or landscape architectural design alternatives which leverage the input of diverse groups, expertise, and/or points of view for the betterment of the ultimate design solution.


Clinton N. Hewitt Prize


Clinton Hewitt has contributed 30 remarkable years to the University of Minnesota as a professor and campus planner. During that tenure, he involved superb landscape architects on every possible project. His passion for campus planning and design and his talent for communicating the success of a university through adherence to a campus master plan. Through that dedication, he has greatly expanded the understanding of the impact of landscape architecture. His equally important legacy is his helping many other minority designers achieve success. His leadership is celebrated through the establishment, by friends and colleagues, of the Clinton N. Hewitt Fellowship—an award given to students with exceptional potential in the field of landscape architecture.


The Edmund J. Phelps Memorial Fund


Edmund J. Phelps Memorial Fund is dedicated to developing students who are capable of: exploring the relationships of design, planning, and management to environmental quality and person-environment experiences; and creating and managing quality environments for human use and enjoyment. The Fund aids student(s) in the pursuit of graduate education in landscape architecture. The Landscape Architecture faculty and the Phelps Fund Advisory Committee selects recipients based on: academic record of the applicant, statements of intent in pursuing graduate education in landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota, letters of reference, the ability of the applicants to pursue graduate studies without financial assistance.


The Jo Tushie Endowed Fellowship


This gift honors the memory of Jo Tushie, whose work with the firm Tushie Montgomery exemplified her belief that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” The purpose of the fellowship is to assist Master of Landscape Architecture professional degree students who demonstrate academic achievement and design accomplishments or potential in the spirit of “imagination is more important than knowledge.”


Kopischke-Westwood Graduate Fellowship


The Kopischke-Westwood Graduate Fellowship in Landscape Architecture would like to honor the memory of University of Minnesota landscape architecture alumnus and Westwood principal, Greg Kopischke, who held a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Minnesota. The fellowship assists deserving graduate students in the landscape architecture program.


Research Assistants in Practice

The Research Assistants in Practice is a unique program that embodies our mission of advancing landscape architecture through community engagement. Research Assistants in Practice receive the same benefits as a traditional RA—salary, tuition benefits, and health benefits—as well as the opportunity to apply knowledge while acquiring real world experience. The ability to work directly with a non-profit organizations, government agencies, or firms sets the RAs in Practice apart from conventional research assistantships.

Although the details of each assistantship will differ in the type of work depending upon the agency, RAs in practice can expect to:

  1. Research on administrative framework, emerging policy, societal needs, and process trends
  2. Participate in interdisciplinary professional collaboration on multifunctional landscape efforts.
  3. Perform basic day-to-day project work in the support of the firm/agency.

Our 2013–2014 RAs in Practice

Colleen O’Dell


Colleen O’Dell is working this fall as a Research Assistant in Practice for MetroBlooms in Minneapolis. She is researching the establishment of endowments to fund perpetual maintenance of raingardens and other green infrastructure in the metro region. Colleen and MetroBlooms anticipate this fund will reduce the cost of maintenance, encouraging cities, schools, and other public agencies to install additional green infrastructure as part of new developments. They expect this endowment will assist public agencies struggling with already tight budgets, limited staff, time, or expertise. Colleen has assembled and been meeting with a group of stormwater and native plant professionals in several metro cities to collect data and generate ideas. She is working collaboratively with staff to craft a financial program proposal and to develop a strategy of maintenance protocols, performance standards, and evaluation methods to present to the organization’s board of directors.

Metro Blooms is a private, nonprofit, volunteer-based educational organization that partners with businesses, professional associations, local governments and watershed districts to promote environmentally sound gardening and landscaping practices to improve the health of metro area land and water resources. Over 4,000 Twin City residents have attended Metro Blooms’ raingarden workshops to learn about stormwater management techniques. Metro Blooms recently worked with the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis to install over 100 strategically placed raingardens on private properties to positively impact water quality in Powderhorn Lake. This work was featured in a 3-part series on Twin Cities Public Television by filmmaker Mark Pedelty.


Tom Campbell


Tom Campbell is working with The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national, nonprofit land conservation organization. TPL is leading efforts create The Gateway—a linear park that would transform underutilized properties and public spaces surrounding the Minneapolis Central Library and increase connectivity from downtown Minneapolis to the Mississippi River. Tom is helping TPL to understand the design work of the project by evaluating options for the design process. He is also developing project-related case studies with performance metrics and mapping project-related open space projects and stakeholder locations in the Twin Cities.

Tom is helping TPL explore The Gateway’s multi-functional connectivity, between organizations and across disciplines and issues. “I'm thrilled to be working with TPL on The Gateway project,” he says. “My work researching options for the design process gives me a glimpse into how design happens in the real world and within the context of a downtown with its diverse stakeholders and very complex dynamics.”


Tiffani Navratil


As an RA-in-practice, Tiffani Navratil is collaborating with Doug Snyder and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization to develop a series of Vegetative Management Plans (VMPs) for the Minneapolis Parks System. Inspired by the successful implementation of VMPs in other major cities, Ms. Navratil is compiling and analyzing research that will guide the development of customized VMPs for each part of Minneapolis’s greenspace network. These VMPs will ensure the consistent maintenance at each park, making it easier to stay true to the original design intent and program priorities, as well as to respond resiliently to future change. Serving as tools for prioritizing financial and labor resources, the new VMPs will expand upon the traditional objectives of a vegetative management plan to include the treatment of stormwater.

Furthermore it will deal with issues of exotic vegetation management as integral components of a comprehensive, long-term management plan for each park. The final goal is to develop an easy-to-follow management guide for future planners, designers, and related decision-makers, helping them protect and celebrate Minneapolis’s greenspace resources.


Office of Financial Aid

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  • Minneapolis, MN 55455
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