Study Landscape Architecture at CU Denver

Students wave to the camera at the Bonneville Salt Flats

A Message from the Chair of Landscape Architecture

Welcome to Landscape Architecture in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver!

We are excited to have you study landscape architecture with us!  It is a dynamic and multifaceted field encompassing design, planning, environmental, and social considerations. Our Master of Landscape Architecture program will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in this exciting field and make the positive difference in the world you seek to make.  We are a joyful and close-knit community of co-learners and can’t wait to meet you.

I invite you to contact me, our advisor, CAP admissions, and our faculty to learn more about our program.

Jody Beck headshot, standing in front of a bookshelf.

Landscape Architecture Studios | Fall 2023

MLA Contacts

Jody Beck standing in his office.

Jody Beck PhD

Associate Professor and Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department
  • Administration and Instruction Services (CAP)
  • Landscape Architecture Department (CAP)


Primary Phone:303-315-2409

Mailing Address:
  • CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street

Denver, CO 80202


Jody Beck's teaching and research are organized around the intersection of politics and landscapes. His research spans the history of ideas to utopian proposals for reconstructing society based on the fact that landscapes are the foundational political medium. Beck has written two books, John Nolen and the Metropolitan Landscape and Landscape and Utopia, which approach this topic in different ways. 

Beck is also interested in the role of food production and agriculture in landscape form and the design of cities and has written several articles and one book chapter on this topic.  He is currently supporting a number of different community food initiatives with his research and creative work activities and has a $150,000 grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board to study the use of reclaimed water in food production in the arid west.

Beck is also the director of the University Technical Assistance Program, building on the good work and solid foundation laid in that program by Chris Koziol, Lois Brink, and others.  This program has over 20 active projects across the state offering predesign services to local government units and hires approximately 20 CAP students each year. 

His favorite teaching activities are studios that engage actual clients, ranging from community groups to non-profit organizations to municipalities. 

Beck is looking forward to being chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture  and the direct engagement with students, the profession, and communities which that position offers.  He strongly believes in interdisciplinary work and hopes to be able to foster more collaboration across departments in the areas of curriculum as well as in research and creative  work.

Before pursuing a design and then an academic career, I grew up on a cattle ranch in rural Montana. I pursue my work across the spectrum from urban to rural areas.

Research & Creative Projects

Routledge Handbook of Landscape and Food by Jody Beck book cover.

Routledge Handbook of Landscape and Food


Landscape And Utopia by Jody Beck book cover.

Landscape And Utopia


John Nolen and the Metropolitan Landscape by Jody Beck book cover.

John Nolen and the Metropolitan Landscape


Areas of Expertise

My central interest is in the political nature of landscapes. The vast majority of my work focuses on landscapes as they relate to food, agriculture, and/or utopian thought.

Education, Licensure & Certifications


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Architecture, University of Pennsylvania (2009)
  • Master of Science in Architecture, University of Pennsylvania (2007)
  • Bachelor of.Architecture, Rice University (1995)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Architecture, Rice University (1993)



2023, College of Architecture and Planning Research and Creative Works Award

2022, College of Architecture and Planning Service and Leadership Award

2017, Food Studies International Award of Excellence

2015, College of Architecture and Planning Excellence in Teaching

2010, Merit Award for, Ellerslie Garden Show, Christchurch, New Zealand

2006, Special Initiatives Volunteer Award, Community Design Collaborative Philadelphia


$150,000 of funding from the Colorado Water Conservation Board for a three-year study to test the impacts of using reclaimed water on soil and produce in an in-ground mixed vegetable production methodology in partnership with the Colorado School of Mines and Denver Water. 

Meet Current MLA Students

Emily Beeson presenting renderings during final reviews.

Emily Beeson

Department Nominated Olmsted Scholar

"I’m inspired to study landscape architecture because it is part of a cycle that can be restorative—for society, ecosystems, the mind, body, and soul."
Michelle Lazarz headshot

Michelle Lazarz

ASLA Student Org Chair

"After making the decision to switch careers, I knew I’d have to go back to grad school to pursue my Master of Landscape Architecture. I looked at programs all over the county but was drawn to CU Denver because of its setting within an urban environment surrounded by unique landscapes like the shortgrass prairie and the Rocky Mountains and foothills."
Steven Pearlman headshot

Steven Pearlman

Horticulture Club Chair

"I chose to study Landscape Architecture at CU Denver because it’s a field that fundamentally incorporates conservation biology and social justice issues, and can create functional spaces that dramatically improve the health of people and nature. Something that I’ve learned so far in this program is that landscape architecture influences our lives on a daily basis and has the beautiful ability to connect people with their environment."
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