Graduation Rates

Classes of 2014-2023

  Class of Started with Graduated with degree Percentage
  2014     16     15   94%
  2015     17     17 100%
  2016     24     22   96%
  2017     14     14 100%
  2018     18     18 100%
  2019     14     13   93%
  2020     17     17 100%
  2022     18     18 100%
  2023     18     18 100%
  Totals 156 152 97%

Because the Conway School is a ten-month program, year-to-year retention rates are not relevant. The Conway School has a high program-completion rate; almost all students who enter the program in September graduate in June. In the past ten years, the school has enrolled 156 students and 152 have graduated with a master’s degree, a 97% graduation rate. Three students left the program during this period; one remained in the program for the full ten months, choosing (in consultation with faculty) a nondegree certificate path.

Employment

Students arrive at Conway with a variety of backgrounds and a shared passion for the environment. During the program, they work on projects at the site design and planning scales. After graduating, they enter a range of professional fields. While some graduates work as landscape designers or planners for cities or firms, others work in interdisciplinary positions created to
address pressing environmental and social challenges. See a list of position titles for graduates from the classes of 2018 through 2022: A Diversity of Professional Paths.

The school generally conducts comprehensive alum surveys once every three years; the last was in 2023. The most recent targeted alum survey, in the fall of 2018, focused on employment, debt, and income after graduation, and was sent to all 174 members of the classes of 2008 through 2017. The response rate was 34.5% (60 respondents), with responses from each of the classes surveyed.

Percentages below are rounded to the nearest number, and based on the 2018 survey:

Status of Employment

  62% Employed full time
  12% Employed part time
  23% Self-employed
    3% Unemployed but not looking for work
    0% Unemployed and looking for work

 

Employment Sectors

  35% For profit sector (corporation, firm)
  25% Government/public sector
  23% Self-employed
  18% Nonprofit/non-governmental sector

 

Fields of Employment of Graduates

Ecological design and planning can be practiced in many fields, and alums may find themselves drawn to a particular sector for a host of reasons; the school’s mission is not focused on preparing students for one sector over others, but rather equipping them with skills applicable to multiple sectors related to landscape design and planning. Relative to the curriculum, the evenly split nature of the results supports the school’s decision to invite visiting faculty, speakers, and critics from different sectors to campus to expose students to different ways they might apply their training.

Graduates do report that they work in a wide range of fields (some reported in more than one category; percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number):

  58% (33 of 57) practice landscape design, landscape design/build, or landscape architecture
    4% (2 of 57) practice landscape architecture through acquiring a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree
  12% (7 of 57) practice landscape architecture through practice
  32% (18 of 57) specified “other”
These include urban planning; urban resource management; herbal medicine; real estate; public speaking; trail planning, design, and/or management; grant administration; community land trust education, communications, marketing; environmental justice; land use planning; project construction management; and unrelated fields.
  19% (11 of 57) practice municipal or regional planning
  19% (11 of 57) work in education
  17% (10 of 57) work in government
  16% (9 of 57) work in agriculture/food systems
  16% (9 of 57) work in stormwater management
  14% (8 of 57) work in gardening/horticulture
  14% (8 of 57) work in ecological restoration
  10% (6 of 57) work in permaculture

 

Categories selected by fewer than 10% of respondents include architecture/green building; conservation/land trust; environmental advocacy; forestry; nonprofit management; arts/graphic design; and writing.

Graduates’ diversity of careers suggests that Conway prepares alums to enter a range of fields with direct impacts on human relationships to the land.

A small percentage of Conway School alums practice landscape architecture, whether through acquiring an MLA and licensure (3.5%, or 2 of 57 recent survey respondents) or through practice without an MLA (12%, or 7 of 57 recent survey respondents).