Schools with Landscape Architecture Programs
Many schools offer pre-professional and professional degrees in landscape architecture, focusing on theory and hands-on training. Learn about program requirements, course topics, internships and continuing education. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Landscape Architecture Schools are Available?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 67 colleges and universities offered accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs in landscape architecture nationwide as of 2009 (www.bls.gov). The Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board, part of the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA), grants accreditation. These schools often have a student chapter of ASLA that you may want to join.
Does a Degree Mean I'm Licensed?
Completion of Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) requirements from an accredited school may qualify you to sit for the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.), which is administered by the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards. The L.A.R.E. is the standard of licensure in most states. Some states also require you to have a minimum amount of work experience under a licensed landscape architect. If you earn a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA), you usually need a Masters in Landscape Architecture (MLA) in order to sit for a licensure examination.
What Undergraduate Degrees Do Schools Offer?
Depending on the school, you can earn a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture or a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture. Some schools offer both. A BLA is considered a first professional degree. Typically a 5-year program, the BLA contains significantly more specialized courses in landscape architecture than the 4-year program leading to a BSLA, which is considered a pre-professional degree.
In addition to attending lectures, you participate in a large amount of studio work that involves learning to use and apply computer techniques employed in landscape design. Common courses touch upon the history and theory of landscape architecture, landscape architecture design and construction, urban design, ecology and site planning. Often, you are required to serve at least one or more internships or co-op periods with a professional firm, which can last up to a year. The internships vary as to being paid or unpaid. Schools may offer programs such as for-credit, faculty-led, study-abroad courses during summer months.
What Graduate Degrees Are Available?
Often, schools offer a number of programs leading to a Master of Landscape Architecture. A 3-year MLA program may suit you if you have an accredited bachelor's degree in a field other than landscape architecture but wish to become a professional landscape architect. If you hold a pre-professional undergraduate degree in landscape architecture or a degree in an area such as architecture, urban design or interior design, you may qualify for a 2-year MLA program. There is also a 5-year MLA program that allows you to earn a BSLA in addition to an MLA.
Are Online Degree Programs Available?
Due to the hands-on nature of landscape architecture, there are no schools offering legitimate online degree programs. However, there are a number of accredited programs available online that can be used to fulfill your continuing-education requirements. Once you become a landscape architect, most states require continuing education for you to maintain a license. The website of the Landscape Association Continuing Education System has an online database listing many such courses.
Do Schools Offer Postgraduate Training Programs?
Many schools offer postgraduate certificates. If you are a professional or a current graduate student, you may be eligible to pursue a certificate in landscape architecture studies. Certificate programs tend to be area-specific. For instance, one option in Florida may not contain the same courses as one in California. Due to the differences in climate, custom, natural environment and structural practice between the areas, courses in one program may not be applicable to another.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: