Landscape Architecture Major

Landscape Architecture is the design of outdoor areas such as public parks, restored wetlands, urban plazas, historic sites, and botanical gardens. Landscape architects also collaborate on large projects, such as housing complexes, remediation of former industrial areas, and the design of new towns and cities.

Landscape architects have the responsibility of creating ecosystems that must thrive over time. As a result, CALS is looking for Landscape Architecture students who are talented in both art and science to create spaces that are both beautiful and functional.

CALS’ Landscape Architecture major is well suited for students interested in urban development, land-use planning, conservation and ecological design. The landscape architecture curriculum is a broad-based course of study that provides the skills necessary for professional practice. The core Landscape Architecture undergraduate curriculum is centered on a sequence of design studio courses. Studio teaching involves students and faculty in a one-on-one relationship. This close interaction typifies the program. Each studio requires a different set of principles and theories and mastery of aspects of the media of landscape—land form, plants, water, engineering, and construction. The subject matter in each studio builds on the subjects of previous studios.  In addition to the required Landscape Architecture courses, students are expected to fulfill college requirements in biological, physical and social sciences, humanities, and written and oral expression.


Students in the Landscape Architecture major work with their faculty advisors to create their own, individualized concentrations of study. Some sample concentrations: environmentally sustainable design, community-based design, landscape archaeology, golf course design, environmental law, ecotourism, and playground design.

Special Requirements

  • Students applying to the Landscape Architecture major are required to submit a portfolio.

Interesting Facts

  • Students are encouraged to study abroad in their junior year; a popular option is the Rome Program.

Employment Fields

  • Landscape Design
  • Natural Resources Management
  • US Forest Service
  • Ecology

What recent graduates are doing

  • Landscape Designer
  • Landscape Architect
  • Plant Science Researcher
  • City Engineer
  • Fuels Technician; US Forest Service

Sample Classes

LA 1410 Grounding in Landscape Architecture

Introduction to the representation and design of landscapes and to working in a studio setting. Uses freehand drawing, measured drawing, and model making to understand design principles of the landscape within a cultural and ecological paradigm.

LA 3010 Integrating Theory and Practice I

This studio engages participants in the art and science of design as well as focusing on site-scaled projects that consider significant cultural and natural landscapes. This course explores theories of landscape design, restoration, sustainable design, and landscape representation through site-specific projects.

LA 4860 Placemaking by Design

This seminar provides an understanding of contemporary planning and landscape architecture design strategies that reaffirm and reclaim a sense of place. Readings and discussions focus on the theory and practice of placemaking as represented in the literature and in built works.

    More about Landscape Architecture from the Department