For students interested in learning how to manipulate the natural environment to create gardens, parks, and even walking trails, a degree in landscape architecture can impart the necessary skills to excel in this field. Programs often parallel traditional architecture tracks with an emphasis on drafting skills, learning about different plants and their needs, and referencing history to understand how landscape architecture has evolved over the years.
Most bachelor’s programs can be completed in four years, and students have the option to either enter the workforce or pursue graduate degrees. Many students enter the workforce after getting their Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture, though there are many graduate programs available for students interested in working in leadership roles at a firm or private practice. The job outlook for landscape architects is positive with almost 20,000 roles accounted for in 2021.
UC Berkeley has 2 Landscape Architecture programs, and in 2021 awarded 24 bachelor’s degrees to graduates. Berkeley is a large, public institution in the San Fransisco Bay Area with a student body of over 40,000. Berkeley is one of the top-ranked research universities in the nation, and outside of landscape architecture, the school boasts highly-competitive business, biology, and chemistry programs.
UT Austin has 1 Landscape Architecture program that awarded 10 master’s degrees to graduates in the 2020-2021 academic year. This is a large, urban public university located in Austin, Texas along the Colorado River. Austin is known for its bustling arts and music scene, river recreation, and world-renowned barbeque.
UW is a large, public university located in the city of Seattle, Washington. UW has 2 Landscape Architecture degree programs and a student body of over 50,000. This program may be of unique interest to students given the variety of flora on display at the campus level, and the proximity to renowned parks like the UW Arboretum, where students can work in the field and observe local plants and wildlife.
Cornell is a mid-sized private university that is part of the Ivy League. Located in the college town of Ithaca, New York, this school has 2 Landscape Architecture programs that awarded 10 bachelor’s degrees and 27 master’s degrees to students that graduated in 2021. Outside of class, students can explore Ithaca and the many lakes within the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
The University of Southern California is a large, public school located in Los Angeles, California. USC was founded by Robert M. Whidney in 1880 and has graduated notable alumni over the years including astronaut Neil Armstrong and film director George Lucas. This school has 1 Landscape Architecture program that awarded 1 post-graduate certificate in the 2020-2021 academic year.
The University of Virginia is a mid-sized public university located in the college town of Charlotteville, Virginia. UVA has 1 Landscape Architecture program and boasts a student-faculty ratio of 15-1. Charlottesville is known as the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson and is home to historic Monticello. Outside of class, students can explore great restaurants and bars along with the downtown mall, and recreate at parks in the Shenandoah Valley.
North Carolina State University at Raleigh has 2 Landscape Architecture degree programs. This school is a large, public institution with over 35,000 students in their undergraduate and graduate schools. NC State is the largest school in North and South Carolina and was originally founded as a land-grant university.
The University of Maryland offers 2 Landscape Architecture degree programs to students interested in pursuing a career in the field. College Park is just outside of the Washington DC metro area and can be reached by train, making it an attractive option for out-of-state students looking for a school with college-town vibes, but proximate to a major international airport. This is a large, public institution located in the college town of College Park with just over 40,000 students.
Texas A&M University is a large, public institution with over 70,000 students located in a mid-sized city. Texas A&M was originally an all-male military institution and has since expanded to offer programs in engineering, agriculture, and aerospace. This school offers 2 Landscape Architecture programs and awards 26 bachelor’s and 8 master’s degrees to graduates that completed the program during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Rutgers is a large public school located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Rutgers offers 2 Landscape Architecture degree programs and awarded 17 bachelor’s and 11 master’s degrees to graduates in 2021. Rutgers was founded in 1766 and currently offers over 160 study-abroad programs, which allows students the opportunity to take classes and conduct research through partnerships with other academic institutions globally.
Landscape architects have become increasingly important as people desire their living and work spaces to be not only functional but also beautiful and environmentally sound. Landscape architects use equal parts of design, math, horticulture, and environmental studies to plan parks, golf courses, and the outdoor areas of building complexes. Landscape architects may also work to reclaim land, such as at former landfills and strip mines, and at sites of historical restoration.
Most landscape architects have a bachelor's degree, which takes four to five years to complete and involves taking classes in science, math, design, art, and construction techniques. For those transferring to landscape architecture with a different undergraduate degree, a master's degree can be earned, though it may take three years of full-time study. Finally, a landscape architect must pass a licensing exam in 49 states after one to three years of work experience in order to be fully certified.
A good landscape architect should have the following skills and traits:
The average salary for a landscape architect is $67,950 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While landscape architects are subject to the same economic downturns that affect others who work in construction, they usually fair better because they are able to work on a variety of projects, many of which fall outside traditional construction projects.
The job outlook for landscape architects in the coming years is good as populations grow and desire not only more infrastructure but more beautiful infrastructure. Competition may be high at more prestigious firms, but there should be good employment opportunities overall. Those landscape architects with internship experience, as well as strong CAD and communication skills will be the most likely to find the position they desire.
|School||Average Tuition||Student Teacher Ratio||Enrolled Students|
|University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA||23 : 1||42,327|
|The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX||19 : 1||50,476|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA||23 : 1||48,149|
|Cornell University Ithaca, NY||13 : 1||23,620|
|University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA||22 : 1||46,287|