The Best Training for
Landscape Architecture in 2021

Landscape architects work with different professionals to develop functional designs. While many professionals focus on the practical aspects of projects, landscape architects focus on making their work beautiful. It’s also important for them to ensure their projects are environmentally friendly and don’t damage the ecology of the area.

If you want to become a landscape architect, you should check out the best landscape architecture schools and programs. A landscape architecture degree will expose you to the training needed to enter the industry.

Rundown: The Top 10 Landscape Architecture Programs in 2021

A lot of colleges and universities offer degrees in landscape architecture. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) points out, the most common career pathway for a landscape architect is through a bachelor’s program, so that’s what this guide focuses on. One of the programs featured below is a master’s degree, which some employers do require.

The following table contains the schools, their locations, the costs, and the programs, along with certifications you can earn upon graduation. Information on costs was sourced from the university websites or the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Cost refers to the estimated annual tuition and fees for the most recent academic year.

School State Programs and Cost Certifications
Clemson University SC Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA)
In-state: $15,558
Out-of-state: $38,550
Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE)
Cornell University NY Bachelor of Science (BS) in Landscape Architecture
$59,282
LARE
North Carolina State University NC Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)
In-state: $11,702
Out-of-state: $29,690
LARE
Purdue University IN BS in Landscape Architecture
In-state: $9,992
Out-of-state: $28,794
LARE
University of California, Berkeley CA BA in Landscape Architecture
In-state: $14,312
Out-of-state: $44,066
LARE
University of Connecticut CT BS in Landscape Architecture
In-state: $17,834
Out-of-state: $40,502
LARE
University of Florida FL BLA
In-state: $6,381
Out-of-state: $28,659
LARE
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign IL BLA
In-state: $15,150
Out-of-state: $32,600
LARE
University of Massachusetts Amherst MA BS in Landscape Architecture
In-state: $16,439
Out-of-state: $36,427
LARE
University of Wisconsin-Madison WI BLA
In-state: $10,742
Out-of-state: $38,630
LARE
How to Pick the Best Landscape Architecture School for You

How to Pick the Best Landscape Architecture School for You

Choosing a suitable landscape architecture school can be difficult. You need to select a school that meets your needs while also offering value.

There are so many factors to consider before choosing a school. They include tuition, professional recognition, and curriculum content. Considering these factors will help you make an informed decision.

Tuition and Fees

Education is an investment, so it may not be worth it to simply hunt for the cheapest school. However, you need to consider whether you can pay for it.

There is an option to take out federal or private student loans to cover the cost of your tuition. But this may be stressful because of how long it might take to pay them off. So you need to consider how much of an investment you can afford to make.

Professional Recognition

Accreditation and recognition are also important when choosing a school or program. You need to find a program that is accredited by national landscape architecture organizations.

If the school is not accredited, you run the risk of not being able to get registered as a certified landscape architect in your home state. Also, employers may not recognize your degree from the school. This could be a serious roadblock to your career.

Core Curriculum and Electives

Another critical factor to consider is the curriculum and the potential electives for the program. There are so many potential topics to study in landscape architecture that no program can cover them all.

Some topics include urban design, horticulture, ecology, project management, and materials. Be sure to review the core subjects as well as electives. You need to determine if the courses fit with your career goals. If you choose poorly, you may have to take an additional certificate program to shore up your knowledge.

The Best Landscape Architecture Schools of 2021

Now that you know what to look for, you’re ready to explore the features of each program. Below are brief snapshots of what each landscape architecture program offers.

Clemson University

Programs

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA)

Accreditation

Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB)

Online Options

No

Clemson BLA students are required to present a portfolio for landscape architecture that shows the progression of their work over the five-year program. To graduate, students also need an exit project that could be a substantive research project or a design-build project.

The main topics in the program include the following.

BLA Curriculum

Community design

Creative inquiry

Site design

Cornell University

Programs

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Landscape Architecture

Accreditation

LAAB

Online Options

No

This bachelor’s degree program has a broad curriculum that offers instruction in the skills needed to practice professionally. The degree also qualifies students for a license and professional degree. The program builds on previous topics, contexts, sites, and scales of development.

Students learn conceptual thinking and attention to detail. It also offers supplemental courses in different aspects of landscape architecture. As a whole, these courses emphasize the design and end result.

Below are some topics in the curriculum.

BS in Landscape Architecture Curriculum

Woody plant selection

Design and landscape establishment

Computer applications

Pre-industrial cities and towns in North America

North Carolina State University

Programs

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Accreditation

LAAB

Online Options

Yes

Designated as a STEM program, this fully accredited MLA program prepares students for professional practice as landscape architects. Students also learn leadership, research, and community engagement in the field. They blend creativity, passion, and critical thinking to handle various environmental planning and landscape architecture projects.

During the first part of the master’s program, students cover core tools and knowledge. The remaining part of the program allows students to engage in the discipline and profession through research and individual study.

Below are some of the subjects that this professional degree program covers.

MLA Curriculum

Landscape architecture digital media

Survey of natural hazards and disasters

Climate change adaptation

Purdue University

Programs

BS in Landscape Architecture

Accreditation

LAAB

Online Options

Yes

This program can be completed in five years. It equips students with the technical, analytical, and creative skills to develop aesthetically pleasing landscapes that function well. The curriculum is designed to develop communication and planning skills. Students use the last year to gain cooperative work experience.

Below are some of the topics covered in the program.

BS in Landscape Architecture Curriculum

History and theory of landscape architecture

Site systems

Plant designs

Professional cooperative programs

University of California, Berkeley

Programs

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Landscape Architecture

Accreditation

LAAB

Online Options

Yes

This university degree program takes four years to complete and offers a Bachelor of Arts. It provides a different perspective on landscape architecture and provides the essential training needed to pursue professional education. The core curriculum includes biological and physical sciences.

Some of the more focused topics in the curriculum are listed below.

BA in Landscape Architecture Curriculum

Architectural and environmental design

Principles of landscape architecture

Computer applications

University of Connecticut

Programs

BS in Landscape Architecture

Accreditation

LAAB

Online Options

Yes

Students in this program need to complete chemistry and biology prerequisites before starting the landscape theory and graphics classes. During their senior year, students also need to complete a capstone project that will showcase their individual research.

Below are some things that you’ll study in UConn’s landscape architecture program.

BS in Landscape Architecture Curriculum

Environmental planning

Landscape design

Environmental soil science

Woody plants

University of Florida

Programs

BLA

Accreditation

LAAB

Online Options

Yes

This program is the only landscape architecture degree in Florida. It also takes five years to complete, and the curriculum exposes students to landscape architecture through studio and classroom coursework.

Students learn the skills, knowledge, and technical competence required to advance in the field as practitioners. They also have an option to further their education in the same field. In the fifth year, students take on a terminal design project to showcase all they have learned.

Below are some details about the curriculum.

BLA Curriculum

Survey of architecture history

Principles of landscape architecture

Landscape management

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Programs

BLA

Accreditation

LAAB

Online Options

Yes

At just four years, this BLA program is shorter than most. It requires 124 semester hours. The core credit hours are in landscape architecture courses such as construction, design studio, plant materials, design communication, history, and professional internships.

First-year students learn about landscape architecture, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, and humanities. The full curriculum starts in the second year and covers both theoretical and practical subject matter. See below for more details.

BLA Curriculum

Introduction to landscape architecture

Community and open space studio

Design workshop studio

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Programs

BS in Landscape Architecture

Accreditation

LAAB

Online Options

Yes

The landscape architecture program at UMass terminates in a professional degree. When students complete the program, they have all the skills and knowledge needed to work in public or private practice. Graduates can apply the techniques, processes, and information on landscape architecture to design an aesthetically pleasing landscape. It gives them a working knowledge of all they need to thrive in the profession.

Below are some of the topics covered in the program.

BS in Landscape Architecture Curriculum

Spaces and landscape media

Sustainable multi-family housing

Sustainable commercial and institutional design

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Programs

BLA

Accreditation

LAAB

Online Options

Yes

This undergraduate degree is nationally accredited and can be completed in four years. Finishing the program makes graduates eligible to become licensed landscape architects. Students can also choose to pursue graduate programs in urban and regional planning or landscape architecture.

Below is a sample of what you’ll learn in the program.

BLA Curriculum

Survey of landscape architecture design

Indigenous arts and sciences

Architectural and environmental design

How Much Can You Earn as a Landscape Architect?

How Much Can You Earn as a Landscape Architect?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for landscape architects was $70,630 in May 2020. The employment of these professionals, however, is expected to decline from 2019 to 2029. This is all the more reason to enroll in the best program you can find.

The Highest-Paying Landscape Architect Roles

Role Required Education Average Salary
Architectural Technologist Bachelor’s degree $102,493
Green Architect Bachelor’s degree $96,151
Historic Preservation Architect Bachelor’s degree $67,033
Architectural Designer Bachelor’s degree $60,618

Why You Should Be a Landscape Architect in 2021

As a landscape architect, you can make a massive difference through green building and sustainable architecture. You will help reduce negative impacts on the environment while creating an aesthetically pleasing landscape design.

The career also comes with a higher-than-average salary. You can enjoy doing what you love and earn a high salary. If you love designing, this is an excellent career to choose.

Get matched match you to training programs with Flexible Options, Income Sharing

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