If you want to help create beautiful green spaces, you might be interested in a landscape architecture degree.
Landscape architecture focuses on designing, building, managing, and renovating outdoor areas and structures. Specialists in this field work on a broad range of green spaces, such as college campuses, community gardens, and public parks.
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An online landscape architect degree can enable you to develop the knowledge and skills you need to pursue a career in this exciting field.
Online Landscape Architecture Degrees
As the name suggests, landscape architecture is a subfield of architecture that focuses on the development and preservation of natural landscapes.
Landscape architects blend human-made structures with environmental features to create harmonious outdoor spaces. For example, these specialists can design cemeteries, gardens, golf courses, parks, plazas, and walking trails. Landscape architects often prioritize conservation and sustainability when creating new spaces. They consider factors like energy efficiency, habitat preservation, and water conservation.
Additionally, these specialists use their knowledge of human behavior and psychology to design aesthetically pleasing and safe landscapes. Ultimately, they aim to build shared areas that benefit humans and nature.
Bachelor degrees in landscape architecture cover many disciplines and topics, such as:
- Construction techniques
- Environmental science
- Land surveying
- Landscape design
- Site engineering
- Spatial analytics
- Sustainable development
- Urban design
In addition, many landscape architecture schools require students to participate in field studies or internships. These opportunities allow students to apply the skills they’ve learned in the online classroom to real-world projects. For instance, you might hone your project management skills by interning with a local landscape design company.
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Graduates who earn a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture pursue numerous career paths. Many graduates work as landscape architects at private firms. These professionals can specialize in several niches of landscape architecture, including:
- Residential landscape architecture: These specialists design natural spaces around homes and neighborhoods, like gardens and playgrounds.
- Heritage conservation: These experts protect and preserve historically significant landmarks and ecosystems.
- Site planning: These architects help organizations determine the most effective and sustainable way to develop the land. For instance, they might evaluate a location’s geology and grading to plan the best layout for a suburban neighborhood.
- Urban design: These professionals design residential and urban infrastructures, like college campuses and public squares.
Other graduates use their design and project planning skills to secure related roles, such as:
- Environmental designer
- Garden designer
- Horticulture manager
- Interior designer
- Landscape designer
- Parks planner
- Urban planner
If you want to work closely with nature, a landscape architecture degree can help you turn your love for the outdoors into career potential.
Landscape Architecture Careers & Salaries
Graduates from landscape architecture colleges can apply their unique skill sets in numerous industries and roles.
Many graduates work in the construction industry. Landscape architecture firms often hire professionals to design projects like commercial centers, gardens, nature preserves, and resorts. Construction management companies, engineering firms, and real estate developers also routinely recruit landscape architects to create outdoor spaces and manage large projects.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of some careers associated with landscape architecture.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$152,350|
|Landscape Architects — Government||$99,240|
|Project Management Specialists||$94,500|
|Urban and Regional Planners||$78,500|
|Landscape Architects — Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services||$75,260|
|Landscape Architects — Waste Management and Remediation Services||$58,610|
|Landscape Architects — Construction||$49,440|
|Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers||$34,420|
Additionally, landscape architects can work for government agencies. Some graduates work for parks and recreation departments and design structures like bicycle paths and recreational centers. Others find employment with local governments as landscape managers and urban developers.
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Plus, some graduates become entrepreneurs after gaining work experience. They may open consulting companies or landscape architecture firms. These career paths can provide more flexibility and independence than traditional roles.
Landscape Architecture Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses
All landscape architecture colleges have unique curricula, but here are some standard classes you’ll likely encounter:
- Computer Technology in Design: You’ll learn how to use computer graphics and design software to create and implement landscape architecture designs.
- Environmental Ethics: This course covers environmental morals and explores the ethics of our relationships with ecological systems, animals, and plants.
- Fundamentals of Ecology: You’ll expand your knowledge of ecological concepts and theories, including biotic relationships, nutrient cycles, and the sustainable use of resources.
- History of Landscape Architecture: You’ll study the evolution of landscape architecture from prehistory to the modern day and learn about contemporary issues affecting the field.
- Key Issues in Landscape Architecture: You’ll research contemporary problems in landscape architecture and write project proposals to address these issues.
- Landscape Construction: This course teaches site engineering principles and practices, including basic hydraulics, grading design, and stormwater management.
- Plants for Sustainable Landscapes: You’ll learn how to identify and ethically use indigenous and introduced plant species in suburban and urban spaces.
- Professional Practice: This class reviews best practices, ethical frameworks, and procedures for professional landscape architects, such as contract structures and legal responsibilities.
- Thinking About the Built Environment: You’ll explore the role of landscape architecture in built environments and study famous buildings and landmarks.
- Urban Design Studio: You’ll study architectural issues in urban areas and collaborate with other students to create design solutions.
Additionally, most bachelor programs require students to take general education courses in English, history, math, and other general subjects.
Admissions criteria differ between online landscape architecture colleges, but here are a few standard requirements:
- ACT or SAT scores. Some schools still require applicants to submit standardized test scores, but many programs have eliminated this prerequisite.
- Letters of recommendation. You may be asked to submit one to three letters from your teachers or employer.
- This one-page summary highlights your education, work experience, and technical skills.
- School transcripts. These records show the grades you’ve earned during high school and any previous postsecondary education.
In addition, you’ll typically fill out an online application and pay an application fee.
Landscape Architecture Programs Accreditation
Online landscape architecture schools can demonstrate their credibility by earning regional accreditation. An external accrediting organization awards this status to schools that meet rigorous educational standards.
Regional accrediting agencies assess schools based on ethical conduct, faculty-to-student ratio, teaching quality, resources, and other criteria. Many graduate schools only accept students with degrees from accredited colleges. Attending an accredited school can also be a precondition for receiving financial aid.
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You can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website to learn more about regional accreditation.
The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board is the official accrediting organization for landscape architecture programs in the United States.
LAAB assesses each program to ensure that students gain professional expertise in areas like collaboration, design and construction, and landscape performance. Additionally, LAAB accredited programs must demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability, and other values.
Programs should also provide extracurricular opportunities like service-learning projects. Currently, LAAB accredits around 100 graduate and undergraduate programs at over 70 American institutions.
Landscape Architecture Licensure and Certifications
Graduates who earn bachelor degrees in landscape architecture are required to get licensed before they can start working in their field.
Requirements vary by state, but all landscape architects must pass the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (LARE). This exam assesses knowledge in four areas:
- Project and construction management
- Inventory and analysis
- Grading, drainage, and construction documentation
Additionally, many states require landscape architects to complete continuing education courses to maintain licensure. The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System connects architects with online courses and other professional development opportunities.
Some landscape architects build their skills by earning industry certifications. For example, the Certified Urban Designer credential showcases competency in urban planning. Similarly, the LEED Green Associate certificate demonstrates knowledge of sustainable building practices. Professional certifications may increase employment opportunities and attract new clients.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
You may qualify for various financial aid options that can reduce the upfront cost of your landscape schooling. The federal and state governments offer several types of financial assistance for eligible students.
You can see if you qualify for grants, scholarships, student loans, and work-study programs. You can start investigating government financial assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Plus, landscape architecture colleges often provide grants and scholarships. They may base these financial awards on merit, need, and other considerations. You can contact the financial aid offices for programs of interest to learn about available opportunities.
What Is a Landscape Architecture Online Degree?
A landscape architecture online degree is an introduction to foundational practices and theories of landscape architecture. This degree combines traditional architecture design principles with specialized knowledge of ecological systems.
Students can learn how to create landscapes and outdoor structures that balance the needs of humans and the environment. Students who major in landscape architecture study a broad range of topics, including computer-assisted design, environmental ethics, and landscape construction.
This degree can open many career paths in construction, parks and recreation, real estate, and other industries. For example, graduates often go on to become landscape architects and urban planners.
Is Landscape Architecture a Hard Major?
Some students may find landscape architecture challenging, but the difficulty level is subjective. This degree typically combines general architecture courses, science classes, and specialized landscape architecture courses.
Most programs require students to complete several architecture studios. During these studio courses, students hone their design and technical skills as they create a series of collaborative and individual projects. Additionally, landscape architecture majors expand their knowledge of the natural world by taking science classes.
These courses cover a broad range of subjects like biology, botany, ecology, horticulture, and sustainability. Students may also be required to participate in science labs or field work.
What Can You Do with a Landscape Architecture Major?
A landscape architect degree can unlock numerous career opportunities. Many graduates work for landscape architecture companies, where they design spaces like cemeteries, parks, and playgrounds.
Some professionals eventually launch their own consulting companies or landscape architecture firms. Additionally, graduates may pursue related careers in the construction and real estate development industries. For instance, some graduates become construction managers and oversee complex projects. Others work as site engineers and help developers plan and construct neighborhoods.
The government also hires landscape architects. Graduates might work for the US Department of the Interior, local parks and recreation departments, and urban development agencies.
Some graduates of bachelor’s degree programs continue to their educations by enrolling in an on-campus or online masters in architecture program or in an online masters in landscape architecture specifically. Others may want to expand their field like getting into an interior design certificate program online.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor in Landscape Architecture Degree Online?
An online degree often offers more flexibility than an in-person program, so you can finish your degree at your own pace. Most students complete a bachelor’s degree in 4 years if they enroll full-time and follow a traditional 16 week semester. A professional Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) typically takes 5 years to complete.
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Some landscaping schools offer accelerated programs. For example, you may be able to take summer classes and follow an 8 week semester, which can help you graduate faster. Students who enroll part-time will likely take longer to complete their degrees.
What’s the Difference Between a BLA vs. BSLA Program?
Both BLA and BSLA programs teach landscape architecture, but there are several significant differences between the two.
|Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA)||BS in Landscape Architecture (BSLA)|
Students who complete a BSLA are often required to complete a Master of Landscape Architecture to qualify for licensure.
What’s the Difference Between a Landscape Architect vs. Landscape Designer?
Graduates from a landscape architecture program may qualify for jobs as landscape architects and landscape designers. Here’s a quick comparison of the two careers.
|Landscape Architects||Landscape Designers|
Your professional goals and the types of projects you want to work on can help you identify a preferred career.
Is a Degree in Landscape Architecture Worth It?
Yes, a degree in landscape architecture is worth it for many students. This degree allows students to deepen their knowledge of the relationship between the built environment and the natural world.
Graduates with a landscape architect degree can work on numerous projects. For instance, some play a pivotal role in designing complex structures, such as sprawling suburban developments or vast public parks. Others focus on smaller spaces, like cemeteries and gardens. Projects of all sizes encourage creativity and innovation.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects around 1,500 job openings for landscape architects each year, on average, over the next ten years.
University Offering Online Bachelors in Landscape Architecture Degree Program
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
The Academy of Art University offers a BFA in Landscape Architecture online. This flexible program provides the opportunity to build a professional portfolio. Potential courses include Sketching for Communication, Freshman Symposium: Artistic Resilience, The Natural World I: The Base Layer, and Landscape Drawing and Drafting.
Academy of Art University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Universities Offering Bachelors in Landscape Architecture Degree Programs
With only a limited number of online programs available, here are some additional universities offering this program on-campus. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited.
Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture. The program is located on the Tempe Campus, and it aims to offer hands-on projects in the Phoenix metro area. Participation in an internship to prepare for employment in the field is also commonly available.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Ball State University offers a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program on campus. The 5 year program aims to help prepare for the landscape architecture professional licensure exam. The curriculum is designed to teach how to design environmentally sustainable outdoor spaces. Opportunities to engage with alumni and other professionals in the field are commonly available.
Ball State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Boston Architectural College offers a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture on campus. Classes are typically taught by professors with real-world work experience in the field. The program is designed to prepare for exams leading to professional licensure as a landscape architect. The curriculum typically includes both theoretical coursework and applied learning in the studio.
Boston Architectural College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
California State University–Pomona, offers a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture program on campus. The program offers opportunities to engage with real-world problem-solving through both study abroad and local service learning experiences. The program aims to help meet part of the requirements to sit for the licensing exam.
CPP is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Texas A&M University offers a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program on campus. The program aims to teach how to plan, design, oversee, build, and nurture natural and built landscape environments such as parks, campuses, streetscapes, trails, plazas, and residences. Internship opportunities are available.
Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Arizona’s Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program is designed to prepare for exams leading to professional licensure as a landscape architect. The studio-based curriculum aims to develop both artistic and analytical skills. There is an accelerated track commonly offered to help facilitate entry into master’s degree programs. Admissions are usually offered to begin in the fall or spring semester.
The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Georgia offers a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program on campus. Potential coursework includes Visual Design Studio, Design Communication, Intro to Landscape Architecture, Landscape Construction, and Residential and Mixed Use Design Studio. A dual degree program may enable completing a Master of Landscape Architecture degree in a shorter amount of time.
The University of Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign offers a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture on campus. Potential coursework includes Introduction to Landscape Architecture, Design Communications, Foundation Design Studio, and Community and Open Space Studio.
In addition to coursework, the program offers opportunities to participate in extracurricular and volunteer activities related to landscape architecture. The program requires the completion of 124 credit hours.
UIUC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Washington offers a program for an on-campus Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. The STEM-designated program typically includes lecture, technical, and studio coursework. The program aims to teach how to design outdoor spaces that take into account environmental health and social justice needs and to prepare for entry-level positions in the field.
The University of Washington is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture Online
An online landscape architect degree can help prepare you for a number of careers in construction and related industries.
You can study the intersections of architecture and the natural world as you take courses on biology, urban and regional development, and other topics. Graduates can use their skills to promote environmental conservation and sustainable building practices. For example, landscape architects design cutting-edge buildings with green roofs, parks that preserve indigenous species, and gardens that showcase endangered plants.
If you’re interested in the art and science of designing natural spaces, you can start researching online landscape architect degrees from accredited schools today.