Landscape Contracting, B.S.

Program Code: LSCPE_BS

Program Description

Landscape contracting involves constructing, establishing, and maintaining landscapes from small residential projects to large commercial and industrial projects, as well as producing plans for small-scale residential and commercial sites. Students develop skills in construction, site design, plant material usage, plant establishment, and landscape maintenance. Students are also educated in areas such as graphics, surveying, soils, turfgrass management, weed and pest management, and in business operations.

Students are encouraged to obtain on-the-job experience in landscape contracting by working with a landscape maintenance or construction firm, or other related business. Credits for this experience are available for those who choose to enroll in an internship.

A wide variety of opportunities exist for landscape contracting graduates. They may be employed by design/build firms, landscape management firms, nurseries, or garden centers. Others may choose to work for municipalities, golf courses, parks, or botanical gardens.

Design/Build Option

This option focuses on the development of skills in the planning and implementation of landscape projects. Employment opportunities exist with landscape contracting companies, irrigation companies, and retail centers.

Management Option

This option provides professional education in the management of landscapes. Employment opportunities include positions with landscape management companies and golf courses.

What is Landscape Contracting?

Landscape contracting is a highly specialized profession that involves the design, construction, and management of outdoor environments. The industry is dependent upon educated and well-trained individuals who are capable of creating sustainable design solutions that meet or exceed client expectations. Penn State is at the forefront of preparing students to be leaders in this exciting industry.

You Might Like this Program If...

  • You are interested in owning your own company or working for small to large landscape firms as a project manager or account manager on residential and commercial projects
  • You enjoy learning in both classroom and outdoor settings
  • You are interested in a program that offers design studios and computer classrooms with up-to-date software applications for creating 2-D and 3-D landscape plans
  • You like to be outside and want to work with your hands

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHY STUDENTS CHOOSE TO STUDY LANDSCAPE CONTRACTING

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Contracting, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 2-16
Requirements for the Major 80-97

21-24 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3 credits of GWS courses; 3-6 credits of GA courses; 3 credits of GQ courses; 9 credits of GN courses; 3 credits of GS courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
ACCTG 211Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making4
CHEM 101Introductory Chemistry Keystone/General Education Course3
ENGL 202DEffective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
HORT 410WIssues in Landscape Contracting3
LARCH 60Cultural History of Designed Places Keystone/General Education Course3
MATH 26Plane Trigonometry Keystone/General Education Course3
PLANT 217Landscape Soil and Water Management3
SOILS 101Introductory Soil Science Keystone/General Education Course3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HORT 101Horticultural Science Keystone/General Education Course3
HORT 120Computer Applications for Landscape Contracting2
HORT 131Herbaceous Perennial and Annual Identification3
HORT 137Ornamental Plant Materials3
HORT 138Ornamental Plant Materials3
HORT 408Landscape Plant Establishment and Maintenance4
HORT 468Landscape Estimating and Bidding2
Additional Courses
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course3-4
or BIOL 127 Introduction to Plant Biology Keystone/General Education Course
MKTG 220Introduction to Selling Techniques3
or BA 303 Marketing
TURF 100Introduction to Turfgrass Management3
or TURF 235 The Turfgrass
Select one of the following:3
Economic Principles of Agribusiness Decision Making Keystone/General Education Course
Principles of Economics Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Small Business Management
Management and Organization
Retail Horticulture Business Management
Select one of the following:3-4
Legal Environment of Business
and Social and Ethical Environment of Business
Social, Legal, and Ethical Environment of Business
Legal Environment of Business
Select one of the following:3-5
Plane Trigonometry Keystone/General Education Course
Algebra, Trigonometry, and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:4
Elementary Spanish I
Elementary Spanish II
Elementary Spanish I for Students in the Agricultural Sciences
Requirements for the Option
Select an option14-26

Requirements for the Option

Design/Build Option (25-26 credits)
Prescribed Courses
ART 20Introduction to Drawing Keystone/General Education Course3
EDSGN 101
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HORT 220CAD Applications in Landscape Contracting3
HORT 269Residential Landscape Planning3
HORT 368Landscape Planting Design4
HORT 464Landscape Construction I4
HORT 466Landscape Construction II5
Additional Courses
Select 2-3 credits from the following:2-3
Introduction to Entomology
Management of Insect Pests of Ornamentals
Turf and Ornamental Weed Control
Horticultural Crop Diseases Keystone/General Education Course
Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees
Management Option (14-15 credits)
Prescribed Courses
ENT 313Introduction to Entomology2
ENT 314Management of Insect Pests of Ornamentals1
SOILS 401Soil Composition and Physical Properties3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HORT 238Turf and Ornamental Weed Control3
HORT 250Landscape Contracting Design/Build Principles3
Additional Courses
PPEM 300Horticultural Crop Diseases Keystone/General Education Course2-3
or PPEM 318 Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees

Program Learning Objectives

  • Create Site Solutions: Students will use quantitative, artistic, and environmental knowledge to create workable site solutions. Students will work individually, collaboratively, and cooperatively.
  • Concept Communications: Students will communicate complex design concepts to clients and industry professionals using 2-D and 3-D computer generated documents.
  • Landscape Management Plans: Students will develop landscape management plans that reflect their knowledge of plants and their cultural requirements, biology, and the surrounding environment.
  • Business Management Skills: Students will employ business management skills to analyze landscape project inputs and to develop comprehensive pricing proposals.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Tarrah Geszvain
Academic Adviser
117 Tyson Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-6087
thg110@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Design/Build Option:  Landscape Contracting, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HORT 101*‡†3AGBM 101, ECON 14, ECON 102, or ECON 1043
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15‡†3MATH 26‡†3
AG 1502LARCH 603
General Education Course3CAS 100, 100A, 100B, or 100C‡†3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course (GQ)‡†3 
 17 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 127 or 1103-4SOILS 1013
EDSGN 101ACCTG 2114
SPAN 1, 2, or 1054HORT 220*3
BA 2503ART 203
HORT 1373General Education Coures (GHW)1.5
HORT 120*2 
 16-17 14.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 1012-3HORT 464*4
HORT 138*3HORT 408*4
HORT 269*3PLANT 2173
TURF 100 or 2353ENT 313, 314, HORT 238, PPEM 300, or PPEM 3182-3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5ENGL 202D‡†3
 12.5-13.5 16-17
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HORT 466*5HORT 368*4
HORT 131*3HORT 468*2
HORT 410W3MKTG 220 or AGBM 2203
BLAW 2433Elective3-6
 General Education Course3
 14 15-18
Total Credits 120-126

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Note:

Please consult with your academic adviser regarding the selection of elective courses.

Management Option: Landscape Contracting, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HORT 101*‡†3AGBM 101, ECON 14, ECON 102, or ECON 1043
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15‡†3MATH 26‡†3
AG 1502LARCH 603
General Education Course3CAS 100, 100A, 100B, or 100C‡†3
General Education Course (GQ)‡†3General Education Course3
 14 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 127 or 1103-4SPAN 1, 2, or 1054
HORT 137*3ENT 3132
HORT 1202ENT 3141
SOILS 1013BLAW 2433
BA 2503PPEM 318 or 3002
 MKTG 220 or AGBM 2203
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 14-15 16.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HORT 138*3ACCTG 2114
CHEM 1012-3ENGL 202D‡†3
HORT 238*3HORT 408*4
HORT 250*3PLANT 2173
TURF 100 or 2353General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 14-15 15.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HORT 131*3SOILS 402 or 4043
HORT 410W3HORT 468*2
General Education Course3Elective3
General Education Course3Elective3
Elective3General Education Course3
 Elective2-3
 15 16-17
Total Credits 120-123

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Note:

Please consult with your academic adviser regarding the selection of elective courses.

Design/Build Option: Landscape Contracting, B.S. at Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15‡†3MATH 26‡†3
AGBM 101, ECON 14, ECON 102, or ECON 1023CAS 100, 100A, 100B, or 100C‡†3
General Education Course3ART 203
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
General Education Course (GQ)‡†3General Education Course3
First Year Seminar1-3 
 14.5-16.5 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 127 or 1103-4CHEM 1012-3
ACCTG 2114SPAN 1, 2, or 1054
BLAW 2433ENGL 202D‡†3
General Education Course3General Education Coures (GHW)1.5
Elective3Elective3
 16-17 13.5-14.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HORT 137*3HORT 464*4
HORT 269*3HORT 408*4
HORT 101 (Elective)*†3PLANT 2173
HORT 120*2HORT 220*3
EDSGN 101LARCH 603
SOILS 1013 
ENT 313, 314, HORT 238, PPEM 300, or PPEM 3182-3 
 17-18 17
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HORT 1313HORT 368*4
HORT 1383HORT 468*2
HORT 410W3MKTG 220 or AGBM 2203
HORT 4665BA 2503
TURF 100 or 2353General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 17 13.5
Total Credits 123.5-128.5

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Advising Note:

Please consult with your academic adviser regarding the selection of elective courses.

Management Option: Landscape Contracting, B.S. at Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 127 or 1103-4CHEM 1012-3
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15‡†3MATH 26‡†3
General Education Course (GQ)‡†3CAS 100‡†3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
First Year Seminar1-3 
 14.5-17.5 14-15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
AGBM 101, ECON 14, ECON 102, or ECON 1043ENGL 202D‡†3
BLAW 2433ACCTG 2114
SPAN 1, 2, or 1054General Education Course3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
Elective3Elective3
 14.5 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HORT 137*3SOILS 402 or 4043
HORT 120*2MKTG 220 or AGBM 2203
HORT 238*3HORT 408*4
HORT 101*‡†3PLANT 2173
HORT 250*3LARCH 603
SOILS 1013 
 17 16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HORT 138*3ENT 3132
HORT 131*3ENT 3141
HORT 410W3HORT 4682
TURF 100 or 2353PPEM 318 or 3002-3
BA 2503Elective3
 Elective 3
 Elective 2-3
 15 15-17
Total Credits 122-128

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Advising Note:

Please consult with your academic adviser regarding the selection of elective courses.

Career Paths

Career opportunities exist with landscape management firms, design/build firms, nurseries, public gardens, park systems, municipalities, golf courses, and garden centers. Graduates may find opportunities in marketing and sales, business management, estimating and bidding, and landscape design and management.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE LANDSCAPE CONTRACTING PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Students may pursue graduate studies in horticulture, landscape architecture, turfgrass science, ecosystems management, and other related fields.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF PLANT SCIENCE
101 Tyson Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-2571
thg110@psu.edu

http://plantscience.psu.edu/contact