At which campus can I study this program?
Landscape architecture is the art of design, planning, or management of the land and of the natural and built elements upon it. As an academic discipline, it embodies creative, cultural, philosophical, and scientific knowledge bases. As a professional discipline, the practice of landscape architecture includes site design, urban design, master planning, community planning, regional planning, resource conservation, and stewardship.
The program currently is a nine-semester curriculum leading to a professionally accredited Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree. One semester of the curriculum is spent in a required semester abroad. The program prepares graduates for entry into professional offices or pursuit of advanced study in related disciplines. The curriculum develops both the creative insight and the technical skills essential to practice and fulfills the education requirement needed in all states to be eligible to take the professional licensing examination.
What is Landscape Architecture?
Landscape Architecture is a design profession focused on natural and built environments and people’s experiences within them. Landscape architects create spaces and places that artistically, functionally, and ethically blend nature and technology to impact experiences, opportunities, activities, and events at individual, community, and even global scales. Landscape architects plan and design parks, plazas, arboreta, campuses, gardens, memorials, green roofs, interactive installations, commercial centers, transportation corridors, waterfront developments, and so much more. Landscape architects also play a critical role in protecting the environment. Restoring natural places and creating sustainable landscapes contributes to healthy communities. Landscape architects develop landscapes that sequester carbon, clean the air and water, increase energy efficiency, restore habitats, and deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You are creative, active, involved.
- You want to be an agent of change and solve problems.
- You are passionate about sustainability.
- You are fascinated by people and cultures; inspired by history and traveling.
- You like technology and hands-on work.
- You enjoy working with a team and you want to design for the 'big' issues.
- You want to engage with art, nature, and design to unlock powerful solutions for the complex issues of today and tomorrow.
Incoming First Year Students
Incoming first year students must apply to Penn State. Students who are accepted to Landscape Architecture will be directly admitted to the undergraduate professional degree (Larch_BLA). There is no portfolio required for incoming first year students.
Change of Major/Change of Campus Students
Change of major/change of campus students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above and are required to submit a cover letter and essay by February 15, 2020. Students will be placed in either first or third year studio based on demonstrating proficiencies required for advanced placement standing.
Transfer students must apply to Penn State. Transfer students are required to apply and submit a cover letter and essay by February 15, 2020. Students will be placed in either first or third year studio based on demonstrating proficiencies required for advanced placement standing.
For the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree in Landscape Architecture, a minimum of 139 credits is required:
|Requirements for the Major||109|
21 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GA courses; 3 credits of GH courses; 3 credits of GS courses.
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 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
- 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.
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.
|SOILS 101||Introductory Soil Science||3|
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|LARCH 60||Cultural History of Designed Places||3|
|LARCH 115||Design I: Intro Spatial Composition||3|
|LARCH 116||Design II: Spatial Design||3|
|LARCH 125||Landscape Architecture Orientation Seminar||1|
|LARCH 145||Ecology and Plants I||3|
|LARCH 155||Skills Lab I: Hand & Digital Graphics||2|
|LARCH 156||Skills Lab II: Hand & Digital Graphics||2|
|LARCH 215||Design III: Site Design||4|
|LARCH 216||Design IV: Expanded Use, Scale, and Context||4|
|LARCH 235||Design Implementation I: Grading||3|
|LARCH 236||Design Implementation II: Materials||3|
|LARCH 245||Ecology & Plants II||3|
|LARCH 246||Ridge & Valley in the Field||1|
|LARCH 255||Skills Lab III: Digital Graphics||2|
|LARCH 256||Skills Lab IV: GIS||2|
|LARCH 276||Human Dimensions of Design ¿ History & Theory||3|
|LARCH 315||Design V: Expanded Use, Scale, and Context||4|
|LARCH 335||Design Implementation III: Planting Methods||3|
|LARCH 336||Design Implementation IV: Stormwater||3|
|LARCH 365||Contemporary Trends in Landscape Architecture||3|
|LARCH 375||Human Dimensions of Design - Applied||3|
|LARCH 386||Professional Practice||3|
|LARCH 414||Design and Theory V: Advanced Landscape Architectural Design (5 per semester, maximum of 15)||5-15|
|LARCH 424||Design Theory Seminar||3|
|LARCH 499A||Design Theory Seminar||1|
|LARCH 499B||Design and Theory VI: Contemporary/International Landscape Architectural Design Issues||5|
|LARCH 499D||Contemporary/International Special Topics||3|
|Select 6 credits of the following:||6|
|Plant Stress: It's Not Easy Being Green|
|Introduction to Plant Biology|
|Structure and Function of Organisms|
|Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution|
|Energy Conservation for Environmental Protection|
|Global Change and Ecosystems|
|Landforms of the World|
|Introduction to Environmental Geology|
|Plants in the Human Context|
|Atmospheric Environment: Growing in the Wind|
|Select 6 credits of the following:||6|
|Design Thinking and Creativity|
|Architecture and Ideas|
|Introduction to Architecture and Planning Theories|
|Introduction to Drawing|
|Introduction to Sculpture|
|Asian Art and Architecture|
|Introduction to the Art and Architecture of the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas|
|Ancient to Medieval Architecture|
|Renaissance to Modern Architecture|
|Architecture and Art of South and Southeast Asia|
|Islamic Architecture and Art|
|Introduction to Graphic Design|
|Select 3 credits of the following:||3|
|Early African History|
|Modern African History|
|What is Asia?|
|Paris: Anatomy of a City|
|The American Scene|
|German Culture and Civilization|
|Contemporary German Culture|
|Introduction to U.S. Environmental History|
|Nature and Environment|
|Introduction to Environmental Philosophy|
|Select 3 credits of the following:||3|
|Introduction to Contemporary Africa|
|Foundations: Civic and Community Engagement|
|Science, Technology and Public Policy|
|Environment, Power, and Justice|
|Urban Geography: A Global Perspective|
|Politics of the Developing Areas|
|Leisure and Human Behavior|
|Introductory Rural Sociology|
|Race and Ethnic Relations|
A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better in these courses. In order to graduate, a student in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
Integrated B.L.A./M.S. in Landscape Architecture
The integrated undergraduate-graduate (IUG) degree program (B.L.A. in Landscape Architecture/M.S. in Landscape Architecture) provides an opportunity for strong students in Penn State’s Landscape Architecture B.L.A. program to complete a master’s degree with 6 total years of study (the B.L.A. is a 5-year program).
The number of openings in the integrated B.L.A. /M.S. program is limited. Admission is selective based on specific criteria set by the Department of Landscape Architecture (see below). Because the typical B.L.A. is a 5-year program, students shall be admitted no earlier than the beginning of the seventh semester of undergraduate study at Penn State (regardless of transfer or AP credits accumulated prior to enrollment) and no later than the end of the second week of the semester preceding the semester of expected conferral of the undergraduate degree, as specified in the proposed IUG plan of study.
- Must be enrolled in the Landscape Architecture B.L.A. program.
- Must apply to, and be accepted into, The Graduate School and the M.S. program in Landscape Architecture. Students must complete the Graduate School application.
- All applicants will submit GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement addressing their reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture and discussing their plans and goals.
- An applicant will be expected to have a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in undergraduate coursework and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all coursework completed for the major.
- A plan of study must be included identifying undergraduate credits to be applied to the M.S. degree elective requirements.
Plan of Study
In consultation with both the Undergraduate Academic Adviser in the Stuckeman School and the Graduate Coordinator in Landscape Architecture, the applicant should prepare a plan of study that covers the entire time period of the IUG program. The plan should be reviewed periodically with both the Undergraduate Academic Adviser in the Stuckeman School and the Graduate Coordinator in Landscape Architecture.
Students must fulfill all requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the double-counting of credits as outlined below. Degree requirements for the B.S. in Landscape Architecture are listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Degree requirements for the M.S. degree are listed in the M.S. in Landscape Architecture Degree Requirements section above. The program will accept 5 credits of LARCH 414 from students in the IUG program, in lieu of 3 credits of LARCH 510 and 3 credits of LARCH 590. Students in the IUG program must also take an additional 1 credit elective to meet the 40 credit minimum required for the degree.
Up to 11 credits may be double-counted towards the degree requirements for both the graduate and undergraduate degrees; a minimum of 50% of the double- counted courses must be at the 500 or 800 level. Credits associated with the culminating experience for the graduate degree cannot be double-counted. The courses that are eligible to double count for both degrees are: LARCH 414 (5 credits), LARCH 501 (3 credits) and one elective from the following list: ANTH 559 (3 credits), ECLGY 510 (2 credits), FOR 565 (3 credits), GEODZ 511 (3 credits), GEOG 550 (3 credits), HDNRE 574 (3 credits), HDNRE 575 (3 credits), RSOC 555 (3 credits).
Students must sequence their courses so all undergraduate degree requirements are fulfilled before taking courses to count towards the graduate degree. If students accepted into the IUG program are unable to complete the M.A. degree, they are still eligible to receive their undergraduate degree if all the undergraduate degree requirements have been satisfied.
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.
Stuckeman School Undergraduate Academic Adviser
127 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park, PA 16802
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2019-20 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).
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.
|ENGL 15 or 30*‡||3||LARCH 116*||3|
|LARCH 60 (GA;US;IL)*†||3||LARCH 156*||2|
|LARCH 115*||3||SOILS 101*‡||3|
|LARCH 125*||1||Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|LARCH 145*||3||Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|LARCH 155*||2||Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|LARCH 215*||4||ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D‡||3|
|LARCH 235*||3||LARCH 216*||4|
|LARCH 245*||3||LARCH 236*||3|
|LARCH 255*||2||LARCH 246*||1|
|Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3||LARCH 256*||2|
|CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C‡||3||LARCH 414*||5|
|LARCH 315*||4||LARCH 336*||3|
|LARCH 335*||3||LARCH 386*||3|
|LARCH 365*||3||Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|LARCH 375*||3||Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|LARCH 499A*||1||LARCH 414*||5|
|LARCH 499B*||5||LARCH 424*||3|
|LARCH 499D*||3||Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|Foreign Language (Recommended) or Elective*||3||Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|Additional Course for Major (see list)*1||3|
|Total Credits 139|
Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
Additional Course for Major Selection (18 credits)
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/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.
Change of Major Application: A minimum grade point average of 2.0 and an essay submission to be evaluated. Students will be admitted in the fall semester only.
Submission Requirements: https://artsandarchitecture.psu.edu/howtoapply/landscape_architecture
For More Information, please contact:
Erica Quinn, Academic Adviser
Penn State Landscape Architecture graduates are well-prepared to join our distinguished professional alumni network with a clear path to licensure and making an immediate impact on the world. The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.) program is designed to prepare graduates for either advanced study or professional careers. A B.L.A. degree provides students with a background in creativity, technical skills, and ethical considerations necessary for professional practice. Careers or graduate study can lead to a diverse array of focus areas, including sustainability, urban planning, research, social or environmental justice, design, ecology, social health and well-being, technology, construction, or community outreach.
The world is constantly changing, and landscape architects are skilled designers poised to shape, drive, and responsibly steward these changes. Penn State landscape architects are artists, ecologists, engineers, scientists, sociologists, conservationists, and often, leaders. The profession enables you to connect with your passion. Engage with art, nature, and design. Build spaces, places, and experiences. Collaborate. Solve problems. Design a better future. A B.L.A. will prepare you with leading-edge technical design principles and a deep foundation in technologies and design-thinking methods so that you can immediately enter professional practice with a wide range of opportunities.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
While the accredited B.L.A. prepares students for professional practice, graduates may opt to pursue advanced degrees to gain specialized expertise. Penn State’s M.S. in LA is a research-focused degree in which students hone expertise in a targeted area of the profession. M.S. in LA applicants should hold an accredited professional degree in landscape architecture. Penn State also offers an online graduate certificate and a Master in Professional Studies degree program in Geodesign, an exciting, new, design and planning strategy that harnesses big data to ensure wise decisions grounded in the triple bottom line of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic good.
The BLA undergraduate curriculum is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). The mission of LAAB is to evaluate, advocate for, and advance the quality of education in landscape architectural programs. LAAB establishes standards that ensure that current and future practitioners understand, obtain and maintain the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice landscape architecture in the future.