Landscape Architecture, Minor

Program Code: LARCH_UMNR

Program Description

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 Minor in Landscape Architecture allows greater accessibility to the knowledge domains within the professional accredited Landscape Architecture major. The minor, as a non-professional opportunity, provides students with a broad understanding of the history, practice, and theories of how landscape architecture shapes the world, as well as the opportunity for more specialized study in selected topics.

The minor is flexible so that students can tailor their course choices to accommodate individual interests. Students should seek the advice of the minor adviser for course selection.

This minor is appropriate for students wishing to gain a greater understanding of the landscape architecture discipline as it complements many other professions dealing with natural systems management, site and urban design, master planning (community and regional), graphic information systems, resource conservation and stewardship, and landscape history/preservation.

What is Landscape Architecture?

Landscape architecture is an important "change agent" design profession for the 21st century addressing both social and environmental challenges of our times. Landscape architects are licensed professionals who design places that have beneficial impacts on the health and resilience of our ecosystems, our communities, and ourselves—places of delight, of wonder, of comfort, and of respite that include parks, plazas, arboreta, campuses, gardens, memorials, green roofs, interactive installations, commercial centers, transportation corridors, waterfront developments, and so much more. In all of their efforts, Landscape architects are guided by commitment to social, environmental, and economic benefit. All of this makes landscape architecture "the most exciting 21st century design profession that you've probably never heard of."

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.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
AA 121Design Thinking and Creativity Keystone/General Education Course3
LARCH 60Cultural History of Designed Places Keystone/General Education Course3
LARCH 125Landscape Architecture Orientation Seminar1
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 11 credits of the following: 111
Special Topics
Built Environment and Culture: Examining the Modern City Keystone/General Education Course
Design I: Intro Spatial Composition
Design II: Spatial Design
Ecology and Plants I
Skills Lab I: Hand & Digital Graphics
Skills Lab II: Hand & Digital Graphics
Design Implementation I: Grading
Ecology & Plants II
Ridge & Valley in the Field
Skills Lab IV: GIS
Human Dimensions of Design: History & Theory
Contemporary Trends in Landscape Architecture
Human Dimensions of Design - Applied
Design Theory Seminar
Geodesign: Geospatial Technology for Design
Independent Studies
Special Topics

6 credits must be at the 400 level

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.


University Park

Bonj Szczygiel
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
431 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park, PA 16802

Career Paths

Penn State Landscape Architecture graduates are well-prepared to join our distinguished professional alumni network and make an immediate impact on the world. The Landscape Architecture minor is designed to provides students with a robust background in creativity, technical skills, and ethical considerations. 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. Landscape Architecture studies will prepare you with leading-edge technical design principles and a foundation in technologies and design-thinking methods so that you can pursue a wide range of opportunities.


Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Landscape Architecture Minor students may opt to pursue advanced degrees to gain specialized expertise or to undertake professional licensure. Penn State’s M.S. in LA is a research-focused degree in which students hone expertise in a targeted area of the profession. The M.L.A. professional program prepares students for professional practice. 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.



University Park

121 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park, PA 16802