Admissions to the Landscape Architecture B.S. has been suspended as of spring 2019 and will be discontinued as of fall 2019. If you have any questions, please contact the department.

The bachelor of science program with a major in landscape architecture provides students with a solid foundation to pursue careers in landscape planning and conservation. It emphasizes problem-solving skills and critical thinking based on ecological principles, societal needs and cultural foundations. Landscape planning focuses on strategies to integrate human activities with landscape resources in order to achieve healthy living environments through sustainable and livable community development. Landscape conservation is concerned with achieving healthy ecosystems and in cultural and natural resource preservation.

The curriculum includes courses on theory and process and on techniques for data gathering and manipulation with an emphasis on geospatial information systems and interdisciplinary perspectives as well as on ensuring public participation in making planning and conservation decisions.

This major is of particular interest to students interested in ecological restoration and preservation and environmental planning. It prepares students for graduate work in such fields as restoration ecology, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, architecture, law, environmental studies, and environmental design.

Admissions to the Landscape Architecture B.S. has been suspended as of spring 2019 and will be discontinued as of fall 2019. If you have any questions, please contact the department.

To declare this major, students must be admitted to UW–Madison and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). For information about becoming a CALS first-year or transfer student, see Entering the College.

Students who attend Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences have the option to declare this major at SOAR.  Students may otherwise declare after they have begun their undergraduate studies. For more information, contact the advisor listed under the Advising and Careers tab.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Requirements

In addition to the University General Education Requirements, all undergraduate students in CALS must satisfy a set of college and major requirements. Specific requirements for all majors in the college and other information on academic matters can be obtained from the Office of Academic Affairs, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, 116 Agricultural Hall, 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-3003. Academic departments and advisors also have information on requirements. Courses may not double count within university requirements (General Education and Breadth) or within college requirements (First-Year Seminar, International Studies and Science), but courses counted toward university requirements may also be used to satisfy a college and/or a major requirement; similarly, courses counted toward college requirements may also be used to satisfy a university and/or a major requirement.

College Requirements for all CALS B.S. Degree Programs

Quality of Work: Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 to remain in good standing and be eligible for graduation.
Residency: Students must complete 30 degree credits in residence at UW–Madison after earning 86 credits toward their undergraduate degree.
First Year Seminar1
International Studies3
Physical Science Fundamentals4-5
General Chemistry I
Chemistry in Our World
Advanced General Chemistry
Biological Science5
Additional Science (Biological, Physical, or Natural)3
Science Breadth (Biological, Physical, Natural, or Social)3
CALS Capstone Learning Experience: included in the requirements for each CALS major (see "Major Requirements")

Major Requirements

Courses may not double count within the major (unless specifically noted otherwise), but courses counted toward the major requirements may also be used to satisfy a university requirement and/or a college requirement. A minimum of 15 credits must be completed in the major that are not used elsewhere.

ENVIR ST/​GEOG  127 Physical Systems of the Environment is recommended to fulfill the CALS International Studies requirement.

Mathematics and Statistics
Select one of the following (or may be satisfied by placement exam):5-6
and Trigonometry
Algebra and Trigonometry
Select one of the following:3-5
Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1
Introduction to Statistical Methods
Select one of the following:5-6
Option 1:
General Botany
Option 2:
Survey of Botany
And select one of the following:
Propagation of Horticultural Plants
or another 2 credits of lab or field-based botany, horticulture, agronomy, or landscape architecture
Select one of the following:3-4
Introductory Ecology
The Vegetation of Wisconsin
General Ecology
SOIL SCI 301 General Soil Science4
or SOIL SCI/​ENVIR ST/​GEOG  230 Soil: Ecosystem and Resource
LAND ARC 250 Survey of Landscape Architecture Design3
LAND ARC 210 Introduction to Landscape Architecture Design 14
LAND ARC 211 Landscape Inventory and Evaluation Methods4
LAND ARC 260 History of Landscape Architecture3
LAND ARC/​ENVIR ST/​SOIL SCI  695 Applications of Geographic Information Systems in Natural Resources3
or URB R PL/​LAND ARC  622 Applications of Geographic Information Systems in Planning
HISTORY/​ENVIR ST/​GEOG  460 American Environmental History4
or ART HIST 457 History of American Vernacular Architecture and Landscapes
URB R PL/LAND ARC 463 Evolution of American Planning3
URB R PL 601 Site Planning3
LAND ARC 375 Special Topics (minimum total of 3 cr.)3
Select one of the following:18-22
Specialization 1: Cultural and Historic Landscapes
Specialization 2: Environmental Planning
Specialization 3: Ecological Restoration
Select one of the following:
Senior Thesis
and Senior Thesis
Special Problems-Landscape Architecture
Total Credits68-77

Specializations Within the Major

Specialization 1: Cultural and Historic Landscapes

LAND ARC 677 Cultural Resource Preservation and Landscape History3
Select one of the following:3
Folklore of Wisconsin
Field Methods and the Public Presentation of Folklore
The Folklore of Festivals and Celebrations
Local Culture and Identity in the Upper Midwest
Select one of the following:3-4
The Historian's Craft
Immigration and Assimilation in American History
Select one of the following:3-4
Indians of the Western Great Lakes
Archaeology of Wisconsin
American Indian Folklore
Indians of Wisconsin
Native American Environmental Issues and the Media
Poverty and Place
Select one of the following:3
Dimensions of Material Culture
Topics in Architectural History
History of American Vernacular Architecture and Landscapes
Dimensions of Material Culture
Select one of the following:3-4
Geography of Social Organization
Introduction to the City
People, Land and Food: Comparative Study of Agriculture Systems
Geography of Wisconsin
People, Wildlife and Landscapes
Space and Place: A Geography of Experience
Planning for Food Systems and Marketplaces
Total Credits18-21

Specialization 2: Environmental Planning

ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics4
SOC/​C&E SOC  210 Survey of Sociology3-4
or SOC/​C&E SOC  211 The Sociological Enterprise
GEOG/​URB R PL  305 Introduction to the City3-4
or URB R PL 590 Contemporary Topics in Urban and Regional Planning
C&E SOC/URB R PL 617 Community Development3
Select one of the following:3-4
Green Politics: Global Experience, American Prospects
Natural Resources Policy
Government and Natural Resources
Select one of the following:3-4
The Real Estate Process
Urban and Regional Economics
Environmental Economics
Total Credits19-23

Specialization 3: Ecological Restoration

BOTANY 400 Plant Systematics4
or BOTANY 401 Vascular Flora of Wisconsin
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL  455 The Vegetation of Wisconsin4
LAND ARC 353 Landscape Architectural Technology I3
LAND ARC 668 Restoration Ecology3
Select one of the following:3-4
Conservation Biology
Environmental Conservation
Extinction of Species
Select one of the following:2-3
Grassland Ecology
Wetlands Ecology
Soil Biology
Limnology-Conservation of Aquatic Resources
LAND ARC 399 Coordinative Internship/Cooperative Education1-8
or LAND ARC 699 Special Problems-Landscape Architecture
Total Credits20-29

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.

1. Integrate social, cultural, ecological and technological dimensions in solving novel problems concerning the conservation or management of sustainable natural and cultural landscapes.

2. Demonstrate critical thinking and the ability to explore ideas and synthesize information, both independently and in collaboration with interdisciplinary team members.

3. Demonstrate competence and critical judgment in applying the intellectual and technical skills necessary for site and landscape-­scale natural and cultural resource conservation planning and management; in particular the skills of: site inventory and analysis, spatial and temporal analysis; geographic information systems; programming; synthesis; communication; implementation; and evaluation.

4. Understand, apply and evaluate the principles, theories and recent research findings underlying at least one of the following fields of landscape studies, in particular cultural and historic landscapes, environmental planning, and ecological restoration.

5. Demonstrate advanced communication skills, including visual, verbal, and written presentation skills.

6. Be able to perform as a member of a public or private natural or cultural resources conservation or preservation office or agency.

Four-Year Plan

Sample Landscape Architecture Four-Year Plan—Bachelor of Science Degree

LAND ARC 25013MATH 1133
MATH 1123COMM A Course3
First Year Seminar1Electives33
 16 18
Total Credits 34
Biological Science Course5LAND ARC 2603
SOIL SCI 3014BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​ZOOLOGY  260, 455, or 4603-4
Electives6Math / Statistics Course3
 15 15-16
Total Credits 30-31
Landscape Architecture Core Elective Courses6LAND ARC/​ENVIR ST/​SOIL SCI  6953
Specialization Courses6ENVIR ST/​GEOG  1275
Elective Course3Specialization Course3
 Elective Course4
 15 15
Total Credits 30
LAND ARC 691 (Capstone)4Specialization Course3
Specialization Courses6Elective Courses12
Elective Courses6 
 16 15
Total Credits 31

Students are assigned to a faculty advisor once they declare the major. Prospective students should contact the academic coordinator, Debi Griffin (, 608-263-7301) for more information.

This major is of particular interest to students interested in ecological restoration and preservation and environmental planning. It prepares students for graduate work in such fields as restoration ecology, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, architecture, law, environmental studies, and environmental design.


Gilmore, Harrington, Howell, Silbernagel

Associate Professors

Bart, Dennis

Assistant Professor


Faculty Associates

Flohr, Kelly

Senior Lecturers

Hadley, Steiner