Students who enjoy art, science, technology, problem-solving, and design should consider a career in landscape architecture. Graduates in landscape architecture influence the design and management of cities, parks, and open spaces. They often advise park managers, citizen groups, landowners, and state agencies. Landscape architects design public and private outdoor spaces, restore and help preserve natural areas, develop and implement regional planning and public policy, and revitalize urban neighborhoods. The professional Bachleor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree program focuses on form-giving design, design implementation, and professional practice. Emphasis is placed on principles of design theory and process; problem solving in relationship to human needs and aspirations, environmental awareness and stewardship; and on the development of technical proficiencies required of professional practice. Students learn site analysis, graphic communication, design synthesis, construction technology, and the social and environmental factors that are part of design.
The BLA degree program provides professional education accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Students completing the requirements for this program are granted a BLA degree. Completion of this program is the first step in becoming a licensed landscape architect.
Please note that students completing the BLA degree cannot pursue an additional major, however, students may work towards and complete certificates.
Admission to the professional program during the sophomore year, or in the second year of the degree plan, is on a competitive basis.
Students completing the requirements for this program are awarded a BLA degree. Because the BLA is an integrated degree program, it cannot be added as an additional major (“double major”) by students pursuing other degree programs. Students who are admitted to and complete the BLA degree may not declare or be awarded additional majors in combination with the BLA degree. However, BLA students are permitted to complete certificate programs.
- Eligibility for Consideration into the Landscape Architecture Accredited Professional Program. Eligibility for consideration into the Landscape Architecture Accredited Professional Program depends on fulfillment of these requirements: students apply for formal admission to the program during the spring semester of each academic year. Selections are made only once a year for the fall semester. The first round of selections takes place in early summer. All students will be notified of their status at least two weeks before the start of the fall semester. Students who plan to complete their prerequisite courses during the summer session must so indicate on their application. The department will admit up to a maximum of 22 students, as resources permit. Selection will be based on a letter of intent, written by the applicant, which will address their reasons for entering the major, submission of portfolio, and on grades earned in the following two prerequisite courses: LAND ARC 250 and LAND ARC 210.
- AND the applicant must have completed BOTANY 100, or equivalent, as well as a minimum of 24 credit hours. University GPA will be considered.
For more information on the professional design degree program and the application process please go to this link.
- Selection Policies. On-campus selections for admission will be made as soon as possible after spring semester grades are received.
- Notification of Status. Applicants who have completed their prerequisite courses at the end of spring semester will be notified of their status between June 1 and July 1 of each year for fall semester admission. Decisions on those applicants completing prerequisites during summer session will be made as soon as grades are received.
- Appeal Procedures. An appeal to the department's curriculum committee may be presented to clarify an error of fact or extenuating circumstances.
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|| |
* 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 Letters and Science Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA)
Students pursuing a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The BLA is a special degree program; it is not considered a major. The BLA degree is not available to students who intend to earn a degree outside the College of Letters & Science.
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree Requirements
|Mathematics||Complete the University General Education Requirements for Quantitative Reasoning A (QR-A) and Quantitative Reasoning B (QR-B) coursework.|
|Foreign Language||Complete the third unit of a foreign language.|
|L&S Breadth||Complete: |
• 12 credits of Humanities, including at least 3 credits of Literature; and
• 12 credits of Social Science; and
• 12 credits of Natural Science, which must include 6 credits in Biological Science and 6 credits in Physical Science.
|Liberal Arts & Science Coursework||Complete at least 108 credits.|
|Depth of Intermediate/Advanced Coursework||Complete at least 60 credits at the Intermediate or Advanced level.|
|Total Credits||Complete at least 120 credits.|
|UW—Madison Experience||Complete both: |
• 30 credits in residence, overall, and
• 30 credits in residence after the 86th credit.
|Quality of Work||• 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison |
• 2.000 in Intermediate/Advanced level coursework at UW–Madison
Requirements for the BLA
|Introduction and Foundation|
|LAND ARC 210||Introduction to Landscape Architecture Design||4|
|LAND ARC 250||Survey of Landscape Architecture Design||3|
|LAND ARC 260||History of Landscape Architecture||3|
|Other Required Foundation Courses|
|BOTANY 100||Survey of Botany||3-5|
|or BOTANY/BIOLOGY 130||General Botany|
|DS 221||Person and Environment Interactions||3|
|HORT/LAND ARC 263||Landscape Plants I||3|
|BOTANY/ENVIR ST/ZOOLOGY 260||Introductory Ecology||3|
|SOIL SCI/ENVIR ST/GEOG 230||Soil: Ecosystem and Resource||3-4|
|or SOIL SCI 301||General Soil Science|
|Intermediate Studio Sequence|
|LAND ARC 261||Principles of Landscape Architecture Design and Graphics||4|
|LAND ARC 321||Environment and Behavior Studio - Designing Health Promoting Environments||4|
|LAND ARC 353||Landscape Architectural Technology I||3|
|LAND ARC 354||Landscape Architectural Technology II||3|
|Professional Theory and Practice Core|
|LAND ARC 460||Advanced Visual Communication in Landscape Architecture||3|
|LAND ARC 397||Internship in Landscape Architecture||1|
|LAND ARC 550||Professional Practice in Landscape Architecture||3|
|LAND ARC/ENVIR ST/SOIL SCI 695||Applications of Geographic Information Systems in Natural Resources||3|
|Advanced Studio Sequence|
|LAND ARC 560||Plants and Ecology in Design||4|
|LAND ARC 561||Housing and Urban Design||4|
|LAND ARC 562||Open Space Planning and Design||4|
|LAND ARC 563||Designing Sustainable and Resilient Regions||4|
|LAND ARC 610|
& LAND ARC 611
| Landscape Architecture Seminar|
and Senior Capstone in Landscape Architecture
Residence and Quality of Work
- 2.000 GPA in all LAND ARC courses and courses that count toward the BLA program
- 2.000 GPA on 15 Upper Level credits, taken in Residence 1
- 15 credits in LAND ARC, taken on the UW–Madison campus
LAND ARC and major courses numbered 500-699 are Upper Level.
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.|
- Demonstrate competence and critical judgement in applying intellectual and technical skills necessary for site and landscape-scale design, in particular skills of problem-solving using site inventory/analysis; spatial/temporal analysis; programming; synthesis; oral, written, and visual communication; construction implementation; and post-occupancy evaluation.
- Demonstrate critical thinking and the ability to explore ideas and synthesize information, both independently and in collaboration with interdisciplinary team members to identify and solve complicated landscape design and planning problems.
- Understand, apply, and evaluate the principles, theories, and recent research findings in the discipline of landscape architecture.
- Integrate humanistic, scientific, legal, political, economic, social, ecological, and technological dimensions in solving novel design and planning problems concerning the betterment of rural and urban natural and cultural landscapes.
- Understand, analyze, and apply design and planning theories and principles to urban and rural landscapes to benefit human living conditions.
Sample Four-Year Plan
This Sample Four-Year Plan is a tool to assist students and their advisor(s). Students should use it—along with their DARS report, the Degree Planner, and Course Search & Enroll tools—to make their own four-year plan based on their placement scores, credit for transferred courses and approved examinations, and individual interests. As students become involved in athletics, honors, research, student organizations, study abroad, volunteer experiences, and/or work, they might adjust the order of their courses to accommodate these experiences. Students will likely revise their own four-year plan several times during college.
|Communication A||3||Quantitative Reasoning A||4|
|Foreign Language (if needed)||4||Ethnic Studies||4|
|LAND ARC 210||4||BOTANY 100 or 130||3|
|LAND ARC 250||3||Elective||4|
|Quantitative Reasoning B||3||LAND ARC 260||3|
|LAND ARC 261||4||LAND ARC 321||4|
|BOTANY/ENVIR ST/ZOOLOGY 260||3||LAND ARC 353||3|
|DS 221||3||SOIL SCI/ENVIR ST/GEOG 230 or 301||3|
|HORT/LAND ARC 263||3||INTER-LS 210||1|
|LAND ARC 354||3||LAND ARC 561||4|
|LAND ARC 397||1||LAND ARC 562||4|
|LAND ARC 460||3||LAND ARC/ENVIR ST/SOIL SCI 695||3|
|LAND ARC 560||4||Physical Science Breadth||3|
|LAND ARC 563||4||LAND ARC 611 (also meets Communications B)||4|
|LAND ARC 550||3||Electives||11|
|LAND ARC 610||3|
|Total Credits 121|
Students are assigned to a faculty advisor once they are admitted to the major. Prospective students should contact the undergraduate academic coordinator, Debi Griffin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
The BLA degree program provides professional education accredited by the the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB).
Completion of this program is the first step in becoming a licensed landscape architect through the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB)
L&S career resources
Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities. SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.
In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.
Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.
- Set up a career advising appointment
- Enroll in a Career Course - a great idea for first- and second-year students:
- Learn about internships and internship funding
- Activate your Handshake account to apply for jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers recruiting UW-Madison students
- Learn about the impact SuccessWorks has on students' lives
David Bart, Sam Dennis, Evelyn Howell, James A. LaGro Jr., Kurt Paulsen
distinguished faculty associate
Associate Faculty Associate
Eric Schuchardt, Bradley Vowels-Katter
Assistant Faculty Associate
Doug Hadley, Mary Myers, James Steiner
Jacob Blue, Gavin Luter
UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC SERVICES
Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)
The United States Department of Education requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure about whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Following is this disclosure information for this program:
The requirements of this program meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:
The requirements of this program do not meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:
The requirements of this program have not been determined if they meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming; District of Columbia; American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2025.