Council Ring surrounding a fire pit at the end of Picnic Point, Lakeshore Nature Preserve, UW-Madison campus

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.

  1. 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 or LAND ARC 366.
  2. AND the applicant must have completed 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.
  3. Selection Policies. On-campus selections for admission will be made as soon as possible after spring semester grades are received.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  • 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 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 Design3-4
or LAND ARC 366 Introduction to Architectural and Environmental Design
LAND ARC 250 Survey of Landscape Architecture Design3
LAND ARC 260 History of Landscape Architecture3
Other Required Foundation Courses
BOTANY 100 Survey of Botany3-5
or BOTANY/​BIOLOGY  130 General Botany
DS 221 Person and Environment Interactions3
BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​ZOOLOGY  260 Introductory Ecology3
LAND ARC 311 Introduction to Design Frameworks and Spatial Technologies2
LAND ARC 380 Plants for Ecological Design I2
LAND ARC 381 Plants for Ecological Design II1
SOIL SCI/​ENVIR ST/​GEOG  230 Soil: Ecosystem and Resource3
or SOIL SCI 301 General Soil Science
Intermediate Studio Sequence
LAND ARC 261 Principles of Landscape Architecture Design and Graphics4
LAND ARC 321 Environment and Behavior Studio - Designing Health Promoting Environments4
LAND ARC 353 Landscape Architectural Technology I3
LAND ARC 354 Landscape Architectural Technology II3
Professional Theory and Practice Core
LAND ARC 460 Advanced Visual Communication in Landscape Architecture3
LAND ARC 397 Internship in Landscape Architecture1
LAND ARC 511 Geodesign Methods and Applications3
LAND ARC 550 Professional Practice in Landscape Architecture3
Advanced Studio Sequence
LAND ARC 560 Plants and Ecology in Design4
LAND ARC 561 Housing and Urban Design4
LAND ARC 562 Open Space Planning and Design4
LAND ARC 563 Designing Sustainable and Resilient Regions4
Capstone Sequence
Landscape Architecture Seminar
and Senior Capstone in Landscape Architecture
Total Credits73

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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Understand, apply, and evaluate the principles, theories, and recent research findings in the discipline of landscape architecture.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

First Year
Communication A3Quantitative Reasoning A4
Foreign Language (if needed)4Ethnic Studies4
LAND ARC 2104BOTANY 100 or 1303
LAND ARC 2503Elective4
 14 15
Second Year
Quantitative Reasoning B3LAND ARC 2603
DS 2213SOIL SCI/​ENVIR ST/​GEOG  230 or 3013
 17 16
Third Year
LAND ARC 5604Physical Science Breadth3
 14 14
Fourth Year
LAND ARC 5634LAND ARC 611 (also meets Communications B)4
LAND ARC 5503Electives10
LAND ARC 6103 
Literature Breadth3 
 16 14
Total Credits 120

Students are assigned to a faculty advisor once they are admitted to the major. Prospective students should contact the undergraduate academic coordinator, Debi Griffin ( 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.


David Bart, Sam Dennis, Evelyn Howell, James A. LaGro Jr., Kurt Paulsen

Associate Professor

Carey McAndrews

Assistant Professor

Edna Ledesma

distinguished faculty associate

Shawn Kelly

Associate Faculty Associate

Eric Schuchardt

Assistant Faculty Associate

Edward Bosewell

Senior Lecturers

Doug Hadley, James Steiner

Associate Lecturers

Jacob Blue, Nathan Larson


Deborah Griffin


Landscape Architecture Registration Exam

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, 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


Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2025.