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 Landscape Architecture 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, and 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 Professional Landscape Architecture degree program provides professional education accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Completion of this program is the first step in becoming a licensed landscape architect. The program emphasizes the exploration and understanding of design processes and graphic and verbal communication skills. The program also develops a student's sensitivity to natural, physical, historical, and cultural contexts of landscape design.
Students completing the requirements for this program are granted a bachelor of landscape architecture degree.
Admission to the professional program during the sophomore year, or in the second year of the degree plan, is on a competitive basis.
- 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 three prerequisite courses: LAND ARC 250, LAND ARC 211, 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.
College of Letters and Science Breadth Requirements: BLA
|Mathematics||Fulfilled with completion of university general education requirements Quantitative Reasoning A and Quantitative Reasoning B coursework|
|Foreign Language||Completion of the 3rd unit of one language|
|L&S Breadth||Humanities, 12 credits: minimum 3 credits in Literature |
Social Sciences, 12 credits
Natural Sciences, 12 credits: 6 in Biological Sciences and 6 in Physical Sciences
|Liberal Arts & Science credits (C)||108 credits|
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.
Requirements for the BLA
|Introduction and Foundation|
|LAND ARC 210||Introduction to Landscape Architecture Design||4|
|LAND ARC 211||Landscape Inventory and Evaluation Methods||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||3|
|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
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.
|Communication A||3||Quantitative Reasoning A||4|
|Foreign Language if necessary||4||Ethnic Studies||4|
|LAND ARC 210||4||LAND ARC 211||4|
|LAND ARC 250||3||BOTANY 100 or 130||3|
|Quantitative Reasoning B||3||LAND ARC 353||3|
|LAND ARC 261||4||LAND ARC 321||3|
|LAND ARC 260||3||BOTANY/ENVIR ST/ZOOLOGY 260||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||Literature Breadth||3|
|LAND ARC 610||1-2||Electives||9|
|Total Credits 120|
Students are assigned to a faculty advisor once they declare the major. Prospective students should contact the undergraduate academic coordinator, Debi Griffin (firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-263-7301) for more information.
The Professional Landscape Architecture degree program provides professional education accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Completion of this program is the first step in becoming a licensed landscape architect.
L&S career resources
SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and liberal arts degree; explore and try out different career paths; participate in internships; prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications; and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers). In short, SuccessWorks helps students in the College of Letters & Science discover themselves, find opportunities, and develop the skills they need for success after graduation.
SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career.
Students should set up their profiles in Handshake to take care of everything they need to explore career events, manage their campus interviews, and apply to jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers around the country.
- Set up a career advising appointment
- INTER-LS 210 L&S Career Development: Taking Initiative (1 credit, targeted to first- and second-year students)—for more information, see Inter-LS 210: Career Development, Taking Initiative
- INTER-LS 215 Communicating About Careers (3 credits, fulfills Com B General Education Requirement)
- Learn how we’re transforming career preparation: L&S Career Initiative
Janet Gilmore, John Harrington, Evelyn Howell, Janet Silbernagel
David Bart, Sam Dennis
distinguished faculty associate
Associate Faculty Associate
Doug Hadley, James Steiner