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Landscape Architecture: BLA

Landscape Architecture

USU’s landscape architecture program is the 13th oldest landscape architecture program in the United States and is accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Landscape architecture is the design of land and buildings to achieve environmental, socio-behavioral, and aesthetic outcomes. The bachelor of landscape architecture degree is a studio-based course of study, meaning students receive an immense amount of hands-on learning in the design studio.

The curriculum covers both theoretical and applied knowledge. Specific courses in the landscape architecture program focus on the development of artistic expression and creative problem solving, the understanding of environmental processes and human behavior responses to different designs, and applied site engineering.

Each junior and senior student in the program is provided with an individual desk for their personal use, a drafting table, and storage space for their equipment.

Landscape students are also required to complete a study abroad, faculty-sponsored field study travel, or an individual internship. The purpose of the travel experience is to give students a well-rounded understanding of different landscapes and how they differ with culture, geography, and vegetation.

With a degree in landscape architecture, you will be qualified for the following careers:

  • Licensed landscape architect
  • Environmental planner
  • Design associate
  • Project manager
  • Business/firm owner, principal
  • Garden design
  • Environmental restoration
  • Federal employment with US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and others
  • Visual/scenic landscape analyst
  • Transportation planner
  • Community planning and residential design
  • Land development
  • State park design
  • Design campgrounds and trail systems
  • Golf course architect
  • Work in consultation with civil engineering or architecture firms
  • Design of resorts and theme parks
  • Design green roofs/rooftop gardens
  • Historic preservation
  • Sustainability coordinator
  • University campus planner/landscape architect
  • Protection of endangered species through habitat preservation
  • Assist with the survey of archeology sites
  • Promote forest sustainability in domestic and tropical forests
  • Extension landscape architect
  • Stormwater manager
  • Virtual media design (graphic design, designing virtual landscapes for computer games)
  • Academic positions in landscape architecture and horticulture programs
  • Artist or sculptor
  • Gardener or grower of nursery stock
  • Nursery operator

Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the landscape architecture program has additional requirements:

  • Freshman: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to the preprofessional program.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.5 total GPA for admission to this major in good standing.
  • To be a landscape architecture major, students must submit a portfolio and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 at the end of the sophomore year.
  • Admission will be limited to 25 students each year. Admission decisions are based on academic record, realistic career or professional study objectives, ability of the program to prepare the student for intended career, motivation and creativity demonstrated by class performance, work experience, volunteer activities, and other means offered by the student during the application process.

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Program Requirements

Students must complete a travel study component. The student may choose to go on a faculty-sponsored field study, a traditional study abroad experience in an accredited program, or choose an individual travel option.

  • Faculty-Sponsored Field Study Travel: The annual trip alternates between domestic and international destinations. Recent domestic trips have included San Francisco, Los Angeles/San Diego, Portland/Seattle, Boston, and Chicago. The domestic trips last from seven to ten days either over Spring Break or immediately after spring commencement. Recent international field study experiences, which typically occur for two weeks immediately after spring commencement, have included Italy, Mexico, France, Germany, Belize, and China.
  • Study Abroad: For the study abroad, the department currently has a cooperative agreement with the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where students can study for a semester. However, other locations are also available but are subject to faculty approval.
  • Individual Travel: The individual travel must be proposed and approved prior to travel by the LAEP Travel Coordinator, well in advance of the proposed semester in which travel would occur.

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Planning Association: This associationis an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in community planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change.

Landscape Architecture Foundation: This foundation supports the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Sigma Lambda Alpha (Zeta Chapter): This honor society encourages, recognizes, and rewards academic excellence in preparation for the profession of landscape architecture. Leadership and sound character are qualities that are highly emphasized by this organization.

American Society of Landscape Architects, Student Chapter: This is a professional association for landscape architects, representing 17,000 members. The society's mission is to lead, educate, and participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. This student chapter plans numerous activities throughout the year to help new students get involved.

Labs, Centers, Research

With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.

LAEP Print Laboratory: All LAEP students are given access to the department's print lab, with three plotters, three computers, two scanners, and one large copier/printer.

Rural Intermountain Planning Program: The Rural Intermountain Planning Program provides planning and design services to communities, counties, agencies, and special interest groups throughout Utah and the Intermountain West that cannot afford or are not ready to hire consultants. Community master plans, downtown redevelopment plans, streetscapes, community entries, parks, and open space plans are some examples of services provided.

Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter: The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, located in Park City, Utah, consists of a 1,200-acre land trust in the Snyderville Basin and a 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to environmental education. The preserve protects critical wetland and foothill terrain in the heart of one of the state’s fastest-growing areas. The EcoCenter, completed in 2009, is a multi-use facility with space for educational and community activities. The facility is LEED platinum certified, the highest standard for design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Utah Botanical Center: The UBC, located in Kaysville, Utah, is home to research and demonstration projects focused on sustainable living in the Intermountain West. Studies of water conservation, horticulture, water quality enhancement, wetland ecology, integrated pest management, urban forestry, agriculture, fish and wildlife, highway enhancement, and storm-water management combine to make the center a living laboratory.

Utah Center for Water Resources Research: The UCWRR facilitates water research, outreach, design, and testing elements within a university environment that supports student education and citizen training.

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