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College of Built Environments

Landscape Architecture

348 Gould Hall
206-543-9240
Website
Faculty Website
belarc@uw.edu

Landscape architecture is a professional design discipline that addresses both the built and natural environments. It focuses on the design, analysis, and planning of outdoor spaces across a wide range of scales, with the intent of creating places that are both meaningful and functional. Landscape architects design everything from infrastructure elements, such as roadways, drainage systems, and parks, to prominent cultural monuments and gardens for public and private housing units. The education of a landscape architect includes aesthetic design skills, the development of social and environmental ethics, technical design skills, knowledge of a wide range of natural processes, an awareness of design history, and skills for working with other people. At the University of Washington, the focus is on urban ecological design education, which allows students to make a difference in the future of cities and urban regions all over the world.

 Undergraduate Programs


Landscape Architecture

348 Gould Hall
206-543-9240
belarc@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Major: Landscape Architecture


Program Overview

Landscape Architecture is a professional degree that studies urban ecological design, design activism, ecological infrastructure, ecological learning and literacy, design for human and environmental health and social and environmental justice.

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree
Admission Requirements

Core courses within the department form a seven-quarter curriculum designed to start autumn quarter of the junior year. Students take a sequence of seven studios, other sequential skills-based courses, theory courses, and directed electives.

  1. Admission is competitive. Completion of the requirements listed below does not guarantee admission. Admission is based on academic record, a portfolio of creative work, three letters of recommendation, and other application materials. Refer to department website for application materials and detailed information on admission, prerequisites, and required coursework.
  2. Minimum 69 credits
      1. Departmental Pre-professional Requirements (12-16 credits): L ARCH 300* (usually offered autumn and summer quarters) and two of the following: L ARCH 322 (spring quarter); L ARCH 341 (autumn quarter); L ARCH 352 (autumn quarter); L ARCH 353 (winter quarter); L ARCH 361 (winter quarter); L ARCH 363 (spring quarter). For transfer students, these seven courses may be taken through UW's Professional and Continuing Education as non-matriculated students prior to admission to the UW.
      2. General Education Coursework: minimum 69 credits to include 5 credits of English composition; 4-5 credits of Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning; and 60 credits selected from the following Areas of Knowledge: Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (20 credits); Individuals & Societies (20 credits); Natural World (20 credits), of which one course (usually ESS 101, or equivalent) is shown as the prerequisite for ESS 315/ENVIR 313 or ESS 301

    *L ARCH 300 can be counted toward general education requirements. Other L ARCH courses which are not required within the BLA program, or as admission requirements, may be counted for general education requirements. Students planning to complete the degree in seven quarters should finish all departmental general education requirements prior to starting major requirements.

  3. Application Deadline: 5 p.m. the first day of spring quarter for the following autumn quarter. Admission is for autumn quarter only. Applications must include BLA application materials. Students should apply during their second college year to make satisfactory progress toward the degree.
Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

 Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree


Credential Overview

Landscape Architecture is a professional degree that studies urban ecological design, design activism, ecological infrastructure, ecological learning & literacy, design for human & environmental health and social & environmental justice.

Completion Requirements

Minimum 180-194 credits

General Education Requirements (69-83 credits): L ARCH 300 and other L ARCH courses which are not requirements, either within the BLA program or as prerequisites, may count toward I&S/NW/VLPA requirements.

  1. Written and Oral Communication (5 credits): one 5-credit English composition course from the University list. 10 additional writing credits are required, but can be met by major core courses.
  2. Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA) (20 credits): L ARCH 300; 14 additional VLPA credits; drawing class recommended
  3. Individuals & Societies (I&S) (20 credits)
  4. Natural World (NW) (20 credits): one course (usually ESS 101, or equivalent) shown as the prerequisite for either ESS 315/ENVIR 313 or ESS 301; additional NW credits to total 20 credits
  5. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) (4-5 credits)
  6. Diversity (DIV) (3 credits): Some courses may count for both DIV and I&S.

Major Requirements

Minimum 111 credits

  1. Studio Classes: L ARCH 401, L ARCH 402, L ARCH 403, L ARCH 404 (6), L ARCH 405 (6), L ARCH 474 (6), L ARCH 475 (6)
  2. Planting Design: L ARCH 424
  3. History: L ARCH 352 and L ARCH 353
  4. Theory: L ARCH 341, L ARCH 361, L ARCH 363
  5. Graphics: L ARCH 411, L ARCH 440 (3), L ARCH 441
  6. Professional Practice: L ARCH 473
  7. Construction: L ARCH 431, L ARCH 432, L ARCH 433, L ACH 434
  8. Plant Identification: one of L ARCH 423, BIOL 331/ESRM 331, BIOL 317, or equivalent course approved by department
  9. Plants: one course totaling at least 3 credits from list of approved courses maintained by the department
  10. Geology: one of ESS 301, ESS 305, or ESS 315/ENVIR 313
  11. Directed Electives: minimum 12 credits of upper-division electives from list of approved courses maintained by the department: two courses in ecology and forestry, totaling at least 6 credits; one course in environmental law and policy for at least 3 credits; one course in urban design and planning for at least 3 credits
  12. Minimum 2.0 grade in each course applied to major requirements

 Program of Study: Minor: Urban Ecological Design


Program Overview

Urban Ecological Design Minor studies urban ecological design, design activism, ecological infrastructure, ecological learning and literacy, design for human and environmental health and social and environmental justice.

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Minor in Urban Ecological Design

 Minor in Urban Ecological Design


Completion Requirements

Minimum 25 credits

  1. L ARCH courses open to non-majors (20 credits)
  2. Courses 200-level and above from within the College of Built Environments or from ESRM or GEOG courses (5 credits)
  3. Minimum 2.0 grade in all courses counted toward the minor
Additional Information

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The BLA program provides a professional, accredited degree which enables graduates to practice successfully in design firms, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies. Building from a liberal arts foundation, the program focuses on developing design knowledge, skills, and abilities through a sequence of nine environmental- and community-based design studios.

    The program are to provides students a broad academic and professional exposure to landscape architecture and design so their creative potential and professional growth are realized, and so they may become leaders in the field. Includes learning to conceptualize and design through practice on studio projects; fostering creativity; developing graphic, written, and verbal communication skills; facilitating cognitive abilities; and developing applicable computer skills in the design process. Studios use individual, team-oriented, and interdisciplinary projects to develop strong interactive and evaluative skills. Studio education applies knowledge gained in lecture courses which include historic and contemporary concepts in landscape architecture, design theory, site planning, construction, and communications, as well as elective courses in allied disciplines. The studio sequence addresses projects from detailed to neighborhood scales, varied contexts, and with diverse cultures. Overall, the program focuses on the application of ecological design strategies to urban and urbanizing areas, which characterizes the department's focus on urban ecological design.

  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The program affords some opportunities for independent study and work in professional settings, beyond minimum requirements for the major. Departmental courses are complemented by elective courses from other areas, including urban horticulture, soils, geology, urban design and planning, botany, and ecology.

    Studio classes led by departmental faculty or members of the professional community. May be taught jointly with faculty from other disciplines. Such classes address specific areas of inquiry including basic design principles and processes, planting design, materials and craftsmanship, landscape planning for parks or natural areas, neighborhood and civic-space design, urban landscape design, ecological restoration, and culturally-based design. A capstone studio requires students to integrate their knowledge of design theory, practice, and construction in a design-build project for a local community. The department regularly offers study abroad programs as well as opportunities to work with local communities and public agencies.

  • Honors Options Available: Students may apply for admission to the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Honors option. See departmental program coordinator.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Lecture courses address the functioning of natural systems, site planning issues, computer applications, and cultural and sociological forces that influence the profession's work. Advanced studio courses, including the capstone studio, typically provide service learning experiences in a community context. In addition to required coursework, the program encourages students to pursue personal interests through directed and independent study within and beyond the department. Students are encouraged to gain real-world experience through a practicum with professional firms, organizations, or agencies.
  • Department Scholarships: Limited availability.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: Student chapter, Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

 Graduate Program


Landscape Architecture


 Program of Study: Master Of Landscape Architecture


This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Master Of Landscape Architecture
  • Master Of Landscape Architecture (Advanced Standing)
Admission Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Master Of Landscape Architecture


Completion Requirements

84-120 credits, depending on advanced or regular standing

  1. If regular standing (MLA I), foundational courses are required: See additional requirements section for foundational coursework
  2. Advanced Studios (24 credits): L ARCH 501, L ARCH 502, L ARCH 503, L ARCH 504 or Wildcard Studio L ARCH 507 or BE 505
  3. History & Theory (18 credits):
    1. Required: L ARCH 570, L ARCH 598
    2. Built Environment History (5 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
    3. Socio-Political Dimensions (3 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
    4. Biophysical Ecology (3 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
    5. Research Methods (3 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  4. Media (6 credits): L ARCH 441 and one additional course from list maintained internally by the program.
  5. Construction (3 credits): Course from list maintained internally by the program.
  6. Plants (6-8 credits): L ARCH 424 and one additional course from list maintained internally by the program.
  7. Professional Practice (3 credits): L ARCH 473
  8. Law/Finance/Policy (3 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  9. Project Option (12 credits): Choose from the following:
    1. Thesis: L ARCH 590 (3 credits total) and L ARCH 700 (9 credits total)
    2. Group Project: L ARCH 590 (3 credits total) and L ARCH 703 (9 credits total)
    3. Capstone Studio: L ARCH 702 (12 credits total)
  10. Electives (if necessary to meet required total)
Additional Completion Requirements

Foundational coursework:

  1. Studios (18 credits): L ARCH 401, L ARCH 402, L ARCH 403
  2. Media (6 credits): L ARCH 411, L ARCH 440

 Master Of Landscape Architecture (Advanced Standing)


Completion Requirements

84-120 credits, depending on advanced or regular standing

  1. If regular standing (MLA I), foundational courses are required: See additional requirements section for foundational coursework
  2. Advanced Studios (24 credits): L ARCH 501, L ARCH 502, L ARCH 503, L ARCH 504 or Wildcard Studio L ARCH 507 or BE 505
  3. History & Theory (18 credits):
    1. Required: L ARCH 570, L ARCH 598
    2. Built Environment History (5 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
    3. Socio-Political Dimensions (3 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
    4. Biophysical Ecology (3 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
    5. Research Methods (3 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  4. Media (6 credits): L ARCH 441 and one additional course from list maintained internally by the program.
  5. Construction (3 credits): Course from list maintained internally by the program.
  6. Plants (6-8 credits): L ARCH 424 and one additional course from list maintained internally by the program.
  7. Professional Practice (3 credits): L ARCH 473
  8. Law/Finance/Policy (3 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  9. Project Option (12 credits): Choose from the following:
    1. Thesis: L ARCH 590 (3 credits total) and L ARCH 700 (9 credits total)
    2. Group Project: L ARCH 590 (3 credits total) and L ARCH 703 (9 credits total)
    3. Capstone Studio: L ARCH 702 (12 credits total)
  10. Electives (if necessary to meet required total)