Best Landscape Design Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Learn about landscape design courses and degree options at top U.S. schools. Find out about program accreditation and rankings that make these schools stand out. View article »

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  • 0:03 School Overviews
  • 0:48 Harvard University
  • 2:04 University of…
  • 3:06 Andrews University
  • 3:45 Top Landscape Design Programs

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Landscape design programs can be found at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels at some of the best schools in the U.S. These schools offer aspiring landscape architects many factors to consider, such as dual degree options, fellowship opportunities, and unique specializations. The best schools for studying landscape design are also among the top universities in the nation. Harvard University, the University of California - Berkeley, and Andrews University provide students with undergraduate and graduate degree options in landscape architecture and design. Programs at these schools are accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Additionally, all three are highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report.

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

A U.S. News & World Report list ranked Harvard University number two among national universities for 2017. The Master in Landscape Architecture One program is a 3-year program designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in any field. Students with an undergraduate degree in architecture or a related pre-professional degree and a design portfolio may be able to enter the advanced Master in Landscape Architecture One degree program, which can be completed in two years. The Master in Landscape Architecture Two is a post-professional degree program for students who have an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture and includes three terms of coursework with an emphasis on urbanization and ecology.

The Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design program is also for landscape design professionals with an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture. The program combines classes from the urban planning and design and landscape architecture departments. The Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture is for those planning a career in teaching or research. Students in Harvard's Graduate School of Design are eligible for numerous fellowships, prizes, and travel programs, such as the Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship in Landscape Architecture and the Jacob Weidenman Prize.

University of California - Berkeley

U.S. News & World Report listed University of California - Berkeley as tied for the 20th best national university for 2017. The Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Architecture program emphasizes ecologically sound practices and creative design, training students for entry-level roles in landscape design or graduate study. Students with a bachelor's degree in any field, but without a design background, may enter the 3-year Master of Landscape Design degree program, while those with an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture or a related field can complete the MLA program in two years.

Students may also elect to focus on environmental planning with the two-year Master of Landscape Architecture program. A Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning is intended for those who plan to pursue teaching or research. There is no required coursework for the Ph.D. program, which allows students to take classes based on their specialty. Students can take part in Berkeley's Y-Plan program, working with children in local planning projects.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Architectural History
  • Architectural Technology
  • Environmental Design
  • Interior Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban and Regional Planning

Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan

U.S. News and World Report ranked Andrews University among the top 200 national universities for 2017. The school offers Associate of Technology, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Technology degree programs in horticulture with an emphasis in landscape design. The Associate of Technology program prepares students to go into the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level. The Bachelor of Science program is suitable for students who plan on earning a graduate degree in the field, while the Bachelor of Technology program is comprised of major and minor credits and readies students for a specialist career. Students in these programs learn to design commercial and residential landscapes.

Top Landscape Design Programs

There are a few other top schools that offer landscape design programs.

College/University Name Distinction Location
Bastyr University This school's Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design program is the only accredited one of its kind, and is dedicated to landscape development for medicinal purposes Kenmore, WA
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Offers Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, accelerated Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Master of Science program, a Master of Landscape Architecture program and interdisciplinary doctoral degree programs Syracuse, NY
Temple University MLA program offers a specialty in ecological landscape restoration Philadelphia, PA
University of Minnesota The school's accelerated Landscape Design and Planning/Master of Landscape Architecture program allows students to earn a four-year undergraduate degree in landscape design and planning and a master's degree in landscape architecture in six years instead of seven Minneapolis, MN
University of Tennessee In addition to an MLA, the school offers Master of Arts and Master of Science programs in Landscape Architecture to students seeking related careers that don't require professional degrees or licensure Knoxville, TN
University of Washington Offers a 5-year BLA program and an MLA program that takes two to three years, depending on applicants' previous education Seattle, WA
Utah State University Offers a Bachelor of Science in Residential Landscape Design and Construction program at four campus locations Logan, UT

Aspiring landscape designers can choose from associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in relevant fields, many of which offer concentrations in a particular area of landscape design. Students may take into consideration a school's ranking and accreditation when choosing a program.

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