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.

School Overviews

The best schools for studying landscape design are also among the top universities in the nation. Harvard University and the University of California - Berkeley provide students with undergraduate and graduate degree options in landscape architecture and design. Programs at both schools are accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

School Highlight: 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.

In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Harvard University number two among national universities. The Master in Landscape Architecture I (MLA I) 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 MLA I degree program, which can be completed in two years. The MLA II 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 MLA 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.

2. University of California - Berkeley

School Highlight: Students can take part in Berkeley's Y-Plan program, working with children in local planning projects.

U.S. News & World Report named University of California - Berkeley the 20th best national university in 2015. 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 MLA 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 2-year MLA 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.

Top Landscape Design Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
Andrews University Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in horticulture offer landscape design specializations Berrien Springs, MI
Bastyr University This school's Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design program is the only accredited one of its kind, and it's 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 (BLA), accelerated BLA/M.S., MLA and interdisciplinary doctoral degree programs Syracuse, NY
Temple University MLA program offers a specialty in ecological landscape restoration Philadelphia, PA
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities The school's accelerated LDP/MLA program allows students to earn a 4-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 M.A. and M.S. in Landscape Architecture programs to students seeking related careers that don't require professional degrees or licensure Knoxville, TN
University of Washington - Seattle Campus Offers a 5-year BLA program and an MLA program that takes 2-3 years, depending on applicants' previous education Seattle, WA
Utah State University The B.S. in Residential Landscape Design and Construction program is available at four campus locations Logan, UT

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