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Landscape Architect Courses and Classes Overview

Landscape architects analyze and solve landscaping issues using principles of design, engineering, land use and environmental concerns. Courses in landscape architecture are generally taken as part of a degree program or certificate program.

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Essential Information

Many schools offer landscape architecture bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and certificate programs. Working as a landscape architect generally requires possessing at least a bachelor's degree and getting state licensure. Licensure involves passing the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards' Landscape Architect Registration Examination and possessing some work experience as an apprentice. Certificate and master's programs are available for those possessing a bachelor's degree in another field. Some common skills acquired during one of these programs include:

  • Understanding the design process from concept to finished product
  • Gaining an appreciation for different landscape styles and eras
  • Using bio-diverse and sustainable materials
  • Learning about sketching, site planning, 3-D modeling, and computer-aided drafting
  • Preparing a portfolio that highlights one's design work

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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

Overview of Courses

Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Design Course

This course provides students with basic knowledge of landscape architecture design theory and techniques. Concepts include site analysis, spatial considerations, planting design, user requirements and aesthetic principles. Design courses are typically offered at the start of a landscape architecture program, though some degree programs offer advanced design classes toward the end of a comprehensive curriculum.

Graphic Communication Technologies Course

Landscape architecture students must train in the graphic communication technologies used to draw design plans and create visuals for clients. Courses often include both lecture and computer laboratory components. Students complete projects using the technologies discussed in class, such as AutoCAD and other image manipulation software. Undergraduate classes in graphic communication technologies are introductory, while graduate classes delve deeper into the concepts and techniques involved in graphic design for landscape architecture.

History and Theory Course

History and theory courses are required at both the bachelor's degree and master's degree levels. These landscape architecture classes discuss the origins of landscape architecture, principles of the profession and solutions to prevalent landscaping issues. Graduate-level theory courses cover the role of landscape architecture in environmentalism and urban development. User perception and changing societal needs are also addressed.

Plant and Horticulture Course

All landscape architecture programs offer horticulture courses that cover basic concepts of plant growth, soil conditions and plant design. Many programs offer specialized plant classes that discuss topics like local plants, tropical plants and plant preservation. Topics may include plant shape and texture, plant habitat and plant identification. Landscape architecture degree programs offer horticulture courses at various levels; more advanced courses might address ecological issues and hydrology. Often, students participate in classroom lectures as well as laboratory and field work.

Landscape Construction Course

Typically completed in the second half of a bachelor's degree program, landscape architecture courses about construction discuss materials and machinery, structure and building theory, paving methods and legal contracts preparation. Advanced landscape construction classes explore concepts in electric and lighting systems, irrigation, scheduling and cost estimates. Other topics may include soil engineering, landscape grading and terrain shaping.

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