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Online Courses in Landscape Architecture
The following course descriptions detail the typical curricula of some of the most common types of online landscape architecture courses.
- Introduction to Landscape Architecture Course: This course typically provides a general overview for students contemplating careers in landscape architecture. Students learn about ecological awareness and the process of designing open spaces for specific communities and environmental regions.
- Basic Architectural Landscape Design Course: Students in this course generally are introduced to the processes of landscape architecture. Emphasis is placed on learning to record, conceptualize and present landscape design proposals. Students learn to clearly communicate design ideas utilizing hand- and computer-drafted plans.
- Professionalism in Landscape Architecture Course: This upper-division class generally looks into the practices and standards of being a landscape architect within a private or public office. It covers project acquisitions, office management techniques and project implementation processes.
- Computer-Assisted Landscaping Course: This course typically provides an introduction to computer-aided design (CAD), and students also develop other technical skills necessary to create, communicate and execute landscape architecture plans. Desktop publishing, image processing and geographical information system (GIS) software, which allows students to explore and analyze spatial data, are also covered.
- History of Public Spaces Course: Students typically examine the social, economic and political development of the constructed urban environment throughout history. Online participants explore the influences of ancient and more recent cultures from around the world and the impact of those influences on the evolution of the public space.
- Preservation Movements Course: Students in this course typically investigate the organizational structure and growth of the public, private and not-for-profit sectors of the preservation movement in the United States. They additionally examine external factors, such as tax credits and incentives that drive historical preservation movements.
- Making and Meaning of the American Landscape Course: Students examine what environmental and social forces have cultivated the American landscape. The course often includes information on policies, programs and influential figures that added to America's shaping.
- Landscape Architecture Theory Course: This course covers the theoretical underpinnings of landscape architecture. Students analyze primary literature and other media to understand historical, current and future trends in the field.
- Social Factors Course: In this course, students apply the theories and methods of sociological and psychological research to understand how people view and interact with the landscape. Emphasis is placed on finding ways to use landscape architecture to ensure that the relationship between people and their environment is a positive one.
Since landscape architecture coursework requires students to actively participate in collaborative project presentations, 3D model-making and hands-on field studies, very few classes are offered exclusively online. However, some schools now offer distance learning components as a supplement to lower- and upper-division on-campus coursework. Students interested in this hybrid form of learning can complete courses leading toward a professional certificate, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA), Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA) or Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA).
Upon graduation, landscape architects often find employment with firms that specialize in landscape design. Public land agencies, like the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, as well as state and local park divisions, also offer employment opportunities.
Since landscape architecture often relies on specialized graphic software, students may need to purchase specific software to complete coursework at home.
To summarize, there are a variety of relevant online courses available for aspiring landscape architects, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.