In a bachelor's degree program, students study garden design that includes aspects such as water features, patios and outdoor lighting. Master's degree programs in landscape design are scarce, but there are programs in landscape architecture, which covers landscape design and construction. Most states require that landscape architects be licensed.
Bachelor's Degree in Landscape Design
A bachelor's degree program in landscape design teaches students the skills needed to design, construct, and maintain commercial and residential landscapes. Students learn about plants and soil science, along with water and soil conservation techniques. Bachelor's degree programs in landscape design can be completed in four to five years.
Potential students interested in applying to a bachelor's degree program in landscape design are required to submit high school transcripts or a GED certificate. Standardized test scores are also often required. Other specific requirements, such as letters of recommendation or immunization records, vary between institutions.
In addition to the core landscape design curriculum, students enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in this field are required to take a number of liberal arts electives. Core curriculum course titles may include:
- Landscape materials
- Economic crop plants
- Weed biology
- Soil conservation
- Managing natural resources
- Irrigation design
Master's Degree in Landscape Design
Core curriculum in a master's degree program in landscape design emphasizes plant science along with soil and water conservation practices. Most master's degree programs in landscape architecture feature an internship in which the student gains practical experience as an apprentice landscape architect. Master's degree programs in landscape architecture can be completed in two to three years.
Students applying to a master's degree program for landscape architecture are required to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average. Other requirements may include standardized test scores, a current resumé, and letters of recommendation.
Many master's degree programs in landscape architecture feature a master's thesis or research project as a graduation requirement. Sample core curriculum course titles include:
- Fundamentals of soil science
- Ornamental trees and shrubs
- History of landscape architecture
- Computerized landscape drafting
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for landscape architects are expected to increase 5% between 2014 and 2024. The median salary for landscape architects was $63,810 as of May 2015.
Doctoral programs in landscape architecture are available for students interested in an academic or research career in the field. The ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) does not accredit Ph.D. programs in landscape architecture.
For students pursuing a hands-on career as a landscape architect, state certification or licensure may be required before the graduate can begin practicing professionally. State certification requirements vary between states. Requirements generally include successful completion of an accredited landscape architecture program, an internship with a certified landscape architect, and completion of a competency exam.
Landscape design includes the maintenance of plants, water conservation and computerized drafting of landscape construction. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level.