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Landscape Design School and University Program Information

Students can complete a certificate, associate's, bachelor's or master's program in landscape design or a related area to prepare for professional certification as a landscape designer.

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Students who want to study landscape design can find program options at community colleges and 4-year universities. In addition to landscape design, horticulture and landscape architecture programs may be of interest to students who want to work as landscape designers.

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10 Schools with Landscape Design Programs

These schools offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in landscape architecture.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
Ohio State University -Main Campus Columbus, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $10,037 in-state, $27,365 out-of-state
Grad: $12,425 in-state, $31,897 out-of-state
California State Polytechnic University Pomona, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $7,016 in-state, $18,176 out-of-state
Grad: $8,282 in-state, $17,210 out-of-state
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $49,116
Grad: $29,581
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $12,485 in-state, $29,129 out-of-state
Grad: $14,116 in-state, $26,377 out-of-state
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $9,714 in-state, $26,877 out-of-state
Grad: $10,954
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private Master's, Postgraduate Certificate Grad: $34,268
Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 4-year, Public Master's Grad: $9,972 in-state, $21,459 out-of-state
Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's Undergrad: $10,002 in-state, $28,804 out-of-state
University of Georgia Athens, GA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $11,622 in-state, $29,832 out-of-state
Grad: $10,750 in-state, $26,348 out-of-state

School Selection Criteria

Important considerations for a landscape design school include:

  • Gaining certification through the Association of Professional Landscape Designers requires four years of experience and at least one year of education in landscape design.
  • Landscape design programs differ from landscape architecture degrees in that architecture training takes more years.
  • Concentrations vary from the horticultural to more design-focused subjects.
  • Some programs have on-campus horticultural facilities and advanced software available for student use.

Associate's Degree in Landscape Design

Associate's degree programs in landscape design, primarily offered at community colleges, prepare individuals for entry-level careers in the field. Admission into the program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Many of these programs are devised for novice gardeners and require little prior knowledge; however, familiarity with horticulture may be helpful. Graduates are prepared to work for landscape design and construction firms designing residential and small-scale outdoor spaces. Graduates may also pursue a bachelor's degree at a four-year institute. A senior project and/or internship may form part of the program. Common course topics are drainage, design and construction principles, and plant biology.

Bachelor's Degree in Landscape Design

Agriculture or architecture schools often house bachelor's programs in landscape design. Both types include theoretical coursework as well as intensive design study in studio settings. Graduates are prepared to work for garden centers, botanical gardens and design firms. Students need a high school diploma prior to enrollment. Participation in field experiences, internships and research may be required. Topics such as landscape construction, landscape design, and plant maintenance may be explored.

Master's Degree in Landscape Design

Master's degree programs offer opportunities for landscape professionals to gain and update skills. These programs may also fit skilled amateurs who want to transition into the professional landscape design field. Most programs combine classroom study with studio work and may be offered part-time to accommodate students who hold full-time jobs. While applicants do not need a prior degree in landscape design, they must hold a bachelor's degree and demonstrate evidence of past creative work. Master's degree students often complete a final project or internship. Courses emphasize designing with plant material, design principles, sustainable landscapes, and landscape design history.

There are associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in landscape design. When choosing a school, first figure out which program and concentration you want to focus on.

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