Drafting courses are often a part of bachelor's and master's programs in landscape architecture. Licensure in landscape architecture is required by most states. A bachelor's degree can be earned in 4-5 years. Prospective students must submit letters of recommendation and an admissions essay.
Master's degree programs take 2-3 years; if an applicant's undergraduate degree is not in landscape architecture or a related area, such as ornamental horticulture, they may have to complete supplemental coursework. Students completing a master's degree program in landscape architecture typically complete an internship in the field.
Bachelor's Degree in Landscape Architecture
Bachelor's degree programs in landscape architecture teach students about the aesthetic and scientific principles behind creating and designing outdoor spaces, such as public parks, playgrounds, and college campuses. Students examine conservation and ecology issues behind the maintenance and preservation of natural environments, like wetlands and forested areas. In addition, landscape architecture bachelor's degree candidates must complete a set of liberal arts electives that might include:
- Landscape drafting and technology
- Plant design
- Open space design
- Urban design
- History of architecture
- Landscape construction
Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture
Master's degree programs teach the historical and cultural components of manufactured landscapes, and the theories and practices used for ecologically viable and culturally responsible projects. Courses also examine the historical and cultural components of manufactured landscapes, and the theories and practices used for ecologically viable and culturally responsible projects. Students also complete an internship as an apprentice landscape architect and a senior research thesis. Courses may include:
- Deciduous plant materials
- Plant and soil nutrition
- Responsible pesticide use
- Advanced horticulture
- Project estimating and bidding
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for landscape architects is predicted to grow at a rate of 5% over 2014-2024. The mean salary for these professionals was $68,600 as of May 2015.
A master's in landscape architecture is generally the terminal degree for those pursuing careers in the field. However, there are doctoral programs available. Ph.D. graduates often go on to teach landscape architecture at universities or conduct original research. Licensure as a landscape architect is required in 49 states and stipulations vary. Most states mandate graduation from an accredited school, 1-4 years of supervised work experience, and passage of the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) offered through the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (www.clarb.org).
There are 4-5 year bachelor's and 2-3 year master's degree programs for those interested in landscape architecture. Graduates gain valuable education and internship experience to pursue a successful career as a landscape architect.