Academic Programs Catalog

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

School of Planning, Design and Construction

Undergraduate Programs
Landscape Architecture

The undergraduate Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program provides a diverse learning experience which strives for a balance among philosophy, theory, and application of concepts related to past, present, and future problem–solving in landscape architecture and allied environmental planning and design professions.

The program includes professional courses in design theory and graphic communications, environmental perception, history, and plant materials and their uses; technical aspects of site development, design applications for representative land uses; site planning for typical projects; community planning, housing and recreational development; and urban and regional design and planning.

The program offers meaningful design opportunities and challenges within the classroom and on community projects, which prepare the student to communicate through writing, speech and graphics. These objectives are met in group and in individual assignments where independent study and growth are encouraged.

The program in landscape architecture at Michigan State University has been accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) since 1952.

Honors Study

Students interested in honors programs in landscape architecture should consult with an academic advisor.

Admission as a Junior

The number of students who can be admitted as juniors to the landscape architecture major is limited. To be considered for admission as a junior, a student must have completed the core courses referenced in item 2. below. Students who have been admitted as juniors are entitled to enroll in upper-level landscape architecture courses required for the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree.

To be admitted to the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program, the following factors will be taken into consideration:  (1) overall MSU grade-point average; (2) grade-point average in all landscape architecture courses; (3) evidence of creative works and service; and (4) a written essay.

Admissions are determined by the faculty on the basis of the relative qualifications of applicants and the enrollment capacity in the program. Admission is competitive.

Detailed information regarding admission requirements and procedures is available from the School of Planning, Design and Construction, Associate Director.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree in Landscape Architecture

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 130 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree in Landscape Architecture.

    Students who are enrolled in the Landscape Architecture major leading to the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree in the School of Planning, Design and Construction may complete an alternative track to Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences that consists of the following courses:  Plant Biology 105 and 106, and Chemistry 141 and 161.  The completion of Plant Biology 106 and Chemistry 161  satisfies the laboratory requirement.  Plant Biology 105 and 106, and Chemistry 141 and 161 may be counted toward both the alternative track and the requirements for the major referenced in item 2. below.

    The completion of Mathematics 116 referenced in requirement 2. below may also satisfy the University mathematics requirement.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Landscape Architecture major is met by completing Landscape Architecture 480.  That course is referenced in item 2. c. below.
  2. The following requirements for the major:
    a. A  minimum grade–point average of 2.00 in the 42 credits required in 300–400 level Landscape Architecture courses referenced in requirement 2.c. below.
    b. Collateral Courses (36 credits):
    (1) All of the following courses (33 credits):
    CEM 141 General Chemistry 4
    CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
    HRT 211 Landscape Plants I1 3
    HRT 212 Landscape Plants II1 3
    HRT 311 Landscape Design and Management Specifications 4
    ISS 310 People and the Environment (I)1 4
    MTH 116 College Algebra and Trigonometry1 5
    PDC 120 Planning and Design Digital Graphics1 2
    PLB 105 Plant Biology1 3
    PLB 106 Plant Biology Laboratory1 1
    UP 424 Geographic Information Systems and Design Tools for Planning 3

    Students must demonstrate AutoCAD proficiency through transfer credit, waiver or completion of the following course (0 to 3 credits)1:

    IDES 240 Computer-Aided Design for Designers 3
    c. Landscape Architecture Courses:  All of the following courses (61 credits):
    LA 140 Graphics and Two-Dimensional Design Studio1 4
    LA 141 Graphics and Three-Dimensional Design Studio1 4
    LA 200 Introduction to Landscape Architecture1 3
    LA 230 Site Construction Materials and Methods1 4
    LA 231 Landscape Site Engineering1 4
    LA 242 Creating Space Studio1 4
    LA 243 Place Making Studio1 4
    LA 332 Advanced Landscape Site Engineering 4
    LA 344 Connections of Scale Studio 5
    LA 345 Design Development Studio 5
    LA 390 Landscape Architecture Field Studies 3
    LA 421 Drawing as Knowing 4
    LA 447 Juried Design Studio 5
    LA 448 Regional Environmental Design Studio 2
    LA 449 Landscape Architecture Design Studio 3
    LA 480 Professional Practice (W) 3
    d. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    EC 201 Introduction to Microeconomics 3
    EC 202 Introduction to Macroeconomics 3
    e. Directed Electives (14 credits):

    A minimum of 14 additional credits in courses approved by the student's academic advisor. Courses that are used to satisfy the University Integrative Studies and writing requirements may not be used to satisfy this requirement. Courses used to satisfy the AutoCAD proficiency requirement referenced in item 2 b. (2) above may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

1Core course that must be completed in order for a student to be considered for admission to the major.