Landscape Architecture

Major Description

Landscape Architecture orients students to the profession and its specialties while developing both breadth of viewpoint and technical competency in the widest possible range of activities. Aspects include an understanding of the natural resource constraints on land-use for design decisions and activities; an awareness of the cultural determinants of human behavior and the social, political, economic, and legal institutions that influence these decisions; a working knowledge of the basic skills used in the design profession; and a guiding sense of responsibility to the land.

Courses That Introduce the Major:
  • LA 101 - Introduction to Landscape Architecture
  • LA 222 - Islamic Gardens & Architecture
  • LA 242 - Nature & American Culture
  • GEOG 103, GEOL 100 or GEOL 107 -- Earth's Physical Systems, Planet Earth, or Physical Geology
  • IB 103 or 105—Introduction to Plant Biology or Environmental Biology

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

Landscape Architects work on a vast array of projects in diverse settings: parks, campuses, memorials, reuse of salvaged materials/infrastructure, residential design, urban revitalization, rain gardens, green roofs, heritage study and transportation. Because the BLA at the U of I is accredited, with some additional study and supervision, our graduates are license eligible.


  • Developing a landscape plan based on the requirements of the client, interest groups and needs of the animals and plants of the area
  • Meeting with interested parties to report on the landscaping plan and any environmental impact that may occur
  • Promoting environmental landscaping and architecture in the various sectors of the economy
  • Providing evaluations of the various plans and making recommendations to clients
  • Researching various land types, animals, plants and other living organisms in the area to be landscaped
  • Ability to analyze problems in terms of design and physical form
  • Ability to communicate effectively--orally and in written and graphic form--with clients, the public, and other professionals
  • Artistic talent--the ability to see and compose functional, creative environments
  • Sensitivity to landscape quality
  • Skills in all aspects of professional practice including management and professional ethics
  • Technical competence to translate a design into a built work
  • Understanding of the arts and a humanistic approach to design
  • Business Owner
  • Civil Engineer
  • Civil Engineer Technician
  • Drafter
  • Environmental Planner
  • Graphic Designer
  • Historical Preservationist
  • Industrial Designer
  • Land Trust Manager
  • Landscape Architect
  • Landscape Designer
  • Park & Recreational Planner
  • Professor/Educator
  • Real Estate Developer
  • Regional Landscape Planner
  • Residential & Commercial Designer
  • Site Planner
  • Urban Designer
  • Urban or Regional Planner

Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree.

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:
  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience: for BLA students, study abroad programs are available in Sheffield, England; Taipei, Taiwan; Uppsala or Alnarp, Sweden
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • American Society of Landscape Architects - Illinois Student Chapter: promotes student engagement, creates professional networks, helps to develop necessary skill sets, and encourages academic growth.
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Landscape Architecture.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Landscape Architecture.  These organizations include The American Society of Landscape Architects, The International Federation of Landscape Architects, the Council of Landscape Architecture Boards (CLARB) for information about licensure, and ASLA-Illinois Chapter -