Landscape Architecture

http://landarch.uoregon.edu

Roxi Thoren, Department Head
541-346-3641
210 Lawrence Hall
archinfo@uoregon.edu

Landscape architecture is an environmental design and planning profession of broad scope concerned with the creation, protection, restoration, and management of landscapes. Landscape architecture is founded on an awareness of our deep connections to the natural world and how people and their work are part of the web of life. The profession is deeply attentive to how places serve human needs and support sustainable and resilient cities and other landscapes. A healthy society rests on a commitment to sound landscape design, planning, and conservation that respects the land, its processes, its integrity—and that of human-ecological processes, helping to fulfill human potential. 

Both a science and an art, landscape architecture involves creative decision-making based on scientific knowledge of natural processes coupled with awareness of historical, cultural, and social dynamics. The profession also makes intensive use of technologies for landscape construction and environmental management—digital graphics, geographic information systems, and computer-aided design. These are applied to making richly supportive places for people and ecosystems that are beautiful and healthy, responding to human needs and to local natural and socioeconomic systems. 

As a profession, landscape architecture includes design at many scales, including ecologically based planning activities, transformation of urban and rural landscapes, service to disadvantaged communities, and design of parks and gardens. As an academic discipline, it provides opportunities for personal development through environmental problem-solving, graphic and oral communication, and project-oriented study in which small groups of students work with instructors to address pressing contemporary problems through detailed development of land and sites. 

Preparation 

Students planning to major in landscape architecture should prepare by beginning studies in the following areas: 

Environmental Awareness. Courses in ecology, biology, botany, geology, environmental science, and geography help begin the process of understanding the complex interrelationships and interdependencies of people and the environment. 

Human Behavior. Courses in art history, anthropology, sociology, history, government, psychology, political science, cultural geography, and related subjects help explain human needs, values, attitudes, and activities, and are useful in preparing for the design of physical places. 

Visual Language Skills. Courses in drawing, painting, photography, film, design, art history, and related subjects help develop perceptual skills, cultural understanding, and the ability to explore and communicate ideas graphically. 

Careers 

Graduates of the landscape architecture program continue on to a wide range of careers. Most students prepare for professional licensure, with about half working in landscape architectural design firms and the other half working for government agencies including national parks, regional and local park systems, and city and regional planning offices. Others choose careers in allied fields such as environmental analysis and ecological restoration, construction management, environmental policy development, or urban and community planning. 

Accreditation 

In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The Landscape Architectural Accrediting Board (LAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit US professional degree programs in landscape architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the bachelor of science in landscape architecture, the bachelor of landscape architecture, and the master of landscape architecture. 

At the University of Oregon, both the bachelor of landscape architecture (BLA) and the master of landscape architecture (MLA) degrees are accredited by LAAB. Graduates are eligible to begin taking the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) upon graduation in most states. 

The postprofessional master of landscape architecture degree program and the PhD degree program are not accredited. Admission to these programs is restricted to applicants who already hold an LAAB-accredited degree or the international equivalent. 

Curriculum Structure 

The landscape architecture curriculum consists of the following interrelated areas: design and planning studios, core subject areas, and electives.

Design and planning studios. Studio courses focus on the development and communication of solutions to site, neighborhood, city, transportation, watershed, and regional environmental and social problems. Students work closely with an instructor to analyze and create specific landscape design and planning proposals. This area addresses the physical implications of site constraints and opportunities, client needs, and environmental and social considerations. 

Core subject areas. Five subject areas are essential foundations for the design studios: landscape architecture technologies, plant materials, landscape analysis and planning, the history and theory of landscape architecture, and landscape architectural media. Required course work in history, theory, media, and technologies includes electives to allow each student to tailor an individualized educational program with the help of an advisor. 

Electives. Subject area electives provide personal choice in selecting additional course work related to the degree, to develop both breadth in understanding of the physical, social, and artistic implications of landscape architecture, as well as depth in areas of student interest, including advanced technologies, ecosystem structure, social and environmental justice, climate-change resilience, healthy built environments, ecological urbanism, and vegetated architecture. 

Computers in the Curriculum

Digital tools are necessary for landscape architects. The department requires all students to have unlimited access to their own personal computer. Because of the professional application of complex graphic programs and large data files for most course work, the department’s computer requirements exceed the average user’s computing needs. See the College of Design's Student Computer Purchasing Guide for recommended specifications and departmental requirements.

Off-Campus Study 

Students may participate in off-campus study programs hosted by the Department of Landscape Architecture, the Department of Architecture, the Historic Preservation Program, and Global Education Oregon. 

Overlook Field School. Students earn University of Oregon credits while living and learning for four weeks at Overlook, a 400-acre property in northeastern Pennsylvania designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm in the early 20th century, and currently being reimagined by the fourth-generation owners and Nelson Byrd Woltz landscape architects. The summer field school at Overlook offers students a unique opportunity to live, study, and create on an evolving cultural landscape. With faculty members and a visiting artist in residence, students examine the enduring connections among landscape, culture, and production. The fully funded program includes multiday site visits to New York and Philadelphia. Weekly activities include design charrettes, fieldwork, seminars, expert speakers, and site visits to regional cultural and productive sites. 

APRU Design Field School. The program is held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Sustainable Cities and Landscapes research hub. Past conferences have included Portland, Oregon, Hong Kong, and Sydney, Australia. The 2018 Design Field School ran parallel to the main conference and brought together students from participating universities to explore issues of modernization and its impact on the sustainability of some of Southeast Asia’s most remarkable natural landscapes and urban communities, including the sprawling urban metropolis of Surabaya in East Java, the rich volcanic landscapes of East Java, the cultural splendor of the island of Bali, and high-rise, high-density urban living in Hong Kong. 

Rome, Italy. The Department of Architecture and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture offer an interdisciplinary summer program in Rome, housed in the historic center of the city. Students experience the layers of history and vibrant design culture through the art, architecture, and urban design of the city. Rome serves as the laboratory for courses in the areas of design, media, art history, and architectural history. Students live in apartments within walking distance of the facility. 

Barcelona, Spain. This urban design summer program in Barcelona offers students insight into the measurement and design of urban relationships. Students use sensors and mapping to understand cities from the scale of human experience, integrating existing and newly acquired data sets to inform design insights. These methods are supported by interaction with local experts in planning, urban ecology, architecture, robotic engineering, transit, and landscape architecture. Cultural context is provided through trips to Granada to study different neighborhoods and the Alhambra. In Barcelona, students live, work, and research in the city’s newly planned, pedestrian-friendly three-by-three-block, Superilles, designed to create a refuge from traffic congestion and air and sound pollution. 

Danish International Studies Program. School of Architecture and Environment students travel to Copenhagen to participate in the program; summer, fall, and academic-year options are offered. Credits are automatically transferred, and financial aid is available. Instruction is in English. 

Hong Kong, China. A short-term summer program and a semester exchange program are offered at the University of Hong Kong, where English instruction makes Asia accessible. Students study the challenges of an ultradense metropolis and experience futuristic skyscrapers and public transit. 

Faculty

Jacques Abelman, assistant professor (social justice, landscape infrastructure, food systems). BA, 1996, Amherst College; MA, 2002, University of the Arts, London; MLA, 2014, Amsterdam Academy of Architecture; reg. landscape architect, Netherlands. (2016) 

Elisabeth Chan, associate professor (design representation, design theory). BA, 1993, Hampshire; MLA, 2000, Cornell. (2001) 

Arica Duhrkoop-Galas, instructor (plants, planting design, landscape construction). BA, 1998, Portland State; CE, 1999, Cambridge; MLA, 2005, Oregon; reg. landscape architect, Oregon. (2010) 

Mark Eischeid, assistant professor (landscape history, design theory, critical practice). BS, 1994, Stanford; MLA, 2000, California, Berkeley; MFA, 2010, Edinburgh; reg. landscape architect, California. (2014) 

Chris Enright, instructor (landscape planning, landscape analysis, geographic information systems). BA, 1984, California, Santa Barbara; BLA, 2003, MLA 2006, PhD, 2013, Oregon. (2013) 

Michael Geffel, visiting professor (design processes, design experiments, construction techniques). BS, 2006, Oregon; MLA, 2013, Virginia. (2017) 

David Hulse, Philip H. Knight Professor (alternative futures analysis, river restoration and management, landscape ecology). BSLA, 1981, Colorado State; MLA, 1984, Harvard. (1985)  

Bart Johnson, professor (climate change adaptation, ecological restoration, urban ecosystems). BS, 1987, Cornell; MLA, 1992, PhD, 1995, Georgia. (1995) 

Harper Keeler, instructor (civic agriculture, landscape biodynamics, urban farm director). BLA, 1995; MLA 2011, Oregon. (2010) 

Yekang Ko, assistant professor (urban sustainability, energy landscapes, climate-responsive design). BS, 2005, Korea; PhD, 2012, California, Berkeley (2016) 

Jun Hak Lee, instructor (geographic information systems, data visualization). BS, 1999, MS, 2001, Korea; PhD, 2010, California, Berkeley. (2016) 

Dennis “Whitey” Lueck, instructor (horticulture, field studies, landscape biodynamics). BS, 1974, Pennsylvania State; MS, MA, 1980, Oregon State. (2005) 

Robert G. Ribe, professor (landscape planning and analysis, visual resource management, landscape economics). BS, 1977, California, Riverside; MSLA, 1981, MA, 1987, PhD, 1990, Wisconsin; Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects. (1988) 

Kory Russel, acting assistant professor (water, container-based sanitation, informal settlements). BS, 2003, MES, 2005, Taylor; MS, 2012, Stanford. (2016) 

Brad Stangeland, instructor (landscape construction, computer-aided design, professional practice). BLA, 1983, Oregon; reg. landscape architect, Oregon. (2003) 

Roxi Thoren, associate professor (productive landscapes, cultural identity, design theory). BA, 1996, Wellesley; MArch, 2001, MLA, 2002, Virginia. (2004) 

Emeriti 

Jerome Diethelm, professor emeritus. BArch, 1962, Washington (Seattle); MLA, 1964, Harvard; reg. architect and landscape architect, Oregon. (1970) 

Kenneth I. Helphand, professor emeritus. BA, 1968, Brandeis; MLA, 1972, Harvard; Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects. (1974) 

Robert Z. Melnick, professor emeritus. BA, 1970, Bard; MLA, 1975, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects. (1982) 

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty. 

 

The curriculum in landscape architecture leads to a professional degree of bachelor of landscape architecture (BLA). The five-year program, accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB), combines general preparation in the arts and sciences with a focus on environmental-design studies. The program prepares students for professional careers in the arts and sciences with a core of design studio course work and curricular areas in land analysis, land planning, ecological systems, and planting design. The program's goal is to produce a visually literate, technically skilled, ecologically knowledgeable, and socially responsible designers who will be innovators and leaders in solving the difficult problems of the built environment into the future.

The curriculum is structured on a sequence of 10 design studios, advancing through design fundamentals to advanced research studios and leading to an independent capstone environmental design project. Core curricular areas support the development of design skills, and electives allow each student to develop expertise in topics such as ecological restoration and design, ecological urbanism, climate-change-resilient design, environmental justice, landscape aesthetics, healthy built environments, natural resource analysis and planning, urban design, food systems and urban agriculture, landscape history and preservation, and environmental design research methods.

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Requirements for the BLA degree (including university requirements) total 220 credits. Courses required for the major must passed with a grade of at least C– or P or P*. Studio courses are pass/no pass only; students must pass each studio to progress to the next studio level.

Core Requirements for Professional School Majors

Written English
WR 121College Composition I4
WR 122College Composition II4
or WR 123 College Composition III
Electives
LA 260Understanding Landscapes4
Select two approved group-satisfying arts and letters courses8
Select three approved group-satisfying social science courses12
Select three approved group-satisfying science courses 112
Select one course from the United States: Difference, Inequality, and Agency list4
Select one course from the Global Perspectives list4
Total Credits52

Professional Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Requirements

Landscape Architecture Design Studios
LA 289Landscape Architectural Design (two studios)12
LA 439Landscape Architectural Design and Process (three studios)18
LA 489Site Planning and Design (three studios)18
LA 490Comprehensive Project Preparation3
LA 494Land Planning and Design6
LA 499Comprehensive Project8
Landscape Architecture Materials + Construction
LA 462Professional Practice Landscape Architecture2
Landscape Analysis + Planning
LA 464Landscape Materials and Construction I4
LA 465Landscape Materials and Construction II4
LA 466Landscape Materials and Construction III4
LA 413Analyzing Landscape Systems4
LA 415Computers in Landscape Architecture4
LA 440Introduction to Landscape Planning Analysis4
LA 441Principles of Applied Ecology4
Basic ecology or natural systems course 14
History + Theory of Landscape Architecture
LA 260Understanding Landscapes4
LA 474History of Landscape Architecture I4
LA 475History of Landscape Architecture II4
LA 472Landscape Architectural Theory: [Topic]4
Landscape Architecture Media
ARCH 202Design Skills3
ARCH 222Introduction to Architectural Computer Graphics4
LA 450Advanced Landscape Media: [Topic]2
LA 452Landscape Media II2
LA 453Landscape Media III2
Electives 240
Total Credits168

Landscape Architecture Premajor

UO students interested in landscape architecture should first declare as a premajor. Current UO students may change their premajor to landscape architecture at any time during their undergraduate years. Landscape architecture premajors receive departmental advising, priority registration, and departmental communications. The department also offers scholarships and funded field studies opportunities exclusively for such students.

Premajor Advising. Landscape architecture premajors are strongly encouraged to meet with the BLA director or the School of Architecture and Environment advisor in 210 Lawrence Hall to receive assistance with applications, gain information about the program, or check on their academic progress and completion of premajor requirements.

Listserver for Premajors. Once students declare the premajor, their UO email addresses are added to the landscape architecture undergraduate listserver, which is used for sharing important departmental information and posts that may be of interest to undergraduate premajors and majors.

Applications. Students in the premajor or landscape architecture minor, or UO applicants with evidence of design background, may apply to the BLA degree at any time prior to entering Landscape Architectural Design and Process (LA 439) studios, which are restricted to BLA students.

UO applicants with little or no design background should enter the premajor.

Current School of Architecture and Environment majors (architecture, interior architecture) in good-standing (2.50 minimum GPA), may enter the BLA program without a formal application. These students should discuss their degree plan with the BLA director, who will confirm enrollment with the School of Architecture and Environment advising staff.

Students who wish to enter the BLA program must meet the requirements below, complete lower-division course work, and complete a separate application to the BLA prior to entering the Landscape Architectural Design and Process (LA 439) studios.

  • Cumulative UO GPA of 2.50 or better
  • Requirements listed below must be passed with at least a C– or P or P*.
  • Satisfactory completion of the following:
    • Lower-division core courses: Understanding Landscapes (LA 260) or Introduction to Landscape Architecture (LA 227)
    • Introductory design studios Landscape Architectural Design (LA 289) or Architectural Design I (ARCH 283) and Architectural Design II (ARCH 284)
    • Introductory media courses Landscape Media (LA 350) and Digital Landscape Media (LA 352) or Design Skills (ARCH 202) and Introduction to Architectural Computer Graphics (ARCH 222)
  • Satisfactory completion of one basic ecology or natural systems course

Applications may be submitted prior to completion of the premajor requirements. The department admits students fall, winter, and spring terms. Admission to the BLA is effective the following term. The deadline to apply falls on the Friday of the fourth week.

To be considered for admission to the major, students must complete and submit the following materials through the online SlideRoom applicant tracking system:

  • Application form
  • Landscape architecture premajor checklist, available as a PDF on the department website or in hard-copy form in 210 Lawrence Hall
  • Portfolio of design and art work, completed in the Landscape Architectural Design (LA 289) studios, Landscape Media (LA 350) or Digital Landscape Media (LA 352) media courses, or elsewhere

Prospective applicants may find information about the program and application requirements on the department website.

Minor in Landscape Architecture

To earn a minor in landscape architecture, students file a declaration form with the program director. Once admitted, students remain in contact with the director for personalized advising.

Minor candidates are given preference on course waiting lists over nondepartmental students. Students in the minor should inform instructors when asking permission to enroll. To declare the minor, complete the following:

  1. Obtain the Undergraduate Minor Declaration Form from the School of Architecture and Environment office, 210 Lawrence Hall. The form includes a curriculum worksheet with the requirements listed below.
  2. Meet with the program director to discuss when courses are offered, which topics courses or seminars will be offered to fulfill minor requirements, and to develop a curricular plan.
  3. Return the completed and signed form to the department office.

Minor Requirements (26 credits)

LA 260Understanding Landscapes4
LA 413Analyzing Landscape Systems4
One subject area course in plants from list below4
One subject area course in history and theory from list below4
Elective courses10
Total Credits26

Subject Areas

Plants
LA 326Plants: Fall4
LA 327Plants: Winter4
LA 328Spring Plants4
LA 337Landscape Field Work: [Topic] (any plants topic)1-4
LA 390Urban Farm2-4
History and Theory
LA 199Special Studies: [Topic] (Design for a Sustainable World)4
LA 407Seminar: [Topic] (Landscape Architecture Theory)4
LA 474History of Landscape Architecture I4
Elective Courses
Any landscape architecture (LA) courses; Urban Farm (LA 390) may be repeated if taken during different terms
Studio Options 1

Five-Year Degree Plan

The degree plan shown is only a sample of how students may complete their degrees in five years. There are alternative ways. Students should consult their advisor to determine the best path for them.

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Degree Map
First Year
FallMilestonesCredits
WR 121 College Composition I 4
General-education course in arts and letters 4
General-education course in social science 4
General-education course in science 4
 Credits 16
Winter
WR 122
College Composition II
or College Composition III
4
General-education course in social science 4
General-education course in science 4
Multicultural course 4
 Credits 16
Spring
General-education course in arts and letters 4
General-education course in social science 4
General-education course in science 4
Multicultural course 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Second Year
FallMilestonesCredits
LA 260 Understanding Landscapes 4
LA 326 Plants: Fall 4
Elective courses with an LA subject code 8
Meet with advisor to discuss academic goals  
 Credits 16
Winter
LA 289 Landscape Architectural Design 6
LA 327 Plants: Winter 4
LA 350 Landscape Media 2-4
LA 408 Workshop: [Topic] 2
 Credits 14-16
Spring
LA 289 Landscape Architectural Design 6
LA 352 Digital Landscape Media 2-4
Elective courses with an LA subject code 8
 Credits 16-18
 Total Credits 46-50
Degree Map
Third Year
FallMilestonesCredits
LA 413 Analyzing Landscape Systems 4
LA 439 Landscape Architectural Design and Process 6
Landscape theory elective course 4
Advanced landscape media elective course Complete basic ecology or natural systems course before LA 4412
Meet with advisor to discuss academic goals  
Consider study abroad or field school for the following summer  
 Credits 16
Winter
LA 417 Computer-Aided Landscape Design 2
LA 439 Landscape Architectural Design and Process 6
LA 474 History of Landscape Architecture I 4
Elective course with an LA subject code 4
Meet with College of Design Student Services to discuss résumé and portfolio design and career planning  
 Credits 16
Spring
LA 366 Landscape Technologies II 4
LA 408 Workshop: [Topic] 2
LA 439 Landscape Architectural Design and Process 6
Advanced landscape media elective course 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Fourth Year
FallMilestonesCredits
LA 441 Principles of Applied Ecology 4
LA 489 Site Planning and Design 6
Elective course with an LA subject code 4
Technology workshop 2
Meet with advisor to discuss academic goals  
 Credits 16
Winter
LA 408 Workshop: [Topic] 2
LA 415 Computers in Landscape Architecture 4
LA 489 Site Planning and Design 6
Elective course with an LA subject code 4
Apply for summer internships  
 Credits 16
Spring
LA 440 Introduction to Landscape Planning Analysis 4
LA 489 Site Planning and Design 6
Elective course with an LA subject code 4
Advanced computer-aided drafting course 2
Meet with advisor to discuss career plans  
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Fifth Year
FallMilestonesCredits
LA 490 Comprehensive Project Preparation 3
LA 494 Land Planning and Design 6
Elective courses with an LA subject code 6
Apply to graduate school or begin looking for work to begin after graduation  
Meet with advisor to make a graduation plan  
 Credits 15
Winter
LA 462 Professional Practice Landscape Architecture 2
LA 499 Comprehensive Project 8
Elective course with an LA subject code Completion of 41 LA elective credits4
 Credits 14
 Total Credits 29

Graduate Studies

The department offers master’s and doctoral degrees in landscape architecture.

The three-year professional master of landscape architecture degree (MLA) is accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board. The MLA prepares students for professional careers in environmental design with a core in design studio course work and curricular areas in land analysis, land planning, ecological systems, and planting design. The program’s goal is to produce visually literate, technically skilled, ecologically knowledgeable, and socially responsible designers—innovators and leaders in solving the difficult problems of the built environment.

The curriculum is structured on a sequence of 10 design studios, advancing through design fundamentals to advanced research studios and leading to an independent capstone research project. Core curricular areas support the development of design skills, and elective courses allow each student to develop expertise in topics such as ecological restoration and design, ecological urbanism, climate-change-resilient design, environmental justice, landscape aesthetics, healthy built environments, natural resource analysis and planning, urban design, food systems and urban agriculture, landscape history and preservation, and environmental design research methods.

The doctoral program in landscape architecture offers opportunities for advanced study and scholarship across a range of spatial scales and cultural contexts. Students in the program pursue varied topics related to their interests and to clusters of faculty expertise. Current clusters include

  • critical history, theory, and practice
  • ecology, infrastructure, and social justice
  • productive landscapes

Master of Landscape Architecture

The professional master of landscape architecture (MLA) degree program, accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, prepares students for careers in landscape architectural practice and careers in allied professions that contribute to shaping the built environment.

The department offers two tracks of study, both of which lead to the MLA. The Track I MLA typically takes ten terms to complete and requires 140 credits. The Track II MLA is a six-term advanced placement program that requires approximately 56 credits (the exact number is determined through individual evaluation of prior course work at the time of admission.)

Track I MLA students typically complete all or most of the degree program requirements at the University of Oregon and begin the program the summer before their first full academic year of study. Students with bachelor’s degrees other than a professional degree in landscape architecture must apply to the first professional degree program.

Students with degrees in related design disciplines (e.g., architecture, interior architecture, environmental design, or non-accredited landscape architecture degrees) may be given advanced standing, up to a maximum of four terms of studio credit for equivalent prior studio work. Studio placement will be based on a portfolio review; required core course work will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The Track II MLA is for applicants who have an accredited professional degree in landscape architecture. Students admitted into the Track II MLA begin their studies fall term. Track II students must fulfill the same professional curriculum requirements as first professional students, but are admitted with advanced standing in studio and subject-area courses. The extent of this advanced standing is determined by the department before beginning the program.

Students may enroll in joint MLA degree programs with the master of architecture (MArch) and master of community and regional planning (MCRP) programs with integrated and coordinated degree requirements. Arrangements may be made through academic advisors in the two departments.

Research and Master’s Project. Students take two courses in research methods and project development and one mentored research development course. A faculty member serves as a project chair. The MLA project is completed in the final year during a two-term master’s clinic studio. This independent project of high academic standard presents original work that contributes to the body of knowledge in landscape architecture and/or demonstrates an advanced capacity to solve design and planning problems through critical inquiry and strong problem-solving analysis. The topic may be selected from a range of theoretical to practical design issues. Projects must include a written component, which sets out the problem, goals and objectives, methodology, findings, and conclusions of the project.

Area of Concentration. The area of concentration courses represent a focused inquiry in advanced topics that master’s students undertake while forming and developing their master’s projects. When students begin the MLA program, they should consult their departmental advisor to begin planning their area of concentration course work and receive approval for course selection. At the time when a student is assigned a master’s project advisor, responsibility for course approval shifts to this person. At any time students may consult with other members of the departmental faculty who might help them craft their area of concentration. To be approved, an area of concentration must be graduate-level (a 500- or 600-level course number) and must be demonstrably related to the student’s master’s project topic and supportive of the project’s development. See an advisor for more information.

First Professional Master's Curriculum

Landscape Architecture Design Studios
LA 639 Foundations Studio
LA 539Landscape Architectural Design and Process (three studios)18
LA 589Site Planning and Design (three studios)18
LA 594Land Planning and Design6
Landscape Architecture Materials + Construction
LA 562Professional Practice of Landscape Archtecture2
LA 564Landscape Materials and Construction I4
LA 565Landscape Materials and Construction II4
LA 566Landscape Materials and Construction III4
Landscape Analysis + Planning
LA 513Analyzing Landscape Systems4
LA 515Computers in Landscape Architecture4
LA 540Introduction to Landscape Planning Analysis4
LA 541Principles of Applied Ecology4
History + Theory of Landscape Architecture
LA 574History of Landscape Architecture I4
LA 575History of Landscape Architecture II4
LA 572Landscape Architectural Theory: [Topic]4
Landscape Architecture Media
LA 551Landscape Media I2
LA 552Landscape Media II2
LA 553Landscape Media III2
LA 550Advanced Landscape Media: [Topic]2
Research and Master's Project
LA 620Landscape Research Methods I2
LA 621Landscape Research Methods II2
LA 699Master's Project 118
or LA 503 Thesis
4 credits Research Elective 24
Area of Concentration Electives
Five courses approved by advisor20
Total Credits138

Postprofessional Master’s Program

The two-year graduate program leading to the master of landscape architecture (MLA) degree is intended for students prepared to do advanced work in the field. Students entering the postprofessional MLA program must have a professionally accredited bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. Students are typically interested in pursuing an advanced independent research project with an interest in an academic career.

Students with professional landscape architecture degrees typically spend two years in residence satisfying course requirements.

Required course work includes one design and planning studio [Land Planning and Design (LA 594)], one course in landscape analysis and planning [Introduction to Landscape Planning Analysis (LA 540)], one course in history, literature, and theory, Landscape Research Methods I (LA 620), Landscape Research Methods II (LA 621), and mentored research with a faculty member. In addition, students must complete five courses (20 credits) in an area of concentration.

Postprofessional Master's Curriculum

Planning and Design
LA 594Land Planning and Design6
Landscape Analysis and Planning
Choose one of the following, or a course approved by advisor: 14
Analyzing Landscape Systems
Computers in Landscape Architecture
Introduction to Landscape Planning Analysis
Principles of Applied Ecology
History and Theory
Choose one of the following, or a course approved by advisor: 14
Architectural Contexts: Place and Culture
History of Landscape Architecture I
History of Landscape Architecture II
Introduction to Landscape Architecture Theory
Area of Concentration
Advisor-approved courses in one area of concentration from list above20
Research Methods and Master's Project 1,2
LA 601Research: [Topic]2
LA 620–621Landscape Research Methods I-II4
LA 699Master's Project 316
or LA 503 Thesis
Total Credits56

Admission

Prospective applicants to the MLA degree programs may find information about the program and application requirements on the department website.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The doctoral program in landscape architecture offers opportunities for advanced study and scholarship in ecological landscape planning, sustainable urban design, and design history and theory. Landscape planning is primarily concerned with assessing large landscapes and directing their policy, management, and land-use patterns to meet social and environmental ends, while design typically addresses smaller areas in greater detail.

Because the profession is broad and diverse, the landscape architecture PhD pursues robust development of academic, analytical, creative, and integrative capabilities that can continue to grow throughout subsequent careers. Accordingly, the program emphasizes the following:

  • Advanced expertise and understanding in a focused topic
  • The ability to form integrative conceptual models of landscape issues, problems, and solutions
  • The ability to critically analyze deficiencies in knowledge in the field and identify needs for new, original contributions
  • The ability to form and investigate operationally bounded questions
  • The ability to independently design and execute a complete, intensive research project
  • The ability to fully document a research project with high-quality writing and illustrations

The integrative nature of landscape design as a science and an art entails development of innovative models and methods for design, education, and research. The program offers students the opportunity to develop skills as innovative educators by working with faculty members as teaching assistants, and to teach courses under faculty guidance. The close and supportive relationships among scholarship, teaching, professional growth, and artistic achievement foster excellence in design education, research, and practice. Scholars follow many routes, and the program provides substantial flexibility to tailor students’ programs to individual needs.

Course of Study

Completion of the program requires demonstrated excellence through original contributions to the field. Indicators of a doctoral student’s achievements are successful completion of the oral and written comprehensive exams and successful completion and defense of a dissertation that substantially advances knowledge in a chosen area of expertise.

Through a series of four required courses in landscape architecture literature, theory, and research, PhD students learn how to conduct both qualitative and quantitative studies of landscapes and the processes that shape them. After completing these core courses, advanced studies in methodology, tailored to suit career intentions, are required. Advanced methodological preparation in quantitative research occurs through statistical and spatial analysis as well as case-study analysis, design criticism, content analysis, historical interpretation, and environment-behavior observation.

The program prepares students to understand and apply appropriate methods of inquiry, and to deepen their understanding of the nature and role of rigorous scholarly inquiry in landscape architecture. Course requirements are designed to provide both depth and breadth of knowledge in landscape architecture, and to draw on the frameworks and methodologies of related disciplines that support the student’s dissertation research.

Length of Program and Steps to Completion

A PhD in landscape architecture requires a minimum of three years of full-time graduate work, including one year of residency. Depending on background and research goals, students can expect to complete the degree in three to six years, with a norm of four to five years.

The student’s program of study depends substantially on his or her prior degrees.

Pre-Defined Table
Degree Held Credits to Expect to Complete for PhD
MLA or MArch 68
BLA or BArch only 80
Master's degree without professional environmental-design degree 86

Courses for the doctoral degree include design-studio experience and subject-area courses to provide a foundation in landscape architecture sufficient to support a student’s goals, research, and advanced course work.

At the completion of course work, normally the end of the second year, each student submits a written comprehensive exam, followed by an oral comprehensive exam. The examination committee will consist of three faculty members, two from landscape architecture and one from an outside department or program, who will prepare and administer the written and oral comprehensive exams. Once students have passed both comprehensive exams, they will be advanced to candidacy. Each student must submit the dissertation proposal within three terms of the exams. A student then forms a dissertation committee consisting of four members, with a minimum of two from landscape architecture and at least one from another field related to the student’s area of research. The dissertation committee must approve the student’s written dissertation proposal following a scheduled, public proposal presentation before the student undertakes the dissertation.

Some credit requirements may be waived or satisfied through transfer credits which must not have previously been applied to any graduate or undergraduate degree. No more than 15 credits may be transferred. Successful completion of the doctoral program is a matter of proven excellence through substantial, original contributions to the field and not the accumulation of a specific number of credits.

Requirements

A student’s program of study is developed with the major professor and a second doctoral advisor.

PhD Required Courses, Work

Course List
Theory, Research, Investigation 1  
LA 601 Research: [Topic] 6
LA 605 Reading and Conference: [Topic] 6
LA 617 Introduction to Landscape Architecture Theory 4
LA 620–621 Landscape Research Methods I-II 8
Doctoral colloquium 2
Outside analytic-synthetic courses 2 4-12
Electives 3  
Advanced Electives: 500-level and above landscape architecture courses in design theory, history, criticism, preservation, planning, and ecology 4 8-12
Supporting Courses: courses typically taken outside of landscape architecture 4 12
Dissertation  
LA 603 Dissertation 16
Total Credits 70
Footnotes

Admission

Prospective applicants to the landscape architecture doctoral program may find information about the program and application requirements on the department website.

Courses

Course usage information

LA 196. Field Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable twice for a maximum of 6 credits.

Course usage information

LA 199. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 227. Introduction to Landscape Architecture. 2 Credits.

Exploring the background and scope of the profession: its history, ethics, goals, skills, topics, achievements, and evolving challenges in making healthy, functional, and beautiful places.

Course usage information

LA 260. Understanding Landscapes. 4 Credits.

The goal of this course is to expand your understanding, perception, and knowledge of landscapes as cultural artifacts and the physical form of invisible processes, histories, culture, people, animals, politics, and events.

Course usage information

LA 289. Landscape Architectural Design. 6 Credits.

Study of places, their use, and how they evolve. Fundamentals of environmental awareness, social factors, and small-scale site design; abstract design and elementary graphic techniques. Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 326. Plants: Fall. 4 Credits.

Characteristics, identification, and design uses of deciduous trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers. Emphasis on identification and appropriate use in landscape design.

Course usage information

LA 327. Plants: Winter. 4 Credits.

Characteristics, identification, and design uses of ornamental conifers and broad-leaved evergreen trees, shrubs, and ground covers.
Prereq: LA 326.

Course usage information

LA 328. Spring Plants. 4 Credits.

Focuses on flowering plants, their identification, design use, and ecosystem services they provide. Plant identification focuses on flowering trees and shrubs, groundcovers and perennials, with the intention of understanding how flowering plants may be used in design to support both human needs and ecosystem functions.

Course usage information

LA 337. Landscape Field Work: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.

Direct examination and appraisal of the function, form, content, and composition of example landscapes in relation to ecological, cultural, legal, technical, aesthetic, and economic objectives. Repeatable twice for maximum of 12 credits.

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LA 350. Landscape Media. 2-4 Credits.

Development of freehand drawing and visualization skills; exercises on line, tone, texture, and color for plan, section, and perspective drawings. Repeatable twice.

Course usage information

LA 352. Digital Landscape Media. 2-4 Credits.

Introductory survey and skill development in a range of basic computer graphic tools used in landscape architecture. Includes image processing, computer drawing, modeling, and drafting. Repeatable once for maximum of 8 credits.
Prereq: LA 350.

Course usage information

LA 362. Landscape Technologies I. 4 Credits.

Develops understanding of contours, contour manipulation, and site engineering methodologies in the design of places; fundamentals of inclusive design, stormwater management, earthwork, and design development.

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LA 366. Landscape Technologies II. 4 Credits.

Consideration of aesthetic and engineering properties of materials and processes of landscape construction; communication of design intent through documentation including sources and costs.

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LA 390. Urban Farm. 2-4 Credits.

Experimentation with food production in the city; rebuilding urban soils; farm animal-plant relationships; nutrient cycles. Cooperative food production and distribution; use of appropriate technologies. Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 399. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 401. Research: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 405. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Repeatable.

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LA 406. Special Problems: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 407. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable once.

Course usage information

LA 408. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Repeatable. Concentrated programs of study on special topics. Regular offerings include Fire Ecology and Management, Landscape Design.

Course usage information

LA 409. Practicum: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Supervised field laboratory work; clinical or in-service educational experience. Planned programs of activities and study with assured provisions for adequate supervision. Repeatable twice.

Course usage information

LA 410. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 413. Analyzing Landscape Systems. 4 Credits.

Develops skills for collecting data and understanding how landscapes function in space and time to inform good decision-making in planning and design.
Prereq: one course in geography or biology or environmental studies.

Course usage information

LA 415. Computers in Landscape Architecture. 4 Credits.

Repeatable. Development, application, and evaluation of computer systems for land use and site planning (e.g., geographic information systems); encoding of data, cell storage, and analysis systems.

Course usage information

LA 417. Computer-Aided Landscape Design. 2-4 Credits.

Understanding and use of computer-aided drafting and design technology for executing landscape design development, evaluation, and presentation tasks.

Course usage information

LA 429. Civic Agriculture. 4 Credits.

Exploring the impact and subsequent reversal of industrialized food systems through community driven production, distribution and equity methods, foodshed resiliency creation and ecologically literate agriculture practice.

Course usage information

LA 439. Landscape Architectural Design and Process. 6 Credits.

Intermediate problems in landscape architecture design. Relations among problem concepts, goals, design theory, communication media, and technical analysis. Repeatable four times for a total of 30 credits.
Prereq: LA 289.

Course usage information

LA 440. Introduction to Landscape Planning Analysis. 4 Credits.

Principles of designing land- and waterscapes for human use and settlement. Ecological, social, and economic analyses of landscapes, resources, and patterns of occupancy in the Eugene-Springfield area.
Prereq: LA 413.

Course usage information

LA 441. Principles of Applied Ecology. 2-6 Credits.

Application of ecological concepts to landscape design, planning, and management. Emphasis on spatially explicit problem-solving over a range of spatial and temporal scales.
Prereq: one course in ecology.

Course usage information

LA 450. Advanced Landscape Media: [Topic]. 2-4 Credits.

Advanced landscape media skills in a variety of media, including 2D and 3D digital skills, visual data representation, and remote data sensing. Repeatable up to three times for a maximum of 12 credits.

Course usage information

LA 451. Landscape Media I. 2 Credits.

Landscape Media I is the first course in a yearlong foundational landscape media sequence. The course focuses on fundamental concepts of cartography, diagramming movement and change, and conceptually representing design ideas, and introduces students to graphic design fundamentals.

Course usage information

LA 452. Landscape Media II. 2 Credits.

Landscape Media II is the second course in a yearlong foundational landscape media sequence. The course explores a variety of media, computer applications, analog approaches, workflows, and theoretical ideas in the context of landform, topography, and grading as both a design process and representation product.

Course usage information

LA 453. Landscape Media III. 2 Credits.

Landscape Media III is the third course in a yearlong foundational landscape media sequence. The course focuses on the visual communication of constructing the landscape, from sketching materials and assemblies, to to preparing construction documentation drawings.

Course usage information

LA 459. Landscape Technology Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Intensive study of topics in landscape construction and maintenance. Topics include irrigation, lighting, special structures, water management, and road design. Repeatable thrice for maximum of 10 credits.

Course usage information

LA 462. Professional Practice Landscape Architecture. 2 Credits.

Introduces students to key aspects of professional practice, fundamental professional skills, and professional career planning. Includes licensure, legal aspects of landscape architecture, career options, business management, and project management.

Course usage information

LA 464. Landscape Materials and Construction I. 4 Credits.

Landscape Materials and Construction I is the first course in a three-term sequence, with a primary focus on plants as a medium of landscape architectural design. It is an introduction to plants from the point of view of the landscape architect or architectural designer.

Course usage information

LA 465. Landscape Materials and Construction II. 4 Credits.

Landscape Materials and Construction I is the second of the three-term long Landscape Materials and Construction sequence, with a primary focus on landform as a medium of landscape architectural design and landscape engineering for accessibility, safety, and sustainability.
Prereq: LA 464.

Course usage information

LA 466. Landscape Materials and Construction III. 4 Credits.

Landscape Materials and Construction III is the third of the three-term long Landscape Materials and Construction sequence, with a primary focus on structures, material assemblies, and vegetation on and in buildings as media of landscape architectural design.
Prereq: LA 465.

Course usage information

LA 472. Landscape Architectural Theory: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

This course examines theories and the role of theory in landscape architecture. Each offering explores landscape theory through a different lens, including the analysis and design of landscapes, the creation of built works, and the discussion and critique of projects. Repeatable three times for a maximum of 16 credits.

Course usage information

LA 474. History of Landscape Architecture I. 4 Credits.

First in a sequence covering the history of landscape architecture. Explores the history and theory of the designed landscape from the beginnings of human settlement to the 19th century.

Course usage information

LA 475. History of Landscape Architecture II. 4 Credits.

The second in a sequence of two classes covering the history of landscape architecture, from the 19th century to the late 20th century.
Prereq: LA 474.

Course usage information

LA 489. Site Planning and Design. 6 Credits.

Advanced problems in landscape architecture, cultural determinants of site planning and design, design development and natural systems and processes as indicators of carrying capacity. Repeatable three times.
Prereq: LA 362, LA 366, LA 439.

Course usage information

LA 490. Comprehensive Project Preparation. 3 Credits.

Finding, describing, programming, and probing environmental opportunities and problems.

Course usage information

LA 494. Land Planning and Design. 6 Credits.

Problems in landscape architecture of increased cultural complexity. Land use planning, computer-aided ecological analysis of land, environmental impact, urban and new community design.
Prereq: LA 489; fifth-year standing for undergraduates.

Course usage information

LA 499. Comprehensive Project. 8 Credits.

Advanced planning and design projects in landscape architecture. Studio development of individually selected projects.
Prereq: LA 490.

Course usage information

LA 503. Thesis. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 507. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable once.

Course usage information

LA 508. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Repeatable. Concentrated programs of study on special topics. Regular offerings include Fire Ecology and Management, Landscape Design.

Course usage information

LA 510. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 513. Analyzing Landscape Systems. 4 Credits.

Develops skills for collecting data and understanding how landscapes function in space and time to inform good decision-making in planning and design.

Course usage information

LA 515. Computers in Landscape Architecture. 4 Credits.

Development, application, and evaluation of computer systems for land use and site planning (e.g., geographic information systems); encoding of data, cell storage, and analysis systems. Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 517. Computer-Aided Landscape Design. 2-4 Credits.

Understanding and use of computer-aided drafting and design technology for executing landscape design development, evaluation, and presentation tasks.

Course usage information

LA 529. Civic Agriculture. 4 Credits.

Exploring the impact and subsequent reversal of industrialized food systems through community driven production, distribution and equity methods, foodshed resiliency creation and ecologically literate agriculture practice.

Course usage information

LA 539. Landscape Architectural Design and Process. 6 Credits.

Intermediate problems in landscape architecture design. Relations among problem concepts, goals, design theory, communication media, and technical analysis. Repeatable four times for a total of 30 credits.

Course usage information

LA 540. Introduction to Landscape Planning Analysis. 4 Credits.

Principles of designing land- and waterscapes for human use and settlement. Ecological, social, and economic analyses of landscapes, resources, and patterns of occupancy in the Eugene-Springfield area.
Prereq: LA 513.

Course usage information

LA 541. Principles of Applied Ecology. 2-6 Credits.

Application of ecological concepts to landscape design, planning, and management. Emphasis on spatially explicit problem-solving over a range of spatial and temporal scales.
Prereq: one course in the natural sciences.

Course usage information

LA 550. Advanced Landscape Media: [Topic]. 2-4 Credits.

Advanced landscape media skills in a variety of media, including 2D and 3D digital skills, visual data representation, and remote data sensing. Repeatable up to 3 times for a maximum of 12 credits when the topic changes.

Course usage information

LA 551. Landscape Media I. 2 Credits.

Landscape Media I is the first course in a yearlong foundational landscape media sequence. The course focuses on fundamental concepts of cartography, diagramming movement and change, and conceptually representing design ideas, and introduces students to graphic design fundamentals.

Course usage information

LA 552. Landscape Media II. 2 Credits.

Landscape Media II is the second course in a yearlong foundational landscape media sequence. The course explores a variety of media, computer applications, analog approaches, workflows, and theoretical ideas in the context of landform, topography, and grading as both a design process and representation product.

Course usage information

LA 553. Landscape Media III. 2 Credits.

Landscape Media III is the third course in a yearlong foundational landscape media sequence. The course focuses on the visual communication of constructing the landscape, from sketching materials and assemblies, to to preparing construction documentation drawings.

Course usage information

LA 559. Landscape Technology Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Intensive study of topics in landscape construction and maintenance. Topics include irrigation, lighting, special structures, water management, and road design. Repeatable thrice for maximum of 10 credits.

Course usage information

LA 562. Professional Practice of Landscape Archtecture. 2 Credits.

Introduces students to key aspects of professional practice, fundamental professional skills, and professional career planning. Includes licensure, legal aspects of landscape architecture, career options, business management, and project management.

Course usage information

LA 564. Landscape Materials and Construction I. 4 Credits.

Landscape Materials and Construction I is the first course in a three-term sequence, with a primary focus on plants as a medium of landscape architectural design. It is an introduction to plants from the point of view of the landscape architect or architectural designer.

Course usage information

LA 565. Landscape Materials and Construction II. 4 Credits.

Landscape Materials and Construction I is the second of the three-term long Landscape Materials and Construction sequence, with a primary focus on landform as a medium of landscape architectural design and landscape engineering for accessibility, safety, and sustainability.

Course usage information

LA 566. Landscape Materials and Construction III. 4 Credits.

Landscape Materials and Construction III is the third of the three-term long Landscape Materials and Construction sequence, with a primary focus on structures, material assemblies, and vegetation on and in buildings as media of landscape architectural design.

Course usage information

LA 572. Landscape Architectural Theory: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

This course examines theories and the role of theory in landscape architecture. Each offering explores landscape theory through a different lens, including the analysis and design of landscapes, the creation of built works, and the discussion and critique of projects. Repeatable three times for a maximum of 16 credits.

Course usage information

LA 574. History of Landscape Architecture I. 4 Credits.

First in a sequence covering the history of landscape architecture. Explores the history and theory of the designed landscape from the beginnings of human settlement to the 19th century.

Course usage information

LA 575. History of Landscape Architecture II. 4 Credits.

The second in a sequence of two classes covering the history of landscape architecture, from the 19th century to the late 20th century.

Course usage information

LA 589. Site Planning and Design. 6 Credits.

Advanced problems in landscape architecture, cultural determinants of site planning and design, design development and natural systems and processes as indicators of carrying capacity. Repeatable three times.
Prereq: LA 539.

Course usage information

LA 594. Land Planning and Design. 6 Credits.

Problems in landscape architecture of increased cultural complexity. Land-use planning, computer-aided ecological analysis of land, environmental impact, urban and new community design.
Prereq: LA 489/589.

Course usage information

LA 601. Research: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 602. Supervised College Teaching. 2-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 603. Dissertation. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 605. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 606. Special Problems: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 607. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable. A recent topic is Introduction to Landscape Literature.

Course usage information

LA 608. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable. Intensive study combining practical projects with instruction on special topics related to landscape problems.

Course usage information

LA 609. Practicum: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Supervised field laboratory work; clinical or in-service educational experience. Planned programs of activities and study with assured provisions for adequate supervision. Repeatable twice.

Course usage information

LA 610. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

LA 617. Introduction to Landscape Architecture Theory. 4 Credits.

Survey and critique of the theoretical frameworks for landscape architecture.

Course usage information

LA 620. Landscape Research Methods I. 2-4 Credits.

Contemporary research issues and strategies. Theories, approaches, and techniques applicable to topics and problems in landscape architecture. Sequence with LA 621.

Course usage information

LA 621. Landscape Research Methods II. 2-4 Credits.

Contemporary research issues and strategies. Theories, approaches, and techniques applicable to topics and problems in landscape architecture. Sequence with LA 620.
Prereq: LA 620.

Course usage information

LA 699. Master's Project. 2-10 Credits.

Student-directed and executed performance and communication of original research or project work to demonstrate advanced mastery of landscape architecture. Repeatable.