Studying Landscape Architecture at CSU is an adventure. Taking part in a challenging course of study, students prepare themselves for careers in a field whose enormous potential has only begun to be recognized. Landscape Architecture students study design as accomplished landscape architects see it: shaping spaces as well as planning and preserving them.

Landscape architects lead the stewardship, planning, and design of built and natural environments. Throughout the program, emphasis is on the relationship between design, nature, and society: the impact of environments on the individual as well as the impact of users on the environment. Registration laws for landscape architects in 49 states encourage graduation from programs such as that offered at CSU, which is accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Landscape architects must analyze the natural elements of a site including the climate, soil, slope of the land, drainage, sunlight, and vegetation. Computer-aided design (CAD) has become an essential tool for landscape architects. Landscape architects often work with building architects, surveyors, engineers, and urban planners and collaborate with environmental scientists, foresters, and other professionals to find the best way to conserve or restore natural resources. Knowledge of appropriate local, state, or federal regulations such as those protecting wetlands or historic resources is essential.

Nature, culture, form, and space are the classic elements of landscape architecture with which students work in a series of design studies and related courses. Coursework focuses on a variety of landscape projects that grow more complex as the curriculum proceeds. The courses include subjects such as site design, landscape design and construction, surveying, landscape ecology, and urban and regional planning. Other courses specific to the major are history of the designed landscape, plant and soil science, geology, and professional practice. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of summer travel courses available to study highly-valued ecological/cultural sites in Colorado and designed landscapes in Europe.

CSU offers the only nationally accredited undergraduate professional landscape architecture program in Colorado, via the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).

Learning Outcomes

Successful students will demonstrate:

  • Basic problem solving skills and knowledge for comprehensive landscape design that include the following characteristics:
    1. Research of natural systems, cultural systems, users, and precedents
    2. Analysis of related site systems and users
    3. Synthesis, the articulation of formal responses to research and analysis findings
  • Technical competency in basic landscape architectural methods and communication, including organization of writing, project development, representation, and documentation
  • Fundamental knowledge and skills appropriate to public and private entry-level landscape architecture including:
    1. Application of digital media
    2. Technology applications for analysis and design
    3. Landscape design
    4. Representation for analysis and design

Potential Occupations

Many types of organizations and individuals hire landscape architects – from real estate development firms starting new projects, municipalities constructing airports or parks, to home owners desiring garden designs. Many landscape architects are employed by government agencies doing site design for buildings, parks, and other public assets. Others are involved in park and recreation planning in national parks and forests, and restoration of environmentally damaged landscapes. Starting in 1998, average salaries for landscape architects exceeded average salaries of architects. Anticipated growth in construction is expected to increase demand for landscape architectural services over the long run. Participation in internships and cooperative education opportunities is highly recommended to enhance practical training and development. Graduates who go on for advanced studies can attain more responsible positions with the possibility of rising to top professional levels.

Some examples include: design consultant, private practice business, construction supervisor, land or environmental planner, urban designer, historic preservationist, golf course architect, resort planner.

Effective Fall 2010

BZ 120Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)3A4
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
LAND 110Introduction to Landscape Architecture3B3
LAND 120History of the Designed Landscape 3
LAND 230Drawing the Landscape 4
LAND 240Fundamentals of Landscape Design Process 4
LAND 241Environmental Analysis 3
MATH 126Analytic Trigonometry (GT-MA1)1B1
Arts and Humanities3B3
Quantitative Reasoning1B2
 Total Credits 30
CHEM 107Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)3A4
GEOL 120 or 122Exploring Earth - Physical Geology (GT-SC2)
The Blue Planet - Geology of Our Environment (GT-SC2)
GEOL 121Introductory Geology Laboratory (GT-SC1)3A1
LAND 220/LIFE 220Fundamentals of Ecology (GT-SC2)3A3
LAND 360Basic Landscape Design and Construction4A3
LAND 361Digital Methods 3
LAND 362Form and Expression in Garden Design4B3
LAND 363Advanced Landscape Site Engineering 4
Select one course from the following: 5
Landscape Field Studies  
Travel Abroad-European Landscape Architecture  
Natural Resource Ecology and Measurements  
PSY 100General Psychology (GT-SS3)3C3
Diversity and Global Awareness3E3
 Total Credits 35
AREC 202 or ECON 202Agricultural and Resource Economics (GT-SS1)
Principles of Microeconomics (GT-SS1)
LAND 364Design and Nature 4
LAND 365Landscape Contract Drawing and Specifications 3
LAND 366Landscape Design Expression 4
LAND 444Ecology of Landscapes 3
NR 319 or 323Geospatial Applications in Natural Resources
Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation
PHIL 345Environmental Ethics 3
SOCR 240Introductory Soil Science 4
SPCM 200Public Speaking 3
 Total Credits 30-31
BZ 223 or HORT 221Plant Identification
Landscape Plants
HORT 368/LAND 368Landscape Irrigation and Water Conservation 3
LAND 392Seminar-Designed Landscapes-Theory and Criticism 2
LAND 446Urban Design 4
LAND 447Comprehensive Landscape Design4C4
LAND 449Professional Practice4C1
Advanced Writing23
Arts and Humanities3B3
Historical Perspectives3D3
Electives 4
 Total Credits 30-31
 Program Total Credits: 125-127
Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
BZ 120Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)  3A4
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
LAND 110Introduction to Landscape Architecture  3B3
LAND 230Drawing the LandscapeX  4
Mathematics  1B2
 Total Credits   16
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
LAND 120History of the Designed Landscape   3
LAND 240Fundamentals of Landscape Design ProcessX  4
LAND 241Environmental Analysis   3
MATH 126Analytic Trigonometry (GT-MA1)  1B1
Arts and Humanities  3B3
CO 150, AUCC 1B (Quantitative Reasoning), and BZ 120 must be completed by the end of Semester 2.X   
 Total Credits   14
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 107Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)X 3A4
Select one course from the following:   3
Exploring Earth - Physical Geology (GT-SC2)  3A 
The Blue Planet - Geology of Our Environment (GT-SC2)  3A 
GEOL 121Introductory Geology Laboratory (GT-SC1)  3A1
LIFE 220/LAND 220Fundamentals of Ecology (GT-SC2)  3A3
LAND 360Basic Landscape Design and ConstructionX 4A3
LAND 361Digital MethodsX  3
 Total Credits   17
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
LAND 362Form and Expression in Garden DesignX 4B3
LAND 363Advanced Landscape Site EngineeringX  4
PSY 100General Psychology (GT-SS3)  3C3
Diversity and Global Awareness  3E3
 Total Credits   13
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   5
Landscape Field Studies    
Travel Abroad-European Landscape Architecture    
Natural Resource Ecology and Measurements    
 Total Credits   5
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   3
Agricultural and Resource Economics (GT-SS1)  3C 
Principles of Microeconomics (GT-SS1)  3C 
LAND 364Design and Nature   4
LAND 365Landscape Contract Drawing and SpecificationsX  3
Select one course from the following:   3-4
Geospatial Applications in Natural Resources    
Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation    
SPCM 200Public Speaking   3
LAND 220/ LIFE 220 must be completed by the end of Semester 6.X   
 Total Credits   16-17
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
LAND 366Landscape Design ExpressionX  4
LAND 444Ecology of Landscapes   3
PHIL 345Environmental Ethics   3
SOCR 240Introductory Soil Science   4
 Total Credits   14
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   3-4
Plant Identification    
Landscape Plants    
LAND 392Seminar-Designed Landscapes-Theory and CriticismX  2
LAND 446Urban DesignX  4
Advanced Writing  23
Electives   4
 Total Credits   16-17
Semester 9CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
HORT 368/LAND 368Landscape Irrigation and Water ConservationX  3
LAND 447Comprehensive Landscape DesignX 4C4
LAND 449Professional PracticeX 4C1
Arts and HumanitiesX 3B3
Historical PerspectivesX 3D3
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   14
 Program Total Credits:   125-127