Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.)

Landscape Architecture is the design profession that applies artistic, scientific and technical knowledge and skills to the analysis, design, planning, development and management of built and natural environments across scales from local to global. Landscape architects have an appreciation and understanding of natural and cultural processes, a creative imagination, technical expertise and a commitment to improve or preserve the physical environment for human use, and to protect resources and other life forms on the planet

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Established in 1898, the Landscape Architecture Program at MSU is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).

The Program offers both a five-year Dual Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA)/Master of Arts in Environmental Design (MED) degree, and an accredited 4.5-year BLA degree. The BLA degree program offers a dynamic design studio sequence and classroom learning environment. Core BLA classes and design studios are complimented by the natural and social sciences and the arts and humanities.

Located in the MSU Human Ecology Building, students will have access to several design studios, student work rooms, computer labs, classrooms and galleries. The program offers students high-impact learning environments with diverse community engagement projects in the LA design and construction courses. The community engagement projects provide students learning opportunities to engage in real-world settings, working on local project sites and receiving client input.

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Landscape architecture student presenting their project during the LA Senior Show. Using VR technology, the student's project is presented on a screen that runs around the perimiter of the round room.

Core areas of study include:

  • Landscape architecture design process and design implementation.
  • Landscape construction and site engineering.
  • Landscape architecture theory and history.
  • Landscape architecture graphic communications.
  • Site design and land-use planning.
  • Environmental perception and behavioral science.
  • Ecological and natural preservation design.

Learn more about requirements and courses in landscape architecture

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Study Abroad

An eight-week Study Abroad experience is integrated into the curriculum sequence in the spring semester of year three for which BLA students are eligible. Blending creativity, design, site engineering and technical skills, and developing well-rounded professionals are at the heart of the curriculum.

Career Opportunities

Program graduates are prepared to be responsible landscape architects and career-ready with a breadth and depth of professional knowledge, bridged with the employability skills to advance the practice. Landscape architects work in a wide range of diverse private practices and public agencies with interdisciplinary teams of planners, architects, engineers and contractors in implementing visionary and sustainable designs.

To be a professional landscape architect, an individual is required to obtain both: 1) A bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited LA program; and 2) an LA license after passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) with at least two years of professional experience. All 50 states in the U.S. have recognized that regulation of landscape architecture is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare. For more information, visit the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Students will have many career options in the landscape architecture industry, such as:

  • Landscape design and planning firms;
  • Landscape management firms;
  • Construction/engineering firms;
  • Design and planning consulting firms;
  • Urban design; 
  • Public sector; and
  • Federal agencies, including the National Park Service.

Pursuing a graduate degree is also a viable option after graduation.

Faculty members and advisors maintain close relationships with landscape architecture companies, which can help with internships, scholarships and employment in this industry.

Scholarships and Internship Opportunities

The Landscape Architecture Program offers Scholarship and Internship opportunities.

Students and faculty standing in a spiral staircase in a group shot.

Landscape architecture alum shares her education abroad experiences

January 13, 2020

Anna Zultowski says: "I can’t believe it’s been an entire year since my class, a close-knit group of 10, and our professors spent two months preparing for what would be the trip of a life time."

Bill Johnson

MSU alumnus Bill Johnson receives 2020 Landscape Architecture Foundation Medal

June 17, 2020

William “Bill” Johnson, an alumnus of the Michigan State University Landscape Architecture program, was presented with the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF)’s Medal for his distinguished work applying the principles of sustainability to landscapes.

Landscape Architecture Advisor & Undergraduate Secretary

Student Services Office
Human Ecology Building, Room 102

Available appointments are posted at the start of each semester for the entire semester. If no appointment times work for your schedule, please email your advisor to arrange an alternate appointment time. Schedule your appointment online. Note: Appointments are NOT available during the summer, Mid-May to mid-August. Advisors are available on a limited basis via email during the summer break.

Student Life

In addition to student jobs and internships, there are study abroad and undergraduate research opportunities. Learn more about study abroad opportunities within the school. 

There are also a variety of student clubs and organizations including:

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Built Environment Majors

  • Construction Management (B.S.)

    Work areas in this profession include project management, building technology, construction science, land development, real estate, finance and marketing.

  • Horticulture (B.S.)

    The Horticulture program prepares students to make new discoveries in the plant sciences, promote the use of plants and food for improved human health, and manage and develop landscape design projects.

  • Interior Design (B.A.)

    The Interior Design program focuses on design theory and application, historic preservation and conservation, sustainable design, visual communication and technology and indoor environmental quality.

  • Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.)

    The Landscape Architecture Program focuses on the integration of art, science and human interaction, applying their knowledge to diverse and immersive project types from local to international settings.

  • Packaging (B.S.)

    Packaging is a multidisciplinary program focused on all aspects of the industry from materials and processes through systems development and testing.