University of Oregon

Department of Landscape Architecture

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

A group of students underneath flowersThe Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon gives undergraduate students a small design school experience supported by the resources and benefits of a large research university. Our student faculty ratio is 12-1. Undergraduate cohorts of 15-18 students take interdisciplinary courses that apply both art and science in the making sustainable landscapes. Our comprehensive and accredited curriculum prepares students to become professional landscape architects. Undergraduate and graduate students mix in upper-level courses and work closely with our expert faculty in small classes and studios of 15-20 students. We work with real places, real people and real landscape issues in every courses.

Undergraduate students pursue a professional Bachelors of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree, preparing them for careers and the process of professional licensure. Within the BLA program there is an emphasis on the breadth of the profession, exposing students to diverse problems and opportunities. Our approach to landscape architectural education is characterized by a concern for the connections between design and planning, theory and practice, teachers and practitioners, art and technology, school and the 'real world', head and hand, large scale and small scale.

The BLA program is typically completed in three to five years, depending when the student gains admission and what classes they have already completed. Students admitted to the program after their first year of undergraduate studies usually complete the program in four years, skipping the first year of classes described below. Some students with previous classes in design can earn the BLA in only three years.

Students admitted to the program in their first year as undergraduates spend their first year primarily fulfilling their general education requirements. For the next four years, the curriculum is a combination of required and elective courses and field study experiences. The program provides required and optional sequences in design studios, ecology, plants and planting design theory, landscape technologies, professional practice, landscape planning and analysis, urban planning and design, landscape media, and the history, literature and theory of landscape architecture. There are also courses available in allied disciplines including architecture, planning, environmental studies, geography, and the fine arts. As students reach upper division courses, they may choose to pursue minors outside of the department.

Students are encouraged to become aware of the wealth of university offerings as an important component of their education. Departmental requirements allow the individual flexibility and time to pursue interests in areas both inside and outside of the department. The departmental program, in content and spirit, combines 'professional' concerns and skill building with a liberal education needed to become sophisticated and effective agents of change. This, combined with a system of university group requirements that all UO students must take, provides students with fundamental exposure to social sciences, arts and letters, and natural sciences. We feel it is our duty to support the growth of students as good designers and also as good citizens.

The first step in the application process is to read the BLA Program Handbook. It provides a sense of the timeline and requirements for graduation with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon.

Please refer to our example curriculum sheet to gain a general idea of the course structure.

BLA – example Curriculum Outline (PDF)

Computer Required

Digital tools are now a necessary tool for all 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 very large data files for most course work, the departments computer requirements exceed the average user’s computing needs. Please see the College of Design Technology Services blog for computer minimum requirements and recommendations.


Audrey McLaughlin site plan


Apply for admission to the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture