University of Oregon

Department of Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture Courses


Both a science and an art, landscape architecture is based on scientific knowledge of natural processes coupled with awareness of historical, cultural, and social dynamics. These are applied to making richly supportive places beautiful in their response to human needs and ecological context.



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. 

LA 289 Landscape Architectural Design (6 credits - repeatable)
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.


Landscape Architectural Technology

LA 362 Landscape Technologies I – Grading (4 credits)
Develops understanding of contours, contour manipulation, and site engineering methodologies in the design of places; fundamentals of inclusive design, storm water management, earthwork, and design development. Prereq: LA 361.

LA 366 Landscape Technologies II – Site Construction (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. Prereq: LA 362.

LA 417/517 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. Prereq: LA 289 or 389.

LA 459/559 Landscape Technology Topics (2-4 credits)
Intensive study of topics in landscape construction and maintenance. Topics include irrigation, lighting, special structures, water management, and road design.


Plants in the Landscape

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. 

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.

LA 328 Plants Spring (4 credits)
Characteristics, identification, and design uses of flowering trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers; emphasis on synthesis of fall, winter, and spring. Prereq: LA 327.

LA 390 Urban Farm (4 credits - repeatable)
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. 

LA 409 Practicum (1-21 credits - repeatable)
Supervised field laboratory work; clinical or in-service educational experience. Planned programs of activities and study with assured provisions for adequate supervision. 

LA 433/533 Japanese Garden (4 credits)
Explores the art, form, meaning, and experience of Japanese gardens. Special emphasis on their heartland in the valley of Nara and Kyoto. 


Landscape Analysis and Planning

LA 337 Landscape Field Work (1-4 credits - repeatable)
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. 

LA 413/513 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. Prereq: one course in geography or biology or environmental studies. 

LA 415/515 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. Prereq: LA 440/540. 

LA 440/540 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 361.

LA 441/541 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 for 441: one course in ecology; prereq for 541: one course in the natural sciences. 

LA 465 Landscape Ecology (4 credits)
Links concepts and applications of landscape ecology through extensive field experiences that develop a deep understanding of a specific landscape or a set of issues. Prereq: LA 441/541. (4)

LA 494/594 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. Fifth-year standing required for undergraduates. Prereq: LA 489/589. 


History and Theory of Landscape Architecture

LA 260 Understanding Landscapes (4 credits)
Perception, description, and explanation of landscapes as environmental sets, as biophysical processes, and as cultural values. This course is a Group-satisfying course—Arts and Letters.

LA 421 Landscape Photography and Environmental Perception (4 credits)
The influence of changing photographic landscape representations upon the perception of places and communities in relation to ideas about natural, cultural, and environmental values.

LA 433 Japanese Garden (4 credits)
Explores the art, form, meaning, and experience of Japanese gardens. Special emphasis on their heartland in the valley of Nara and Kyoto. 

LA 443/543 Land and Landscape (4 credits -repeatable)
Theories and concepts in landscape planning and design. The valuing emphasis alternates every other year between environmental ethics and environmental aesthetics. 

LA 484/584 Landscape Perception (4 credits)
Development of the human-environment relationship as it relates to landscape perception, landscape archetypes, and the development of a theoretical base for contemporary landscape design. 

LA 480/580 Landscape Preservation (4 credits)
Tools and techniques currently used in the preservation of historic, cultural, and vernacular landscapes. Includes history of landscape preservation, significant legislation, and case studies. 

LA 482/582 National Parks (4 credits)
History and development of United States National Parks. Exploration of critical issues facing the parks and the landscape planner's role in resource protection and recreation management. 

LA 617 Introduction to Landscape Architecture Theory (4 credits)
Survey and critique of the theoretical frameworks for landscape architecture. 

LA 619 Contemporary Landscape Architecture Theory (3 credits)
Critical survey of important landscape design ideas and examples from the last thirty years by examination of articles, texts, dialogues, sites, built works, and personalities. Prereq: ARH 578. Offered alternate years. 


Landscape Architectural Media

LA 350 Landscape Media (2-4 credits - repeatable)
Development of freehand drawing and visualization skills; exercises on line, tone, texture, and color for plan, section, and perspective drawings. 

LA 375 Contemporary American Landscape (4 credits)
Evolution of the contemporary American landscape as an expression of American culture. 

LA 352 Digital Landscape Media (2-4 credits - repeatable)
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. Prereq: LA 350. 

LA 417/517 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. Prereq: LA 289 or 389.

LA 450/550 Advanced Landscape Media (4 credits - repeatable)
The role of media in design inquiry; development of hard-line drawing skills, diagramming, and principles of graphic design. 


Urban Design

LA 446/546 Landscape Urbanism (4 credits)
Landscape theory and practice as the foundation of urban design, synthesizing architecture, infrastructure, microclimate, and ecology across multiple scales and time frames. 

LA 488 Urban Landscape Topics (1-4 credits - repeatable)
Analysis of case studies, problems, challenges, technologies, and methods that landscape architects contribute to the design and planning of sustainable urban places, neighborhoods, cities, and regions. R three times for a total of 16 credits. 


Undergraduate's Comprehensive Project

LA 490 Comprehensive Project Preparation (3 credits)
Finding, describing, programming, and probing environmental opportunities and problems.

LA 499 Comprehensive Project (8 credits)
Advanced planning and design projects in landscape architecture. Studio development of individually selected projects. Prereq: LA 490. 


Master's Project

LA 620, 621 Landscape Research Methods I, II (2-4 credits each)
Contemporary research issues and strategies. Theories, approaches, and techniques applicable to topics and problems in landscape architecture. Sequence. 

LA 695 Research Proposal Development (2 credits)
Preparation and presentation of the student's terminal research and design project proposal and plan for completion of the master's degree in landscape architecture. Prereq: LA 621.

LA 699 Master's Project (2-10 credits - repeatable)
Student-directed and -executed performance and communication of original research or project work to demonstrate advanced mastery of landscape architecture.