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Undergraduate programs

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree. We also offer an undergraduate minor in Urban Ecological Design. For more information on the minor, visit:

Our Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) is a STEM designated degree program. The program is structured through a curriculum of lecture, technical, and studio courses to provide students with the foundational education and skills necessary to pursue careers in landscape architecture and allied design and planning fields. More specifically, the program educates students in the emerging practices of urban ecological design employing design thinking, practice, and craft in the areas of design activism, ecological infrastructure, ecological learning and literacy, human and environmental health, and social justice.

Program goals are to provide students with a strong design education, foster creativity, develop graphic and verbal communication skills, facilitate cognitive abilities, and encourage computer proficiency. The program will prepare students for entry level positions in public and private sector jobs and provide a professional education to develop successful long-term careers as Landscape Architects.

Departmental courses include the history of landscape architecture, design theory and practice, construction, graphics, and professional practice. Required courses from other departments include urban horticulture, soils, geology, botany, and ecology.

Coursework is given practical application in design studios led by departmental faculty and members of the professional community. Studio topics include: site design in the urban environment, design for natural processes, planting design, housing design for communities, cultural landscape studio, and the design- build capstone project.

Coursework develops an understanding of the functioning of natural systems and an awareness of the cultural and sociological forces that influence the landscape architect’s work. Individual as well as team-oriented projects encourage the development of strong interactive, verbal, and evaluative skills. The Practicum program offers opportunities to receive credit for work in public agencies or private firms. This unique experience often leads to employment upon graduation.

Students with prior coursework that meets departmental and university prerequisites for graduation may enter the three year program. The first year studio sequence is taken by both entering BLA and MLA students. Because both BLA and MLA programs are accredited first professional degrees, it is not unusual for students with BA or B.Sc. degrees to apply for admission to the BLA program for a second Bachelor’s Degree.

In addition to required coursework, the program encourages students to pursue personal interests through directed research and independent study within the department and in other departments. The program is structured to permit students to explore design related areas which allow them to most fully realize their creative potential and professional growth.

This degree leads to licensure. For further information refer to the following table.

Students interested in the Bachelor in Landscape Architecture should contact the BLA Academic Adviser, Jennie Li (

BLA Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors allows students the opportunity to explore their chosen major in greater depth. To receive Departmental Honors with the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, students must apply to the program and fulfill the following requirements:

  • GPA: Minimum 3.30 cumulative UW GPA + minimum 3.50 cumulative in the major
  • Complete 9-credits of numerically graded advanced studies (498-level and above) for Honors credit. Advanced studies can include graduate level lectures, seminars or independent study in L ARCH and CBE and other approved courses. Of the 9 credits, 6 must be numerically graded (on a 4.0 scale, and NOT credit/no credit). There are two pathways to enter and complete the Honors program:
    • Option A: 6-credits must be completed through a Built Environment (BE) Interdisciplinary studio or MLA-prioritized Advanced studio. The remaining 3-credits can include graduate level lectures, seminars, studios or independent study in L ARCH and CBE and other approved courses.
    • Option B: All 9-credits are fulfilled through graduate level lectures, seminars, or independent study in L ARCH, CBE and other approved courses, with no more than 3-credits applied towards L ARCH independent study.
    • NOTE: Read through and fill out a BLA Honors Ad Hoc Contract for courses that are not graduate-level and/or numerically graded, unless you plan to fulfill credits through independent study, in which case use the L Arch 499 Request Form.
  • Honors students must also complete a portfolio and submit it to the departmental adviser for review. Review the BLA Honors Portfolio Guidelines.

Departmental Honors Admissions

Interested students should submit an application to the undergraduate program adviser. The application consists of a short statement of interest expressing why you hope to participate in the Departmental Honors program and topics you would explore (100-200 words). The application should also include a proposed schedule of the courses and credits you plan to take. See the BLA Honor Application Form to apply. 

The Department will evaluate students based on their statement and their grades and progress in the program thus far.

Students will be eligible to apply for the Honors in the Spring Quarter of their first year in the program. Once admitted, students are invited to join the UW Interdisciplinary Honors community and will eligible to apply to a variety of Honors specific scholarships.