Incoming Student Information

Design Prep Week and Orientation Info

General UW//LA Student Resources
Student Discussion Forum (MS Teams)


You can find other information on the Department Student Resources Page.

Other questions? Contact your adviser.

Nick Dreher, BLA Program Adviser
Julie Parrett, MLA Program Adviser

Design Prep Week + Orientation

Design Prep Week (September 21-25)
Orientation (September 28-29)

We’ll have more details later in the summer. Classes start on Wednesday, September 30.

Incoming Student Communications

Incoming BLAs: Enjoy the summer and stay safe - June 17

Hi everyone,

As we enter the summer, I hope you are doing well. 

Autumn Registration: You are registered for Autumn classes at this point unless JoAnne Edwards reached out to you with a specific issue that needs to be addressed.

Design Prep Week + Orientation: Please mark your calendars for Design Prep Week (September 21-25) and Orientation (September 28-29). We’ll have more details about these later in the summer. 

Facebook group: We’ve put together an incoming BLA/MLA Facebook group. It’s a great place to connect with your fellow incoming students to plan summer field trips or book groups (or more fun things than these). I’ll also post housing options from current LA students for those of you looking for a place to live next year.

Summer activities: Many incoming students ask me what they can do to prepare for starting the program over the summer. Here are my suggestions:

My number one recommendation is to enjoy some time outdoors if you are able. Visit outdoor spaces and observe the ways people use them and find places that inspire you as a future designer of landscapes. 

Some of my favorite outdoor spots in Seattle: 

  • Gas Works Park (created by Rich Haag. founder of our department)
  • Burke-Gilman Trail
  • Occidental Square
  • Ravenna Park and Cowen Park
  • Ballard Locks
  • Lake Washington Boulevard
  • Discovery Park
  • UW Arboretum 

Feel free to take photos, sketch or write notes about these spaces. 

If you want a topical book to read in any of these places, I’ve attached a short list of some foundational books for our department. These readings are not necessary, but a starter if you want to dig in. 

You may also be interested to see examples of what you will soon be doing. Extents, the student-led publication of our department showcases work from last year ( As well, recent studio work is available on our website (

Finally, if you want some experience with digital representation over the summer, you can access many great free tutorials for programs like Adobe Creative Cloud, AutoCAD, GIS on You can access these tutorials for free through the Seattle Public Library website. 

Whether you are taking classes, working, staying in Seattle or traveling, I hope you have a safe and restful summer. I’ll be around most of the summer. Please don’t hesitate to reach out by email or schedule a meeting if anything comes up or if you’d just like to check in.

my best,


Welcome to the BLA Program! Next Steps - May 19

Incoming BLA class,

Welcome! We look forward to you joining the BLA program in the Autumn. I know some of you have had questions about registration and other next steps. 

Change of Major

For current UW students, I will begin the change of major paperwork this week. You’ll officially be listed as a BLA student beginning Autumn 2020. 

Transfer Admissions

For transfer students, I will be reaching out to UW admissions to let them know that you’ve been accepted into the BLA program. Please let me know when you hear from UW admissions about your status. Once you are officially accepted into UW, I’ll work with you to begin Autumn registration. 

Autumn Course Registration

For everyone, I will register you for required L ARCH courses for your first term in the program. You will be registered for the following courses:

L ARCH 401 Design Foundations Studio

L ARCH 411 Landscape Representation

L ARCH 431 Landform and Grading

L ARCH 341 Site Design and Planning (unless you’ve already completed this course) 

This course load equals 15 credits (12 credits if you’ve already completed L ARCH 341). This is an appropriate course load for your first term in the program. However, if you have space in your schedule and would like to take something else, please register for that yourself. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about your course load or other course options. 

Design Prep Week and Orientation

Don’t forget that the program requires you to attend Design Prep Week (9/21–25) and Orientation (9/28–29) before classes begin on 9/30. We’ll have more information on these later this summer.

Congratulations once again and welcome to the BLA program. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have over the next few weeks or anytime this summer.  

All my best,


Welcome to the MLA Program - May 20 email