Landscape architecture is a growing, in-demand field with a range of exciting and rewarding career options. Our graduates are blending art, science, environmental awareness, and technology into influential projects shaping sites of the future and restoring outdated spaces into useful, relevant places to live, work, and play.

Landscape architecture is rich in scope and engaged in shaping the future of our world. Practice involves creating, conserving, and reclaiming the landscape in contexts that range from urban to pristine nature. Other ways to define landscape architecture include:

  • The analysis, planning, design, management, and stewardship of the natural and built environments.
  • Fitting people to the land and the land to people.
  • Architecture without roofs.
  • The space between buildings.
  • A noble and far-reaching discipline responsible for planning and designing the ever-evolving spaces, experiences, forms, and functions between, surrounding, and connected to buildings, water, land, cultures, and living ecological systems.
  • Visit the American Society of Landscape Architects to learn more about landscape architecture.

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, representing more than 15,000 members. Landscape architects lead the planning, design, and stewardship of healthy, equitable, safe, and resilient environments. The Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship.

Landscape architects are designers of environments—environments that encompass both natural and built worlds, social and cultural dynamics, urban spaces and rural land, water and air. They plan and design the places we live, work, and play—for people and communities, plants and animals.

A landscape architect’s scope of work includes, but is not limited to:

  • Ecological Restoration and Reclamation
  • Residential and/or Estate Design
  • Regional and/or Natural Area Planning/Design
  • Urban Planning/Design
  • Cultural and Historic Site Design
  • Historic Preservation and Restoration
  • Housing & Community Design
  • Neighborhood Planning/Design
  • Golf Course Design
  • Campus Planning/Design
  • Environmental Research
  • Streets and Transportation Systems
  • Wetlands Design and Preservation
  • Stormwater Management Design
  • Hydrology and Water Conservation
  • Garden Design (therapeutic, public, private)
  • Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
  • Memorials and Monuments
  • Commercial Facilities/Sites (R&D, corporate, retail/shopping, etc.)
  • Computer Modeling and 3-D Visualization Services
  • Environmental Art (sculpture, mural)
  • Professional Rendering/Illustration
  • Industrial Facilities/Sites (manufacturing, warehouse, etc.)
  • Institutional Facilities/Campuses (healthcare, religious, educational)
  • Sustainable Design and Development (endless possibilities…)
  • Park and Public Space Planning/Design
  • Waterfronts and Greenways
  • Tourism and Resort Planning/Design
  • Sports/Recreation Facilities Design
  • Market Analyses and Feasibility Studies
  • Hotel/Hospitality Design
  • Resource and Environmental Management
  • Green Roof Design
  • Smart Growth Planning/Design
  • Healthy/Active Living Design
  • Security Design
  • Zoo and Wildlife Habitat Design
  • Plaza/Hardscape Design
  • Context Sensitive Design
  • Land Use Planning
  • Rural or Regional Landscape Design
  • Planting Design

In no particular order of importance, here are some typical tasks a landscape architect might perform:

  • Marketing / advertising to acquire project work.
  • Consult with client to define the problem, site, and tentative project schedule.
  • Collaborate with client / owner and other stakeholders (e.g., community members, local agencies) to define design goals / program.
  • Prepare / acquire survey drawings for a site.
  • Visit, study, and document a site and its use(s), topography, plants, context, history, culture, etc.
  • Collaborate with other professionals or design team members to assign tasks and develop ideas.
  • Engage multiple phases of the landscape design process (e.g., analysis, conceptual design, design development, construction documents, etc.)
  • Model and illustrate design ideas highlighting  uses, spaces, circulation, plants, materials, connections,  access, relationships, etc.
  • Verbally and graphically present design ideas / drawings to different stakeholders.
  • Write project reports / summaries that describe and illustrate your design to clients, stakeholders, community members, and/or for marketing.
  • Obtain design approvals from local / municipal planning boards / agencies for public projects, or from the client for private projects.
  • Share drawings with contractors who will bid on the project.  Lowest bid usually wins the project. 
  • Prepare contracts and/or specifications.
  • Meet with contractors to review / interpret construction documents and clarify design intent.
  • Construction administration (observation and/or supervision) to ensure the project is built according to the designer’s intent.
  • Update construction documents to reflect actual built conditions.
  • Develop maintenance plans and/or perform POEs (post-occupancy evaluations) for sites/landscapes.

Depending on the extent of a project, you may plan the entire arrangement of a site, including the building location, circulation, grading, storm water management, construction detailing, and planting.

As a professional in this field, you could work with or lead a team of professionals including architects, biologists, economists, engineers, geographers, hydrologists, planners, sociologists, scientists, artists, and more.

Our alumni work all over the United States and around the world.  The three sectors of professional practice include:

  • Private practice: planning and design offices.
  • Public practice: municipalities/towns/cities, state and/or federal government agencies, etc.
  • Academic practice: educators at colleges and universities. 

Typical work settings include, but are not limited to:

  • Design/build companies
  • Larger multidisciplinary firms
  • Local park departments
  • Small to large landscape architecture firms
  • State natural resource offices
  • Federal agencies like the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service
  • Urban design and redevelopment firms and agencies
  • Residential and commercial real estate developers, city planning commissions, and individual property owners also retain the services of landscape architects
  • Town, city, or county government offices