Penn State's professionally accredited Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program is one of the nation's oldest, founded in 1907. Historically our undergraduate program was respected by professionals for the solid skills of our graduates; more recently, we have gained further respect for our educational innovations and excellence. Our faculty re-committed to becoming the finest undergraduate program in the nation.
Our five-year BLA program has been completely redesigned. Our goal is to educate future leaders in the profession of landscape architecture. To do so, the new program challenges students to be inquisitive, creative thinkers through a demanding professional curriculum that is balanced by a liberal education weighted in the humanities, natural sciences, and the arts. We pride ourselves in preparing our graduates for success in a diverse and growing profession. Our graduates will:
- Be creative and responsive in independently defining, investigating and solving design problems.
- Apply knowledge and understanding of ecological systems and landscape forms in landscape planning, management and design.
- Use the most current technical design principles and theories, and cutting-edge technologies and methods in landscape design and implementation.
- Use knowledge of design traditions and theories to design and plan the physical environment informed by historical and cultural contexts.
- Communicate design ideas visually, verbally and orally using traditional skills and advanced technological tools.
For those selected to major in this field, the program is a five-year curriculum leading to a professionally accredited Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree. It is designed to prepare graduates for either advanced study or professional careers. The program provides students an education in the creativity, technical skills, and ethical considerations necessary for practice. One particular requirement of the program, intended to enhance students’ breadth and perspective, is a semester of study abroad. The program also provides opportunities to pursue interests in a range of areas. With appropriate experience, graduates are eligible for admission to the state licensing examination.
- The curriculum includes 12-credits of electives – exploration encouraged
- All students study abroad in Bonn, Germany or chose from several other approved locations
- Studio projects often involve actual projects and working with community members
- Most studios include team work as well as one-on-one with professor
- Highest level math required is Math 26 – trigonometry
- Highest level science required is Bio 127 – Introductory Biology
All landscape architecture majors are required to study abroad either the Spring Semester of their fourth year or Fall Semester of their fifth year. The preferred study abroad program for this semester abroad is the Academy of International Education (AIB) in Bonn, Germany.
This program offers a required core of urban design courses and a selection of elective courses. The required courses were designed and created by AIB to fit the curriculum of Penn State’s Department of Landscape Architecture.
The city of Bonn is particularly suited for the study of urban design. Bonn is a leader among European cities with excellent local public transportation system, tree-lined streets, riverfront parks embracing the Rhine River. It is a livable city characterized by economic growth, a wide range of cultural amenities and easy access to train stations and airports. Housing is with English-speaking host families which includes home-cooked meals and enhances the cultural immersion benefits of the experience.
Attendance at informational meetings will be required of all 3rd-year students to prepare them for they semester abroad. Students must submit an application though the Penn State Education Abroad web site regardless of which program they choose to attend.
For Fall Semester: January 20th
For Spring Semester: May 1st
For more information about the AIB Bonn program, go to: http://bit.ly/PennState-Larch-Bonn
Study Abroad Alternates & Options
A number of alternate programs are available in lieu of the Bonn program. Additionally, Landscape Architecture has created a number of unique summer study options. View information about study abroad alternates and summer options.
Transfers and Change of Major/Campus
The department has created a unique program for Change of Major/Campus and Transfer applicants offering admission by essay and the opportunity for advanced placement by portfolio submission. The department also has created a Summer Intensive Program (SIP) to help students attain the design and technical proficiencies required to enter the BLA program with advanced standing. Details are provided in the BLA Change of Major or Transfer Application document and on the SIP page.