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Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Program Overview

Penn State's professionally accredited Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.) program is one of the nation's first, founded in 1907. Historically our undergraduate program has been respected by professionals for the solid skills of our graduates; more recently, we have gained further respect for our educational innovations and excellence. 

The goal of the Penn State B.L.A. is to educate future leaders in the profession and/or the discipline of landscape architecture. 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.

We recently refined our B.L.A., using the mantra “flexibility, opportunity, affordability.”  The result is a 139-credit curriculum that easily can be completed in four and one-half years. Time to degree can be shortened to four years through participation in one of our optional summer abroad programs. Students alternatively may extend their time-to-degree to take advantage of opportunities such as our Sustainability Leadership minor in Pittsburgh, PA, or our Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate program.


Study Abroad

Required Program

All landscape architecture majors are required to study abroad either the fall or spring semester following completion of the core studio sequence (typically the in the fourth year of study). 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 third-year students to prepare them for they semester abroad. Students must submit an application though the Penn State Education Abroad website regardless of which program they choose to attend.

Application Deadlines:
For Fall Semester: January 20
For Spring Semester: May 1

For more information about the AIB Bonn program, go to:

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 B.L.A. Change of Major or Transfer Application document and on the SIP page.



"Folded Section" by Alec Spangler

The large charcoal and graphite drawing on display at the Woskob Family Gallery is an artistic re-envision of the Central Pennsylvania landscape, blending the two passions of Alec Spangler, assistant professor of landscape architecture, into one exhibit – art and the study of an area’s landscape. Read the story.


This document is a summary of the E+D: Ecology + Design Symposium that was held in November 2017 at Penn State. Included are reflections on the conference by participating academics and practitioners, transcripts of their conversations with the community (and links to videos), and next steps to move this important initiative forward at Penn State and beyond. 

Collage of images of students working


Facilities tours and studio visits are offered most Fridays (by appointment) at 1:30 p.m. 

Please contact Kelly Praskovich, College of Arts and Architecture, Director of Enrollment, 814-865-9523, to schedule a visit so we may ensure students and faculty are available.

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