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Minor in Landscape Architectural Studies

Program Overview

Landscape architecture is the art of design, planning, or management of the land and of the natural and built elements upon it. As an academic discipline, it embodies creative, cultural, philosophical, and scientific knowledge bases. As a professional discipline, the practice of landscape architecture includes site design, urban design, master planning, community planning, regional planning, resource conservation, and stewardship.

The Minor in Landscape Architecture allows greater accessibility to the knowledge domains within the professional accredited Landscape Architecture major. The minor, as a non-professional opportunity, provides students with a broad understanding of the history, practice, and theories of how landscape architecture shapes the world, as well as the opportunity for more specialized study in selected topics.

The minor is flexible so that students can tailor their course choices to accommodate individual interests. Students should seek the advice of the minor advisor for course selection.

This minor is appropriate for students wishing to gain a greater understanding of the landscape architecture discipline as it complements many other professions dealing with natural systems management, site and urban design, master planning (community and regional), graphic information systems, resource conservation and stewardship, and landscape history/preservation.

What is Landscape Architecture?

Landscape Architecture is a design profession focused on natural and built environments and people’s experiences within them. Landscape architects create spaces and places that artistically, functionally, and ethically blend nature and technology to impact experiences, opportunities, activities, and events at individual, community, and even global scales. Landscape architects plan and design parks, plazas, arboreta, campuses, gardens, memorials, green roofs, interactive installations, commercial centers, transportation corridors, waterfront developments, and so much more. Landscape architects also play a critical role in protecting the environment. Restoring natural places and creating sustainable landscapes contributes to healthy communities. Landscape architects develop landscapes that sequester carbon, clean the air and water, increase energy efficiency, restore habitats, and deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits.

You might like this program if...

  • You are creative, active, involved.
  • You want to be an agent of change and solve problems.
  • You are passionate about sustainability.
  • You are fascinated by people and cultures; inspired by history and traveling.
  • You like technology and hands-on work.
  • You enjoy working with a team and you want to design for the 'big' issues.
  • You want to engage with art, nature, and design to unlock powerful solutions for the complex issues of today and tomorrow.

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor.

Minor Requires 18 credits


  • LARCH 60 History of Design on the Land 3
  • LARCH 125 Landscape Architecture Orientation Seminar 1
  • AA 121 Design Thinking and Creativity 3

B. ADDITIONAL COURSES: (11 credits from the following, 6 credits of which must be at the 400 level)

  • LARCH 65 Built Environment and Culture
  • LARCH 115 Design I: Intro Spatial Composition
  • LARCH 116 Design II: Spatial Design
  • LARCH 145 Ecology and Plants I
  • LARCH 155 Skills Lab I: Hand & Digital Graphics
  • LARCH 156 Skills Lab II: Hand & Digital Graphics
  • LARCH 235 Design Implementation I: Grading
  • LARCH 245 Ecology & Plants II
  • LARCH 246 Ridge & Valley in the Field
  • LARCH 256 Skills Lab IV: GIS
  • LARCH 276 Human Dimensions of Design – History & Theory
  • LARCH 365 Contemporary Trends in Landscape Architecture
  • LARCH 375 Human Dimensions of Design – Applied
  • LARCH 424 Design Theory Seminar
  • LARCH 450 Geodesign: Geospatial Technology for Design
  • LARCH 495 Internship
  • LARCH 496 Independent Studies
  • LARCH 497 Special Topics
  • LARCH 499 Foreign Studies
  • ARCH 497 Special Topics

Academic Advising

Erica Quinn
Stuckeman School Undergraduate Academic Adviser
127 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-5985
Email: stuckemanadviser@psu.edu

Career Paths

Penn State Landscape Architecture graduates are well-prepared to join our distinguished professional alumni network and make an immediate impact on the world. The Landscape Architecture minor is designed to provides students with a robust background in creativity, technical skills, and ethical considerations. Careers or graduate study can lead to a diverse array of focus areas, including sustainability, urban planning, research, social or environmental justice, design, ecology, social health and well-being, technology, construction, or community outreach.


The world is constantly changing, and landscape architects are skilled designers poised to shape, drive, and responsibly steward these changes. Penn State landscape architects are artists, ecologists, engineers, scientists, sociologists, conservationists, and often, leaders. The profession enables you to connect with your passion. Engage with art, nature, and design. Build spaces, places, and experiences. Collaborate. Solve problems. Design a better future. Landscape Architecture studies will prepare you with leading-edge technical design principles and a foundation in technologies and design-thinking methods so that you can pursue a wide range of opportunities.

"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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