Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture

Project by Shirin Adorbehi
Project by Shirin Adorbehi


Landscape Architects are concerned with the design, management, preservation, and use of the land.  The curriculum provides a foundation in all of these areas with a particular emphasis on design, along with the cultural and technical subjects that support it.  Coursework includes study of landscape design and planning processes, graphic communications, ecology, plants and planting design, construction methods and environmental history.  Instruction fosters the development of creative and problem-solving abilities, communication skills, technical knowledge, environmental awareness and professional attitudes.  In most courses, students develop design proposals or technical solutions for actual sites.

The Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA) is a general professional degree, nationally accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board and approved by the California Board of Landscape Architects as meeting part of the qualification requirements for licensure examination.


Admission to the undergraduate program is possible either as a first-time freshman or as a transfer student from a recognized college. Undergraduate admissions are processed and managed by the University.

Recently, the University has been designated as an impacted campus, altering the admissions process by instituting required filing periods and giving priority to students based on their geographical proximity to campus. This has limited enrollment of students who would have previously been admitted to the University.

If you do decide you want to study landscape architecture, we encourage you to submit an application to the University as early as possible. Refer to the the Office of Admissions & Outreach for more information about applying either on paper or online.  

For specific information, and application instructions, please refer to the Office of Admissions & Enrollment Planning.

If you are admitted directly from high school, you will begin your study of landscape architecture with our sequence of courses in the first year design.  If you are admitted as a transfer student, we recommend that you apply for advanced standing per the gudielines in the transfer section below.  


For more information regarding admissions to the Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, contact the Undegraduate Coordinator:

Kristopher Penrose
(909) 869-2673



As stated in the Department’s mission statement, our program prepares students to resolve the environmental and social challenges of the 21st century, by instilling an intellectual framework to make decisions based upon theoretical and technical knowledge of landscape architecture, creative and critical thinking skills, and social justice issues. The curriculum expresses this mission as a source of new and emerging influences that periodically refine and advance our profession.

The four-year design sequence fosters creative and critical thinking and develops a sense of responsibility toward environmental, social and professional issues. The sequence acquaints students with design issues at the manifold and relevant scales they will face in practice, and addresses ecological and cultural patterns and processes in different physical and social settings. Design projects challenge students to incorporate these issues within their design decision-making processes. Student projects present work that identifies individual and social needs, sustainability, and regeneration as a contemporary cultural expression. These projects typically draw upon actual sites within the region and often provide services that benefit local communities.

In addition to the design sequence, the professional curriculum integrates the body of knowledge of landscape history, professional practice, information technology and technical skills for design implementation. These critical elements expose students to various professional roles, past and present social needs, and issues of social responsibility, including the protection of the public health, safety and welfare.

The program consists of the following core curriculum sequences: design, graphics, plant identification and design, construction, history and information technology. These sequences are coordinated to the extent possible to enable mutual interaction and support while reducing conflict and duplication. Assigned faculty members coordinate each of these sequences in order to facilitate curriculum planning and project management among multiple course sections. Goals and objectives are defined for each sequence in terms of student comprehension and performance upon completion of each course.

Creative problem solving, critical thinking, communications, design, and organization occur in all four years as well, but are differently addressed in the lower and upper division. Lower division emphasizes a more fundamental/universal approach. It is a rigorous program of understanding the mechanics of design. The importance of posing questions (problem solving and critical thinking), articulating design strategies (communication) and presentation of work in multiple formats and media (design and organization) provide a strong foundation for engaging the discipline and practice of landscape architecture. The upper division, with a stronger emphasis on site, scale, system and function, is pushed to a professional level of work executed within the academic setting. Student work is expected to be at the highest level of professional execution and intellectual engagement. Juried presentations typically consist of licensed practitioners and professionals from related design and technical professions.