Courses of Study 2017-2018 
    May 27, 2022  
Courses of Study 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Landscape Architecture

In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .


Course Offerings  

Landscape architecture focuses on the art of landscape design as an expression of the cultural values and the natural processes of the ambient environment. The program’s unique place within the university promotes interaction among the areas of horticulture, environmental science, architecture, and city and regional planning.

The course of study prepares students for the practice of landscape architecture. The curriculum focuses on graphic communication, basic and advanced design methods, landscape history and theory, plant materials, construction and engineering technology, and professional practice. Design studios integrate cultural and natural systems requirements as applied to specific sites at varying scales. Projects may include garden design, parks design, housing design, historic preservation, environmental rehabilitation, and urban design.

Landscape architecture offers two professional degree alternatives: a four-year bachelor of science degree administered through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and master of landscape architecture degree administered through the Graduate School for those who have a four-year undergraduate degree in another field. Both of these degrees are accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The major in each degree is composed of core courses related to professional education in landscape architecture, a concentration in a subject related to the core courses, and free electives.

The advanced standing in the MLA curriculum is available for those with accredited degrees in landscape architecture or architecture. These students take core courses in the discipline with the development of a concentration in subject matter areas such as landscape history and theory, landscape ecology and urban horticulture, the cultural landscape, site/landscape and art, or urban design.

In addition, an undergraduate minor in cultural landscape studies is available for nonmajors.


P. J. Trowbridge, chair (443 Kennedy Hall, (607) 255-2738); V. Aymer, S. Baugher, J. Cerra, B. Davis, K. L. Gleason, M. Goula, J. Vanucchi

Dual-Degree Options:

Graduate students can earn a master of landscape architecture and a master of science (horticulture) or a master of city and regional planning simultaneously. Students need to be accepted into both fields of study to engage in a dual-degree program and must fulfill requirements of both fields of study. Thesis requirements are generally integrated for dual degrees.

Study Abroad:

The faculty encourages study abroad and has two formally structured programs. The Denmark International Study program is available primarily to senior undergraduates and third-year graduate students in the fall semester and is administered through Cornell Abroad. The Rome Program is made available to undergraduates and graduate students through the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Bachelor of Science Landscape Architecture Degree Sequence:

(Note: Each semester, the studio classes require payment of a supply and field trip fee, and all landscape architecture majors are required to pay a technology fee.)

First Year:

Fall Semester:

Total: 16

Spring Semester:

Total: 16

Second Year:

Fall Semester:

Total: 15

Spring Semester:

Total: 15

Third Year:

Fall Semester:

Total: 16

Total: 15

Fourth Year:

Fall Semester:

  • (5)*
  • Concentration ** (3)
  • Social sciences or humanities elective (3) †
  • Free electives (2) ‡
  • (Optional landscape architecture study abroad semester.)
Total: 13

Spring Semester:

Total: 14

Summary of credit requirements:

* Specialization requirements (58)

† Distribution electives (39)

‡ Free electives (7)

*** Historical Studies (6)

** Concentration (10)

Total: 120

Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.):

Individuals holding an undergraduate degree, including landscape architecture or architecture, are candidates for the license-qualifying Master of Landscape Architecture degree. Each applicant’s undergraduate academic record and a personal portfolio will be reviewed to identify individuals who may be outstanding candidates in the Cornell masters program. Depending on an individual’s background and academic credentials, the curriculum will typically require three-six semesters of work for successful completion. A curriculum will be determined individually for each successful candidate. (Note: Each semester, the studio classes require payment of a supply and field trip fee, and all landscape architecture majors are required to pay an annual technology fee.)

4+1 (BS+MPS)

This degree sequence is designed for undergraduate students who wish to undertake an immersive one year course of study to expand their career options and engage in a interdisciplinary design research project.  Each year, the +1 MPS will be headed by a faculty member from the department of Landscape Architecture and will include coursework, lectures and a collaborative project based on a theme relevant to the most pressing issues in landscape architecture and its allied disciplines. Thirty (30) hours of coursework is required, including 12 credits of core courses and others suggested based on the year’s theme and major project.  The +1 MPS allows students from a range of landscape backgrounds to both learn and apply skillsets including cartography and data visualization, fieldwork methods, digital and physical modeling and design. Direct inquiries to Jamie Vanucchi, Department of Landscape Architecture,

Undergraduate Minor for Nonmajors:

Students outside the professional program may choose the undergraduate minor (five courses, 15 credits) in cultural landscape studies to complement their major. A variety of courses consider the cultural landscape as an object, something to be studied for its own sake, and as a subject, as a means to understand society’s relationship to natural systems. The study of cultural landscapes also includes perceptions of landscapes, cultural ideas and values, and visible elements. Direct inquiries to Professor Sherene Baugher, Department of Landscape Architecture, 442 Kennedy Hall.