Undergraduate Studies

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Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA)

Our undergraduate program complies with the requirements of three governing bodies: the New York State Education Department (NYSED), the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards (CLARB), and the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB). The undergraduate landscape architecture curriculum is a broad-based course of study that provides instruction in the skills necessary for professional practice and is a license-qualifying, first professional degree. In addition to the required landscape architecture courses, students are expected to fulfill university requirements in biological, physical, and social sciences, humanities, and written and oral communication.

The foundation of the landscape architecture undergraduate curriculum is a sequence of intensive design studios. The design studio model involves a one-on-one relationship between student and faculty and this interaction typifies the Cornell landscape architecture program. Each studio requires a different set of principles and theories, as well as an artistic mastery of the media of landscape – landform, plants, water, and non-vegetal materials and their manipulation through the application of ecological and technological practices. The topics, sites, contexts, constituencies, and scales of development of each studio builds on the previous studio in an ever-increasing level of complexity and attention to detail and conceptual thought. Supplemental courses in all other aspects of the field provide the information that will be synthesized in the studio to reinforce the design process and end result. The studio is project based and exposes students to a wide array of landscape scales, types, contexts, and topical issues. The studio format entails lectures, demonstrations, field trips, readings, guest presentations, precedent study, one-on-one instruction, and group discourse. Rather than espousing a singular design philosophy or style, the department offers multiple perspectives on design, imparted through the studio course sequence. The required sequential nature of the studios offered throughout the student’s academic career at Cornell allows for each studio to build on the previous one with an ever-increasing degree of complexity and attention to detail. Studio size is conducive to small group interaction among students and between students and faculty.   Bachelor of Science degree sequence

Concentration

Landscape Architecture students are also required to develop a concentration to extend their knowledge of design.

Study Abroad Options

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad, typically during the spring semester of their junior year.  The department actively partners with the CALS Exchange Program to provide unique opportunities for students to study Landscape Architecture in another cultural context, at reputable institutions around the globe.  Partner schools offer studios, enabling students to stay on track to graduate on time.  Just some of the destinations include Argentina, Australia, the Netherlands, Scotland, and  Sweden.  Previous foreign language experience is usually not required as many institutions teach in English.  In addition to the CALS Exchange Program, the university connects students to other opportunities for study through Cornell Abroad.