Our Program

Our Program

Mission

University of Maryland Landscape Architecture is committed to a vision of a sustainable and resilient future for the natural and cultural landscapes of Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the world.

We are dedicated to providing the highest quality education for our students, to engaging in research that creates new knowledge for the profession, and to providing service to communities. Our BLA and MLA curricula applies ecological design principles to provide solutions to regional, local, and site-specific issues influenced by rapid urbanization and the danger to fragile ecosystems, particularly in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The program disseminates information in a manner that makes students aware of their environmental and social responsibility within a global perspective. The faculty uses the design studio experience to focus the students on the ecological design synthesis of research and observation in the process of site, community, urban, and regional design and planning. As the landscape architecture profession continues to change by expanding its interests in political, social, and physical interventions, we give our students the technological and creative tools they need to become knowledgeable, discerning, and ethical leaders and interpreters of the environment and our richly diverse culture.

Studio

Facilities

The Plant Sciences Building opened in November 1996 with an exciting computer studio environment for the study of Landscape Architecture. Each student in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year studios of the undergraduate program and all graduate students have 24-hour access to his or her assigned computer workstation and drafting table. Student stations include a drafting table with a parallel ruler, a chair, and a computer table with a computer and monitor. Each computer is equipped with a variety of software programs as well as full Internet access. Each student station is also connected to a Local Area Network that allows shared resources (plotters, printers, scanner, etc.). Individual computers provide unparalleled opportunities to integrate digital technology into the curriculum. The technology-rich environment of the program enables the program to explore new and rapidly changing areas in landscape architectural education and new and emerging technologies that characterize today's global environment. Learn more below!

Studio Resources

Studio Resources

Landscape Architecture Network Use Agreement: All students in studio are required to fill out a network agreement. You will not receive access to studio unless you have filled it out and submitted.  

Fill out the form

Laser Cutter: Yearly training is mandatory before using the laser cutter. 

Complete online training

3D Printer: To access the 3D printer please contact Chris Behnke at pslatech@umd.edu for more information.

Need university-wide IT help?

Software

Software

The Digital Studio includes programs that are universal on all stations and direct instruction is provided in the curriculum. These include:

Hardware

Hardware

A commonly asked question we get is whether purchasing a desktop/laptop is necessary to join the program. The answer is: it's up to you. However, we would like to point out that each student in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year studios of the undergraduate program and all graduate students have 24-hour access to his or her assigned computer workstation and drafting table throughout the school year. We also have a GIS Computer Lab available to our 1st year BLA students.

If you would like to purchase hardware and software we recommend you visit the Division of Information Technology's webpage on Terrapin Tech. There you will find helpful links directing you to resources on campus. 

The Digital Studio provides networked peripherals for studio production. See Chris Behnke (PLS 2139B) for additional information on maintenance or reservations.

Print Room

  • 2 HP Color LaserJet 5550

  • 2 HP Designjet T1200

  • 1 Epson DS-50000 Color Flatbed Scanner (11x17)

  • 1 Colortrac SmartLF 42 Large Format Scanner

  • 3-D Printer

Other (See Chris Behnke for information about these.)

  • Digital Cameras

  • Digital Movie Projector

  • Trimble GPS

  • Digital Projector

  • Slide Scanner

Building and Studio Access

Building & Studio Access

Building and Room Access: About a week before the first day of class each of the studio rosters is submitted by Diana Cortez to University Building Security. If you did not pre-register for classes, please see Diana Cortez regarding access to studios and other rooms. For individual room information, please refer to Digital Studio Access Policies. Student access is granted until Graduation Day (for Winter graduates- access ends on Fall commencement date; for all others- access ends on the Spring commencement date of that academic year). 

ID Card Deactivation Application: This capability allows students, faculty, and staff to electronically deactivate their lost, or stolen, ID cards. Once a card has been deactivated, the following services will immediately be suspended until a new physical ID card is reissued:

  • Access to Administrative Buildings and Offices

  • Access to Residential Facilities

  • Dining Services and Terrapin Express

  • Facilities Management Services

  • Time and Attendance System

  • University Recreation and Wellness

Please be aware that, upon deactivating your ID card, a new physical ID card must be obtained from the Office of the Registrar, as a deactivated ID card cannot be reactivated.

Links to the ID Card Deactivation application can be found on Testudo; and on the Office of the Registrar website, by clicking on “Current Students”, or “Faculty & Staff.”

Computer access

Computer Access

Digital Studio Computer Accounts: You will be able to access computers using your University Directory ID. This is the same logon you use to access your ".umd.edu" email address.  For issues dealing with the Digital Studio accounts of the Landscape Architecture Program, please contact Chris Behnke.

University Accounts: To establish any university wide account (email, web) go to Division of Information Technology.

Ethics and Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources

Users of the Digital Studio abide by all University of Maryland policies on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources. All users should be familiar with:

If you have any questions please contact Chris Behnke.

Wireless

All undergraduate and graduate studios are equipped with wireless network access. To connect to the wireless network, open a web browser on the wireless device. Your browser will be automatically directed to a network User Login page. Use your directory ID and password to authenticate yourself to the wireless network.

For more information on using the wireless network see Student Accounts

Grid Computing

The Digital Studio is participating in Condor, a grid computing project with UMIACs. This program uses spare computing cycles on your computers when you are not using it, similar to the SETI project.

Printing and Plotting

Printing and plotting are for students enrolled in LARC studio courses and students approved by LARC faculty (work study, CAs, TAs, and RAs). LARC faculty are asked to notify the Director when allowing a student plotting and printing privileges. All plotting and printing is restricted to university related activities. The commercial use of the printers and plotters is strictly forbidden. Friends/spouses of users are not allowed to use plotters and printers.

Technology Fee

Technology Fees

The Digital Studio is primarily funded through fees assessed with studio courses. Students in the first three semester studios (LARC 120, 140, and 141) are assessed $200 per studio. Once admitted in the Landscape Architecture Program, students are assessed $300 per studio (LARC 240, 340, 341, 440, and 471). Additional financial support comes from the Department, College, University and friends and alums of the Landscape Architecture Program. Students who take LARC 471 in the Sustainable Futures program are also assessed a $300 technology student fee. 

University wide, Technology Fees (STF) are assessed from all undergraduate and graduate students. For more information, please see the STF website. Each spring semester the Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture submits requests to the college for consideration. "Student input is critical in the allocation process of student technology fee funds. All proposals for expenditures of student fees must have student input prior to approval." - from Implementation Plan.

Reflectors

Reflectors

The program maintains two listserves that includes all faculty, staff, and registered larc studio students. Announcements, job advertisements, and other information are distributed electronically to students via this email. We use your default email address but are happy to add additional email addresses if they are provided and if they work. All nonworking non-umd emails will be deleted. Students are responsible for forwarding emails from your umd account to any other email provider (Gmail, yahoo, etc.). If you are not receiving emails from the listserve, would like to modify, delete or add an email (Gmail, yahoo, etc.) to this listserve, please contact: Diana Cortez (dcortez@umd.edu).

History

1856 Maryland legislature established the Maryland Agricultural College.
1870's Hobart Hutton appointed as first "professor of Agriculture, Horticulture and Arboriculture, Landscape Gardening and Rural Architecture." A. Grabowski appointed as first "Professor of Agriculture, Architecture and Drawing."
1910's Department of Horticulture created. B.W. Anspon appointed as first "Professor of Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture."
1930's Mark Shoemaker appointed as first "Professor of Landscape Design", and Holzapfel Hall becomes occupied by the Horticulture Department.
1993 Maryland Higher Education (MHEC) approves BLA. Thirteen BLA degrees awarded that academic year. Department name changed to Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Robert Scarfo named first Landscape Architecture Coordinator.
1996 Landscape Architecture Program moves into the new Plant Sciences Building and Digital Studio.
1997 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture merges with Agronomy to become Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture.
1998 BLA: granted initial accreditation by LAAB.
2001 BLA: granted full accreditation by LAAB.
2006 LAAB Scheduled BLA Accreditation Review:
Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture renamed Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture.
2007 Maryland Higher Education (MHEC) approves MLA.
2011 MLA: granted initial accreditation by LAAB.

2012

BLA: Renewal of Accreditation by LAAB. 

2018 BLA and MLA: Renewal of Accreditation for 6 Years by LAAB

Location

What an amazing location!

We are located in the Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore area. We are also within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and a few hours away from New York City and Philadelphia!

Our location provides unique opportunities for students to study and appreciate a variety of landscapes in rural, suburban, urban and maritime settings. Less than ten miles from Washington, D.C. and accessible on the Metro-rail system, the 1300-acre College Park campus is at the doorstep of some of the country's most important landmarks and noted institutions.

Check out fantastic landscapes and exciting landscape architects in Washington, D.C. in The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Washington, D.C.

The greater Washington/Baltimore geographic area offers students and faculty easy access to a range of facilities, natural and built spaces of the Nation's Capitol including the:

Historic Annapolis and Baltimore, MD are within a forty-minute drive of the campus and the Mid-Atlantic region is home to many award-winning national and international landscape architecture firms.

You can also make a day trip to incredible cities such as New York City and Philadelphia! They are only a few hours away and there are many popular transportation modes to get there and back! Our students are able to visit Washington D.C., Baltimore, Annapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, and other great cities during their studio experience! 

Location on the University of Maryland Campus

We are located in the Plant Science Building (#036) on the second floor in room 2139. If you are visiting us from off campus, we suggest parking in the visitor's lot (located on the roof level) of Regents Drive Garage and then the Plant Science building is right across the street. Check out the campus map to navigate your way around campus. 

If you have any questions regarding visiting, feel free to contact us! If you have any additional questions regarding parking, please contact DOTs

This program has been recognized by the National Center for Education Statistics as a STEM program under the category of 30.3301 - Sustainability Studies.

Letter from the Director:

Green Infrastructure, Ecological Urbanism, and Urban Agriculture: what do these topics have in common? These and more are all topics that we are exploring at University of Maryland Landscape Architecture.

Welcome to University of Maryland Landscape Architecture, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. We offer an accredited undergraduate four-year curriculum leading to the professional Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree and both a two-year and a three-year Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) accredited degree. Both BLA and MLA degrees meet the academic requirements for licensure. We are housed in the Plant Sciences Building located in the heart of the College Park campus just a thirty-minute metro ride from Washington, D.C.  And what a location - we have ready access to award-winning landscapes, professional offices, and close proximity to landscapes and waterways that need stewardship and ecological restoration.

Come join our community to put your passion into practice! We are committed to a vision of a sustainable and resilient future for natural and cultural landscapes.

The faculty, involved in teaching, research, and outreach, advise each student every semester with course scheduling, curriculum requirements, and career planning. Our resources are cutting edge, from the computers and plotters of the Digital Studio, to the laser cutter for building models. We offer study abroad programs, and connections to professional internships that broaden the students' experiences beyond the classroom. Community outreach is central to the student's learning experience at Maryland. Check out our NEWS - from winning competitions, such as the National EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge, to hosting award winning landscape architects - our students, staff, and faculty are engaged in experiences that connect teaching with learning and research. We are committed to a vision of a sustainable and resilient future for the natural and cultural landscapes of Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the world. We invite individuals who aspire to be innovative designers and leaders in our discipline to join us.

Our BLA studio classes are approximately 16-18 students. Our MLA studio classes are approximately 10 - 12 students. At the University of Maryland, we offer the 2-Year Post Professional and the 3-Year First-Professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree. Our 2-Year students come to us with prior design education in landscape architecture or related disciplines. The 3-Year students often have no prior design training but bring to the program-and to each other-the richness of diverse undergraduate educations and work experiences. MLA students have backgrounds in a variety of disciplines. 

If you are interested in helping solve some of societies most complex environmental and ecological problems through design, planning, and stewardship, then check us out. Contact us if you would like to visit the University of Maryland campus. For BLA information, please contact Diana Cortez, Lecturer & Academic Advisor, at 301.405.4359 or dcortez@umd.edu

For any questions you may have, please contact us.

Go Green!

Christopher Ellis, Ph.D., PLA, ASLA 
Professor and Director
University of Maryland Landscape Architecture

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