The American Society Landscape Architects website provides an in-depth look at at how to decide if you want to be a Landscape Architect on the Career Discovery website. You can find information about:
Landscape Architecture Education & Career Development
Examples of Great Landscape Architecture
ASLA's Graduating Student Surveys
Super Sustainable Landscape Architects
For examples of firms and organizations that hire University of Maryland Landscape Architecture students please see the list of firms noted on Internships.
Who are we? What do we do?
Landscape architects are licensed professionals who analyze, plan, design, manage, and preserve the built and natural environments. The work we do has a significant impact on the health of our communities and our quality of life. Career tracks include:
- Ecological Design - where you are trained to analyze degraded environmental conditions such as brownfields, strip mines and abandoned urban industrial sites, and restore them to high functioning terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
- Urban Design - where you examine civic environments and human activity and weave them together into a fabric of streets and open spaces, waterfronts and central parks, historically significant districts and communities with emerging identities, and neighborhoods that are socially equitable and economically viable.
- Community Design - where you address issues of climate change, cultural resource preservation, urban agriculture, redevelopment of vacant properties, crime prevention through environmental design, and a wide range of planning and design activities that embrace the views of community residents.
- Creative Design - where you engage in all forms of creativity, including earthworks, soundscapes, lighting design, metal fabricating, woodworking, stonework, sculpture, mosaics, murals and more. Every object in the landscape has the potential for beauty when unlocked by a savvy designer.
What will you learn in this major/department?
In landscape architecture, you will learn how to solve problems in the natural and built environments, lead design teams that include scientists, planners, engineers and architects, and communicate with real clients, contractors, and municipal agency personnel. You will learn the creative skills of problem solving and design, and the technical skills needed to write contracts and build the ideas you put on paper. You will master 3D visualization software and other advanced digital technologies used to gather data, design, and construct major civil projects. Core competencies include design processes and methods, natural and cultural systems analysis, communication (written/oral/visual), technical building materials and site engineering, computer applications, professional practice, and research methods for design.
How do we approach teaching and learning?
Our nationally accredited program is built around a series of technical knowledge and skill-building courses that support a series of six sequential capstone courses (studios). You will practice and master your skill sets in the capstone studios around a set of real-world design projects mentored by expert instructors. You will work with real clients on real sites in Washington, DC, Baltimore, and throughout the mid-atlantic region. Each capstone studio builds upon your prior experiences yet focuses on different scales, issues and project types (ecological design, urban design, community design, etc.).
How will your experiences in this major prepare you for the real world?
Landscape architecture has a clearly defined private practice career track starting at the entry-level progressing to project manager, associate and finally principal/partner/president. Important opportunities also exist in federal, state and municipal governments (parks, planning and zoning, transportation), as well as a vast number of non-profit conservation and community design organizations. Our program is closely tied to the professional design industry in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region. Practicing professionals interact with our students regularly through project reviews, speaker series, job shadows, internships, and professional events. We have a strong alumni network and an active alumni council that meets regularly to mentor students and advise our program. As a nationally accredited program, all graduates are prepared for an entry-level position and for licensing in the profession everywhere in the country and across the globe.
What are the key courses/experiences that set our program apart from others across the campus/Country?
Our award winning program is known for its strengths in ecological and cultural design. We regularly win or place in the national EPA Rainworks Competition and the Maryland Sustainable Growth Challenge competitions. Unlike other programs, our university is immersed in a globally significant urban and ecological context within the Washington DC/New York City urban development corridor and the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed--the third largest estuary in the world.
What does it mean to get a professional degree in Landscape Architecture?
It means you’ll be out there designing sooner! Your undergraduate degree would be equivalent to a graduate professional degree in Landscape Architecture. Not all design programs are professional so in order to practice and be licensed you are required to attend a professional graduate degree program or work as an apprentice for many years- sometime up to 5+ years!
What if I can’t draw? What will I learn to do?
We’ll teach you! Plus, we have a ton of computer design program at your disposal. You will learn how to beautify urban areas, create sustainable landscapes and even how to deal with some of the current issues such as water and land issues. You will learn how to work with architecture, engineering, art and the sciences in order to create tomorrow’s landscape architecture. Learn to change the world through outdoor spaces.