University of Southern California
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Undergraduate Degrees

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

The degree in landscape architecture provides the ability to critically examine and creatively respond to a wide array of environmental issues and purposes. New professionals must be equipped to take on the challenge of working in interdisciplinary fields, mediating between the goals and desires of diverse groups while soliciting their participation. Generating creative solutions for forming a supportive and humane urban environment requires certain fundamental skills. This program encourages development of students' skills and abilities so that they can flourish in a professional setting:

  • Knowledge of the physical world and the interrelationships between humans and the natural systems of which they are part.
  • The ability to define the critical issues of places and sites through inventory, analysis and resolution of physical, social and cultural forces and meanings.
  • The ability to use knowledge and experience to creatively respond to the problems that confront them and the dedication to understand great purpose and to take effective action.
  • The ability to effectively communicate with peoples of diverse backgrounds through both words and images.
  • The ability to interact collaboratively with individuals, community groups, public agencies or large corporations.
  • Familiarity with new technologies, their impacts and their potential for the profession of landscape architecture and land planning.
  • Awareness of the constant evolution of knowledge and a commitment to continually reexamine assumptions.

The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture is a four-year program of lectures, seminars and studio courses in conjunction with general education courses. Through academic research, personal participation and group endeavor, the program will introduce students to historic and contemporary issues in landscape architecture. Projects will concentrate on the design of spaces in the urban landscape. This emphasis derives from our location in Southern California, at the very heart of an exuberant and dynamic metropolitan area.

Each semester, the design studio will be paired with courses that develop technical skills, expand the students' working knowledge of plant materials and natural systems, and explore the history and theory of design. A component of each studio project will be team-oriented to develop the ability to work collectively.


First Year, First Semester Units
ARCH 102aLArchitectural Design I4
ARCH 105LFundamentals of Design Communication2
ARCH 114Architecture: Culture and Community2
General Education*Social Issues4
WRIT 140*Writing and Critical Reasoning4

*Taken concurrently

First Year, Second Semester Units
ARCH 102bLArchitectural Design I4
ARCH 211Materials and Methods of Building Construction3
General Education8

Second Year, First Semester Units
ARCH 202aLArchitectural Design II6
ARCH 304xIntensive Survey: Pre-History to the Present4
ARCH 361LEcological Factors in Design3
General Education4

Second Year, Second Semester Units
ARCH 260LLandscape Architecture Design I6
ARCH 362Landscape Architecture Construction3
ARCH 363Plan Material Identification: Horticulture4
ARCH 465History of Landscape Architecture4

Third Year, First Semester Units
ARCH 360aLLandscape Architecture Design II6
ARCH 364Materials and Methods of Landscape Architecture3
GEOG 345Conservation of Natural Resources, or
GEOG 477Water Resources4
WRIT 340Advanced Writing4

Third Year, Second Semester Units
ARCH 207Computer Applications in Architecture2
ARCH 360bLLandscape Architecture Design II6
ARCH 463Plant Material Identification: California Plant Communities4
General Education4

Fourth Year, First Semester Units
ARCH 460LLandscape Planning Studio6
ARCH 466Nature Landscapes and Gardens in Non-Western Cultures4
PPD 100Los Angeles, The Enduring Pueblo4
General Education4

Fourth Year, Second Semester Units
ARCH 461LLandscape Architecture Comprehensive Project6
ARCH 525Professional Practice: Pre-Design, Project and Office Administration3
Total units required:130