Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
The professional Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree from Iowa State University is a five-year program that provides the foundation for becoming a licensed, registered landscape architect. The landscape architecture program is distinctive in its strong commitment to learning outside of the classroom through traveling and off-campus studios, as well as learning design through community engagement.
Most states in the U.S. require landscape architects to be licensed, which generally requires a degree in landscape architecture from an accredited school, work experience, and a passing score on the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE).
All incoming undergraduate students enter as pre-majors, complete the college’s first-year Core Design Program, then apply for admission to the four-year professional BLA degree program.
The professional BLA curriculum is studio-based. Studios take place every semester and typically meet for four hours each, two or three days per week. During studio, you will have time to work on projects and interact one-on-one with your professor.
Students in our program participate in our one-of-a-kind traveling Savanna Studio during their first semester in the major. To earn their degrees, students must complete an internship, study abroad or student exchange program. Landscape architecture professional electives are also required.
The Savanna Studio, one of the college’s learning communities, is a unique feature of Iowa State’s BLA program where students spend six weeks traveling across the Savanna Region of the U.S., from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico. Taught every fall, students visit and study a range of landscapes from urban to rural, from city plazas to national parks. The semester is devoted to hands-on learning in the field.
Core Design Program
The undergraduate curricula in design are divided into two phases: the Core Design Program and the professional or general degree program. Classes in the Core create a shared experience and community that exposes students to all nine majors within the College of Design.
Iowa State’s undergraduate Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree program is nationally accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Success in Design
Students graduate career-ready with internships, capstone projects, professional practice and portfolio classes integrated into the Design programs, and support from the Design Career Services Office. The college also hosts an annual Design Career Fair focused only on design majors. It attracts more than 125 firms recruiting for jobs and internships, with College of Design alumni making up more than half of the recruiters in attendance.
Possible career paths
As the 7th “Most Hired From” landscape architecture program in the country with 100% of our 2021-2022 graduates employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation, we make it easy for students explore career opportunities. Some recent graduates of Iowa State’s landscape architecture program have pursued careers in the following:
- Campus planning and design
- Construction management
- Contract supervision
- Ecological restoration
- Environmental art
- Environmental interpretation and signage
- Greenway and corridor planning and design
- Historic preservation
- Interior landscape design
- Land trust management
- Natural and cultural park planning, design, and resource management
- Residential and commercial design and development
- Transportation/roadside planning and design
A Landscape Architect in the Making
Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.