Accreditation of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.) Degree
According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, accreditation is a non-governmental, voluntary system of self-regulation. Its core is the concept of self-evaluation. The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) accreditation process evaluates each program on the basis of its stated objectives and compliance to externally mandated minimum standards. The program conducts a self-study to evaluate how well it is meeting its educational goals. LAAB then provides an independent assessment, which determines if a program meets accreditation requirements. Programs leading to first professional degrees at the bachelor's or master's levels in the United States are eligible to apply for accreditation from LAAB.
The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) develops and promulgates the accreditation standards, rules and procedures for conducting the accreditation process. LAAB is vested with its authority by the ASLA Board of Trustees.
LAAB is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as the official accrediting body for first professional programs in landscape architecture. LAAB is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA). CHEA reviews LAAB accreditation standards and procedures to ensure that the policies and procedures meet proper standards.
The official scope of LAAB accreditation is "...first professional programs at the bachelor's or master's level." Others, such as pre professional and advanced professional programs, lie outside LAAB's scope. LAAB reviews eligible programs in the United States and its territories.
The Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at North Dakota State University offers a five-year, first professional degree, the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.). You may elect to receive a pre-professional Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in environmental design degree at the end of four years, useful for those who want to enter graduate programs at other universities. The program is one of approximately 60 professional programs in landscape architecture in the United States and Canada that are accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).