‘I have everything I need to excel’

NDSU's landscape architecture program offers students an exciting path to a rewarding career. The program is designed to give students a solid foundation in the technical and aesthetic aspects of landscape architecture. Students say it’s a dynamic environment that fosters an inclusive learning experience with challenging opportunities.

Landscape architecture is a subset of general architecture, with an emphasis on designing outdoor spaces. Rebecca Heide, a master’s degree student from Manitoba, Canada, shared her perspective on the differences between the two fields.

"In my opinion, the biggest difference between architecture and landscape architecture is the materials used," Heide said. "In both practices, it is important to envision how people will interact with the space and to create rooms that meet the intended requirements. Landscape architecture just uses living materials to achieve this."

Landscape architects design parks, green spaces, urban plazas, campuses and outdoor living areas for homes and businesses. They create aesthetically pleasing environments that also serve as functional spaces for people to enjoy. 

The skills and knowledge students acquire in the program will prepare them to work in a variety of settings and allow them to adapt their skills to different projects.

"This program has taught me so many new skills," Heide said. "Learning about the different digital programs used in design has been one of the biggest skills I've learned so far. I feel like the course structure keeps the material that we're learning challenging, but exciting and engaging. I have learned so much about design and board layout. The course facilities are excellent and I have everything I need to excel in the program.”

The program has opened up a world of possibilities for Heide in her career search. 

"Landscape architecture can lead to more career paths than I had even anticipated," she said. "It can lead to residential design, city design and planning, climate change solutions and conservation and more."

Heide also said the program is unique. "The close-knit community that develops in the studio is one of the things that sets this program apart," she said. "That includes the faculty who have all been extremely helpful and approachable."

Dominic Fischer, NDSU associate professor of landscape architecture, said NDSU landscaper architecture students are highly coveted after following graduation.

“We're also the only accredited program in North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming,” Fischer said. “For those who are interested in a career in landscape architecture, this is the perfect time to focus on the field. Our recent graduates are receiving competing offers and sign-on bonuses from top companies across the country and have 100% job placement.”

Salaries have increased 11% for landscape architects in the last five years. Additionally, the projected job growth for landscape architects is 4% from 2018-2028 with approximately 7,000 current job openings in the U.S. alone.

For a closer look at NDSU’s landscape architecture program, visit the official university YouTube channel.

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