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Academic Majors


Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture is a dynamic, broad-spectrum profession that incorporates many disciplines. Geology, ecology and horticulture, architecture and engineering, geography, the social sciences and the fine arts are a few of the contributors to these “architects of the land.” The function and aesthetics of parks, housing developments, transportation corridors, urban plazas, zoos and campuses all reflect the acquired skill of landscape architects using both “hard” (built) and “soft” (planted) materials to both sustain and manipulate the natural environment. Landscape architects design exterior spaces with sketches, detail models, and working drawings for their clients as well as the companies and contractors that will use these specifications to bring life to the practitioner’s vision. The unique challenges for landscape architects span everything from small residential landscapes and large-scale urban developments to regional watersheds. Collaborating with architects, planners and engineers, landscape architects create compelling and memorable exterior spaces that affect the lives of people who inhabit them.

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Career Opportunities

The majority of landscape architects work for landscape architecture services and firms, engineering, architecture and planning companies. Roughly one in five become their own entrepreneur after licensure.

The federal agencies that hire many landscape architects include the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, Soil Conservation Service, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Transportation and the Veteran’s Administration. Many of these departments also exist at a state and municipal level, providing additional work opportunities.

Within all these job possibilities exists the opportunity to apply the ethical imperatives of conservation, remediation and sustainability to increasing challenges of energy requirements, overpopulation and impending scarcity of water in the early 21st Century.


The landscape architecture program is fully accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). For more information, see To become a licensed landscape architect requires an accredited professional degree, internship and a state exam leading to licensure.

The Program

The landscape architecture program offers an accredited professional five-year Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.) degree. As one of the approximately 60 professional programs in landscape architecture in the United States and Canada that are accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, North Dakota State University landscape architecture is the only program in the region. In the first year of study, the pre-landscape architecture curriculum addresses the understanding of the environment and our impact on nature. In addition to meeting General Education and departmental requirements, students take three environmental design courses (ENVD) comprised of a lecture course, a drawing course and a design fundamentals course. Beginning at the sophomore level, through a selective admissions process, students become landscape architecture majors. Studio courses are limited to a maximum of 16 students to maintain a high level of student-faculty contact. The landscape architecture program is based on a studio model of education providing high contact hours between students and their professors as they learn problem solving techniques and design methodologies. The primary focus is on design thinking, students engaging in individual and group projects that represent a wide array of design challenges. In this studio format, students have opportunities for public service projects requiring real world solutions benefiting both the students and the ethical requirements of outreach within the profession. Other courses in the curriculum include the history of landscape architecture, grading and drainage, materials and methods, and professional ethics and practices. The program emphasizes the importance of critical thinking, the communication of ideas through writing, public presentation of models, drawings, renderings and computer animation. Field trips, a lecture series, invited outside professionals and a laptop computer requirement in the second year help students develop their own interests and craft their own unique career path.

The program also provides a path for students who wish to pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in environmental design, a preprofessional degree awarded at the conclusion of four years of study. This degree may be useful for students wanting to attend another University, or to pursue a graduate program in landscape architecture.

Activities and Facilities

The landscape architecture program activities include:

  • Student chapters of the American Society of Landscape
    Architects, Sigma Lambda Alpha Honor Society, Freedom
    by Design and the U.S. Green Building Council;
  • An annual recruitment and career fair;
  • Beaux Arts Ball and a guest speaker, both organized by
  • Interaction with community-driven projects such as the
    Fargo Free Library Design Competition;
  • Studio field trips to cities within the U.S. and Canada;
  • Visiting lecturers addressing landscape architecture and
    related topics;
  • Collaborative studio projects with the architecture program;
  • Summer study opportunities in Europe, North America, and
    an International Student Exchange Program; and
  • Summer intern opportunities.

Our facilities include:

  • Two dynamic renovated buildings located in downtown
    Fargo–Klai Hall and Renaissance Hall;
  • 3-D prototyping and printing;
  • 3-D computer rendering and server farm;
  • State-of-the-art computing labs;
  • Computer-aided laser cutters;
  • Large document printers and scanners;
  • GIS, CAD and 3-D rendering and modeling software;
  • An Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library of
    18,000 books, 70 magazine subscriptions and 36,000 slides;
  • Photographic and graphic reproduction equipment;
  • Individual studio spaces, second through fifth years; and
  • A professionally staffed and equipped wood shop.

High School Preparation

We suggest that students take high school courses in digital drawing and animation, art, perhaps drawing from life, math and science courses such as calculus, trigonometry, physics and biology. And, if possible, we encourage high school students to take advance placement or college credit courses that fulfill NDSU General Education requirements.

Transfer Students

Early application for admission is necessary for all information to be processed before the beginning of each academic year. Transfer applicants are required to enter the landscape architecture program at the first-year level, or second-year level if freshman credits are completed.

Selective Admission

Approximately 16 landscape architecture majors are selected for admission into the second year of the program. A student’s ranking is based on their overall grade point average (GPA) and their GPA for pre-landscape architecture courses with the ENVD prefix. It is important to apply early, complete all freshman courses in the first year, and maintain a solid academic record.

Sample Curriculum

General Education
    First Year Experience
1     UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success
3     COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
3, 3     ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II
3     ENGL 326 - Writing in the Design Professions or
         ENGL 357 - Visual Culture and Language
3   Quantitative Reasoning
10   Science & Technology
    Humanities & Fine Arts
3     ARCH 321 - History of Architecture I
3     ENVD 101 - Introduction to Environmental 
    Social & Behavioral Sciences
3     ANTH 111 - Introduction to Anthropology
3     PSYC 111 - Introduction to Psychology or
       SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology
2   Wellness
    Cultural Diversity
3     ANTH 111 - Introduction to Anthropology
    Global Perspective
3     ARCH 321 - History of Architecture I
40   Total
Credits   Major Requirements
3   ENVD 130 - Drawing for Environmental Designers
4   ENVD 172 - Environmental Design Fundamentals
3   LA 231 - Landscape Architecture Graphics
3   LA 232 - Design Technology
6   LA 271 - Introduction to Landscape Architecture 
6   LA 272 - Parks & Open Spaces Studio
4   LA 322 - History of Landscape Architecture
3   LA 331 - Graphics III: Design Communication
4, 4   LA 341, 342 - Site Development and Detailing I, II
6   LA 371 - Site Planning and Design Studio
6   LA 372 - Community Planning & Design Studio
4   LA 441 - Site Development and Detailing III
6   LA 471 - Urban Design Studio
6   LA 472 - Remediation & Planting Design Studio
3   LA 552 - Advance Landscape Planning
3   PLSC 355 - Woody Landscape Plants
19   Electives
93   Total
Credits   Additional Requirements (B.L.A. Degree)
3   LA 563 - Programming and Thesis Preparation
6   LA 571 - Environmental Planning Studio
8   LA 572 - Design Thesis (Capstone)
3   LA 581 - Professional Practice
3   LA 590 - Seminar
25   Electives
48   Total
130   Curriculum Total (B.S. Degree)
160   Curriculum Total (B.L.A. Degree)

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Klai Hall
Room 108

Klai Hall is located in downtown Fargo at 711 2nd Ave. N. (Campus Map)

NDSU Downtown
Art, Architecture & Landscape Architecture Administrative Office Room 105

NDSU Downtown is located in downtown Fargo at 650 NP Ave. (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
North Dakota State University
Klai 108
Dept #2352, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-5788 / Fax: (701) 231-7342

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 3:13:42 PM
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