Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
Landscape Architects plan, design, manage, and nurture built and natural environments. With their unique skill set, landscape architects work to improve human and environmental health in all communities. Virginia Tech’s accredited Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree combines design and design-thinking, creative invention and problem-solving, natural and human sciences, and community collaboration.
Landscape Architecture Program faculty guide students as they develop their skills and knowledge, and explore their place as designers and planners of the built environment. As students develop as independent thinkers, they develop and expand greater understandings of the complex interrelationships between people and the physical environment. They explore more sustainable and resilient futures through planning, designing, and managing landscapes that integrate natural processes, public and individual needs, and societal vision. Students often engage with communities across the region to address real issues on real sites.
First year landscape architecture students take foundation design studios and courses in natural systems, and landscape thinking and representation. The design studios provide a shared foundation in design making and design thinking alongside industrial design, interior design, and architecture majors. The supporting courses introduce landscapes and systems thinking. Students explore design processes and discovery as they develop critical thinking, aesthetic judgment and means of self-evaluation.
Second and third year students continue to use discovery-based learning as they develop skills and knowledge necessary to enter an increasingly dynamic and expanding profession. Ecological and environmental systems, and socio-cultural concepts are studied to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the natural and human systems fundamental to the discipline and practice of landscape architecture. These concepts are applied in studio projects using real sites and addressing real world issues. Students develop skills preparing them to undertake professional internships.
Fourth year students undertake an independent design research-focused study. This may take the form of an education abroad program, a collaborative interdisciplinary studio, a semester at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center or another university, or coursework focused on a particular area of individual professional interest. Students are encouraged to pursue a professional internship or employment. These individual pursuits help prepare students to take leadership roles advancing the profession and society.
The BLA curriculum culminates in the research-based, self-directed senior project. Students choose their own project type, site and issues to explore. The individual projects demonstrate multiple dimensions of problem-setting and problem-solving, and each student’s professional capabilities in project design, design-detailing and communication.