Freshman Admissions

Landscape Architecture

student showing a projectPrepare to make an impact with your creative energy and your commitment for building resilient natural environments—it all starts with your studies in the Bachelor of Environmental Design (B.E.D.) program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

In this program you can follow a variety of career trajectories in the public and private sectors or go on to graduate and professional studies in fields like landscape architecture, planning, urban design, architecture, and public policy. With a B.E.D. degree, you will develop the knowledge base to respond to the multiple environmental challenges we face locally, regionally, and globally. You will learn sustainable models of landscape design practice, preparing for leadership among the next generation of landscape architects and environmental designers.

Note: The Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) is required to become a licensed landscape architect in the state of Minnesota and throughout the United States.

Environmental Design–Driven by Change and Innovation
Your coursework will integrate progressive landscape design and planning practices and offer inventive approaches for transforming and regenerating today’s landscapes. Courses will focus both on driving change in landscape design and inspiring entrepreneurial practice. For example, some of your courses could include:

  • The Designed Environment

    Everywhere we go; we are surrounded by designed environments. This course will prompt you to observe the built environment and critically evaluate and understand the principles behind these designed worlds and how they impact our everyday life.

  • Environmental Design and Its Biological and Physical Context

    student presenting a projectThere is a dynamic relationship that develops between our designed spaces and the physical and biological factors that surround them. Learn how one influences the other through case studies and projects that will focus on progressive environmental strategies.

  • Introduction to Landscape Architectural History

    How has the past shaped today’s landscape practices—and which elements are still thriving in today’s designed environments? Study the origins of landscape architecture practice and how ecological imperatives, environmental issues, political events, and social contexts have influenced landscape design over time.

As a U of M student, your courses will be taught by faculty who will engage you in design thinking through the exploration of such topics as: conserving ecosystem services, protecting water and air resources, creating new public spaces for growing cities, and building social justice in the built environment. The B.E.D. degree offers three curricular concentrations to choose from: the landscape design track, the landscape planning track, and the accelerated track.

Study Abroad

You will have opportunities to study internationally through various short-term and long-term programs. For example, during a faculty-led semester abroad program in Madrid, you will explore global landscapes and examine them in the architectural and cultural context of two of the world’s greatest cities. This exposure is an excellent way to build your observational, analytical, and representational skills. You will develop an important global understanding of the built environment and observe the fascinating integration of traditional and modern designs.

Sustainability Leaders

Widely recognized for its commitment to environmental values, the U of M makes an effort to incorporate sustainability into all areas of learning, including research, teaching, and outreach. You will experience this dedication directly in the landscape design and planning major, learning practices that support sustainability in the environments of today and with an eye on the future.

The U of M’s It All Adds Up campaign is the culmination of our campus-wide sustainability effort, encouraging individual and collective actions to reduce our environmental impact, conserve resources, and demonstrate sustainable practices. http://italladdsup.umn.edu

The Environmental Landscape of the Twin Cities: Your U of M Advantage

student presenting a projectThe Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul offer the perfect setting for you as a landscape design student. You will study and learn against a striking backdrop of natural environments. For example, the cities’ park system, developed and linked for public access—known as the Grand Rounds—provides a real-life example of environmental stewardship at work in a growing metropolitan area.

The U of M is located in close proximity to many local, regional, national, and international corporations, many of which financially support environmental quality and excellence in the arts. You will be able to connect with these companies, as well as an extensive alumni network, to access opportunities for internships and professional development.

The B.E.D. degree provides an excellent foundation to prepare for a master of landscape architecture (M.L.A.) degree. Graduates report high acceptance rates in prestigious graduate programs at the U of M and across the country. Career prospects are equally promising for undergraduates, with successful starting roles such as planning technician, design assistant, landscape designer, ecological designer, and research associate.

Take the next step toward achieving your goals and begin studying the art and science of landscape design.

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Student Quote:

“My semester abroad was incredibly valuable to my education and my future career. Being able to design in a new place, with new student colleagues and professors was more influential than I could have imagined. Architecture is about understanding the surrounding environment and people – it is very easy to understand that when it’s an environment you have grown up in. However, while learning in Copenhagen, the environment and people were entirely new to me, so before I could design properly, I needed to learn about my new environment. This experience really shaped me as a designer."


Margo Fredericks,
Architecture