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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015

Landscape Architecture (LARC)

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
2139 Plant Sciences Building, 301-405-4359
Chair: A. Murphy (Prof & Chair)
Director: D. Myers (Assoc Prof & Coordinator), D. Nola (Instructor & Assoc Coordinator)
Associate Professors: C. Ellis, D. Myers, J.B. Sullivan
Assistant Professors: V. Chanse, K. Cook (Asst Prof), B. Kweon
Lecturers: A. Anderson, A. Ison, J. Leonard

The Major

The Landscape Architecture curriculum is a four-year professional program.  The program is a site-based design discipline that also deals with regional and larger-scale environmental issues.  The curriculum, a studio-based design program, integrates natural and social factor analysis into the design process.  Digital design studios allow the integration of computer-aided design with fundamental design and drawing skills.

The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture offers two additional undergraduate curricula that students may choose:  the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Plant Sciences or in Agricultural Sciences and Technology.  Information on these majors may be found elsewhere in the catalog.

Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronyms:  PLSC and LARC.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Develop knowledge-based skills in the required areas of study. 
  • Apply knowledge-based skills to work, collaborate and solve problems, and articulate conclusions.
  • Articulate knowledge of content area and demonstrate competence in professional practice through effective communication skills appropriately tailored to specific audiences.

Admission to the Major

Landscape Architecture is a limited-enrollment program (LEP).  See Chapter 1 of the Undergraduate Catalog for general limited-enrollment program admission policies.

Freshman Admission:  The program's goal is to have the greater proportion of program majors admitted as freshmen.  Most entering freshmen will gain admission to the Landscape Architecture program directly from high school, as space permits.  Early application is encouraged to ensure the best possible chance for admission.

Transfer Admission:  Admission of transfer students is limited by space considerations.  Students presenting an acceptable graphic portfolio, evaluated by the landscape architecture faculty, may be exempted from one or both of the first year studios.  Landscape architecture faculty will evaluate all other LARC-equivalent courses transferred from another institution.

The Academic Review:  All students will be subject to an Academic Review after they have completed the first three design studio courses (or their equivalent) in the Landscape Architecture curriculum.  To meet the provisions of the review, students must complete: (1) MATH112 or MATH115 with a minimum grade of "C-", (2) LARC120 and 160 with a minimum grade of "B", and LARC140 and 141 with a minimum grade of "C-", (3) attain a successful review of a portfolio (a minimum of 80 points out of a possible 100) by the landscape architecture faculty to assess graphic and design skills, and (4) attain an overall GPA of at least 2.40.  Students who do not meet these requirements will not be allowed to continue in the landscape architecture LEP and will be required to choose another major.

Other Policies Which Determine a Student's Retention in the Landscape Architecture Program:

  • A student can only repeat one of the five Academic Review Course Requirements (LARC120, 140, 141, 160 and MATH112 or MATH115). That particular course can only be repeated once.
  • A grade of "W" (Withdrawn) in a course is counted as an attempt.
  • A student who does not meet the Academic Review requirements will be dismissed from the Program.
  • A student who is dismissed from the program will not be readmitted to the Landscape Architecture LEP.

Appeals:  Students who are unsuccessful in gaining admission to the Landscape Architecture LEP and believe they have extenuating or special circumstances which should be considered, may appeal in writing to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  The student will be notified in writing of the appeal decision. Students in the Landscape Architecture LEP who do not pass the Academic Review, but believe they have special circumstances that should be considered, should appeal directly to the Coordinator of the Landscape Architecture program.

BLA Degree Requirements.  The courses and credit hours that define the curriculum leading to the degree of Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) are described in the next section.  The curriculum includes required courses for the major as well as additional general education program requirements and electives. Following the successful Academic Review and acceptance into the LARC Program, students must have an overall average of a "C" (2.0) to be eligible for the BLA degree.  Students must also have grades of "C-" or better in all required courses with the LARC designation.

Requirements for the Major

ENGL393 Technical Writing 3
ENST200 Fundamentals of Soil Science
ENST444 Remote Sensing of Agriculture
and Natural Resources, OR
GEOG340 Geomorphology, OR
GEOG372 Remote Sensing  
LARC120 Digital Fundamentals 2
LARC140 Graphic Fundamentals Studio 4
LARC141 Design Fundamentals Studio 4
LARC160 Introduction to Landscape Architecture 3
LARC221 Digital Design Tools 3
LARC240 Graphic Communication and Design Studio 4
LARC263 History of Landscape Architecture 3
LARC265 Site Analysis and Ecological Principles 3
LARC320 Principles of Site Engineering 3
LARC321 Landscape Structures & Materials 3
LARC340 Site Planning and Design Studio 5
LARC341 Regional Design Studio 5
LARC389 Internship in Landscape Architecture 3
LARC420 Professional Practice 3
LARC440 Urban Design Studio 5
LARC450 Environmental Resources, OR 3
LARC451 Sustainable Communities  
LARC470 Landscape Architecture Seminar 3
LARC471 Capstone Studio: Community Design 5
MATH112  College Algebra with Applications and Trigonometry, OR 3
MATH115 Pre-calculus  
PLSC100 Introduction to Horticulture 4
PLSC253 Woody Plants for Mid-Atlantic Landscapes I 3
PLSC254 Woody Plants for Mid-Atlantic Landscapes II 3
Total Major Requirements 87


Other Requirements for the Major

Landscape Architecture requires a limit on the number of students they can accommodate and are designated Limited Enrollment Programs (LEP).

Freshman Direct Admits:  All students accepted directly as freshman into the Landscape Architecture major must complete a series of gateway courses and a review at 45 credits.  Gateway criteria include:

• Completion Fundamental Studies*
• Completion of 30% of Distributive Studies Courses*
• Completion of LARC120, LARC160 with a grade of "B-"
• Completion of LARC140, LARC141, MATH113 (or 115) and PLSC100 with a minimum grade of "C-"
• Completion of a portfolio review as specified by the Landscape Architecture faculty

A minimum grade point average of 2.0 in all courses is required at the 45-credit review.
Transfer Admission Requirements: The following requirements apply to both internal and external transfer students. Admission in on a space-available basis along with successful completion of the following:

• Completion Fundamental Studies*
• Completion of 30% of Distributive Studies Courses*
• Completion of LARC160, LARC120 with a grade of "B-"
• Completion of LARC140, LARC141, MATH113 (or 115) and PLSC100 with a minimum grade of "C-"
• Completion of a portfolio review as specified by the Landscape Architecture faculty

A minimum grade point average of 2.4 in all college coursework is required for all internal and external transfer students.

• Only one “gateway” or performance review course may be repeated to earn the required grade and that course may only be repeated once.
• Students may apply only once to an LEP. Students who are directly admitted and fail to meet the performance review criteria will be dismissed from the major and may not reapply

* see www.ugst.umd.edu/ for more information on Fundamental and Distributive Studies requirements.


The Department has mandatory faculty advising for each of its major and minor programs.  Students are required to meet with their faculty advisor at least twice a year.  See the Coordinator of the Landscape Architecture Program in 2139 Plant Sciences Building (301-405-4359) for additional information.


Internships are available at nearby federal, state and county agencies as well as in private landscape architecture firms.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

The Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (SASLA) provides students with opportunities to get involved with on-campus activities.  The club is chartered by ASLA.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Several scholarships and awards are available to Landscape Architecture students.  Contact the Associate Dean's office at 301-405-5308 for additional information.  The Department also maintains a listing of scholarships.  Contact Kathy Hunt in 2110 Plant Sciences, 301-405-4355.

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students.  For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

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