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Top Landscape Architecture Schools in the U.S.

Landscape architects design gardens, parks, shopping centers, playgrounds and other outdoor environments for both function and aesthetics. A bachelor's or master's degree is typically required for a position in landscape architecture, although doctoral degrees are also available. Most states require a license before one can work as a landscape architect.

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Top U.S. Schools with Landscape Architecture Programs

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Harvard University offers professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) programs designed to prepare graduates for licensure and practice. The MLA programs include a standard 3-year program, a 2-year program for applicants with a professional architecture undergraduate degree, a 1.5-year program for those with a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture and a program that combines landscape architecture and urban planning. The Ph.D. program is geared toward students interested in pursuing a career in academia or research and does not meet licensure requirements Likewise, a Master of Arts degree is offered to doctoral students interested in earning a supplemental master's degree. Harvard University was ranked number one on U.S. News & World Report's National Universities and Best Value Schools lists in 2012.

2. Iowa State University in Ames

Iowa State University offers a 5-year Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree program that prepares students for state licensure. The school also offers two graduate degrees in the field: a Master of Science in Landscape Architecture intended for those pursuing research-oriented careers and a professional Master of Landscape Architecture degree. The Princeton Review listed Iowa State University among the best 376 colleges in the U.S in 2012.

3. Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

Cornell University was founded as a land grant college in 1865. The university's Department of Landscape Architecture offers a Bachelor of Science degree designed to qualify graduates for licensure. At the graduate level, students can enroll in a standard 3-year Master of Landscape Architecture degree or an accelerated 2-year program if they have an undergraduate degree in a qualifying major. Each professional program requires students to develop a specific area of focus and offers study-abroad opportunities. A non-professional Master of Professional Studies in Landscape Architecture can prepare students for public planning, management or academic careers. Cornell University was ranked 15th among national universities in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report.

List of Ten Good Landscape Architecture Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
Auburn University Offers dual master's degree program in landscape architecture and community planning Auburn, AL
Cornell University Only undergraduate landscape architecture degree among Ivy League schools Ithaca, NY
Florida International University Only MLA program in a tropical and subtropical location in the U.S. Miami, FL
Harvard University Oldest academic landscape architecture program in the world Cambridge, MA
Iowa State University Admission to BLA program is limited to 36 students per year Ames, IA
Kansas State University MLA program offers concentrations in community and urban design or resource management and planning Manhattan, KS
Michigan State University Listed as one of the top 376 colleges in 2012 by The Princeton Review East Lansing, MI
Morgan State University MLA program has urban focus Baltimore, MD
University of Oregon Offers BLA, MLA and Ph.D. programs Eugene, OR
Utah State University Undergraduate BLA students have major field trip requirement Logan, UT
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