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Landscape Architecture Schools

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by kemmer, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. kemmer

    kemmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    I am looking to go to college for landscape architecture, ive visited some schools already, like UMass and UConn, but i was wondering if anybody here has any experience with schools and how they liked it. I am planning on going to Rhode Island to look at that school soon as well. I would like to stay around here.

    I am going to be a senior in high school, and would like to stay in this line of business, i cant have a desk job, and i need to be outside and moving. I would like to be landscape contractor i think mainly because i love the equipment. I also know that there is alot of money in this profession. That is also another benefit i guess you can say. :cool2:
  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    I think you need to look closely at landscape architecture as a direction for career. An architect is a designer, planner, and an overall administrator. An architect is not a hands-on job. Much of the landscape architecture program (at least in late 1960s), focused on the art piece of the puzzle, with little on installation.

    From your brief description of interest, perhaps a horticulture program would serve you better, giving you a knowledge base of plants, but with an emphasis on the back-end stages of completing a project. An architecture path will put you outside some of the time, but probably eliminate any involvement with equipment. I believe the architect's work will be more "behind the desk," coordinating projects with engineers and contractors.

    I would not discourage you from visiting some schools with an architecture program, talk in depth to counselors, and also try to get some visits with practicing architects. It is very important for you to get a good understanding of the authorities and responsibilities of a practicing landscape architect.

    I do speak with some base of experience and will be happy to PM with you further.
  3. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    Hey man I was thinking on taking the same track as you but decided a career in law enforcement would be better hence taking up criminal justice, but I had found many schools with great landscape schools including SUNY Cobelskill...excellant excellant program Rutgers University also has a very good landscape program. County College of Morris also has an excellant program. These are the school I looked into before i decide i wanted a different career and to keep landscape a very close "hobby." If you have any other questions shoot me a pm I can help out with all that stuff, I start college in september.

  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Roger is correct that Landscape Architecture is not the best training for someone who wants to be a contractor (I am an LA). Most of the design projects are in site planning rather than garden design. I would also tell you that horticulture is not the best way to go either. This gets much more into plant biology, propagation, microbiology of diseases, and certainly does not focus on landscaping.

    You would do well to look at more trade specific programs such as the one at Umass Stockbridge that is geared for landscape contracting. You really need to take a lot of business classes in order to really succeed as a contractor.
  5. Rottiemommy

    Rottiemommy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    My alma mater is Cornell and they have a great LA program. I was Plant Sciences there but had a lot of a friends who were LA. If you have any questions about Cornell, please feel free to ask...it's been 10 years since I graduated but I bet I can answer some stuff. The Ag school at Cornell is a SUNY school if you are a NY resident. If you are interested in the New England area, look at Harvard, Radcliff, and RISD as well for design/architecture programs. URI has an undergrad department but no graduate work in LA the last I knew. (I looked into a graduate program there when I moved here....but alas...none existed)

    I concur with AGLA. With my plant sci degree, I had to forge my own path to where I am now as a landscape designer with working my way up through different garden centers and up to nursery manager and landscape designer. But you know, I wouldn't have done anything differently if I had to do it all over again. I like the rhelm of Landscape design rather than Landscape Arch because I would rather work with homeowners with their personal landscapes than malls and other site planning issues. But, that's just me. :)
  6. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Take a look at Penn State. If you change your mind mid stream, you can change your major and not lose credits because they've got so many different programs to choose from.
  7. arpat2

    arpat2 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 35

    If my memory serves me correctly, you reside in the Northern NJ area? Don't laugh, but Bergen Comm. College has a two year Associates Degree program that encompasses all aspects of turf management, including maintaining equipment. For something more indepth then I would suggest Rutgers U. Cooks College. You will get the most bang for your buck. It still isn't cheap.
  8. northmichigan

    northmichigan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    how tough is cornell? i'm taking my kid there this fall and wonder if its the pressure cooker everyon sez it is.
  9. Lisk

    Lisk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Best bet for you, is a class called Landscape Contracting. My best freind is graduating from this course in December at Penn State. It focuses more on everything you need to know if you were either to run you own business or even be a forman for a company. It targets the entire landscaping industry whereas architectural part does not. Company's all over the country actually try to recruit students from this course b/c its one of the best courses around. My buddy is a supervisor for Brickman in Maryland and he loves it. Also, i heard Rudgers has one of the best programs around too.
  10. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Check out the program at Cook College. I attend every winter for professional education courses and can't wait till the next winter for more information. You may also want to look into what you really want to do. An LA typically doesn't have much to do with hands-on landscaping. Many are very knowledgeable about rules, regulations and codes, but don't have the horticultural or field experience that grounds most of us to this industry. An LA is essential for large commercial projects and developments, but not always the best choice for residential and smaller commercial landscaping projects. A good designer needs to have a working knowledge of horticulture and an understanding of the actual field work to be a valuable asset to the property owner or landscapers they work with.

    There seem to be more degrees leaning towards the actual landscape installations popping up at colleges. There is definitely a need for proper education in this field and higher learning institutions are making this happen. Your actual degree may be in horticulture, but the field of study may be turf, landscaping or design.


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