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Landscaping Classes and Colleges

Landscaping classes can be found in degree programs in horticulture and landscape architecture, and coursework may include soil fertility, irrigation, plant diseases, illustration and design. Find out more about degree program offerings and career opportunities by reading on.

What You Need to Know

Landscaping classes are often found as part of undergraduate horticulture or landscape architecture degrees. Landscapers are taught how to care for plants, how to create and manage irrigation systems, and how to handle pests. Related master's degrees are also available at many schools.

Schools 2-year and 4-year schools offer relevant programs
Courses Plant pathology, irrigation, soil fertility, management
Degrees Bachelor's and master's degree programs are available
Licensing Licensure options are available with additional study and experience

What Topics Will I Study in a Landscaping Degree Program?

Most programs have interdisciplinary curricula that include courses in horticulture, design and business. As a future landscape designer, you will need to know how to care for plants and understand plant diseases, irrigation systems and pest control. In the field of design, you will learn to draft blueprints and prepare construction plans with designing software. A program also prepares you for professional aspects of the industry, such as how to interact with clients, cost estimation and construction laws. Though courses may vary based on your specialization, core classes typically cover the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of design
  • Plant pathology
  • Irrigation
  • Soil fertility
  • Management

How Do I Select a Program?

If you are passionate about design, you should look for programs that emphasize illustrating and architectural elements. However, if you are more interested in botany, entomology, plant pathology and soil science, you will probably prefer a program in horticulture. Many horticulture degree programs include courses in landscaping, along with plant nutrition, physiology and ecology. The following are a few examples of schools with relevant programs:

  • Cuyahoga Community College (Cleveland, OH): landscape design
  • Ozarks Technical Community College (Springfield, MO): turf and landscape management
  • University of Minnesota - Crookston: horticulture
  • Texas A&M University (College Station): landscape architecture
  • Arizona State University (Tempe): landscape architecture
  • University of California - Berkeley: landscape architecture and environmental planning

What Programs Are Offered for Undergraduates?

The following are a few undergraduate degree program options related to landscaping:

  • Landscape Technician Certificate
  • Associate of Applied Science in Turf and Landscape Management
  • Associate in Science in Horticulture and Landscape Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Horticulture
  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA)
  • Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA)

The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA) are undergraduate professional degrees that can lead to licensure. Both degree programs can be accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board and offer core courses in design, theory and construction. However, most BLA programs require an additional year of study for professional development.

What Graduate Programs Are Available?

Students with an interest in design could pursue a Master of Science in Landscape Design. Many graduate programs also exist in landscape architecture. Options include a Master of Landscape Architecture or a Master in Landscape Architecture in Urban Design. These programs might require that students hold a four- or -five-year degree in architecture. A Doctor of Philosophy in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning or Urban Planning might be an additional option for students who are interested in holding advanced positions, becoming scholars or working in an academic pursuit.

What Careers Can I Pursue?

Short-term certificate and associate's degree programs can lead to work in landscape design or in various grounds maintenance positions, such as landscapers, greenskeepers, arborists and groundskeepers. Additional certification in pesticide handling may be required for some of these jobs.

With a background in landscaping and horticulture through a 4-year degree program, possible careers are available as landscape architects and community or urban planners. If you want to become a landscape architect, you must become licensed. Though requirements vary from state to state, aspiring landscape architects must typically have work experience and pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) to become licensed.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's or master's degree is required for most entry-level landscape architect positions; however, a degree alone may not be enough (www.bls.gov). Many professionals start a career as an intern. When deciding on a school, you may wish to look for programs that include portfolio development through studio courses, as well as internships with architecture firms and local gardens.