What Skills Will I Learn in a Landscape Design Program?

Learn the skills that you'll gain in a landscape design program and find schools that offer relevant programs. Landscape design programs allow students to develop a diverse range of skills, from hands-on skills to business practices. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Common Skills

Landscape designers combine a knowledge of horticulture and plants with fundamental design principles. The job also requires strong communication and business skills because landscape designers are responsible for implementing a client's vision.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Prerequisites Certificate, associate and bachelor's programs typically require a high school diploma or equivalent, while master's programs require an undergraduate degree
Degree Fields Landscape design, landscape architecture, horticulture technology
Concentrations Urban forestry, landscape design, turfgrass management
Online Availability Fully online programs can be completed up to the master's level
Median Salary (2018)$68,230 (landscape architects)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026)6% (landscape architects)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Technical Skills

To teach students to effectively design a landscape, landscape design programs focus on the following technical skills:

  • Reading topographical maps
  • Understanding drainage issues
  • Understanding site grading
  • Understanding fundamentals of landscape construction
  • Characteristics of construction materials
  • Plant characteristics and ecological requirements
  • How to analyze site

Design Fundamentals

Most programs also include several courses in design principles for landscapes. Skills learned include:

  • Aesthetic qualities of various plants
  • Drawing
  • Elements of a landscape, including ramps and terraces
  • Cultural aspects of design
  • Landscape design history

Business Skills

Programs cover the skills needed to successfully interact with clients and deliver a landscape design that meets specifications. Skills include:

  • Analyzing client requirements
  • Effective communication with clients
  • Estimating project costs

Schools with Landscape Design Programs

Three institutions offering landscape design programs are Columbia University, Purdue University and Kent State University - Salem. They offer master's, bachelor's and associate degrees, respectively.

Columbia University

Columbia University offers a Master of Science in Landscape Design. Students take several workshops to develop their design skills, and they obtain technical training that develops their ability to reason spatially, solve engineering problems and create plans. Internships are required in which students gain experience graphing representations, drafting and modeling landforms. The master's program in landscape design lasts five terms, and it is intended to equip students to handle smaller projects and residential projects immediately upon graduating.

Purdue University

A Bachelor of Science in Landscape Horticulture and Design is available from Purdue University. Students have the opportunity to practice sales, marketing and management techniques and learn to conduct landscape contracting. They learn technical aspects of landscape design, such as chemical uses, diseases and pest control. Additionally, students learn to develop, design and distribute landscaping equipment.

Kent State University - Salem

Kent State University - Salem's landscape design program awards an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture Technology. Those who enroll in this program develop skills in irrigation design and management, golf course and turfgrass management, plant identification and uses for horticulture technology. Internships are available at urban forestry organizations, turfgrass management companies and landscape construction companies so students can get a head start on putting their new skills to use.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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