BLA

The undergraduate program of the Department of Landscape Architecture (leading to the Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture, or BLA) prepares students to assume a variety of responsible roles within the design profession as productive and creative practitioners in private and public offices. The program exposes each student to the profession of landscape architecture and to the specialties within which best suit individual abilities and interests. Students develop both breadth of viewpoint and technical competency in the widest possible range of activities pertinent to the design and study of the landscape. Some general aspects of such an education are:

  • An understanding of the natural resource constraints on land use and design decisions 

  • An awareness of the cultural determinants of human behavior and the social, political, economic, and legal institutions that influence land-use and design decisions

  • A working knowledge of the basic skills -- the tools, practices, processes, and techniques of analysis, synthesis and implementation used in the design profession

  • A historical awareness and sense of responsibility to the land which will guide the use of these skills.

The four-year program in Landscape Architecture requires 124 semester hours, leading to an accredited first professional degree, the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA). Of the 124 hours, 65 hours are required in landscape architecture courses, consisting of design studio, construction, plant materials and design, history, design communication, and professional internship. The remaining 62 hours include courses in horticulture, urban and regional planning, general education and professional supporting electives. A complete description of degree requirements is explained in the semester-by-semester BLA curriculum (below).

The University of Illinois is large, with an undergraduate student population of close to 33,000, but the Department is a tightly knit unit with an enrollment of approximately 70 undergraduate students with 12 faculty members. We offer a wide diversity of courses yet we are small enough that students receive personal attention from teachers and advisors.

The cities of Urbana and Champaign are vibrant with cafes, restaurants, movie theaters, and lovely parks. On campus, the academic and cultural opportunities are excellent and diversified. The Department, for instance, has one of the best Landscape Architecture and City Planning libraries in the country, within a main library that is one of the largest in the nation. The new athletic facilities for students are extraordinarily well-equipped; the Krannert Art Museum has constantly changing art and design exhibitions; student and faculty work is displayed in Temple Buell Hall and the Link Gallery; the Krannert Performing Art Center offers a range of exciting performances and events; and major landscape architects regularly visit campus to serve on design reviews and lecture about their design work.

BLA CURRICULUM – 4 year + program
Department of Landscape Architecture - University of Illinois

FIRST YEAR
FALL SEMESTERCredit Hours
LA 101 Introduction to Landscape Architecture2
GEOG 103, GEOL 100 or 103 (or IB)3
FAA 101 Arts at Illinois1
Rhetoric 105 Writing and Research4
MATH 115 or MATH 220 (QUANT 1)3
Foreign Language or General Education3
Total16
SPRING SEMESTER 
Social/Cultural Factors Design Elective3
IB 102, 103, or 105 (or GEOG/GEOL)3
General Education9
Total15
SECOND YEAR
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
LA 233 Foundation Design Studio5
LA 250 Environmental Site Analysis3
LA 280 Design Communications I3
UP 101 Planning of Cities & Regions3
General Education3
Total17
Spring Semester 
LA 234 Site Design Studio5
LA 241 Landform Design & Construction3
LA 281 Design Communications II3
LA 314 History of World Landscapes4
Total15
THIRD YEAR
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
LA 335 Community & Open Space Studio5
LA 342 Site Engineering4
HORT 301 Woody Ornamentals I4
LA 346 Professional Practice2
Total15
Spring Semester 
LA 336 Design Workshop Studio I5
LA 343 Landscape Construction4
Supporting Elective3
Supporting Elective3
Total15
Summer Semester 
LA 345 Professional Internship5
FOURTH YEAR
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
LA 437 Regional Design Studio5
LA 452 Natural Precedent in Planting3
General Education3
Supporting Electives3
Total14
Spring Semester 
LA 438 Design Workshop Studio II5
Supporting Electives6
Electives1
Total12