Nov 28, 2022  
2021-2022 General Catalog 
2021-2022 General Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: To search archives, use search box above. See current catalog at

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

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Department Head: Keith Christensen
Location: Fine Arts Visual 230
Phone: (435) 797-0500
FAX: (435) 797-0503
E-mail: (faculty e-mail addresses available on departmental website)

Undergraduate Advisement:

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences Student Services Center, Pamela George, AGRS 417, (435) 797-2282,

Graduate Program Director:

Carlos Licon, Fine Arts Visual 256, (435) 797-3978,

Graduate Program Questions:

Carlos Licon, Fine Arts Visual 256, (435) 797-3978,

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), Combined Bachelor and Master of Landscape Architecture (B+MLA), Master of Science (MS) in Environmental Planning, and Doctor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (PhD). BLA and first professional MLA programs are fully accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Department Objectives

The objectives of the department are to (1) provide an educational and technical program responsive to current societal needs related to environmental planning, landscape architecture, and urban design; (2) give students the opportunity to participate in collaborative learning experiences with other disciplines on campus; (3) prepare students for professional careers in the private or public sector; and (4) conduct original research to advance the body of knowledge in landscape architecture, environmental planning, and design.

Undergraduate Programs

Admission and Graduation Requirements

The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree program is an intensive four-year studio-based course of study, fully accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Accreditation standards require the department to maintain a reasonable faculty/student ratio. Space in the program is restricted by facility availability and faculty size. Admission to the upper division is competitive and is limited to students who are determined by the faculty to have the best potential for academic success. Matriculation into the upper division will normally be limited to 25 students, although additional students may be matriculated in special circumstances at the discretion of the LAEP faculty.

Any student admitted to USU is eligible for enrollment in lower-division LAEP courses. At the end of the sophomore year, a selection process will determine which students will matriculate into the upper division of the program.

Students applying for matriculation must have a minimum institution GPA of 2.5. Eligibility for matriculation requires the completion of the following prerequisite courses:

Selection of students to be matriculated to the upper division is based on a letter of intent; a portfolio demonstrating creative potential, problem-solving skills, and graphic fluency; and an institution GPA earned in the seven LAEP prefix courses listed above. Portfolios and letters of intent are to be submitted by the last Monday in March. Detailed information regarding the letter of intent and portfolio requirements may be obtained from the LAEP Department website: The final selection of students to matriculate to the upper division is a decision of the LAEP faculty. The review of students for matriculation will take place during the week following spring semester final exams, and students will be notified as soon as possible thereafter.

Students who have had LAEP courses waived or covered by articulation from another institution will have their GPA calculated only on the basis of LAEP grades actually earned at USU.

Transfer students from other programs of landscape architecture who have completed the equivalent of the lower-division USU LAEP coursework may apply for admission to the upper division of the program through submission of a portfolio, letter of intent, transcript of grades, and description of landscape architecture courses taken. Students who have previously been enrolled and matriculated into the upper division at USU, and must interrupt their education for up to three academic years, may resume their studies at the same level of the program which they departed upon returning to USU. Students who have stopped-out longer than three years must reapply, following the guidelines specified for transfer students. The decision on applications from transfer students and for readmission rests with the LAEP faculty and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Computer Requirement

Computer competency is essential in the contemporary professional environment. Appropriate computer skills are required for most entry-level opportunities in landscape architecture and environmental planning.

Course content increasingly relies on computer skills and personal access to computers with the appropriate software.

All students in the BLA program (beginning with LAEP 1300 ) must purchase, lease, or otherwise obtain continuing and uninterrupted access to a personal computer, preferably a laptop, which meets the configuration requirements specified by the LAEP Department. See the department website for current specifications.

Recommended High School Courses

High school students planning to major in landscape architecture may enhance their preparation with courses in art, natural sciences, social sciences, horticulture, computer applications, and math through college algebra.

Sample Four-year Plan for Landscape Architecture Major

A semester-by-semester four-year plan for students working toward a Landscape Architecture - BLA  degree can be found on the department website and in the online catalog. 

Students should consult with the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences student advisor to develop a plan of study tailored to their individual needs and interests.

Study Abroad

The department supports a longstanding cooperative agreement with the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia where students can study for a semester. Approved courses of study in design and planning programs offered by other institutions may count toward the travel requirement; however, course substitutions are subject to faculty approval.

Students can also travel to Germany to study for a semester at the University of Anhalt in Bernburg, Germany.

Faculty-Sponsored Field Study Travel

The department has a long tradition of a professionally oriented “Spring Break” trip, which is offered for undergraduate students under LAEP 4350 . Recent trips have included San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Boston, Washington, DC, and New York.

The department also offers an international (1-2 week) field study experience, the destination of which changes from year to year. For example:

May 2007, 2011 and 2019 —The Italian Renaissance Villa and Town Planning: Looks at Greek (Paestum) and Roman (Pompeii, Roman Forum) antecedents, as well as Renaissance villas from the region surrounding Rome to Florence and the Tuscan landscape.

March 2006 and 2008—Paris and Berlin: Looks at the development of the urban fabric with a concentration on contemporary urban development issues, as well as public places and architecture of
historical significance.

See the LAEP website for details.

Individual Travel

Undergraduate students desiring to count individual travel toward their degree will need to enroll for LAEP 4350 - Travel Course . Prior to enrollment, students must submit and have approved a proposal for individual travel/study to the LAEP Travel Coordinator faculty for review. The content, objectives, and outcomes of the proposal will be evaluated for parity with the educational objectives of the travel program. See the LAEP website for details.

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers students in all colleges and majors the unique opportunity to deepen their educational experience with hands-on practical applications of their academic knowledge. The Honors Program admits incoming, transfer, and existing USU students based on application. High achieving students with at least one year remaining are encouraged to apply. See the University Honors Program catalog entry and website ( for more information.

Additional Information

For detailed information about requirements for the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, see the department website.

Graduate Programs

Internships and Cooperative Education

Many students take advantage of the practical learning opportunities available through internships and cooperative education programs. The student, in cooperation with the department and government agency or private firm, makes the necessary arrangements. Internships and cooperative education experiences are not required for degree completion. In some cases, these experiences may be used as the basis for waiver of selected courses, subject to approval in advance by the major professor, graduate program director, and department head. Students completing these experiences are required to make a summary presentation to department faculty and students.

Financial Assistance

The application deadlines for scholarships and financial assistance vary. For current application deadline information, contact the LAEP Department, the USU Financial Aid Office, and the School of Graduate Studies. Acceptance to pursue graduate study does not guarantee the student financial assistance.

Career Opportunities

The Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning provides education for careers in landscape architectural site planning, design, environmental planning, and management, with special consideration for conditions in the Intermountain West. Graduates are employed by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as by private sector professional firms. LAEP graduates also find employment in academia at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

FACULTY - College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences  

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