The Landscape Architecture Program within the School of Design and Community Development of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design at West Virginia University offers an accredited Bachelor of Science of Landscape Architecture (BSLA) degree program. The BSLA program was granted continued full accreditation as evaluated by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 2017. Demand for professional landscape architects is increasing due to emerging environmental markets and projected shortages of graduates from accredited landscape architecture programs. The BSLA focuses on environmental and community design and planning, in addition to providing the primary skills and methods of landscape architecture.
Landscape Architecture is the art of design, planning, and arranging natural and man-made elements on the land. It applies cultural and scientific knowledge with concern for the conservation and stewardship of natural, cultural and aesthetic amenities to create an environment that serves a useful and enjoyable purpose. This involves consideration of the quality of life in urban and natural settings, as well as the interaction of humans with nature. The Landscape Architecture Program at WVU strives to equip students with knowledge and skills in problem solving, design theory, site construction, land use planning, and planting design. It emphasizes a philosophy of responsibility and commitment to ethical standards regarding the natural environment, personal relationships, and professional practice.
The faculty represents a multi-disciplinary team with practical experience in creative and scientific research, design, consultation, and public service. This diversity is the nucleus of the Program, allowing for a strong graduate curriculum supplemented by related courses in the arts, sciences, engineering, and planning, reflecting the needs of the Appalachian region, both urban and rural, and current trends within the profession. Three of the faculty are licensed.
Graduates of the program can assume traditional landscape architectural roles, e.g., positions with design consulting firms, governmental planning departments, construction firms, transportation planning agencies, etc. In addition, WVU BSLA graduates are prepared for design and planning positions meeting the needs common to West Virginia and other rural areas.
- To provide students with a solid professional educational foundation encompassing knowledge and skills of multi-scaled site design, construction, problem-solving, plant materials, geographic information systems, and professional practice responsive to the needs of the environment, society, and the landscape architecture profession.
- To instill ethical standards in the students regarding the environment, the profession, personal relationships, and social responsibility.
- To prepare students to be proficient in communicating professional concepts graphically, orally, and in writing.
- To provide students with cognitive opportunities to incorporate professional information through the study of real-life problems in Morgantown, the state of West Virginia, and the region.
- To enhance course offerings, collaborative faculty research opportunities, and avenues for scholarly activities by increasing and diversifying ties with other disciplines across campus.
- To provide design and planning expertise to West Virginians in the areas of community development, and improvement of the quality of life by offering the skills of the faculty and students of the Landscape Architecture Program.
Student Retention and Graduation Rates, and Degrees Granted
The graduation rate, defined as the percentage of freshmen that ultimately graduate from the program, has been 55.55% for the cohort starting in Fall 2017 and graduating in Spring 2021, and 50% for the cohort starting in Fall 2018 and graduating in Spring 2022.
The retention rate, defined as the the percentage of freshmen that return for their sophomore year, has been 81.48% for the cohort starting in 2017, 91.66% for the cohort starting in 2018, 72.4% for the cohort starting in 2019, 45.45% for the cohort starting in 2020, and 51.61% for cohort starting in 2021.
From academic year 2017-2018 to academic year 2021-2022, 93 degrees were awarded for an average of 18.6 degrees per year.
The BSLA program regularly surveys graduates in order to get a picture of their employment status. From academic year 2016-2017 to academic year 2021-2022, 47 alumni are working in private practice and 16 are employed in landscape horticulture and design build practice. They correspond to 65.2% and 22.2% of the respondents respectively.
Estimated Cost of Attendance
Information about fees, tuition and other expenses, as well as scholarships and financial aid can be found at https://admissions.wvu.edu/academics/majors/landscape-architecture#sticky-page-nav__cost
and at https://admissions.wvu.edu/cost-and-aid
The following are dedicated scholarships for Landscape Architecture students.
Jack Paules Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship is designated for regularly enrolled third and/or fourth year students majoring in Landscape Architecture in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design.
The McHale Family Landscape Architecture Scholarship
This annual scholarship is provided to students in landscape architecture based on financial need and academic performance.
The Miller Creative Writing Award
An endowed award that is provided to students based on the results of an open writing competition.
John R. Tschiderer LA Education Experience Fund
Annual awards to students and faculty for special activities such as travel and continuing education.
Upon enrollment students are required to buy a kit of drafting supplies for a cost of around $300. At the end of the second year studio sequence, students are required to purchase a computer that is capable of efficiently running programs with graphic intensive applications extensively used during the third and fourth years studio sequences. The approximate cost of a computer of this capability is around $2,500.
Opportunities for study abroad include the LARC 444 Summer Semester: International Experience Western European Gardens, Landscapes and Architecture (6 credits) for an approximate cost of $6,000. The course qualifies for student financial aid.
In accordance with the Higher Education Act the program meets the educational requirements for licensure eligibility in each U.S. state.
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
4321 Agricultural Sciences Building
For examples of student designs, view projects from LARC 450 and 652.
Since graduating from WVU in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture, the young professional has been on the fast track.Read More About Nina