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Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

The profession of landscape architecture embodies both the art and science of design, planning, and management of the land and the natural and man-made elements upon it. The program embraces creative, cultural, philosophical, and scientific knowledge bases as part of the educational requirements for a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture professional degree. The diverse curriculum is designed to prepare students for entry into the profession or graduate studies. The program’s educational, community outreach and research efforts are guided by concern for the complex interdependence of the biophysical and cultural landscapes and are focused on the challenges that face the Intermountain West. These challenges include: explosive urban growth accompanied by struggling small towns and rural areas; boom and bust cycles in the mining, ranching, and forestry industries; large federal land ownership; critical shortage of water; environmental degradation; and increased demands for recreational environments.

Landscape architecture in the State of Nevada is defined by the arid landscape, importance of tourism, gaming and related activities, and a fundamentally pragmatic approach to solving problems.  The Department of Landscape Architecture and Planning at the University of Nevada Las Vegas is located in a dynamic metropolitan context that integrates unique urban design and significant natural resource challenges.

The professional curriculum prepares students for areas of practice in landscape architecture and planning including site design, urban design, master planning, community planning, regional planning, and natural resource conservation. Graduates of the program are actively engaged in the design and planning of residential communities, institutional complexes, commercial developments, park and recreational lands and facilities, industrial parks, urban spaces, regional and rural districts, and the preservation and restoration of both historic and natural environments.

Course sequences offered within this context include design studios, ecology, plant materials, planting design theory, landscape technologies/construction, landscape media, history, literature, climate, and professional practice, thereby providing students with opportunities to develop critical and creative abilities with a broad environmental perspective.

Learning Objectives

The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree is accredited by LAAB, the Landscape Architecture Accrediting Board.  For accreditation, programs must demonstrate that each student possesses the knowledge and skills defined by the following learning outcomes from LABOK, the Landscape Architecture Body of Knowledge.

  • Landscape Architecture History and Criticism

    • Accept criticism while overcoming objections with logical explanations
    • Maintain cognizance of recent works as well as historical ones.
  • Natural and Cultural Systems

    • Work with biologists, archaeologists and other professionals in conducting and analyzing field data and natural/cultural features.
    • Contextualize landscape architecture interventions within larger cultural systems.
  • Public Policy and Regulation

    • Engage the basics of the political systems
    • Manage multiple, overlapping, or conflicting regulations and resulting impacts
    • Distinguish between legal requirements and operational methodology
  • Design, Planning, and Management at Various Scales and Applications

    • Work with community, zoning, and private utilities
    • Design to scale, recognizing scale and context during the design process
    • Evaluate consequences of design solutions, e.g. user, economics, maintenance, ecological
    • Develop evaluative criteria, including programmatic, site and personal design goals to use evaluative design alternatives
    • Use of computers and applications of design software, e.g. AutoCad and LandCad in design solutions
    • Analyze, synthesize, and evaluate critical path
  • Site Design and Engineering: Materials, Methods, Technologies and Applications

    • Work with architects and engineers
    • Design for energy conservation and resource recovery
    • Create the most inexpensive design that still meets the clients’ needs/costs assessment e.g. cost/economics initial construction and maintenance
    • Use computer aided design programs to assist in the development of site plans and construction details and specifications
    • View shed planning
    • Design for aesthetic enhancement
    • Design using living materials in keeping with management controls, climate and microclimate
  • Construction Documentation and Administration

    • Coordinate between disciplines
    • Prepare cost breakdowns, itemized budgets, sequenced schedules
    • Use computer aided software programs to assist in the documentation process
  • Communication

    • Handle ambiguous situations
    • Possess skills to guide public participation in resolving design and program direction
    • Develop program visioning techniques
    • Communicate the results of work experiences such as; case studies and design research, publication of results of work in professional literature
    • Develop excellent language skills, especially being bilingual
    • Consider the legal implications of different types of communication
    • Possess the competency to use various communication approaches and the media to present professional approaches that are pro and con on projects
  • Values in Ethics in Practice

    • Use skills to train, educate and mentor other professionals at the time of degree
    • Participate in publishing and research efforts of the profession and participate in educating students and apprentices
    • Apply the principles of social justice and social ethics
    • Act responsibly towards the public, profession, and environment
    • Challenge normative regulations and standards that no longer should be best practices