UTK Landscape Architecture
The program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is an exciting interdisciplinary degree program utilizing the strengths and expertise of the College of Architecture and Design, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and related colleges and disciplines to build an educational experience including design, sustainable practices, and stewardship of conserved, rural, and urban landscapes.
What is Landscape Architecture?
As a professional discipline, landscape architecture integrates both the arts and the sciences. It is the profession that designs, plans, and manages our land.
Landscape architecture has historical roots in the United States. The term landscape architecture became common after 1863, when Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux used the term in relation to their design of New York’s Central Park. Today, landscape architects deal with the complex relationships between the built and natural environments.
Landscape architects plan and design: traditional places such as parks, residential developments, campuses, gardens, institutional centers, and waterfront developments, the restoration of natural places disturbed by humans such as wetlands, stream corridors, mined areas and forested land preservation planning projects for national, regional, and local historic sites and areas.
Working with architects, city planners, civil engineers and other professionals, landscape architects play a vital role in environmental protection by designing and implementing projects that respect both the needs of people and of our environment. The American Society of Landscape Architects note six areas of professional advocacy by landscape architects; they are: economic recovery, transportation, sustainable design, livable communities, water and stormwater, and historic landscapes.
Explore Work by UTK Students
Study to be a Landscape Architect
at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
One may pursue study in landscape architecture through three degree programs housed in the University of Tennessee Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture. These degrees are distinguished by the career focus of the degree, length of study required, and by the nature of each degree’s thesis.
The MLA _1 is a first professional degree that qualifies the graduate to sit for the Landscape Architecture Registration Exam (LARE) in the USA and therefore to pursue a career as a Landscape Architect. Studies culminate in a design-based capstone project or a written thesis.
The MLA_2, MALA, and MSLA are research-oriented graduate degrees that either offer students with professional degrees opportunity for focused study (MLA_2), or, prepare students with no previous formal study in landscape architecture to pursue research or other career paths related to landscape architecture that do not require professional licensure (MALA, MSLA).
Facilities at the College of Architecture and Design
The award winning Art + Architecture Building, completed in 1981, provides one of the finest facilities in the country for design students. The building is home to other disciplines like architecture, interior design, and art, and provides an intercollegiate environment with its extensive studio space.
The 400' long commons are visually unifies the different functions of the building. Open stairs and hallways promote interaction of students and faculty. This space contains a student cafe, auditoriums, a small supply store, and an open atrium area. Changing art and design exhibits are installed in the Ewing Gallery, the Exhibition Space, the Commons, and the Sculpture Garden.
More than simply providing functional facilities, the building was originally designed as a learning tool for its design students.
All students are encouraged to work communally in the studios, discussing ideas and projects. The building is home to excellent educational and instructional technology resources including 24-hour computer labs, a materials resource lab, a woodshop, an image and print center, technology suite, and a 3-D digital fabrication lab.
Landscape architects find opportunities in the:
- within landscape architectural, engineering, architectural, and planning firms.
- other types of private corporations that have physical planning departments, or offer products and services related to land planning and development.
- state and local governments.
- federal, state, regional, and municipal agencies involved in land planning, development, and preservation including the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Soil Conservation Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Transportation, Veteran’s Administration, and others.
- to teach and conduct research in professional programs offered by colleges and universities.
- on faculties in departments of architecture, art, planning and other related fields, and to teach in community colleges and continuing education programs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics information projects landscape architecture to grow much faster than average than other occupations. Over the next decade, the BLS projects the amount of jobs for landscape architects to increase twenty percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes “In May 2008, median annual wages for landscape architects were $58,960. The middle 50 percent earned between $45,840 and $77,610. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,520 and the highest 10 percent earned over $97,370. Architectural, engineering, and related services employed more landscape architects than any other group of industries, and there the median annual wages were $59,610 in May 2008.”
Education, Professional Internship + Licensure
Licensure for design professionals ensures that each licensee possesses sufficient knowledge, skill, and ability to provide landscape architectural services while protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
The preparation to become a landscape architect involves academic education as well as an internship period in the profession. The length of this required internship, and other requirements vary by state. A landscape architect registers individually with each state in which he/she practices. In some states possession of a Masters degree may reduce the length of internship.
Landscape Architecture Registration Exam (LARE)
The LARE is developed and administered by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB). Even though different states have different licensure laws, the LARE is a single national exam recognized by all states. Every LAAB member board requires interns to pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE). The LARE is administered on a year-round calendar and consists of five divisions:
-Project and Construction Administration
-Inventory, Analysis and Program Development
-Design and Construction Documentation
-Grading, Drainage and Stormwater Management
In many states licensure candidates may retake division tests as many times as necessary to achieve a passing score; however, some boards do limit the number of retakes so this should be verified with the member board.
Brad Collett, Interim Chair
Landscape Architecture Program
College of Architecture + Design
Art + Architecture Building
1715 Volunteer Boulevard,
Knoxville, TN 37996
phone: (865) 974-5265
fax: (865) 974-0656