Landscape architects design public spaces, such as gardens, playgrounds and golf courses, with an eye for form and function. They choose the best locations for roads and walkways, as well as natural elements, such as flowers and trees. Aspiring landscape architects can select from several well-regarded programs in New York State which prepare them to pass the Landscape Architect Registration Exam (LARE) and become licensed landscape designers.

New York Botanical Garden--School of Professional Horticulture

The two-year horticulture program at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) teaches students the fundamentals of botany, soil science and landscape design. The full-time professional training program, founded in 1932, combines 625 hours of classroom studies with work rotations and a mandatory second-year internship.

Courses cover such topics as plant anatomy, weed identification, landscape design history, greenhouse and nursery management and site analysis. Because some 21 percent of landscape architects are self-employed (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), business management training is a required component of the NYBG horticulture program. Applicants must have 1,800 hours of horticulture work or volunteer experience, be able to do physical work outdoors and have at least a high school diploma.

The New York Botanical Garden School of Professional Horticulture Bronx, NY 10458-5126 718-817-8797

Cornell University--Department of Landscape Architecture

Cornell University's landscape architecture program has been ranked in the top 10 programs nationwide by Design Intelligence magazine and is the only Ivy League institution offering an undergraduate degree in the discipline.

A portfolio is required for admission and should include 10 to 12 works, such as travel sketches, garden design plans or photos and pieces created with computer graphics software. Cornell's landscape architecture curriculum focuses on several design studios, each specializing in a different aspect of landscape, such as land, plants and water. Additionally, landscape architecture majors select a concentration, such as sustainable design, historic preservation or ecology, and complete 10 credits in that area as part of the degree requirements.

Cornell University Department of Landscape Architecture 440 Kennedy Hall Ithaca, NY 14853 607-255-9552

SUNY-ESF Department of Landscape Architecture

As part of the State University of New York system, the College of Environmental Science of Forestry (ESF) landscape architecture program is the second largest in the U.S. ESF shares its campus with Syracuse University (SU).

Landscape architecture students are required to complete a semester abroad. For example, students interested in sustainable design can spend a summer at a Sustainable Futures Studio in Costa Rica. The landscape architecture undergraduate program takes five years to complete, and students take courses in areas such as biology, natural design processes, plant materials and landscape design studios. Portfolios are not required for incoming freshmen applicants but are encouraged as a way to demonstrate creative aptitude.

SUNY-ESF 1 Forestry Drive Syracuse, NY 13210 315-470-6500

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