Many people who are fascinated by structure and design and also have an appreciation for the outdoors have found much success in the field of landscape architecture. While it's possible to land a job with a bachelor's degree, obtaining a graduate degree in landscape architecture qualifies candidates for high paying jobs with landscape architecture firms that specialize in different areas of landscape design and site planning. Top architecture graduate schools engage students in comprehensive courses of study that combine academic instruction with hands-on training experiences. They are also accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Since landscape architecture deals with outdoor design, location also plays a role in determining the top graduate programs and schools.
Cornell University's master of landscape architecture program provides students with extensive hands-on training experiences through a curriculum centered on the design studio. Landscape architecture students at Cornell are exposed to many different perspectives on design as they engage in lectures, demonstrations, group discussions and individual instruction. The small class sizes and high level of student-faculty interaction at Cornell also make it a top school for landscape architects.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University offers three master's degree options in landscape architecture. Students can complete a one, two or three year program depending on their background in landscape architecture. Virginia Tech's location within the National Capital Region allows landscape architecture grad students to collaborate with a number of natural resources, architecture and urban planning programs in the area. Landscape architecture students at Virginia Tech also benefit from close mentorships by faculty members as they create their specialized courses of study and design a thesis.
Louisiana State University
Students in Louisiana State University's master of landscape architecture program are engaged in a rigorous course of study that is both comprehensive and flexible. Landscape architecture students at LSU have opportunities for hands-on learning through studio or faculty-mentored independent work during their final semester. LSU is also a top school for landscape architecture students because of its location . Landscape architecture grad students at LSU can participate in projects along the Gulf Coast related to sustainability design and planning approaches, or be involved in urban landscape research and development projects involving the city of New Orleans.
The landscape architecture program at Harvard University is renowned as the oldest and most distinguished program in the field. Graduate landscape architecture students at Harvard benefit from receiving instruction from an internationally recognized faculty. Harvard's Department of Landscape Architecture provides students with a comprehensive curriculum that spans the depth and breadth of the field and emphasizes urban planning, urban design and architecture. Graduate landscape architecture students are also provided numerous opportunities for advanced studio work through the flexible course of study Harvard offers.