Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia College of Environment and Design’s undergraduate landscape architecture degree program will change curriculum requirements and program length from five years to four years, effective fall 2015. The degree will still have accredited status with the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, a division of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The switch to a four-year bachelor’s degree emerged from a growing national trend and university goals to deliver undergraduate degree programs more efficiently and allow for timely completion. The College of Environment and Design program is the seventh in the nation to offer an accredited four-year bachelor or landscape architecture and joins 14 other accredited four-year programs.
The switch was made possible through three key changes:
• redistribution of the general education core curriculum more evenly throughout the program;
• introduction of in-house elective options; and
• the recent move to a newly renovated building that allow for the merging of lecture and studio content into a single learning experience. The results of the change eliminate only two classes from the five-year curriculum and provide greater flexibility for faculty to introduce new topics.
Undergraduate students will have a greater ability to tailor the content of the degree, associate dean for academics Gregg Coyle said. “We have one of the top five undergraduate programs of landscape architecture in the nation,” he said. “It is only fitting that we assist our students in completing their degree in the most efficient manner possible with the full knowledge that we are giving them all the skills they need to be successful.”
The core strength of the landscape architecture curriculum is attributed to the mandatory studio sequence, said Coyle. In the five-year program, students were required to complete eight core design studios and this remains unchanged in the revised four-year program. The change to the four-year degree also allows the best and brightest students to continue their studies and complete a master’s degree in any of the existing college graduate programs in two additional years, which is a national standard in most cases.
“We are always considering new ways to strengthen the BLA program and our students’ success and abilities as we look to the future,” said David Spooner, director of undergraduate programs at the College of Environment and Design. “One important change with the new four-year program is that entering students are immersed in the design studio environment from the first day of classes. We are proud that they become a part of the College of Environment and Design family immediately as they prepare for a career in landscape architecture.”
The College of Environment and Design
The College of Environment and Design is one of the most established of its kind in the U.S. and its programs are consistently recognized by the top organizations in each field. The college offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in landscape architecture and graduate degrees in historic preservation and environmental planning and design, as well as a certificate in environmental ethics. Graduates of these programs receive in-depth and cross-disciplinary degrees that expand their career options. For more information on the college, see www.ced.uga.edu.