Program Spotlight: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Posted on Friday, October 4th, 2019

Do you have a passion for design? Do you want to make a difference in people's lives by beautifying and enhancing the outdoor spaces around them? If so, our Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) program might be the perfect fit for you!

Today, we’re going to explore the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Guelph! We’ll go over what Landscape Architecture is, what makes our BLA program unique, and what kind of jobs our grads get. We’ll also look at the accomplishments of one of our BLA profs, check out what kind of courses first-year students can expect, and see what it takes to gain admission into this unique and coveted program!

What is Landscape Architecture?

Landscape architecture is a profession that combines art and science to design attractive, functional, and sustainable outdoor spaces. The work of landscape architects can be seen in urban plazas, parks, conservation areas, golf courses, resorts, and more. Not only do they beautify and enhance life for humans, but they prioritize environmental health to conserve our outdoor spaces for generations to come.

landscape architecture at work

What makes the BLA program at the U of G unique?

  1. The BLA program is the ONLY ACCREDITED BLA program in Canada. This means our students can go on to apply for entry into professional associations of landscape architects across Canada, North America, and abroad!
  2. The U of G program is partnered with over 20 universities around the world, giving lots of international exchange options. You can also apply for internships under professional supervision (Canadian Society of Landscape Architects member of equivalent) and go on field courses!
  3. The BLA program is a small community with a famously strong sense of belonging. Students work closely together over 4 years and make friends for life. The supportive family dynamic lives on after graduation, and current BLA students frequently connect with alumni practicing all around the world.

What jobs can I get with a BLA degree?

  • Landscape Architect in a private firm or private sector
  • National Parks planner at Parks Canada
  • Zoo exhibit designer
  • Chief Administrative Officer for a rural township
  • Urban designer
  • Resort designer
  • Story-boarder and lead designer of theme parks
  • Artist for public space
  • Conservation Officer with Conservation Authority
  • Residential garden designer
  • Digital illustrator for a video game company

What will I study as a first-year?

As a first-year, you’ll have the opportunity to study:

  • Design and Communications Studio
  • Humans in the Natural World
  • History of Cultural Form I
  • One of: Anthropology, Philosophy, Psychology, or Sociology
  • Foundational Design Studio
  • Planting Design
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Philosophy of the Environment

Wait, do I need to be an artist to apply to the BLA program? Do I need a portfolio to apply?

No and no! To succeed in the BLA program, all you need is a love of design, a willingness to work hard, and a great team player attitude.

In addition to meeting the prerequisite requirements, you also need to submit a Background Information Form (BIF) as part of your application. In this form, you will demonstrate your interest in the program and what you think you can contribute to the field. For fall 2020 admission, the BIF must be submitted by March 1, 2020.

Professor Spotlight – Nathan Perkins

Nathan Perkins, PhD, is one of the BLA programs’ Associate Professors. One of the ways Nathan has improved life with landscape architecture is through the therapeutic environments he has developed for hospitals like the Homewood Health Centre in Guelph. Introducing changes to these facilities such as woodland paths, gardens, and accessible green spaces are just some of the ways he created healthier environments for hospital patients.

Ready To Learn More?

Interested in learning more about the BLA program? Visit the program website and connect with them on Facebook.

Also, be sure to visit us at Fall Preview Day on Sunday, November 3rd this year! You’ll be able to meet with BLA students and professors, tour their building, and get a first-hand glimpse of what makes this program so special. You’ll also be able to take a tour of our beautiful campus and see examples of landscape architecture at work!

BLA studio

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