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Basic Information

Address: UW-Madison Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture Room 1 1450 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706
Phone Number: 6082621004
Chair: Kenneth Genskow
Dean: Eric Wilcox

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Additional Information

Classroom Size: 22
Student/Teacher Ratio: 15
Housing Availability:

UW-Madison offers 21 residence halls that provide learning communities, resources, support, convenient services, and events. The residence halls are located in two neighborhoods. The Lakeshore Neighborhood is located on the shores of Lake Mendota. The Southeast Neighborhood, offers high-rise living on the southeast side of campus. Both neighborhoods provide easy access to classes, bus routes, libraries and other campus resources.

Type of Housing: Residence Halls, off-campus apartments

The BLA program has 38 students: 47% female, 11% students of color, 13% international


Tuition & Fees for 2020-21 were approved by the Wisconsin Board of Regents. To see actual tuition and fees for your specific degree and/or program, visit the Bursar's Office, Tuition Rates page - https://bursar.wisc.edu/tuition-and-fees/tuition-rates. Residency for tuition purposes is determined by the Office of the Registrar - https://registrar.wisc.edu/residence/

Financial Aid:

At UW-Madison, we offer both need- and merit-based aid.

In 2017, 59% of our students received financial aid, and $40.2 million in scholarships were awarded to 7,613 recipients.

Your cost of attendance (COA) is an ESTIMATE of the expenses you might encounter while attending UW-Madison. Your COA includes more than just tuition and fees - see below. Most programs' COAs are based on a full-time, nine-month enrollment period, unless otherwise noted. Although the actual cost of attending UW-Madison varies depending on your particular spending habits, the university bases your financial aid on your estimated COA.

Disability Services:

UW-Madison McBurney Disability Resource Center and the Division of Student Affairs views disability as an important aspect of the diversity of UW-Madison and are committed to creating an accessible and inclusive educational experience for students.

Computer Capabilities:

The Department of Planning & Landscape Architecture houses two design studios with computers. Once students are admitted to the BLA program and for each subsequent semester, they are assigned their own personal workspaces the Agricultural Hall studios with 24/7 access. By working in the studio, students not only get to know their own classmates well, but also have access to undergraduate students in other years of the program, as well as graduate students and faculty. The studios include state of the art computer facilities through which students interact with each other, faculty and the global network. The result is that students and faculty form an active learning community.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants first need to apply to the University of Wisconsin-Madison before declaring a major. The Department of Planning & Landscape Architecture offers two undergraduate degrees, the BLA and BS/BA in Landscape and Urban Studies (LUS).


Application/Transfer Deadlines:


To apply for admission into the professional design program (BLA degree), students must be enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison and complete four prerequisite courses before applying to the professional program. Students submit their application to the program in the spring of the academic year they complete the prerequisites. We admit a maximum of 22 students each year. Selection will be based on a letter of intent, a portfolio of creative work, and on grades earned in the prerequisite courses.

BS/BA Landscape and Urban Studies

The Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture accepts all undergraduate students into the Landscape and Urban Studies degree program who have been admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and to the College of Letters & Science.

Parking Space/Availability:

The University of Wisconsin has limited parking space available to students. The best advice to students regarding parking on campus is not to bring a car. Most students walk, bike, or take the bus.

International Students:

Over 4,000 international students from more than 130 countries choose to study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and our university is consistently ranked among the top 15 universities in the United States with the largest number of international students. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is ranked 25th among world universities by the Center for World University Rankings.

Degrees Offered:

The Bachelor in Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree is a four-year professional landscape architecture program nationally accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB). Completion of the program is the first step in becoming a licensed Landscape Architect and also serves as preparation for graduate programs in advanced landscape architecture, urban & regional planning, or in programs specializing in research.

BA/BS Landscape and Urban Studies major provides students with the broad knowledge and skills needed to recognize and address current and future urban and regional challenges such as sustainable and equitable land use, social and spatial inequalities, and the conservation, management, and restoration of natural and cultural systems. The major integrates the biological and physical sciences, social studies and humanities to provide students with the broad knowledge and skills needed to recognize and address this urban and regional challenges. The major provides students opportunities to explore the design and planning professions and related emerging issues and is preparatory for graduate school.

Mission Statement:

The BLA Program mission is to provide students with a solid base of knowledge and skills reflective of the landscape architecture discipline.  We emphasize place-making based on an understanding of ecological principles, societal needs and cultural foundations.  In particular, we provide students opportunity to explore their interests in design and planning for healthy living environments, healthy ecosystems, community development and cultural resource preservation.

Program Information:

The professional degree program (BLA) requires four years to complete. In addition to courses that meet University and College requirements, the curriculum requires a series of classes taught by Landscape Architecture faculty, each of which is offered only once a year. Students must take the courses in order, as the content of each relies on information presented in previous courses.
The curriculum features a sequence of studio courses during which students receive personal feedback as they work through design problems individually or in teams. Courses introduce students to principles of planning and design theory and to several problem-solving approaches and help students develop the technical proficiencies such as design communication, design synthesis, and environmental and cultural sensibilities required of professional practice. As students progress through the curriculum, they are required to take on more and more responsibility to set-up the parameters of a problem and gather information relevant to finding solutions. By the senior year, with the two-semester Senior Thesis (capstone), the instructors step out of the way and take on the role of coaches and mentors.
Especially in the third and fourth year studios, many projects involve actual case studies with community partners. Fourth-year students have the opportunity, during our year-long capstone course, to solve a real-world design problem. Each student develops a unique project from start to finish for an actual client, for example, a Wisconsin community or non-profit agency. This experience both helps students synthesize and apply the ideas and skills they have learned in a real world setting and provides assistance to the people of Wisconsin. You can find examples of recent capstone projects in our biennial Contour publication.
Students are required to complete an internship with a landscape architecture firm before they graduate. They are also encouraged to participate in study abroad opportunities, several of which are tied to faculty programs and interests.
The Landscape and Urban Studies Major integrates the biological, physical, and social sciences; humanities; arts; and technology to provide students with broad knowledge and skills to recognize and evaluate current and future issues in urban and regional land use. These include, but are not limited to, sustainable and equitable land use, social and spatial inequalities, and planning and design solutions through conservation, management, and restoration of integrated natural and cultural systems. The major provides students the flexibility of a liberal arts education and opportunities to specialize in several directions: Culture, Health and Community; Restoration and Ecological Design; and Urban Studies. The major also provides students opportunities to explore the design and planning professions. Students who graduate from the major are prepared for starting positions in public or private agencies that oversee conservation, land management, cultural landscape conservation, planning or for continuing on to graduate school, in particular, professionally accredited programs in Landscape Architecture, Planning, or Environmental Studies. The major is recommended for those wishing to provide input on how the natural world and human dwelling can mutually and beneficially occur with a focus on cultural and natural resource protection, green infrastructure, social equity, and policy.