The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Landscape Architecture at University of Massachusetts Climbs DesignIntelligence Rankings

University of Massachusetts landscape architecture students present their designsLandscape architecture students present their designs to peers and faculty / Photo: John Solem
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The DesignIntelligence rankings for 2018 have rated the UMass Bachelor’s of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA) as #23 among the top 25 Most Admired Schools, and the undergraduate and graduate landscape architecture programs came in at #13 among similar sized programs in the category of Schools Most Hired by Firms.

DesignIntelligence has released rankings of landscape architecture programs for 18 years, and is considered the top authority for ranking education in landscape architecture, as well as architecture and interior design. The 2018 rankings were formulated from surveys sent to 6,000 hiring professionals, 5,000 students, and 350 professors ranked the schools. This year’s survey was much broader in scope than in previous editions.

“This ranking is particularly significant because it comes from practitioners in the field,” explains Patricia McGirr, BSLA Program Director and Assistant Chair for Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning.

This close-up of a model by a landscape architecture student shows three human figures in a pergola

This close-up of a model by a landscape architecture student
shows three human figures in a pergola (Photo: John Solem)

There are currently 47 undergraduate landscape architecture programs in the United States. Among the 25 Most Admired Schools, UMass Amherst was the only one in New England, and the highest rated program in the Northeast.

“The practitioners who vote in the rankings in DesignIntelligence are the people who will be hiring our future alumni. So this achievement means that the landscape architects in the profession will pay attention to our students' applications more than they might to those coming from schools that aren't in the rankings,” she adds.

The undergraduate degree is part of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. The program is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB), which was renewed most recently in 2017. The rising national recognition of landscape architecture at UMass Amherst coincides with the departments’ move to cutting-edge classrooms and facilities in the John Olver Design Building, and increased emphasis on the campus overall on sustainability research and education.

“These rankings also are a source of pride. Personally, I am proud to be associated with a program that has gained ground in some way with the profession,” says McGirr.

With three undergraduate majors, rigorous graduate programs in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and a doctoral program in Regional Planning, the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning educates students on sustainable solutions to complex problems. It focuses on visual, physical, ecological and cultural problems encountered in the urbanizing landscape.

Find out more about UMass degrees in landscape architecture here.