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School of Landscape Architecture

BFA Program Learning Outcomes

It is the objective of the School of Landscape Architecture to provide students the sustainable practices, design methodologies, technical skills, research techniques and sense of purpose necessary to become contributing and environmentally responsible leaders of professional design communities around the world. Taught by eminent practitioners, students will graduate with a professional quality portfolio that, in addition to highlighting their design expertise and problem solving abilities, will also include a full set of construction documents. From the very outset of their career, graduates of this program will combine their considerable knowledge of natural systems and historical precedent with their problem solving abilities and aesthetic sensitivity to create vital and positive additions to the outdoor world in which we all live.

BFA graduates of the School of Landscape Architecture will meet the following student performance criteria:


    • Design beautiful and functional outdoor environments of all scales that respond to specific user/client needs and programmatic requirements.
    • Produce defensible design solutions that reflect knowledge of the cultural, historical, ecological and climatic factors of a given site.

    • Conduct a thorough observation and analysis and/or a post-occupancy evaluation of a site in order to determine how people use space.
    • Work effectively with the natural forms, processes and elements of an indigenous landscape during the entire design process.
    • Apply the basic principles and elements of design to landscape architecture design solutions.
    • Explore sufficient concepts and alternative solutions as part of the design process.

    • Identify the indigenous components and processes found on any site (soil types, individual plant species, plant communities, wildlife, climatic conditions, and hydrology) and determine the resultant design opportunities and constraints.
    • Effectively use trees, shrubs, grasses, annuals, perennials and bulbs in their planting designs in order to provide year-round seasonal beauty and function.

    • Design technically accurate and ecologically sensitive grading and drainage plans and irrigation systems.
    • Select materials that will enhance the aesthetic and ecological qualities of a given site as well as provide for the programmatic requirements of the client and/or user group.
    • Estimate cost of materials and installation.
    • Develop innovative construction details that solve complex structural, functional, aesthetic/environmental issues.

    • Demonstrate sufficient knowledge of historical precedents, including cultural and geographic forces that have shaped major historical gardens, public parks and urban open spaces in their design projects.

    • Recognize the design opportunities and limitations of building and construction codes.

    • Visually communicate their ideas and solutions (perspectives, axonometrics, plans sections and elevations).
    • Successfully use a range of visual media to communicate their ideas and solutions (freehand and computer drawing, drafting, three dimensional models, rendered presentation illustratives).

    • Successfully communicate design proposals and key objectives of their projects.
    • Articulate rationale for design decisions throughout the design process.

    • Produce a professional portfolio demonstrating their skills and design process.
    • Collaborate effectively with other members of a project team.

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
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