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Urban Landscapes Certificate

Urban Landscapes Certificate

The realm of Landscape Architecture explores a range of systems and scales within urban environments to examine functional landscapes and patterns of urban growth. The Urban Landscapes Certificate explores landscape design issues in the urban environment, and applies landscape urbanism principles to a variety of urban conditions. Students investigate and discover design opportunities through ecological studies, planning concepts, project assignments to design public and open space frameworks, and sustainable design policies at the local, urban, and regional scales.


The Urban Landscapes Certificate offers on campus courses and is open to anyone with an interest in landscapes. Students can choose from a mix of onsite and online classes to complete the certificate.

With this certificate, you can learn more about working in landscape architecture—exploring a range of systems and scales within urban environments to examine functional landscapes and patterns of urban growth.

Requirements and Courses

The Urban Landscapes Certificate program requires the completion of 3 courses for a total of 9 credits. Students take the same courses as those in the Landscape Architecture degree programs.

Courses are offered in the fall and spring semesters. See what Continuing Education Courses are coming up soon.

Courses | 9 Credits:

This lecture/seminar course explores the recent and contemporary debates in landscape architecture and urban design and concentrates on the discourses of urban planning since the late nineteenth century and how contemporary urban debates led to current trends in practice. In this course, we will discuss theories, histories and practices that have shaped our understanding of urban design. We will survey the ideas of influential people who have addressed urban problems and changed the shapes of human settlements, suburbs, cities and regions through urban design and development. We will analyze the values implicit in each of their proposals, stressing the fact that urban design is not only a physical design process but a balancing of political, economic, cultural and physical factors that impact a place and its inhabitants. The course will also provide information about why urban design is a collaborative work and what range of professions are involved. In this framework, the relationship between urban design, landscape design, architecture and planning will be discussed and the contemporary debates about the significance of these relationships will be studied further.

Through lecture, discussion and project exercises, this course will explore the relationships of ecological communities in diverse environments, the implications of landscape patterns, and how landscape scale affects ecosystem processes from rural to urban. Students will consider conservation and management issues at the landscape scale as part of a holistic approach to systems thinking. Key concepts of landscape and urban ecological systems will be examined through the application of concepts to students’ own scaled design proposals. Students will explore the opportunity for redefining our social relation to nature, and our role in doing so as designers, as a way to course correct climate change.

This course will look at environmental and development policies at the municipal, state and federal levels to build an understanding of the broad spectrum of influences on the built environment and how each level of regulation can impact the design process. Students will develop an understanding of public policy and effective community organization through the investigation of case studies at a range of scales across geographies. The course will provide an overview of the policy development process, from the early stages of creating legislation through administrative rule-making. It will also study the impacts of policies, both the positive benefits and the unintended consequences. The relationship between policy and design will be closely studied, with an emphasis on using design processes to inform and improve policy making and implementation at all levels of government and, where appropriate, private enterprise.

This core disciplinary design studio introduces students to the fundamental knowledge and technical skills used by landscape architects to conduct inventory and analysis for projects within the built environment. Complex data sets often inform decisions about land use, development, infrastructure, community and ecological well-being. The processes of collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing data may provide a foundation for both the cultivation of new knowledge and the development of conceptual frameworks or approaches to design. The studio situates analytical methods as integral to design processes, incorporating quantitative landscape performance goals to establish social, environmental, and economic benefits. Students will explore tools and methods for mapping, documenting and designing landscape systems, and develop representational techniques to communicate their ideas.

*LAN2001 Ecological Analysis and Conceptual Frameworks requires permission from the Program Director to register. Interested students should email

How to Enroll in a Certificate Program

To enroll in a BAC Certificate Program, submit the following application materials to the Registrar's office and then register for courses during an open registration period:

*An undergraduate degree is recommended for the Sustainable Design Certificate, the Real Estate Development Certificate, and the Historic Preservation Certificate. Courses in these certificate programs are taught at the graduate level.

Certificate students must begin academic coursework in the program within two academic semesters of submitting the application materials. 

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