Difference between B.L.Arch and B.S.L.Arch

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums EDUCATION Difference between B.L.Arch and B.S.L.Arch

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    Rico Flor

    I tend to go with landplanner’s reply that the Board (that is, LAAB for fellow practitioners in the US) looks into the academic programs individually, so BSLArch programs are not discriminated from accreditation – across the board.

    We also had this same discussion in the University in the course of several curricular reviews and in the end, it is the University’s criteria for the academic program (as well as it’s science units) that makes it a BS or Bachelor. It depends really on the objectives of the Faculty for the program. In our case, though, we adopted the interpretation that Bachelor degrees tend to balance the art and science of the profession, while BS programs sought for more sciences (my answer to the main topic, stated in a highly indirect manner – lol). This could explain why the track towards professional practice seems to be biased to Bachelor programs.

    Where sciences/research are highly valued (as it seems to me in the Japanese academic programs), a BS degree might have more weight (maybe a Japan-educated professional can sound off on this opinion?). Again, just goes to show that it’s more of a case to case, local thing, than a general rule. Better to go check with your local/state/national accreditation boards.

    Benjamin M Canales

    I still don’t quite know what the difference is BUT a BSLA can be an accredited degree allowing you to become licensed on the same track as a BLA. See link Below: 



    Back when I was trying to determine WHICH University LA Program I felt was best for me…I was choosing between LSU and Texas A&M.  Well, LSU was “out of state”….more expensive and a 5 year LA program.  Texas A&M was (in state) and a 4 yr. LA Program (B.S.L.A.).

    Even IF LSU had been the SAME $$$ as A&M……I still would have gone with Texas A&M.  I just didn’t feel that spending (5) yrs. studying Landscape Architecture was a plus…..still don’t. Though, it seems most LA programs these days have gone to a (5) yr. program.

    University LA programs provide “the basics”……you really LEARN when you get out into the REAL world……and go to work for an LA firm.  

    I still question WHY some LAs go after an MLA (after they earn their undergraduate LA degree)…..unless they have their heart set on becoming a University Professor.  Personally, I wouldn’t want to have to put up with a Universities red tape, regs, requirements that you get published, etc.  I may be wrong, but, I really don’t believe LA firms offer a higher annual salary to new hires who have both an LA undergraduate degree & an MLA.  I’m thinking, if you felt you needed a Master’s Degree after you earned an undergraduate LA degree…it might be better to go for an MBA.

    Though, late in my LA career…..I think it would be interesting to be a “guest lecturer” at a University that had an LA program.

    Bridger DeMars

    To add to your thought… I am not sure whether getting an MLA helped me with my job search out of college, but I’m glad I did it. At U of Idaho an MLA was an extra 1.5 years and I learned more in that year and a half than I did as an undergraduate. It gave me a chance to work for a year side by side building architects and I learned a lot of technical and graphic skills I did not have just working in LA studio classes. Plus, a semester of just thesis work allowed me to focus on a climate outside of the northwest, a focus I wanted to pursue and three months of tightening design, graphics and written language. Sure, it was expensive and I’ll be paying for it for awhile but I came out much better for it professionally I think.

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