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Landscape Architecture

Course Descriptions


LAAR 501: Critical Thinking in the Built Environment - 3 Credits 
Investigation of urban systems impacting design.

LAAR 505: Plants I 1 Credit
Introduction to the study of woody plants including horticultural taxonomy, nomenclature, and characteristics. Emphasis on field identification.

LAAR 506: Plants II 1 Credit
Continuation of LAAR 505. Emphasis on horticultural identification and design characteristics.

LAAR 507: Plants III - 1 Credit
Continuation of LAAR 506. Emphasis on horticultural identification and design characteristics.

LAAR 511: History & Theory of Landscape Architecture - 3 Credits 
Historical survey of traditions in garden design, landscape architecture, and environmental planning from the ancients to the present. 

LAAR 513: Environmental Resources I - 3 Credits 
Introduction to identification and analysis of ecological systems components.

LAAR 520: Landscape Architecture Design Studio II - 3 Credits 
Continuation of ENST 510. Emphasis on ecological and cultural systems in the context of sites.

LAAR 522: Technology I: Grading & Drainage - 3 Credits 
Introduction to principles and techniques of landform modification for design and stormwater management. 

LAAR 525: GIS: Geographic Information Systems for Landscape Architects - 3 Credits 
Introduction to digital spatial modeling and analysis of ecological and cultural systems.

LAAR 530: Landscape Architecture Design Studio III - 3 Credits 
Continuation of LAAR 520. Emphasis on relationships between sites and their environmental and social contexts.

LAAR 532: Technology II: Materials & Methods - 3 Credits 
Introduction to the form, potential, and technical applications of materials used in landscape architecture.

LAAR 533: Environmental Resources II - 3 Credits 
Continuation of LAAR 513. Application of ecological principles, practices, and strategies for managing urban landscape systems and plant communities.

LAAR 540: Landscape Architecture Design Studio IV - 3 Credits 
Continuation of LAAR 530. Emphasis on increasingly complex sites, contexts, and programs.

LAAR 545: Sustainable Structures and Applications - 3 Credits 
Examination of the functional, technical, aesthetics, and economic aspects of green roofs and walls for new and existing structures.

LAAR 546: Stormwater Design in the Urban Landscape - 3 Credits 
Introduction to stormwater management principles and practices for urban landscapes. 

LAAR 547: Landscape Performance Assessment Methods & Systems - 3 Credits 
Introduction to performance assessment methods and systems for built and proposed landscape projects. 

LAAR 550: Landscape Architecture Design Studio V - 6 Credits 
Studio emphasizing advanced problems in landscape architectural design and environmental planning. 

LAAR 551: Contemporary Urban Landscape Theory & Design - 3 Credits 
Continuation of LAAR 511. Historical survey of landscape architectural design and theory from the early 20th century to the present. Emphasis on urban landscapes.

LAAR 552: Planting Design: Theory, Observation, Application - 3 Credits 
Cultivation of plants in design for habitat, comfort, and aesthetics. Theoretical and technical perspectives.

LAAR 561: Landscape Architectural Professional Practice - 3 Credits 
Examination of legal, ethical, social and contractual responsibilities of design and planning practice.

LAAR 562: Urban Stream Restoration - 3 Credits 
Introduction to stream restoration techniques. Topics covered include: river mechanics, stream classification systems, stream morphology, and hydraulic geometry relationships.

LAAR 751: Research Methods - Three Hours; 3 Credits 
Overview of scholarship in landscape architecture. Emphasis on research approaches and methods pertaining to the advancement of knowledge. Cultivation of habits of scholarly inquiry and production in design. Application of ideas through the completion of a research project. 

LAAR 788-789: Supervised Research - 3 Credits 
Independent research under the supervision of faculty.

LAAR 794: Studio VI: Master’s Degree Project - 3 Credits 
Studio-based alternative to conventional graduate academic thesis for students pursuing a master's degree in landscape architecture. Literature review, development of a position paper grounded in design or planning theory, and completion of a design investigation that tests or demonstrates the theoretical position.

LAAR 797: Thesis/Master’s Project Guidance - 2 Credits 
Continuation of LAAR 794, under faculty supervision.

LAAR 799: Thesis Seminar - 3 Credits 
Terminal master’s-level research investigation. Required for students pursuing the MSLA degree. 


CSUC 501: Introduction to Sustainable Communities 3 Credits 
Introduction to the environmental, social, cultural, economic, planning, design, construction and policy aspects of sustainability in an urban context.  Topics include: concepts, issues, terminology and definitions; historical context and precedent; the multi-faceted aspects and complexities of urban sustainability; sustainable design principles and best practices

CSUC 503: The Urban Village - Sustainable Neighborhoods 1 Credit
Introduction to the village as a foundation for interpreting a sustainable community from the perspective of providing the primary resources and amenities required by members of the community.  Topics covered include: community structure, mixed use zoning, public open spaces, town planning process, policy and management, infrastructure planning, community institutions, interactions within the community, public transit, pedestrian oriented communities, social welfare and public health, and public safety.

CSUC 504: Sustainable Urban Site Design 1 Credit
Introduction to the design and construction of sustainable places, spaces and systems in urban communities.  Topics include: sustainability issues associated with urban sites, laws and regulations, site assessment, sustainable design approaches and process, materials, construction methodologies, and best practices.

CSUC 505: The Natural and Built Environment - 1 Credit
Introduction to the assessment, enhancement, restoration and creation of natural systems in urban communities.  Topics include: natural systems and their functioning in the urban environment, the interrelationships between environmental processes and human needs, the connection and conflict between the built and natural systems in the city, the historical context of fundamental ecological concepts, environmental resource assessment, and the necessity for a viable and healthy natural environment for sustainable urban communities.

CSUC 507: Social Justice as a Framework for Sustainable Urban Community - 1 Credit
Introduction to the issue of social justice as a core value essential to sustainable urban communities.  Topics include: defining social justice in the context of the urban community; the history of social justice; social justice in relation to sustainability concepts; environmental quality, access to healthy living and health care options, affordable housing, transportation access, quality education, and employment opportunity as necessities of sustainable communities.

CSUC 509: Healthy Urban Communities - 1 Credit
Introduction to public health and social policy as a cornerstone for sustainable urban communities.  Topics include:  the history of public health; public policy and public health; human service and community-based organizations; health disparities; healthcare agencies at the federal, state and local levels; ideologies by which public health services are delivered; and community health education, health promotion and disease prevention.

CSUC 516: Introduction to Urban Stormwater Management - 1 Credit
Introduction to regulations, principles and best practices for stormwater management in urban development/redevelopment projects. Topics include causes and impacts of urban stormwater runoff, federal and state stormwater regulations, Maryland’s Environmental Site Design (ESD) process, and an introduction to the best management practices for resolving various site design and stormwater issues.

CSUC 521: Sustainable Construction - Practice & Management - 1 Credit
Introduction to the management of the construction process for green buildings and sustainable sites effectively managing a green building project, identifying and incorporating sustainability goals, creating and implementing green building management plans and procedures, best practices for site sustainability during construction, construction activities required to comply with LEED, construction activity pollution prevention management strategies for a jobsite, demolition and construction waste technologies and strategies, and LEED documentation requirements.

CSUC 525: Urban Ecology - 1 Credit
Introduction to the concepts and principles of urban landscape ecology and impacts of, and the relationships with, urban development and the built environment.  Topics include: ecological concepts, the science of ecology, assessment of ecologic systems and conditions, landscape structure and patterns, biodiversity in the urban landscape, landscape dynamics, forces of landscape change, human communities within an ecological context, and metrics in landscape ecology.

CSUC 526: Urban Soils - 1 Credit
Introduction to urban soils and the impacts of urbanization on soils and the implications to a sustainable urban environment.  Topics include: healthy urban soils, soil properties and structure, soil compaction, contaminated soils, urban soils and plants, soils in construction, and soil reclamation.

CSUC 601: Environmental Site Design for Urban Landscapes - 3 Credits 
Application of Maryland’s Environmental Site Design (ESD) regulations and process to urban development/redevelopment projects as an integral part of site design.  Topics include: site analysis and resource mapping, design process and planning techniques and strategies, plan submittal and review requirements and process, stormwater runoff calculations and sizing criteria, soils and surface permeability, and the selection and design of ESD best management practices.

CSUC 602: Green Roofs / Green Walls - 3 Credits 
Application of Maryland’s Environmental Site Design (ESD) regulations and process to urban development/redevelopment projects as an integral part of site design.  Topics include: site analysis and resource mapping, design process and planning techniques and strategies, plan submittal and review requirements and process, stormwater runoff calculations and sizing criteria, soils and surface permeability, and the selection and design of ESD best management practices.

CSUC 502: Capstone Project - 3 Credits 
Culmination of the Certificate in Sustainable Urban Communities Program.  Preparation and presentation of a Capstone Project in the students’ area of concentration.  Projects are expected to be comprehensive and demonstrate the students’ ability to synthesize the multidisciplinary aspects of Sustainable Urban Communities and apply them through a design project or written report addressing an urban sustainability issue or problem.