Landscape and Urban Studies

Degree Mission and Intent

The Landscape and Urban Studies major provides students with the broad knowledge and skills needed to recognize and address current and future urban and regional challenges such as sustainable and equitable land use, social and spatial inequalities, and the conservation, management, and restoration of natural and cultural systems.

Landscape and Urban Studies integrates the biological and physical sciences, social studies and humanities to provide students with the broad knowledge and skills needed to recognize and address this urban and regional challenges.  The major provides students opportunities to explore the design and planning professions and related emerging issues and is preparatory for graduate school.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate competence and critical judgment in creatively applying the intellectual and technical skills necessary for site and landscape-scale natural and cultural resource conservation, planning, and management; these skills include cultural, historical and landscape literacy, data collection and analysis, spatial and temporal analysis, multidisciplinary problem-solving approaches and communication skills.
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking and the ability to explore ideas and synthesize information, both independently and in collaboration with interdisciplinary team members.
  3. Understand, apply and evaluate the principles, theories and research findings underlying at least one of the following advising pathways, Ecological Restoration and Design; Culture, Health, and Community; and Urban Studies.
  4. Integrate social, cultural, ecological and technological dimensions in solving design and planning problems concerning the conservation or management of sustainable natural and cultural landscapes.
  5. Demonstrate preparedness to perform as a member of a public, private or non-profits office or agency in the fields represented within the department.


Students in Landscape and Urban Studies are required to complete a set of introductory courses; courses across three categories: Biological and Physical Environment, Social and Cultural Studies, and Technology; 15 credits of electives; and a capstone project.

  • Introductory Classes

    Landscape Architecture 250: Introduction to Landscape Architecture

    Landscape Architecture 260: Landscape Architecture History

    Geography 127: Physical Environment OR Landscape Architecture 211: Landscape Inventory & Evaluation Methods

    Urban and Regional Planning 463: Evolution of American Planning

  • Biological and Physical Environment
    Choose two courses from the following:

    Botany 100: Survey of Botany OR Botany 130: General Botany

    Botany 260: Introductory Ecology OR Botany 460: General Ecology

    Geography 339: Environmental Conservation

    Soil Science 230: Soil Ecosystem and Resource OR Soil Science 301: General Soil Science

  • Social and Cultural Studies
    Choose two courses from the following:

    Art History 457: History of American Vernacular Architecture & Landscape

    Design Studies 221: Person and Environment Interaction

    Economics 101: Principles of Microeconomics OR Economics 111: Principles of Econ-Accelerated Treatment

    Economics 420: Urban and Regional Economics

    Geography 104: Introduction to Human Geography

    History 460: American Environmental History

    Political Science 104: Introduction to American Politics & Government

    Social Studies/CES 140: Introduction to Community & Environmental Sociology

  • Technology
    Choose two courses from the following:

    Geography 377: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

    Landscape Architecture 211: Landscape Inventory & Evaluation Methods

    Landscape Architecture 460: Advanced Visual Communications Studio

    Landscape Architecture 622: Application of GIS in Planning

    Landscape Architecture 695: Application of GIS in Natural Resources

  • Electives
    Choose five courses from of the following:

    Agronomy/Botany/Soil Sci 370: Grassland Ecology

    Anthro/Amer Ind 354: Archaeology of Wisconsin OR Anthro/Amer Ind 353: Indians of the Western Great Lakes OR Amer Ind 250: Indians of Wisconsin OR Amer Ind/Anthro/Folklore 431: American Indian Folklore OR Amer Ind/LSC 444: Native American Environmental Issues and the Media OR Amer Ind/C&E Soc/Soc 578: Poverty and Place

    Anthro/Amer Ind/Botany 474: Ethnobotany

    Art Hist 457: History of American Vernacular Architecture and Landscapes OR Art Hist/Anthro/DS/History/Land Arc 264: Dimensions of Material Culture

    Botany 400: Plant Systematics OR Botany 401: Vascular Flora of Wisconsin

    Botany/F&W Ecol 455: The Vegetation of Wisconsin

    DS 221: Person and Environment Interactions

    Envir St/F&W Ecol/Zoology 360: Extinction of Species

    Envir St/Botany/F&W Ecol/Zoology 651: Conservation Biology

    Geog/Envir St 309: People, Land and Food: Comparative Study of Agriculture Systems OR Geog 501: Space and Place: A Geography of Experience OR Geog/Urb R Pl 305: Introduction to the City OR Geog/C&E Soc/Envir St 434: People, Wildlife and Landscapes OR Geog 301: Revolutions and Social Change

    Geog/Envir St 439: US Environmental Policy and Regulation

    Geog/Envir St/History 460: American Environmental History

    Geog/Urb R Pl 506: Historical Geography of European Urbanization

    Folklore 439: Foodways OR Folklore 540: Local Culture and Identity in the Upper Midwest

    Land Arc 321: Environment and Behavior Studio – Designing Health Promoting Environments

    Land Arc/Envir St 361: Wetlands Ecology

    Land Arc 668: Restoration Ecology

    Land Arc 677: Cultural Resource Preservation and Landscape History

    Real Eet/A A E/Econ/Urb R Pl 306: The Real Estate Process

    Real Est/Econ/Urb R Pl 420: Urban and Regional Economics

    Soil Sci/Pl Path 323: Soil Biology

    Urb R Pl/Econ/Envir St/Poli Sci 449: Government and Natural Resources

    Urb R Pl 601: Site Planning

    Urb R Pl 611: Urban Design: Theory and Practice

    Urb R Pl/C&E Soc/Soc 617: Community Development

  • Capstone

    Completed during the final year of the program, the capstone is a large independent project that synthesizes the knowledge and skills gained during your studies and focused on a topic of particular interest to you.  Each capstone project is unique and an opportunity to showcase your knowledge, skills, and abilities to a future employer or graduate program.

    Landscape Architecture 677: Cultural Resource Preservation and Landscape History OR Landscape Architecture 688: Restoration Ecology