LA+ED Frequently Asked Questions

  • Program Academics
  • What is my College? What is my Department?   

    Both the Landscape Architecture (LDA) and Sustainable Environmental Design (SED) majors are in the Department of Human Ecology - Landscape Architecture + Environmental Design Program (LA+ED).  This department is one of many departments in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

    Will my Advanced Placement (AP) exams satisfy any of my LAED requirements? 
    To start, only AP exam scores of three, four, or five will earn up to 8 units of college credit - scores of one and two will not. With the exception of either AP English exams - scores of four or five on either exam will satisfy one lower-division English requirement - AP exam scores do not count towards any General Education requirements. However, many AP exams may be used to satisfy a prerequisite requirement for certain classes; the list is long and students should meet with an adviser to discuss their specific AP exams. 

    How do I apply to the upper-division Landscape Architecture major 
    In February of each year, after completion of or enrollment in lower-division preparatory LDA courses (LDA 1, 2, 3, 21, 30 & 70) students submit an application. The application consists of a letter of intent, an essay, and five samples of work from their LDA courses.  Pre-LDA & SED majors can apply (other majors also if requirements are completed).  The applications are evaluated by department faculty with an emphasis on GPA in LDA courses - 3.0 or above.  Completion of Spring quarter classes (LDA 3, 50 & 60) required for final acceptance.  Thirty-six students are accepted into the Junior class each year.  For more information, see here.

    What if I apply to the Landscape Architecture major and I’m not accepted? 
    Hopefully, this will not happen, but if you are not admitted, you may choose to re-apply one additional time during the next application period. In this case, you may wish to take steps to improve your chances including: taking more preparatory subjects and skill courses, talking to licensed landscape architects, reading appropriate literature, improving your conceptualization, visualization, and writing skills, and participating in the student chapter of ASLA.  You might also consider redoing some of the items in your application to show improvement. If you can’t take courses you think would help your chances of admission (such as LDA 1, 21, 30, 50, 60, 70, etc.), try taking equivalent courses in basic drawing and design at a community college or adult education program.  
    If you wish to consider alternatives other than reapplying, there are other accredited programs in California and Oregon and professional certificate programs available.  If you are unsure of your ability as a designer but still wish to pursue a career in community development or environmental issues, investigate the Sustainable Environmental Design or Community & Regional Design majors. If you are primarily interested in plants and horticultural work, the Environmental Horticulture major is an alternative. Another alternative is to complete your undergraduate work in a related major, then apply to graduate school at one of the twenty or so graduate programs in landscape architecture available in the United States. Our Academic Adviser will work with you to find an alternative major or path. 

    How do I go about choosing my restricted electives and when will I take those courses? 
    LA+ED students will choose their restricted electives by choosing from a pre-approved list or with the consent of their Master Advisor and their academic adviser (Sharla Cheney), and most students will take their restricted electives during their junior and senior year. The restricted electives are upper-division courses that add up to a minimum of 16 units for LDA students and 20 units for SED students. The courses are chosen by the student to reflect their individual interest within the field of landscape architecture or sustainable environmental design and to personalize and focus their major experience. The ‘restricted’ adjective refers to the fact that there are certain restrictions to classes that may be counted towards these 16 - 20 units; consult your adviser for details.

    Will I be able to study abroad while completing the major on time? 
    Yes! There are numerous options available so that you are able to study abroad and graduate on time. However, the earlier you start planning, the better. We recommend meeting with our advisers and contacting the UC Davis Study Abroad office to discuss how to structure your schedule so that your study abroad trip will fit nicely and you are not behind when you return. 

    How can I stay informed and get involved?
    Read email announcements from the Advising Office to class changes, deadlines, jobs, internships, scholarships, events, and workshops.

    Attend department events - Welcome BBQ in Fall, attend sponsored lectures and receptions, go on student club led tours and shadow days, volunteer for workdays.  

    Join a club related to your major: Student Chapter American Society of Landscape Architecture (SCALSA), Sustainable Environmental Design Club 

  • 4-Year Students

  • What will my schedule look like during my freshman year? 

    You will be taking general education courses similar to students in other majors plus three courses introducing environmental design.  It is important that you complete at least one course in English writing, math or statistics, a physical science, and courses in social science and arts/humanities during this first year.   An example schedule is listed below: 

    Fall: LDA 1, English writing, Math or Statistics, a GE course, and a seminar course. (13-15 units) 
    Winter: LDA 2, a physical science course, a GE course, and a seminar course. (13-15 units) 
    Spring: LDA 3, BIS 2B, and a GE course. (13 units) 

    Obviously, this schedule is not for everyone and you should meet with the academic or peer adviser so that they may help assist you with scheduling. 

    Can I graduate in 4 years?   
    Yes, but it will require some planning on your part. The first and best step to avoid taking extra quarters is to make an appointment with our advisers to discuss a draft four-year plan so that you are aware of what core classes need to be taken and when. Students who are proactive about scheduling will find that staying on track to graduate in 4 years is doable. You may also want to consider taking summer sessions, transfer community college credits, and minimizing superfluous courses - our advisers can discuss these options with you in more detail. 

  • Transfer Students

  • What will my schedule look like during my first year as a transfer student? 
    A typical first year for many transfer students in both LDA and SED will include preparatory LDA courses (LDA 1, 2, 3, 21, 30, 50, 70, and for Pre-LDA students, LDA 60) and completing any missing preparatory courses. An example schedule is listed below: 
    Fall:  LDA 1, LDA 21, BIS 2B or ENH 6  
    Winter: LDA 2, LDA 30, LDA 70 
    Spring: LDA 3, LDA 50, Restricted elective for SED / LDA 60 for LDA students.  

    I am a transfer student. How is my LAED experience going to be different from that of an incoming freshman? 
    As a transfer student, your academic experience here at UC Davis will vary depending on what units you transfer in with and how many of your courses will articulate, etc. The best course of action for transfer students in LAED is to make an appointment with our Academic Adviser so that you may have a more personal conversation about your experience here at UC Davis. In general, though, make ample use of the UC Davis Admission's Transfer page and Assist to gain insight into what courses you have already satisfied and which ones you will need to take at UC Davis. Finally, the Transfer Reentry Veterans Center (TRV) is an amazing, on-campus resource available for transfer students. 

    As a transfer student in Sustainable Environmental Design, will I be able to graduate in two years? 
    Yes, but it will require some planning on your part. The first and best step to avoid taking extra quarters is to make an appointment with our advisers to discuss a draft two-year plan so that you are aware of what core classes need to be taken and when. Students who are proactive about scheduling will find that staying on track to graduate in two years is doable. You may also want to consider taking summer sessions, transfer community college credits, and minimizing superfluous courses - our advisers can discuss these options with you in more detail. 

    As a transfer student in Landscape Architecture, will I be able to graduate in two years? 
    No, the Landscape Architecture program takes transfer students a minimum of three years to complete.  Students complete all of the preparatory courses for Landscape Architecture in their first year (LDA 1, 2, 3, 21, 30, 50, 60 & 70).  After an application process and acceptance into the upper-division Landscape Architecture major, students complete two years of upper-division coursework, including advanced studios, environmental horticulture, technical courses in computer-aided design and representation, construction documents, and 16 units of restricted elective courses. 

  • Program Advising

  • How do I make an advising appointment? 
    The best way to make an appointment with our advisers is by going online to https://appointments.ucdavis.edu. 

    Who will I meet with for academic advising? 
    Make an appointment to see an Academic Advisor using the Appointment System.  Zoom and phone appointments are available. 

    Department Advising Office
    For academic plans, scheduling major requirements, degree certification, course registration numbers (CRNs), Internships, academic difficulty, petitions, grades, transfer credit, resources and more, see Undergraduate Advisor, Sharla Cheney, scheney@ucdavis.edu

    For general advising, academic plans, class scheduling, help registering for courses, finding resources, and information about the student experience, see Peer Advisor, Jessica Yu, jyjyu@ucdavis.edu

    Master Advisor
    For course substitutions and waivers, academic difficulty, specializations, careers, research, internships, and future graduate education contact Prof. David de la Pena, Program Director and Master Advisor, dsdelapena@ucdavis.edu.  Email him to make an appointment. 

    Faculty Advising
    Contact: any faculty member in the LAED program, see the Faculty contact list
    Letters of recommendation
    Specialization course options (restricted electives)
    Job (career) information
    Sponsor for internships and independent study
    Advice on grad school

    College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Office Advising
    For advising related to general education requirements, academic difficulty or poor academic standing, petitions, exceptions to policy, major exploration, and more https://caes.ucdavis.edu/students/advising

  • Printers, Plotters + Computers

  • I need to print for an LDA class I am taking, where can I print
    Depending on what type of student you are, please use the following rooms:

    -preLDA and SED: plotter room 173

    -LDA juniors: plotter room 118

    -LDA seniors: plotter room 149A

    For a general overview on using the printers + plotters, please visit: https://humanecology.ucdavis.edu/laed-intranet/printing-and-scanning

    Where are there computers I can use?
    Depending on what type of student you are, please use the following rooms:
    -preLDA and SED: computers in 168 + 178, and the computer lab in 253 Hunt
    -LDA majors: studios 114, 120, and the computer lab in 253 Hunt

    I am having computer issues. Who do I contact?
    For troubleshooting, please visit:  https://humanecology.ucdavis.edu/laed-intranet

    For further issues, please contact James Wilson in 155 Hunt

  • Class Support Office (CSO)

  • What is the Class Support Office (CSO)?
    A place for students enrolled in LDA courses to checkout supplies

    What can I check out from the CSO?
    Supplies include (but are not limited to): architect + engineering scales, triangles, s-curves, measuring tape, t-squares, rulers, cutting mats, box cutters + x-acto blades, bond paper, trace paper, small calculators, erasers, pencils, pens, drafting dots, light tables

    How long can I check out an item?
    You may use an item overnight. Items checked out on Friday will be due Monday.

    What are the penalties for not returning an item?
    Students who do not return an item(s) will be banned from obtaining future supplies from the CSO.

    Can I work at the CSO?
    Hiring for the CSO is typically conducted in the spring quarter. See the program representative for details

  • Studio Access + Stewardship

  • When can I access Hunt Hall?
    The building of Hunt Hall is open Monday through Friday, 7am to 6pm. The main office of LA+ED is open Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm (closed 12pm-1pm).

    What room(s) can I access?
    Depending on your status as a student, you are allotted the following spaces in Hunt Hall:

    preLDA + SED students: 171, 173, 168, 178
    junior LDA students: 114, 118, 120
    senior LDA students: 139, 149, 149A

    For a map of Hunt Hall, please visit here.

    Who is allowed to check out keys to the building?
    Admitted LDA students (juniors and seniors)

    How do I check out a key?
    See the program representative in 131 Hunt. You will receive a form that you will fill out and bring with you to Dutton Hall’s cashier’s office. You will also need to put a cash or check deposit down ($10 per key). Once you have paid the deposit, bring the verified key deposit form back to the program representative who will then issue you your key(s).

    I am a preLDA or SED major, why can’t I check out a key?

    This would violate safety policies. Admitted LDA students are allowed to check out keys because per ASLA accreditation standards, LDA students must have access to a studio space 24/7.

    As the studio spaces are shared, who keeps them clean?
    As a student, you are responsible for keeping your studio spaces clean. If you need cleaning supplies, please see the CSO in room 154 for wipes, paper towels, sponges, dish soap, handsoap, and hand sanitizer. Quarterly, the CSO students will do a wipe down of the classrooms but you are expected to maintain the spaces in the interim.