Fourth-Year BLA Study Opportunities

Options for Study Abroad, WAAC, Internships, and more


The Landscape Architecture Program, School of Architecture + Design, the College of Architecture & Urban Studies, and Virginia Tech offer a variety of special programs intended to develop student potential and interests. These programs continue to evolve to take full advantage of new ideas and opportunities. Please search the Virginia Tech website to discover the range of possibilities or contact the Landscape Architecture Program for more information.

fourth-year study opportunities

Study, research, and travel opportunities are available in the undergraduate program to support individual student interests. Off-campus opportunities provide diverse cultural and geographic study opportunities for students to pursue design-oriented research, and to work as practitioner interns. On-campus coursework allows pursuit of directed studies in many areas of focused interest.

Within the five-year undergraduate Landscape Architecture degree program, students have a variety of opportunities for completion of their fourth-year studio credit requirements. Six of these credit-hours are met through LAR 4084: Advanced Land Planning and Design. The remaining six-credit hour requirement can be met through a variety of options. Students work with the fourth year coordinator to select their preferred option. The current options include:

  • a study abroad program or course offerings through Virginia Tech or another academic institution, including exchange programs
  • studio coursework at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center
  • selected coursework to support a focused interest in landscape architecture (one course may be theoretical, the other must be applied)
  • an internship for academic credit
  • an additional semester of LAR 4084: Advanced Land Planning and Design

study abroad or at other academic institutions or locations

North America

Virginia Tech offers study at other academic institutions. Students can study at other universities within the United States and Canada. It is possible to arrange a period of study at other universities that have accredited programs of Landscape Architecture. Interested students should review the offerings at the other institutions and work with the program study abroad coordinator to discuss course substitutions and alternatives to meet their Course Checksheet requirements.


Virginia Tech and the Landscape Architecture Program have formal exchange agreements with international academic institutions. It is also possible to arrange study directly with other foreign institutions. While some of these programs are offered in English, others are taught in the host country’s language. Interested students should review the offerings at the other institutions and work with the program study abroad coordinator to discuss course substitutions and alternatives to meet their Course Checksheet requirements. In the past, students have studied at:

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
University of Hannover, Germany
The University of Sheffield, England
University of Manchester, England
University studies in Yokohoma, Japan
Tongji University, Shanghai, China

study abroad alternatives

Travel Programs offered through Virginia Tech
These include summer education abroad programs offered through the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, as well as travel programs run through the Department of Horticulture. These programs vary in length, scope, and focus. Look for information and other announcements during the fall semester. Most require a commitment at the beginning of spring semester. Other academic departments at the university also offer programs that may be of interest.

Residency Programs (offered throughout the year) by other universities
In the past, students have participated in residency programs through the University of British Columbia, The University of Montreal, The University of Halifax, the University of Queensland in Australia, Tongji University in Shanghai, China, and the University of Georgia’s summer study program in Cortona, Italy.

study at the washington-alexandria architecture center

Space is available on a competitive basis to study at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center for the fall semester. Students and faculty at the Center are part of a larger consortium of students representing academic institutions from around the world. Students are in close contact with landscape architecture and architecture students and faculty, as well as those of Urban Affairs and Planning.

focused coursework at virginia tech

Interested students must submit a proposal for a set of focused coursework to be completed in lieu of the fourth-year studio requirement. The proposal should be prepared with the advice of an academic advisor and submitted for final approval by the Landscape Architecture Program’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee prior to the start of the affected semester. Focused coursework proposals must include at least three credit hours of design or methods processes.


Interested students can pursue work experience for academic credit through pre-arranged internships with firms in the United States or another country. Agreements are made between the student, faculty advisor, and the firm. Arrangements for academic credit must be made prior to starting work. Students have worked in public, private, and non-profit landscape architecture situations.

To obtain more information and guidance on study abroad and fourth-year study opportunities, please contact professor Terry Clements, the Landscape Architecture Program’s study abroad coordinator and 4th-year option coordinator.