Landscape Design and Contracting Concentration

Our Program

The Landscape Design and Contracting Program at Colorado State University is a Concentration within the Environmental Horticulture major.

Our students learn the profession of landscape project delivery through Design–Build–Manage practices. As one of only seven fully accredited 4-year programs in the nation, our students learn to solve complex design and construction challenges, as well as provide resilient and sustainable management solutions.

Browse the CSU Course Catalog to learn about courses and degree requirements.


students designing in studio

Immersion and Opportunity

Our students are immersed in a multitude of design studios, construction courses and applied horticulture, exposing them to cutting edge technologies. These opportunities result in well designed, professionally implemented, and managed projects. Students are given unparalleled opportunities to engage with industry leaders and mentors from across the nation, forming strong professional networks supporting them as they progress in their own careers.

Student Experiences


Although students in the Landscape Design and Contracting Program are required to complete one summer internship, they are encouraged to participate in as many as possible. Internships allow students to be fully immersed in various aspects of Design-Build-Manage landscape companies.

Through internships, students can explore various pathways within the industry, live in new places, and build their professional network. Students also get paid during these internships. Internships often lead to full time job offers upon graduation.

Professional Network

Our students get the opportunities the need to build their professional network even before they graduate.

Student Team Competitions

Landscape Design and Contracting students travel to and compete in the National Collegiate Landscape Competition each spring. You might think of this as March Madness for the Green Industry.

Beyond competing against universities and colleges from across the country, our students engage in the nation’s largest career fair for our profession. Over a hundred companies seek out our students for internship and full-time career opportunities.

Lecture Series

We ensure our students are hearing directly from industry leaders right on our campus. Our nationally recognized Professional Practices class brings in speakers each week that interact with our students in a comfortable setting, fostering an engaging forum.

Professional Development

We bring our students to the profession’s largest annual conference each year, Elevate, participating as Student Ambassadors and student leaders. To facilitate a smooth transition into the professional world, our students get free memberships to National Association of Landscape Professionals and the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado.

Real World Experiences

Design Semester/Build Week

Each year all Landscape Design and Contracting students participate in Design Semester/Build Week. Our Program identifies a nonprofit client -partner in need of our expertise. Our students collaborate as teams from across all years of the Program, working directly with the “client” to meet their design goals.

This process unfolds over our fall semester. During the spring semester, our students step away from the classroom and build the entire project. Beyond the benefit to our partners, this opportunity strengthens the design/build outcomes for our students, through refined communication skills, project management skills, job costing exercises, and project implementation.


During our spring capstone class, all our students both individually and as teams, work directly with multiple clients. Students experience the entire pre-construction delivery process, meeting with clients to develop design programs and plans, create budget goals and collect design fees. This experience in a critical piece in preparing our student to immediately contribute when they enter the profession.

design build week
student working on stone foundation
student receiving a scholarship


We prioritize developing multiple pathways for our students to optimize their educational experience without limitation by financial barriers. Our program has secured a number of industry sponsored scholarships unique to our program.




The Landscape Design and Contracting Program is fully accredited by the National Association of Landscape Professionals. The accreditation process requires strong rigorous course, facility, and faculty requirements.  Accreditation assures our Program is evaluated by peer institutions from across the country, as well as leading companies from the profession.  Our Program is also recognized by the Colorado Board of Landscape Architects, allowing our students to be licensed in Colorado and reciprocate their license to other states across the nation.

Subscribe to the Landscape Design and Contracting Newsletter

In this bi-monthly newsletter, you’ll learn more about the program, how we are growing and leading the Green Industry, and the next generation of leaders. You’ll also hear about engagement and outreach opportunities.