Landscape Architecture Co-Op Program, Information for Students

The Knowlton Landscape Co-Op program provides students the opportunity to gain valuable professional work experience without delaying graduation.

Landscape Architecture Co-Op Program, Information for Students

The Knowlton Landscape Co-Op program provides students the opportunity to gain valuable professional work experience without delaying graduation. Open to students in the third year of the BSLA program, the co-op allows students to earn credit for an Advanced Design Studio (6 credits) in the spring semester. Other course requirements must still be satisfied so it is important that students work with advising staff to best understand how to coordinate their semester schedules to allow participation.

The application process begins early in the autumn semester with a series of lectures and portfolio workshops integrated into the first few weeks of Professional Practice (LARCH 5367). An evening Meet & Greet will introduce students to participating co-op firms. Firms will provide position summaries that include descriptions of duties, work hours per week (20 minimum), and hourly pay rate. Pay is competitive and based on location, most hourly rates range between $15 and $25 per hour.

Applications commonly require a design portfolio, resume, and letter of interest for each firm applied to. Faculty may be listed as references but are not to be asked for letters of recommendation for co-op positions.

Interviews are scheduled for late in the fall semester so that offers may be extended by final reviews in early December. Co-ops run from January through April (spring semester) with the option to continue through the summer to early August.

Co-op offers will be made at a coordinated time so that students know any and all of their options as they make decisions. Students are responsible for accepting or declining offers. Faculty are happy to advise students in their decisions and/or work to pair students with opportunities that might surface as positions are filled.

During the co-op semester, students will be expected to document their work in the form of a Co-Op Summary Portfolio. Supervising firms will be asked to provide a post-co-op evaluation of student performance and summarize the range of experiences the co-op offered from software used and types of projects to professional development experiences such as participating in staff/design meetings, attending client meetings, and visiting project sites.

To participate in the co-op program, complete the Co-Op Student Interest Form.

Application Calendar

September 5–9, 2022
Informational Kick-off Meeting

Week of September 12–16, 2022
Portfolio Workshop Part 1: Portfolio via Pro-Practice, all students welcome

Week of September 19–23, 2022
Portfolio Workshop Part 2: Resume & Cover Letter via Pro-Practice, all students welcome

Week of October 3–7, 2022
Portfolio review on Miro
Firms announced
Meet & Greet Event with firms, online

October 17, 2022
Submission materials due

October 18–November 4, 2022
Firms review portfolios and interview candidates

Late November
Co-op offers sent to students

Late November/Early December
Co-Op Program Support decisions made

Frequently Asked Questions

May I take other classes?

Local positions may allow time for an online course but in general, students should plan to not take classes during the co-op semester. 

May I find my own Co-Op?

No, firms must advertise positions broadly to ensure fairness. Additionally, participating firms are screened by faculty to ensure the quality and standard of student experience.

If I apply, how likely will I be to receive a co-op position?

Selection is competitive and up to individual firms, in the past, roughly 30–35 students have applied and 12–16 positions were awarded.

Is there financial aid for relocation expenses?

Firms may offer some relocation assistance. Additionally, the school has some funding available to help with relocation costs based on student need.

Does co-op participation impact semester tuition and/or scholarship(s)?

This is a very important question and one each student should review with advising staff. In general, we work to ensure any impact is minimal.

What about housing?

We attempt to group co-op opportunities in certain cities so students may relocate together but the majority of students will have to find short-term housing.


Jason Kentner Headshot

Jason Kentner

Professional Practice Associate Professor