Landscape Architecture and Architecture Programs Retain National Accreditation

The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) and National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) recently notified the Knowlton School's Landscape Arcitecture and Architecture Sections that their BSLA, MLA and MARCH programs have been granted accreditation for, respectively, eight, eight and six years. 

Landscape Architecture

The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) notified the Knowlton School's Landscape Architecture Section that its MLA and BSLA programs have received a six-year period of accreditation through 2023. In making its decision, LAAB considered the program's self-evaluation report, the visiting team report, the institution's response to the team report and discussions with team members and program faculty.

In its report, LAAB noted the gender diversity in the section’s professional programs: “The program currently has a predominance of female faculty, the highest percentage in its history and the highest in any American professional landscape architecture program in our profession’s history.” Further, the tenure-track and full-time faculty are described as “dedicated, talented and enthusiastic.”

Reviewing the school’s curriculum and pedagogical framework, LAAB reported that the faculty creates a challenging intellectual environment that focuses on “creativity, critical thinking and design.” Student work was noted as displaying “a high level of craft in the creation of models and graphic expression of ideas.” 

Poised for the future, the Landscape Architecture program, which celebrated its centennial in 2015, was credited with a “coherence of direction” and a clear mission that aligns with The Ohio State University’s land-grant heritage. “It is in the critical examination of landscape architecture’s relationships to technique, art, ecology and theory,” reflected Landscape Architecture Section Head Dorothée Imbert, “that we can advance the discipline academically and professionally.” 

Courses in landscape architecture at Ohio State were first offered in 1915 in the College of Agriculture. Today, the Knowlton School is home to the only accreditated MLA and BSLA degree programs in the State of Ohio.


Effective January 1, 2017, the Knowlton School’s master of architecture program was granted an eight-year renewal of accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NAAB is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture.

Commenting on the program’s three “ecologies” of theory, technology and studio which ground its architecture education, the NAAB report noted the demonstration of a “strong program and an ethos of design showing positive results that are noted university-wide.” The section's passion for continuous improvement and its commitment to excellence were further sighted by the visiting accreditation team.

“Robust” is how the report characterized the program’s approach to educating students on the breadth of professional opportunity and preparing them for practice. The approach takes various forms and enlists local professionals and alumni in a variety of ways that directly engage the curriculum. These include the use of local practitioners as associated faculty, engagement with the local American Institute of Architects (AIA) chapter, multi-faceted support of the school's American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) chapter and the creation of various programs such as the Alumni Society's Mentorship Program and the school's Office Associateship Program

The NAAB report also noted “strong critical thinking and representation skills” in student performance, and indicated the MLA students display an energy and enthusiasm that contributes to the learning environment. “I am very encouraged to see the Knowlton School’s long track record of excellence in teaching recognized by the NAAB review team with the maximum eight-year term of accreditation. That performance criteria for Ordering Systems, Pre-Design, and Integrative Design were met with distinction is a particular point of pride,” commented Architecture Section Head Todd Gannon. “I am grateful to the team for their attentive review of the program, and to all the faculty, staff, and students for their hard work.”

The program at The Ohio State University became the eleventh architecture program in the country when it was established in 1899 in the Department of Engineering. In 1950, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture was established. Today, the Knowlton School is committed to all aspects of architectural practice: its central creative activity, design; its techniques and technologies; and its histories and capacities. Design synthesizes all of these and answers the school’s profound desire to address the present by building a future.