On July 12, 2023 the Biden administration announced that landscape architecture has been designated a STEM discipline!
Specifically, Landscape Architecture (04.0601) was added to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) STEM-designated degree program list. Along with landscape architecture, seven additional disciplines were added to the list, including: Institutional Research (13.0608); Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering Technology/Technician (15.0407); Composite Materials Technology/Technician (15.0617); Linguistics and Computer Science (30.4801); Developmental and Adolescent Psychology (42.2710); Geospatial Intelligence (43.0407); and Demography and Population Studies (45.0501).
This new designation rightfully places landscape architecture alongside other STEM disciplines. Landscape architecture universities will be able to recruit from a broader talent pool. And, as a STEM discipline more young people will now be introduced to the profession.
The announcement comes in response to ASLA’s request and intense advocacy efforts to include landscape architecture on the Department of Homeland Security’s STEM-designated degree list. In order to secure this designation, ASLA developed and submitted a technical paper “Landscape Architecture is a STEM Discipline” that included your feedback, research, and innovative projects, including:
- detailed data analysis of university landscape architecture STEM course requirements,
- a selection of STEM-related research, innovative projects, and new technologies at collegiate landscape architecture programs across the country
- and patents for university landscape architecture projects.
From DHS: “By the way- your application was really good. We actually used it as the model when we spoke to our government partners about what kind of evidence we were looking for and how people could meet the standard. So thanks to you and your organization for the thorough work.”
According to DHS, the list is published as of today, and any student that has the degree can apply through their Designated School Official (DSO) and Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) for a STEM OPT extension using their degree. In the coming weeks, ASLA will send additional information, tools, and other resources to help our educators implement and celebrate this achievement. In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact ASLA Director of Federal Government Affairs Roxanne Blackwell, Hon. ASLA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is one of the biggest developments for the profession in recent years, and ASLA is so proud of this milestone.