Prior to 1925 design coursework had been limited but that year the Division of Landscape Gardening and Floriculture became the Division of Landscape Design and Floriculture and three architecture courses were made part of the landscape curriculum. There was also increasing emphasis on the study of the city, suburban residences, urban open space, and outdoor recreation venues reflecting the rapid growth of California cities.

Following World War II, the International Style and modernism became the dominant design paradigm. Meanwhile, the role of agriculture on campus was in decline and by the mid‐1950s, curriculum revisions to better meet the changes in practice and post-war society was well underway. For graduates, there was an increase in work designing suburban housing developments, shopping centers, and corporate and educational campuses.

Emphasis on design began to decline in the 1970s as environmental planning and related topics became more prominent but the idea of “conservation style” revived design as a significant component to the landscape in the 1980s. This approach addressed the landscape architect’s concern for the energy crisis, preservation movement, and growing scarcity of many resources. Frequent drought conditions encouraged combining design with conservation through the increased commitment to drought tolerant, regional, and native plants.

Peter Walker became chair in 1997 as the name of the department officially became the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. The focus of design studios and other course work continued to reflect the changing interests of the students, as well as address contemporary concerns and issues.