Landscape Architect Certificate, Diploma and Certification Programs
Learn about graduate certificate programs in landscape architecture. Read about prerequisites, curriculum, certification requirements and employment expectations.
A landscape architect is responsible for designing outdoor spaces such as public and private parks, golf courses, university campus grounds or residential landscapes. Diplomas in landscape architecture are not available; however, individuals can enroll in graduate certificate programs.
A graduate certificate program in landscape architecture introduces graduate students to the theories and techniques of designing landscapes. Certificate programs are usually offered as an additional credential or level of education for individuals who have already earned a master's degree in architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, building science or urban studies. Many programs can be completed in a semester.
Students learn about the elements of design and construction that go into creating a recreational outdoor area. They study which plant materials are most suitable to urban environments, which transportation systems are best used in rural areas and how to build landscapes around human settlements. Most certificate programs in landscape architecture are taught in the classroom, but they often include fieldwork in either rural or urban outdoor settings.
Most states require that landscape architects hold a license or professional certification. Licensing generally requires a degree in landscape architecture, experience and passing a competency exam.
A master's degree is the most standard prerequisite for gaining acceptance into a graduate certificate program in landscape architecture. Many schools that offer graduate programs in landscape architecture or architecture also provide a 1-semester graduate certificate program that enrolled students can complete before graduation.
Students enrolled in a graduate certificate program in landscape architecture study the various attributes of natural and man-made landscapes. Some examples of courses might include:
- Plant ecology
- Urban landscape case studies
- History of landscape architecture
- Regional landscape analysis
- Elements in urban landscape
- Projects and places in urban landscape
- Landscape architecture construction methods
- Process of landscape planning
- Comparative theories in landscape architecture
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Landscape architects held about 21,600 jobs in the United States in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of these, about 24% were self-employed, while about 47% worked for architecture or engineering firms. Jobs for landscape architects are expected to increase by about 16% between 2010 and 2020, which is as fast as the national average. This increase is due to the growing demand for aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces in urban areas. The median wages for landscape architects in 2012 were about $64,180 per year, according to the BLS.
Nearly every state requires that landscape architects gain licensure or professional certification before being allowed to practice their craft. In order to achieve licensure, individuals must take the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE), which is offered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. The examination consists of a multiple choice section and a portion focusing on graphics. Most states require that individuals earn a degree in landscape architecture and work under a licensed landscape architect for 1-4 years before being allowed to sit for the LARE.
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