Diploma in Landscaping Architecture: Program Overview

While diplomas are very rare in landscape architecture, individuals may consider undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. However, most landscape architects hold a bachelor's or master's degree, and licensure is often required in this field.

Essential Information

Undergraduate certificate programs in landscape architecture prepare individuals for a career assisting other professionals in the field. Students are trained in the practical aspects of landscape architecture and the related business principles. On the other hand, graduate certificate programs may either advance an individual's understanding of landscape architecture or introduce the concepts to someone with previous architectural experience who is looking to specialize. Regardless of the program chosen, hands-on experiences are incorporated into the curriculum.

  • Program Levels : Undergraduate certificate program, graduate certificate program
  • Prerequisites: Undergrad certificates require a high school diploma or GED, grad certificates expect a bachelor's degree

Undergraduate Certificates in Landscape Architecture

These programs contain courses in the fundamental principles of landscape architecture, as well as related areas like horticulture. Some programs also include basic coursework in business, math, management or communications. Applicants should confirm that their chosen program is approved by their state's landscape architecture board or a professional organization before applying. Common course topics found in qualified programs include:

  • Construction materials
  • Landscape architecture history
  • Architectural graphics and drafting
  • Landscape architectural design
  • Landscape management

Graduate Certificate in Landscape Architecture

These programs are often designed for experienced professionals or to be earned concurrently by students pursuing post-baccalaureate degrees. Depending on the program chosen, the curricula may contain introductory coursework in the basic principles of landscape architectural and ecological principles. Some programs also contain a comprehensive project as a capstone requirement. Students generally take coursework such as:

  • Landscape case studies
  • Landscape site design
  • Sustainable landscape design
  • Urban plant ecology
  • Site analysis

Popular Career Options

Students who complete an undergraduate certificate program may work in a variety of roles. They assist landscape architects directly by carrying out orders, such as creating drawings or performing tasks on a worksite. Some of the career options include:

  • Landscape architectural assistant
  • Landscape drafter
  • Computer-aided design technician

Individuals who complete graduate certificate programs may work as landscape architects or related professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that many of these professionals work for architectural service firms, but others may work for governmental organizations or building services (www.bls.gov). Some possible career options include:

  • Landscape designer
  • Landscape planner
  • Land planner

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

From 2012 to 2022, the BLS projects 14% employment growth for landscape architects, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. In 2014, these professionals earned an annual median salary of $64,570, the BLS reported.

Continuing Education

As of 2015, the BLS reports that most states require licensure for landscape architects. While some states have additional requirements, the path to licensure typically involves graduating from an accredited program, earning work experience and passing the Landscape Architect Registration Exam. Many states require individuals to meet continuing education standards to remain certified.

Individuals may also go on to earn an associate's degree using their credits from a certificate program. Additionally, they may pursue relevant certifications offered through professional organizations, such as the International Arboriculture Society. These certifications typically involve a certifying examination and meeting continuing education standards.

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