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Diploma in Landscaping Architecture: Program Overview

Learn about programs in landscaping architecture. Get information on the types of programs available, courses, program requirements, and career prospects to make an informed decision about your education.

Essential Information

While diplomas are very rare in landscape architecture, individuals may consider undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. Undergraduate certificates require no more than a high school education for entry; graduate-level certificate programs require a bachelor's degree, among other admission requirements. Hands-on experience is incorporated into both types of programs. Graduate students often need to complete a senior or capstone project. Graduate certificates are often designed to be earned concurrently by students earning postbaccalaureate degrees or for experienced professionals.

It's important to note that most landscape architects hold a bachelor's or master's degree in the field. Licensure is often required in this field as well, which entails completion of an approved degree program, an internship or professional experience, and an exam.


Undergraduate Certificates in Landscape Architecture

Undergraduate certificate programs prepare students for a career assisting landscape architects. These programs train students in the practical aspects of landscape architecture and the related business principles. Students may consider programs that are approved by their state's landscape architecture board or other professional organization. Some programs include basic coursework in business, math, management or communications. There are no prerequisites for these programs and individuals only need a high school diploma.

Course Topics

These programs contain courses in the fundamental principles of landscape architecture, as well as related areas like horticulture. Students take coursework in architectural design and learn drafting technologies through hands-on experience. The following list displays some courses that may appear in an undergraduate certificate program.

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

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

Continuing Education

Individuals may 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.


Graduate Certificate in Landscape Architecture

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. Unlike undergraduate certificates, some programs allow students to have input regarding what courses they take. Besides landscape architecture, other relevant programs include landscape design and sustainable landscapes or more specified areas, like historic preservation. Some programs contain a comprehensive project as a capstone requirement.

Educational Prerequisites

Graduate certificate programs in landscape architecture require individuals to be experienced professionals or current graduate students. Certificate programs require many of the same application materials as graduate degree programs, such as transcripts and recommendation letters. However, scores on the Graduate Record Examination may not be needed.

Course Topics

Depending on the type of program, graduate certificate curricula may contain introductory coursework in the basic principles of landscape architectural and ecological principles. These principles may include plants, wildlife communities or landscape infrastructure. The following list contains course topics that might be found in a graduate certificate program.

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

Popular Career Options

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 2012-2022, the BLS projects 14% employment growth for landscape architects, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. In 2012, these professionals earned an annual median salary of $64,180, the BLS reported.

Continuing Education

As of 2012, the BLS reports that all 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.

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