In a landscape architecture certificate program, which teaches people how to design and cultivate the physical environment in residential or commercial settings, students learn methods for the selection and placement of plants, trees and walkways. Because of the hands-on nature of this field, certificate programs rarely offer many classes online. For students who want the flexibility of a fully online program, an online certificate in permaculture design may be a suitable alternative, since this program also provides training in design, as well as the technology commonly used in the field. However, these programs are somewhat rare.
Introductory landscape architecture courses are often open to anyone, but applicants to a four-year professional certificate program in landscape architecture must already possess a bachelor's degree (in any field). Before enrolling in an online class, students may need to get access to specialized software.
Completion of the certificate program helps satisfy some of the educational qualifications required to sit for the industry's professional licensing exam. This exam, known as the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.), is offered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. Licensing is required by all states; however, each state sets its own criteria for licensure.
Certificate in Landscape Architecture
Students may be able to take theory-based classes, computer-aided design courses and general professional skills classes, such as project management, online. However, studio classes and design courses that focus on seasonally or geographically appropriate plants typically require physical attendance. In addition, required activities such as field trips and studio or lab work do not lend themselves to an online learning environment.
The following classes are typical for this certificate program:
- Ecology for Designers
- Planting Design
- Rain Catchment Systems
- Graphics Boot Camp
About Online Learning
Schools typically use a specialized log-in course delivery system that allows students to receive lessons and assignments and to participate in class discussions electronically. In many cases, participants are responsible for obtaining any required specialized software on their own. In landscape architecture programs, computer-aided design software requirements are common.
Classes schedules are often tied to semester start and end dates. While the learning can be asynchronous in terms of course meetings, students may need to complete coursework or submit lessons weekly. In classes where online discussions take place, students may also need to be present online during certain times to be able to interact with the instructor and fellow online learners.
Certificate programs in landscape architecture typically combine practical on-site training with theoretical design classes that can be completed in a virtual classroom. Alternatively, the coursework for a professional certificate in permaculture design is typically delivered in a similar online format, which guarantees anytime access to course materials and facilitates discussions between students in remote locations.