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Information on Associate Degree Programs in Landscape Architecture

Majors Overview April 23, 2013

Outdoor spaces such as college campuses, playgrounds, and parks are designed by landscape architecture; they also plan the conservation and restoration of natural areas like wetlands and forests. Individuals with an associate degree in landscape architects can take advantage of the local environment conditions and develop spaces, which encourage common experiences.

Landscape Architecture Associate Degree Program

Community colleges offer a majority of the associate degree programs in landscape architecture, as Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Arts (A.A.) degrees. Usually, colleges do not insist on the satisfaction of any prerequisites for these degree programs; however, general education courses are required to be completed by students.

Although they are not required to do so, students may consider participation in an internship where they can garner hands on experience as required to obtain licensure. Environmental sustainability, xeriscaping, and local codes and ecology are included in coursework imparted on landscaping areas to equip graduates with the skills they need for landscape projects.

Program Course Topics

Landscape architecture courses teach sound construction methods as well as the principles of environmentally and visually harmonious design. Through the following coursework curriculum, students will learn how to visually communicate design ideas to clients:

•Site grading
•Ornamental horticulture
•Landscape construction
•Landscape architecture history
•Ecological sustainability
•Computer-aided design (CAD)

Career Options

From 2008 to 2018, landscape architects’ employment outlook was predicted to increase by twenty percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). The sharp increase in landscape architects’ employment was attributed to the need for buildings that are environmentally friendly, with additions like water recycling and rooftop gardens. Other common qualifications for positions in agriculturally related fields include knowledge of pesticides and chemicals. Students who have earned their landscape architecture associate degree may obtain entry-level jobs similar to the following:

•Lawn technician
•Park maintenance supervisor
•Landscape management technician

Information on Continuing Education

Students will be prepared for landscape architecture careers and obtain required licensure through degree programs, such as Master of Landscape Architecture or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Landscape Architecture. Typically, it will take students approximately three to four years to complete the bachelor degree program, while the master degree program takes approximately two to three years.

A majority of states require individuals to obtain licensure in order for them to practice as a landscape architect, but licensure requirements will vary by states. The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB – www.clarb.org) offer the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (LARE) test that individuals are required to pass in order for them to obtain their licensure. Depending on the states, there will be different eligibility requirements to take the LARE test; individuals may receive eligibility requirements by consulting with the appropriate jurisdiction’s licensing board, according to the CLARB. For instance, applicants in Nevada may take the LARE test, if they meet the minimum required number of years of hands-on experience, as well as earning an Associate of Arts in Landscape Architecture.

During 2008, the majority of exam applicants earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited university, as well as one to four years of experience under a licensed landscape architect, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, several states require landscape architects to pass the state examination to ensure that they know the environmental qualities and laws of a particular region.

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