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American Society of Landscape Architects

 

July 2007 Issue

The School That Never Sleeps
The career-changing students of UCLA Extension’s landscape architecture program don’t leave the nine-to-five world; they extend their day into the wee hours.

By Susan Hines

How can full-fledged career changers transition into landscape architecture careers? Accountants, lawyers, and actors may discover the profession long after they’ve already earned undergraduate degrees, but how can they support themselves while becoming landscape architects?

In Southern California, aspiring designers have an unusual option—keep the day job and start working toward a landscape architecture certificate at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension. This landscape architecture program is approved by the California Landscape Architecture Technical Committee (LATC) as providing the necessary educational requirements for professional licensure. In other words, certificate holders can sit for the licensure exam alongside people with degrees from accredited university programs in landscape architecture.

It is a great option for career changers committed to living and practicing landscape architecture in California. Because these designers hold a certificate rather than a degree, however, their options for practicing outside California are determined by the eligibility requirements of each state. 

Although other institutions around the country offer certificates in landscape design, programs in landscape architecture accredited at the state level are unique to California. In 2006, the extension program in landscape architecture at UCLA was reapproved by the LATC. The University of California, Berkeley, extension program was given an 18-month provisional approval by the LATC.

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