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
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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