Associate Degree in Landscape Architecture?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Associate Degree in Landscape Architecture?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Jordan Lockman 2 years, 5 months ago.

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    Andrew Garulay, RLA


    Relax. Look at it this way if it helps. It is an alternative place for people to go outside of bounds of where you think the profession should be. That will keep those that have a different perspective from crowding the “real” classrooms.

    Why do I feel like Rodney Dangerfield in Sam Kinnison’s class in “Back to School Rodney”?


    Sarah Gronquist

    You’ve certainly clarified your position here. I’m happy to let your words speak for themselves.

    Today’s liberal agenda: studying the CBC codes for pool enclosures, looking at the latest MAWA/ETWU studies from UC Davis, and doing some invoicing. Semester starts in a few weeks!




    OK, Andrew…..But, did you take a look at the costs to earn an AA degree in Landscape Architecture @ Merritt College?  I did….Their web site states that the total costs for (1) Year is $19,320.00 (that’s in-state, tuition, books & cost of living per year).  That’s $38,640.00 for the (2) years to earn that LA degree.

    I just don’t see a lot of “value” in that program.  Compared with some major University (4) year Undergraduate BLA programs…..approx. $40,000.00 for the (4) yrs.  

    Just saying.



    Respectfully, I know you have every right to defend the AA Landscape Architecture degree program @ Merritt College.  That’s fine.  I just feel that HS grads need to “understand”….that they need an LA degree that is an “accredited” degree program in order to sit for the L.A.R.E.  

    And, by passing that L.A.R.E., coupled with (2) yrs. working under a “Licensed Landscape Architect”…..they become eligible to be “Licensed” as a Landscape Architect in a majority of the States. I believe (13) States do require a “State” LA exam on top of the L.A.R.E. exam (including The State Of California).  

    I absolutely did not intend any disrespect towards you or Merritt College……just voicing my opinions here, based on my LA career experiences.

    Kind Regards,




    I was able to take and pass the first 2 lare sections based on my completion of an AA in landscape architecture in my state. For me it was the gateway to be accepted into an MLA program (because my previous gpa from my bachelor’s degree was too low), gain experience and qualify to take sections 3 and 4. I’m sitting for section 4 in 10 days, then the CA specific exam (CSE).

    I envision a model where there are ‘accredited’ AA degrees that have ‘articulations’ with regional BLA programs. The AA program could be developed such that the curriculum matches the 4-5 year program, like the one I went through. No quality lost… One big factor with this strategy is that students can save big by doing their first two years at home. Another is that students can get contextually relevant experience with projects in their ‘home town’ which they may care deeply about and want to improve through cutting edge landscape architecture practices.



    With all due respect, I seriously doubt that you were able to sit for the L.A.R.E. based solely based on an AA degree in Landscape Architecture.  I see that you actually have (10) years of University education (including an MLA).  I would “think” that would more than prepare you to take the L.A.R.E.

    And, “No”….no AA degree program in Landscape Architecture can come close to matching up with a (4) or (5) year LA degree program. Consider ALL of the courses you really need before you graduate and begin your professional LA career……courses like autoCAD, sketchUp (and other computer software drawing programs); Landscape Architectural Design; Grading Design; Construction Details; Landscape History; Ecology; Geology; Plant Science courses & Horticulture; Site Planning….many more LA oriented courses, plus the many basic courses such as English; Math; CE Courses; Foreign Language; American History…etc.  You need 4 to 5 yrs. to be able to get through all of this course work.

    Home schooling for Landscape Architecture……really, Curly. I don’t think so.  Maybe for subjects like:  Court Reporting, Medical Secretary, Legal Secretary, Business Administration….but, not Landscape Architecture.

    Also…..LA grads (regardless of the LA degree program), they need to seriously go after an LA job working for an established LA firm…one what has several very experienced and talented LA’s. That’s what I did for over 13 yrs., before I went out on my own…though, I believe I could have gone out on my own a few years sooner.  Working for companies like Landscape Contractors, Landscape-Design Build Companies or Landscape Nurseries are just not going to provide an LA graduate with very much solid design experience.

    Not sure “why” anyone believes they need to attend one or more Universities for a total of (10) years (most students would never be able to pay for all of that education)…..4 or 5 years studying at a University with a solid LA program should be sufficient.  Put together an outstanding “College portfolio” and go after an LA job in an established LA firm.  But, knowing, your first few years, may involve mostly autoCAD (production time)….but, that’s just part of the learning process.

    GOOD LUCK to you!



    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    I would not pay it, but if someone else wants to …..

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