Licensed without a L.A. degree

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    Eddie Meyerholz

    Has anyone become licensed without going through a 4 yr Bachelors or Masters degree program in L.A.? I know this is not a typical path, but I know there’s people out there that have done it.
    Aside from meeting the education & training requirements to sit for the exam, what was the best way to prepare?

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    The amount of work experience required in most states to sit for LARE is probably going to be the best preparation anyone could have.

    Mark Di Lucido

    The exam also requires test-taking skills in addition to landscape design knowledge. That is, you will need to use your design knowledge, however acquired, correctly and quickly in sustained focus for several hours. This means good time management skills (you’re racing against the clock) and the ability to swiftly and fully understand what is asked for and then rapidly conceptualize solutions, especially for design and grading. You may, or may not, receive the design experience you need from your place of employment and even if you do, remember that you’ll have much less time during the exam to recall and apply it to the problem vignettes. I found that attending a LARE prep course was much more efficient than work experience, though work experience certainly didn’t hurt. By the way, my LA degree was probably worthless as preparation for the LARE but maybe LA curricula now better prepare students.

    Micah McMillen

    I became licensed in my home state without an L.A. undergraduate degree. I did, however, have to meet the education and training requirements of the Board in order to site for the LARE. I’d have to agree with Mark that attending LARE prep courses was the best way to study/prepare. For me those had biggest impact on my successful completion of all sections. That, along with the “practice” of sitting for the exams and sometimes not passing the first time around. As or passing the state-specific board exam, work experience had the biggest impact on gaining the necessary knowledge. Side note: If you plan on moving to another state after licensure, make sure to review the licensing requirements of that particular state. I have since moved to California and applied for reciprocal licensure here, but because I did not have an undergraduate L.A. degree I am ineligible for a California License. (I was an associate level licensed landscape architect with 16 years experience at my firm back home.)

    Eddie Meyerholz

    Hi guys, thanks for your feedback, much appreciated!
    Micah, you may already know this…LATC is in the process of creating a pathway toward licensure for people with other types of degrees.


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