Some questions from a high school senior

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Some questions from a high school senior

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    Benjamin Payne

    Funny you should say that, because I spent two weeks at the U of I’s Discover Architecture summer program. It was a lot of fun, and it reassured me about my future plans. I’ve come to appreciate the countless hours we spent in the studio, drafting and altering our design projects. I knew that the those technical stages would be one of the deciding factors of whether or not I would study that in college. As it turns out, I really enjoyed that aspect.


    The faculty was fantastic: helpful, friendly, astute, and not in the least bit snobbish. That includes both members from the architecture and LA departments, as lectures were given by professionals from a broad spectrum of design. I also found out that Illinois’ BLA program has just been switched from a five-year to a four-year.

    Jason T. Radice

    Yes, there is an exception for education and experience, but it takes a decade, and is a legacy regulation for when appreticeships were a viable path into the profession. But if you are going to pay for an education, it better be NAAB accredited, otherwise you are wasting your time. I know a few people who just got a BSArch and didn’t go for the masters, they couldn’t get jobs. By referring to requiring a masters, I am referring to where the programs at colleges are heading. Yes, there still are a few 5 year NAAB BArch programs, but that is shifting. Most Arch programs are moving (or have moved) to a 3 and 2 or 4 and 2 setup. That’s three to four years for an unaccredited BSArch, and two years for the MArch, which is accredited. I heard a rumor a while back that NAAB was discussing unaccrediting all Bachelor level architecture degrees.  

    Jordan Lockman

    My University just switched to the 5 year masters of Arch. I think that all the 5 yr Barchs are becoming 5 yr Marchs. Makes sense to me too bad the LA dept. did not follow.

    Jordan Lockman

    You get one time in your life where it is “easy” to go to college and you really need to do it then. My wife tried to go back last year for just a couple classes to add to her degree and what a nightmare, with a kid, full time job, and me to deal with. 



    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Make sure that they keep the accreditation for the 4 year program. There seems to be a strategy to force students to get MLAs in orde to keep the student numbers up in some schools.

    Benjamin Payne

    Good point, I’ll keep that in mind. I know I can trust Illinois, though. If they were restructuring to a 4+2 program in LA, like in the architecture program, they would have probably transitioned to a BSLA.

    Heather Smith

    My only advice for whatever you do is pay for as much as you can while you go…don’t rely too much on student loans. With the job market you do not want to graduate with thousands in debt and no way to pay it back. And never, ever, ever, ever take out private student loans. You will want to be done as fast as possible but with some patience you could finish a little later, with little to no debt…and a lot more freedom to pursue some interesting paths. Good luck!


    Kevin J. Gaughan

    I think you had it right when you said this:

    but ultimately it comes down to whether I would prefer to design predominantly indoor or outdoor spaces.

    I know a lot of people on here are concerned about the job market, and most of them with good reason, but I think it is very short sited to base a decision on what you want to do with the rest of your life on what you think the job market might look like in 5 years time. I think you should study what you love, and then make it happen!


    Now, putting that aside…I would, of course, suggest studying landscape architecture first.

    a) A LA degree will give you a much broader base of knowlege in general, which you could then build upon with an MLA later on

    b) LA is an amazingly diverse profession, giving you a lot of flexibility later on careerwise

    c) LA is fun…I am going to make a generalization here, but I have found this to be true, landscape architects, as individuals, are much more laid back and fun than architects (who doesn’t like fun?)

    d) There are a lot more excuses to get out of the office as an LA than there is as architect.


    Now, once again, this is my humble opinion. Eitherway, good luck!

Viewing 8 posts - 16 through 23 (of 23 total)
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