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Program FAQs

Program FAQs

How do I apply for the Landscape Architecture Program?

New students interested in the landscape architecture program are advised to take the first 2 courses in the curriculum sequence before applying for candidacy. Because the candidacy fee is nonrefundable and nontransferable, this gives prospective candidates an opportunity to make sure that landscape architecture, the program and the people associated with it, as well as the rigor of attending school at night and on weekends are a good fit.

An application can be processed earlier than the time frame outlined above if a student is sure that this is the right program for their studies or there is another reason to become a candidate. Two of these reasons might be fulfillment of the requirements for International Students or those applying for Federal Financial Aid (only available to those students entering under regular status with candidacy and an undergraduate degree).

For formal admission as a candidate, an undergraduate degree in any subject and a completed Application for Candidacy form (available from the Program Office or online on the UCLA Extension website) must be submitted. An official transcript, received in an unopened, stamped and sealed envelope, provides proof of a degree from a recognized college or university. A $300 candidacy fee is required after a review of your materials.

In addition to the regular curriculum, does the UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program offer any special events, services, or opportunities to meet and network with licensed practitioners?

The majority of our instructors are licensed practitioners. Fellow practitioners are brought into classes to act as a ‘client’ or to be part of a final critique. Working Alumni, Instructors and Guidance Committee members are brought in for Portfolio Review, where the students go through a review of work to date at the beginning of year 2 and 3. Once a year, the student show is held in the 1010 Westwood Building. This event is juried by many high profile landscape architects in the region. Students also receive constructive criticism and gain an understanding of what employers are looking for in a portfolio. We also have scholarship panels and other various opportunities to network. Each exposure allows the students to get their name and work in front of individuals who are in the position to offer them work in the future.

What kind of credentials do I earn after completing the Landscape Architecture Program?

The program provides a graduate with a Certificate in Landscape Architecture (not a degree). Completion of the program and receipt of the certificate indicates that the applicant has fulfilled the educational component required for eligibility to sit for the licensing exam (Landscape Architecture Registration Exam or LARE) in the State of California. For more information about licensure in California, contact the California Architects Board, Landscape Architects Technical Committee in the Department of Consumer Affairs. www.latc.ca.gov

Although the start dates for the Program are in summer and fall, is it possible to start taking classes during a different quarter?

The curriculum sequence is designed to start in the summer and fall quarters; however it is possible to take some courses during the winter, and spring. A Plant Materials course is offered every quarter. Students who are non-candidates can also enroll in any of the Open Enrollment, or Special Offering (elective) courses, as long as any prerequisites are met. The 3 year program requires 6 units of electives, and if these courses are taken at UCLA Extension previous to a student applying to candidacy, they will still count toward these requirements.

Are there any online courses? Can I earn my Certificate online?

Currently, 3 online courses are offered: AutoCAD 1, AutoCAD 2, and Design Project Management. Therefore, a person cannot earn a Certificate in Landscape Architecture without attending on-site classes.

Can I manage my schedule to be able to work full-time and attend school at the same time?

Yes, the program is designed for working students who are looking for a career change. Most courses meet once a week from 7-10pm, with an upper level design course meeting from 6-10pm. Others meet on the weekend (either Saturday or Sunday, or sometimes both) for 3 -6 hours. The program begins in the summer and fall quarters and is 3 years long, with students attending 4 quarters per year, taking 2 or 3 classes per quarter. It is not possible to shorten the length of time that is required to complete the curriculum. However, if necessary, the student may choose to extend the time required to complete the program by one year. Students who cycle out of the sequence must meet with the Program Director to determine and approve the modified course sequence to ensure that all course prerequisites are met and students can progress through the curriculum. This approval is required.

Can I transfer in related courses to shorten my time to earn the certificate?

You must contact the program director prior to beginning the professional certificate to request a course substitution, waiver or transfer credit. You must include detailed information about the professional certificate credit course requirement that you are requesting to substitute or waive, and detailed information about the credit course or transfer credit that you request to serve as a substitution. Requests for course substitutions, waivers and transfer credit must be approved in advance by the program director and are subject to final review and approval by the department director and the dean of UCLA Extension. All course substitution coursework, including UCLA Extension course substitutions, transfer credit and waivers, must not exceed one-fourth of the total number of quarter units and hours of the professional certificate.

Is there a fee to waive or substitute courses?

As a general rule, substitutions, waivers and transfer credit are not permitted for advanced courses in the Landscape Architecture Certificate.

Transfer Credit

For transfer credit, you must provide the program director with your official transcript from a regionally accredited university or college, and the university description for the course you wish to transfer. UCLA Extension will transfer in up to 25% of program educational units if they meet all the below requirements.

Transfer credit will only be accepted if:

  1. You completed all coursework to be transferred prior to your beginning the certificate or program at UCLA Extension.
  2. Your substitution coursework—including UCLA Extension course substitutions, transfer credit and waivers—does not exceed one-fourth of the total number of quarter units/hours required for the professional certificate.
  3. You have obtained a B or higher grade in all transfer coursework.
  4. You completed all transfer coursework from a regionally accredited university or college.
  5. You completed all transfer coursework within five years of beginning the certificate or program at UCLA Extension.
  6. Only core courses can be transferred from outside the UC system. Elective courses and units must be taken at UCLA Extension, or have been taken at a sister UC.

Accepted transfer credit within the UC system is calculated into your professional certificate GPA.

Accepted transfer credit from institutions outside of the UC system MAY be calculated into your professional certificate or specialized program of study GPA.

After you have started your professional certificate, no transfer credit is allowed into the certificate, and you must complete the remainder of your requirements at UCLA Extension.

Conversion of Semester and Quarter Units

Semester-unit equivalents in quarter units:

  • 1 semester unit = 1 ½ quarter units
  • 2 semester units = 3 quarter units
  • 3 semester units = 4 ½ quarter units
  • 4 semester units = 6 quarter units

Many degrees (architecture, engineering, planning, design, geography) have courses that MAY transfer in to reduce the total years in the Program. Sealed official transcripts are reviewed by the program director, whose decision is final.

How much are the fees and expenses for the program?

Most of the courses are 4-units (3 hours) and cost about $880 a class. Courses that are 5 units (4 hours) and computer courses are more expensive. The program course fees are approximately $25,000 for the 3 years. Students should anticipate spending an additional $4,000 -5,000 for books, supplies, equipment, copying, etc. Course fees have a discounted early bird rate that runs from the first day of open enrollment until 1 month before the class starts. Students are encouraged to sign up early for this savings.

This post-baccalaureate degree program is approved for Regular Status Candidates (a certificate student) to receive Federal Financial Aid. There are other opportunities for financial assistance, such as scholarships, enrollment fee waivers for teaching assistants, and other volunteer duties (such as serving as program librarians). UCLA Extension does not receive any subsidies from the state, so there is no differentiation in costs for in or out of state residents.

Students with an associate degree, or without a baccalaureate degree will be evaluated on a case by case basis, and may be accepted on a conditional basis. A conditional application fee of $150 applies.

For more information about our completion rates, the median debt of students who have completed the program, and other important information, please visit our certificate website www.uclaextension.edu