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Thread: Landscape design vs. landscape architecture: should I stay or should I go?

  1. #1
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    Landscape design vs. landscape architecture: should I stay or should I go?

    When I began my college career three years ago I was studying Architecture(structural).

    In my second year studio, we were given an assignment where we had to design Cafe/TV Room/Meeting Room facility on campus.
    Although it wasn't on the program, I found myself designing a brilliant site for my structure, as a result pushed me in the Landscape Architecture direction.

    My school only has a 4yr Landscape Design and Management program and an MLA program. Since I am undergrad switched to LDM.

    Some of my goals include:

    Becoming a licensed Landscape Architect
    Getting my Masters in Urban Design
    And someday teaching Landscape Architecture (studio, theory, urbanism) at least at an undergraduate level.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but won't be able to become a licensed LA with only an LDM degree.
    I would have to go for an MLA, or transfer to a school with an undergraduate Landscape Architecture program.

    If I stick it out here at my current school I'll be graduating no later than Spring of 2011 (or maybe the fall b/c my school is good for rearranging when classes are offered).

    I am currently an out-of-state student in Florida, struggling to pay my higher tution out of pocket and with loans.
    If I have to go to grad school for another two+ years to get my MLA then to another year to get my MUD then I will be in great debt.

    I'm considering transferring to back home to NC State and finish my education in an accredited Landscape Architecture program.
    If I do so it should take me another 2.5yrs (3 fall and 2 spring semesters + one mandatory summer study abroad/international studio, which is great if you ask me) to graduate.

    As much as I hate the idea of returning home empty handed and going to state which is practically in my backyard, I'd probably be getting a better education.
    And although it would take a little longer to get out of undergrad, the price for those 2.5 years at home is still cheaper than 1 or 1.5 years here at my current school.

    I really want to be finished with school, but I am more than willing to do what it takes to meet the goals I set for myself.

    Plus, the way I see it, if I stay where I am:

    2yrs to graduate (including this coming spring)
    3yrs in MLA program
    1yr in MUD program
    =6yrs + hundreds of thousands in debt

    and if I transfer:

    3yrs to graduate (including this coming spring)
    1yr MUD program
    4yrs + debt not as high as the previous option.


    Many apologies for the long post, but I would greatly appreciate any advice or input anyone has.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Are you in an accredited BArch program? I agree that in these times going straight on for a second, different degree is a good idea. However, if you already have a design degree under your belt, you might be able to finish an MLA in 2 years instead of 3. Since you are working towards architecture and LA degrees focus on taking some courses in urban design, if they are available. There is "some" degree of overlap between both degrees, so a separate MUD is redundant for you at this time.

    Hope this helps-
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Are you in an accredited BArch program? I agree that in these times going straight on for a second, different degree is a good idea. However, if you already have a design degree under your belt, you might be able to finish an MLA in 2 years instead of 3. Since you are working towards architecture and LA degrees focus on taking some courses in urban design, if they are available. There is "some" degree of overlap between both degrees, so a separate MUD is redundant for you at this time.

    Hope this helps-
    I was in an accredited B.Arch program before I chose to switch to a non-professional LDM program. I switched because I like Landscape architecture better but my current university does not have and accredited LA program for undergraduates.

    I am considering transferring into and accredited 5yr B.LArch program. With the classes, and studios I've already taken, it would only take me 2.5 years to graduate with a professional degree in landscape Architecture (which after the "intern" period would allow me to sit for the LARE.

    From there, I would like to pursue a MUD degree.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    You could still do alot of urban design work with just a BLA. It depends on the electives/studio work and the firm you choose to work in after school.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

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