5 Best Online Landscape Design Courses

Landscape design is a growing field. Landscape design might be a great career choice if you’ve always loved gardening and plants and have an artistic flare. As with most other advanced learning opportunities today, landscape design can be learned online. There are several advantages to this type of learning, especially when it comes to time management and flexibility options. Students with full-time jobs and families often choose online education. Usually, online options cost less, too. If you want to start a landscape design service or just want to learn the craft for your own enjoyment, there are courses for beginners. Here are the top five options for online landscape design courses.

New York Institute of Art and Design

This famous institute offers coursework that teaches design fundamentals, hands-on practical techniques, and important business concepts and practices for running a landscape design business. Students learn using drawing and graphics tools, and after learning about basic design, they learn to apply the knowledge to property development. They also learn about plants and will be able to identify the various plants and flowers used in exterior spaces. They also get to know the different hardscape materials and methods landscapers use for exterior design plans. Coursework includes winterization planning and irrigation options.

The courses lead to an NYIAD Certificate in Landscape Design and include the following:

  • A one-on-one relationship with a professional landscape designer who works as your mentor
  • 24/7 access to all the course materials
  • A team of advisors is available by phone or email
  • An interactive student forum
  • Eighteen months to complete the course working at your own pace.

UDEMY Fundamental of Garden Design

Whether you want to design your own landscaping or get into doing it professionally, UDEMY is a good beginner’s option, and the cost is low, under $50. Students learn to do a simple site survey and create a presentation that includes a conceptual landscape plan. They learn about color use and different approaches to design. They also learn some business techniques and practices like estimating, bidding, and contracts. 

The school presents you with a completion certificate, and the course includes the following:

  • 7 hours of on-demand video
  • 61 downloadable resources
  • Access on mobile devices or smart TV
  • Courses include The Client Brief, Surveying the Site, Landscape Drafting, Design Objectives, Form Composition, Design Concepts, Allocating Space and Design Principles, and The Conceptual Garden Plan.

You do not learn about plants and flowers in the course because people worldwide enroll, which means too many plant variables. You do have access to the instructors and courses for your lifetime. The staff is available to you for advice and feedback after you complete the course. This might be a good first course for anyone interested in determining if landscape design will be their best career choice.

Penn Foster Online Landscaping Classes

With the Penn Foster course for landscaping, students learn how to prepare a site and prepare the site plans with all the specifications and costs. They know some business and marketing, too. After completing the classes and receiving the certification, someone has the basics needed to start in landscape design skills, too.

There are eight courses for a total of 44.4 CEUS. Everything is self-paced and designed to be finished in six to eight months. Classes include The Landscape and Horticulture Industry, Garden Ecology, Landscape Plants, Landscape Garden Design, Starting and Running a Landscaping Business, Landscape Construction, Installation, and Maintenance.

Everything is online, and programs are flexible, so you can take as much time as you need for each class. The school offers lots of staff and peer support, career advice, and hands-on experience. Before receiving the certification, students must complete two projects and pass 20 exams. The cost is under $1000, and you can pay much less by paying for the entire program upfront.

UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture

For more advanced students who have a four-year degree, this course from UCLA is more advanced and leads to a postgraduate certificate in landscape architecture. Landscape architecture is a multi-disciplined field that includes planning, designing, and maintaining outdoor spaces, including both built and natural environments.

The program is designed for working professionals, takes three years to complete, and includes coursework in landscape design, construction, land and water conversation, sustainability, and environmental systems. The online curriculum consists of a series of design, technical, and breadth classes.

The program has been turning out landscape design architects since 1977. Students benefit from the top-tier UCLA instructors and advisors. Cost is higher than other programs, with tuition and textbooks totaling over $30,000. The master’s certificate can lead to a lucrative career in landscape architecture.

Ashworth College Landscape Design Course

This course teaches students plan drawing, basic plant morphology, and hardscape construction. You don’t need prior knowledge or experience for the Ashworth College course because it starts with the basics and expands from there. Classes teach you everything you need to know about landscaping equipment, planting plans, irrigation techniques, and site evaluation.  

This is another course that allows you to work at your own pace. Students use three textbooks, The Essential Garden, Professional Landscapers Handbook, and Plan Graphics for the Landscape Designer.

Everything from coursework to staff support works online through a student portal. There are online labs and libraries through the Learning Resource Center. It prepares you for a career in landscape design in as little as four months. You can access other students, graduates, and faculty through an active online connection. Tuition is under $1000, but payment plans and discounts for paying in full are available.

At the end of the course, you receive a certificate and are prepared to start a career in landscape design. You will have the skills to create your own business or start working for an established landscape design firm. Your skills and abilities to change the places you live, work, and play for the better.

How to Choose from the Online Landscape Design Courses

manicured lawn
A beautifully maintained garden at a residential home.

Before deciding on a course, consider a few things. First, look at how long the course will take and how much flexibility you will have within the time frame. Next, look at what you will learn and compare that to what you want to accomplish moving forward. See what type of diploma, certificate, or accreditation you will receive and how employers will consider those. Look at affordability and payment options.  

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