Accreditation Status & Professional Registration

MS Urban Planning student presenting

The School of Landscape Architecture and Planning currently offers degrees that are accredited in two disciplines by their affiliated professional accreditation organizations.

Follow a link below or scroll down for all accreditation, registration and career development information:

Landscape Architecture

Our Master of Landscape Architecture is fully accredited through the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB), and was granted a six-year accreditation in 2019 with no recommendations for improvement. Our recently launched Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program will be eligible for accreditation with its first graduating class, and will seek accreditation concurrently with the MLA program in Fall 2025-Spring 2026.

The first period of accreditation for a professional program leading to a degree in landscape architecture is initial accreditation. LAAB initial accreditation applies to degrees awarded up to two years prior to initial accreditation by LAAB.

Each LAAB-accredited program must maintain and monitor—and strive to advance—academic quality within its curriculum and its institution. “Academic quality” at its most basic means that a program satisfies—meets or exceeds—student and professional expectations. However, the program must reflect the institutional mission, thus providing diversity amongst programs and fostering innovation in practice, research and service. The program must have specific processes to determine if its quality standards are being met; evaluation must be ongoing and forward-thinking. Academic quality is indicated not only by student achievement but also by high standards of teaching, research and service. The goals and results of these activities should reflect both the institutional mission and that of the profession of landscape architecture.

Landscape Architecture Accreditation Resources and Reports

Landscape Architecture Registration and Career Development

Each state sets its own requirements for professional registration, and many require candidates to have completed an LAAB-accredited program of professional education such as UArizona's MLA. Additionally, many states also require candidates to practice for a time under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect and all require candidates to pass a national examination (the Landscape Architect Registration Examination, or LARE),

The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) develops and administers the LARE, and also maintains current information on the various states' licensing requirements. Be sure to review the information provided by the state licensure board where you intend to earn your first license.

The School of Landscape Architecture and Planning encourages its graduates to become registered landscape architects. To this end, we encourage all students to join the University of Arizona American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) student chapter and continue their ASLA membership after graduation. Student members are welcome to attend regular meetings of the Southern Section of the Arizona ASLA (AzASLA), where they can network with and learn from professionals in the field. The student chapter organizes an annual Shadow Day event which connects students with landscape architecture firms in Phoenix and Tucson, and AzASLA coordinates a mentorship program between students and professionals.

In addition, the college hosts a career fair which is attended by local and national employers. At the university level, opportunities exist to take workshops in resume creation, professional speaking and interviewing skills.

Urban Planning

Accreditation (or a degree from an accredited program) serves as a marker of approval from the planning profession. Practitioners and employers view accredited programs highly in providing the core for professional education with commonly recognized standards for skills, knowledge and values.

  • Accreditation provides an assurance that a program’s graduates are well prepared for practice with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively serve in the workplace and with the public.
  • Accreditation provides planners a forum in which educators and practitioners can exchange ideas on future needs of the planning profession and ways in which to best address these needs in professional education and training.
  • Accreditation provides the public with programmatic or institutional accountability via information about educational effectiveness.

The University of Arizona offers a Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)-accredited Master of Science in Urban Planning, which was granted a five-year accreditation in 2016. The next accreditation visit for the MS Urban Planning program will occur in Spring 2022.

Urban Planning Accreditation Resources and Reports

Urban Planning Registration and Career Development

In order to become American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certified, applicants must have a current membership with the American Planning Association (APA), be currently or formerly engaged in professional planning and have attained an approved combination of education and professional experience, which may be partially fulfilled by earning the Master of Science in Urban Planning degree from the University of Arizona. AICP certification resources and details about the requirements are provided by the American Planning Association. 

Students who are currently enrolled in or have graduated from a degree program accredited by the PAB are eligible to participate in the AICP Candidate Pilot Program. This program will allow you to take the AICP Certification Exam upon graduation, prior to completing your professional planning experience.

The School of Landscape Architecture and Planning offers a number of resources for professional development. Our faculty and the Graduate Planning Society student organization have close ties to planning professionals in the region. The Friends of Planning, a group of practicing planners who work closely with the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, create meaningful, professional experiences for students, including internships. In addition, the college hosts a career fair which is attended by local and national employers. At the university level, opportunities exist to take workshops in resume creation, professional speaking and interviewing skills.