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Our green spaces – especially in urban environments – energize and revitalize us. Extreme weather and temperature events will continue to affect our plant communities both locally and around the world. Developing sustainable responses to these complex and evolving issues is essential to preserving our built and natural landscapes.

Be part of a dynamic industry that’s responding to these climate change challenges. Our compact, fully online four-course certificate will give you the knowledge and practical skills you need to work on residential and small commercial landscape design projects. With our interactive, design-based courses, you’ll have the opportunity to share your personal and professional experience through course projects, addressing your own unique landscape design objectives.

Grow your expertise in this in-demand field. Learn to create real-life solutions to landscape design challenges that are resilient, ecologically based, and socially inclusive.

Effective Fall 2021, the Certificate in Landscape Design has been revised. Students who were formally registered in the certificate prior to July 2, 2021, must complete the curriculum requirements that were in effect at the time of their registration. For curriculum details, refer to the archived calendar for your year of registration. Please contact our Client Services team at ce@ryerson.ca if you have any questions.

Interested in transferring to the new four-course curriculum? Contact ce@ryerson.ca to find out how.

What Will You Learn?

Gain new skills or add to your existing skill set. Learn how to:

  • Assess and use digital design software (such as SketchUp Suite/LayOut, DynaScape, Vectorworks, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Autodesk Civil 3D) to produce different types of landscape drawings, including functional diagrams, concept drawings, master plans, detailed design development, and working drawings.
  • Incorporate plant ecology knowledge into the development of planting design for climate resilience.
  • Develop grading and drainage designs to address runoff on urban sites related to climate change.
  • Generate landscape implementation and management strategies to enhance landscape resilience and sustainability.
  • Produce societally inclusive and resilient landscapes by integrating cultural and ecological landscape restoration techniques.
  • Enhance landscape inclusivity by integrating Indigenous teaching and perspectives into landscape design.

Who Should Take This Certificate?

Did you know that over 60 percent of our graduates become independent landscape designers within five years of graduating? 

If you want to gain the knowledge and skills to work in or advance your career in landscape design, this certificate is designed for you. It’s also ideal if you:

  • Want to gain the core educational requirements needed to become a Certified Landscape Designer (CLD) through Landscape Ontario
  • Have a non-landscape undergraduate degree and want to use this program as a stepping stone to pursue a master’s degree in landscape architecture
  • Are an architect, interior designer, or other environmental design professional interested in expanding the scope of your professional work
  • Are an international professional and want to improve your knowledge of Canadian practices in landscape design

To check if this program fits with your personal or professional goals or how your work experience can be integrated into opportunities in the industry, contact Sam Benvie, Academic Coordinator.

Who Teaches the Courses?

Our instructors are active professional landscape designers or landscape architects with many years of work and teaching experience. Many of them are recipients of industry and educational awards. Their collective expertise includes residential design, ecological design, park design, and landscape management.      


Certificate Requirements

  • 3 required courses
  • 1 electives
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

Admission Criteria


  • A post-secondary undergraduate education (university or college) in a relevant field of study (including programs related to architecture and/or environmental sciences)


  • Mature student status with relevant work experience

Recommended Course Sequence

Courses can be taken in any combination of terms – adjust your course load as needed to suit your schedule. We recommend you complete the required courses in the following order, according to the term in which you begin:

Term Start in Fall Term Start in Winter Term Start in Spring/Summer


CKLA 320



CKLA 330

CKLA 320



CKLA 310

CKLA 310 CKLA 310



CKLA 330

CKLA 320





CKLA 330

NOTE: One elective may be added to the required course in any one term or after completing all the required courses. If you wish to fast track and complete in two terms, it can be done if you start in the Fall or Winter terms. If you choose to fast track, please reach out to the Academic Coordinator, Sam Benvie, so you take the right pair of courses in each of the two terms.

Professional Designations and Accreditation

Students who graduate from the Certificate in Landscape Design are eligible to apply for the Certified Landscape Designer (CLD) accreditation provided by Landscape Ontario.

As a certificate student, you will automatically be given student membership in Landscape Ontario. This will allow you to attend member-only events, such as the monthly meetings of Landscape Ontario chapters across Ontario. Student membership also provides discounts on some Landscape Ontario events.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I complete the certificate if I can’t take a course every term?

Yes. Contact Sam Benvie, Academic Coordinator, for details about how to create a certificate completion sequence that suits you.

How long can I take to complete the certificate?

When you register in the certificate, you have three years from the term in which you register to complete all course requirements.

Does this certificate offer co-op placements?

No. However, there are numerous opportunities for students to meet with established landscape designers and landscape design/build firms.

Can I apply courses I took in another post-secondary program as credit towards courses in this certificate?

In some circumstances this is possible. Contact Sam Benvie, Academic Coordinator, for more information.

Can I complete the whole certificate in a single term?

No. However, if your goal is to apply to a graduate program in landscape architecture, an individual plan can be organized for you that will allow you to take two courses in each of the Fall and Winter terms.

Contact Sam Benvie, Academic Coordinator, for details.

What is the difference between this certificate and other programs in landscape technology, horticulture and garden design, etc.?

This certificate provides instruction in the comprehensive design of landscapes, not just gardens. It is also concerned with the development of optimal solutions to how landscapes are to be used, rather than the practical physical skills of constructing or maintaining a landscape design.

Is there a single course I can take that will teach me what I need to practise landscape design?

You are welcome to take a single course. However, none of the courses are designed to be a “one-stop” approach to landscape design. The content and sequence of the courses have been designed to progressively build knowledge and skills in important areas of landscape design, as well as landscape design as a whole.

Aside from course fees, what other expenses should I expect?

Some courses have required texts, which typically cost less than $100 each. Graphic equipment and student versions of digital design software are also required in some courses. In general, the incidental course costs are around $100 per course.

Can I get advice to help me decide if this certificate is right for me?

You are encouraged to speak with Sam Benvie, Academic Coordinator, to review your individual situation and goals.

Awards and Financial Aid


Contact Us

Questions? Contact Sam Benvie, Academic Coordinator.

Email:  sbenvie@ryerson.ca

Additional Details