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Desert Landscape School


About the program

Are you looking for more advanced classes in landscape and gardening? The Desert Landscape School offers certificate programs with specialized tracks that will help you design or maintain your garden, start a new career or advance on your current one, or simply learn more about desert plants and sustainable landscape practices. Listed below are the certificate programs currently being offered by the school:


Since 1997, the Desert Landscape School has trained people with a wide variety of backgrounds, aptitudes, previous knowledge and goals. Among the School’s special features are:



Q: What is the difference between the Garden’s Desert Landscape School and Your Desert Home programs?
The Desert Landscape School program is a more comprehensive and formal program with specific learning objectives tied to each program. Moreover, the certificate programs offered by the Desert Landscape School culminate in an assessment of student learning. Achievement of the certificate is dependent upon meeting or exceeding the assessment requirements for the program.

Q: What is an assessment-based certificate program?
An assessment-based certificate program is an educational program that provides training to meet a set of specific knowledge and/or skills. Students are tested according to these pre-established learning goals. These certificates have been used by individuals seeking a career change, working on their own home project, starting their career in the landscape industry, and also by seasoned professionals looking for professional development, career advancement, and peer recognition.

Q: How many times a year is each certificate program offered?
At least two different certificates will be offered each year.

Q: How much does the program cost?
Classes average $13 per instructional hour.

Q: How do I register for each certificate program?
Registrations are open at least one month prior to the start date of the program. Students may register online at dbg.org/adultclasses (search for the keyword ‘Certificate’) or by calling 480 481.8188.

Q: How long does it take to get a certificate?
Programs vary in the amount of instructional hours offered. The number of hours for each specific program will be available with the description for that program.

Q: How large are the classes?
The maximum number of students per class varies with each topic, ranging from 15 to 25 students per class.

Q: When and where are classes held?
With only a few exceptions, classes are offered at the Desert Botanical Garden where students have access to the Garden’s collection of desert plants. Most classes are scheduled on weekday evenings to accommodate working professionals and adults with busy lifestyles.

Q: How do I receive my certificate?
Certificates are mailed to students who have met or exceeded the assessment requirements for each program.

Q: How many hours of studying can I expect?
Students should expect to spend 2 to 4 hours per week for study, reading, and completing assignments. The time spent varies by student and the number of classes.

Q: How will my knowledge and skills be assessed?
Assessment methodology and format vary for each program. Assessment format and dates are provided to students on the first day of each program.

Q: Which certificate is right for me?
The description for each certificate is a good resource for deciding if the program will meet your needs. If you have further questions about the curriculum, please contact Luana Vargas, Program Director, Adult Education, at lvargas@dbg.org or call 480 481.8164.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Refunds are available for cancellations made at least five (5) business days prior to the event (less a $20 fee). No refunds are available less than five (5) business days and fees/registrations cannot be transferred to another date or program.

Member Discounts

Desert Botanical Garden members receive a 20% discount on all adult educational programs offered at the Garden. To pay the lower member fee listed, log-in as a member or become a member today!

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As a place of education, research, exhibition and conservation of desert plants, the Garden provides information about plants using many different techniques. One of these methods is through labels. These labels provide the Latin name used by the scientific community, its common name, where it grows and when it blooms.

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The Garden app was developed by Clarisoft & MuseumXP and Garden staff members.

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