Horticultural Studies Degree Programs and Courses

Horticultural studies degree programs are available from the associate's through doctoral degree levels. Continue reading for information on what you can learn in undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including classes commonly offered. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Horticultural studies programs educate students about the science of cultivating plants, and they're available at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Courses include botany, plant identification, landscaping, crop fertilization, pest and disease control, and plant pathology. Online programs are also available through several institutions.

Degree Options Associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, PhD
Training Options Practicum at greenhouses or nurseries, internships
Courses Plant identification, landscape design, floral arranging, organic farming, crop fertilization and nutrition, plant pathology, pest control and management, environmental horticulture, plant reproduction and genetics

What Is the Study of Horticulture?

Horticulture is the science of cultivating plant life, including flowers, ornamental plants, fruits and vegetables. Horticulture, a branch of agriculture, focuses on plants used to supplement the human diet and enhance the visual environment. Horticulturists conduct research to increase production, nutritional value and crop resistance to insects and diseases.

Several undergraduate and graduate degree programs exist in horticultural studies. You can also take continuing education courses to complement a degree program in a related field of study through extension and certificate programs at many colleges and universities.

What Undergraduate Degrees Are Available?

At the undergraduate level, associate degree programs in horticulture focus primarily on landscape design and technology. You'll receive training in horticultural studies through hands-on practicums at nurseries or greenhouses. A 4-year bachelor's degree program typically allows you to concentrate your studies in a specific discipline, including landscaping, production or forestry. These programs often give you the opportunity to participate in practical application of your studies through internships and research projects. Options include an Associate of Applied Science in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture and a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture, among others.

What Graduate Programs Are Available?

Master's studies in horticulture also include specializations, such as crop management, biotechnology, nutritional safety and entomology. You'll focus more on research than horticultural operations, though your projects and applied experiences offer you functional training in the field. Doctoral programs are largely centered around research and typically prepare you for a career in academia. You might choose to concentrate your research in such areas as floriculture, crop sustainability or soil sciences. At the graduate level program options include the following:

  • Master of Professional Studies in Horticulture
  • Master of Horticulture Science
  • Master of Science in Horticulture
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Horticulture

What Are Some Courses I'd Take?

At the undergraduate level, curricula may provide a specific focus or allow you to choose your concentration. Some examples of courses offered at the associate and bachelor's levels include:

  • Botanical identification
  • Landscaping design and accessories
  • Floral arranging
  • Organic farming
  • Crop fertilization and nutrition
  • Botanical pathology

As a graduate student, you'll face advanced scientific topics in horticulture and related subjects. The following are some general and specialized courses:

  • Sustainable and restorative landscaping
  • Pest control and management
  • Environmental horticulture and ecology
  • Plant reproduction and regeneration
  • Renewable and recyclable energy and hydration
  • Plant species integration and genetics

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

A few schools provide online courses for a horticultural science degree program, but most offer the program in a hybrid format. Labs and seminars that require hands-on training might require you to attend campus periodically or to complete an entire course series. Your online course materials generally consist of textual reading and video lectures, though you might need to purchase additional textbooks, laboratory tools or project equipment.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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