What Is a Degree in Horticulture Studies?

A degree program in horticulture studies addresses the growing and breeding of plants and maintenance of productive soils. Learn about program levels available and career opportunities in the field. Schools offering Floral Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Horticulture Studies Degree Programs

You can earn a degree in horticulture at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Many community colleges and technical schools offer associate's degrees in horticulture studies with concentrations in landscape design, floral design, nursery management or greenhouse management. Associate's degree programs are often industry-oriented, preparing you for entry-level work in technical jobs within the horticulture industry. A bachelor's degree program in horticulture often allows you to focus on areas such as research, sustainability, communication, landscapes, turf management or horticultural therapy.

Graduate degree programs usually concentrate on a particular specialty, such as biotechnology, ornamental horticulture or urban horticulture. Master's and doctoral degree programs usually require you to undertake research projects and complete a thesis or dissertation.

Important Facts About a Degree in Horticultural Studies

Degrees Associate's degree, Bachelor of Science degree, master's degree, PhD
Common Courses Landscape plant materials, plant propagation, nursery management, interior plantscaping, viticulture, pomology, olericulture, greenhouse management, post-harvest physiology
Possible Careers Nursery manager, plant research scientist, landscaper, horticultural therapist, professional gardener, greenhouse manager
Median Salary (2018)$64,020 (for all agricultural and food scientists)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% (for all agricultural and food scientists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

In undergraduate horticulture studies degree programs, you take courses in plant biology, botany, plant diagnostics, propagation and soils. You can learn how to choose plants appropriate for a particular site, maintain them and use groundskeeping equipment. If you specialize in a particular area, such as landscape design, your courses teach you skills in that field. As a landscape design student, you could learn how to draft site plans. If you want to study horticulture therapy, your classes might discuss how gardens can soothe and stimulate people with disabilities.

Graduate programs in horticulture studies usually require extensive research. In a master's degree program, you can choose a specific focus, such as agroecology, ecological landscape design, entomology or soil science.

If you pursue a Doctor of Philosophy, you can tailor your program to your experience, interests and expertise. As a graduate student, you also take courses that teach you how to perform research and analyze data in addition to high-level horticulture courses. Plant science courses might include plant physiology, chemistry and biotechnology. You might also learn about crop management and plant production.

What Kind of Jobs Could I Get?

A degree in horticulture studies can qualify you for work in almost any industry that involves plants. Organizations that hire horticulturalists include government agencies, schools, zoos, vineyards, farms, design firms, nurseries and building maintenance agencies. Many of these jobs require you to be outside for much of your workday, and you spend a lot of time physically active.

Undergraduate degree programs in horticulture are generally sufficient for jobs at garden centers, greenhouses and nurseries. You might also work as an arborist, grounds maintenance technician or landscape designer. With a graduate degree in horticulture studies, you could work in research and education.

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:

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