• Apply By
    Fall: March 15 | Spring: Oct 15
  • Admission GPA
  • Total Credits
  • Time to Complete
    2.5 years (average)
  • Cost
    $900 per credit

Earn an Applied Degree in Horticulture

Horticulture is the art and science of growing and maintaining plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and nuts to eat or use. Horticulturists work mainly on small-scale landscapes, farms, gardens, and orchards.

Our MPS in Horticulture is an applied (rather than research-based) degree, focused on teaching skills that you can apply directly to growing and managing plants.

    The Horticulture degree is

    • Career-focused—You'll gain knowledge you can use to boost or start a career in the cultivation of plants, flowers, trees, or grasses.
    • Customizable—With only 15 required Horticulture credits, you can take related courses that match your interests (see our Sample Specializations below).
    • Marketable—The world needs people who know how to responsibly grow, maintain, and restore landscapes, plants, and vegetables.
    • Welcoming—We aim to promote diversity, inclusivity, and equity to provide an enriching and rewarding experience for everyone.

    Requirements and Courses



    Degree Requirements

    Requirement Credits Options
    HORT 6101: Introduction to the MPS in Horticulture Program 1  
    Horticulture Courses 15

    HORT 4xxx-level courses (up to 9 cr)

    HORT 5xxx-level courses

    HORT 6003 Internship (1–3 cr)

    HORT 6011 Plant Propagation (4 cr)

    Entomology; Plant Pathology; or Soil, Water, and Climate Courses 3 Take 3 or more credits from ENT, PLPA, or SOIL coursework
    Related Fields 9 APS 5XXX level courses for HORT and other approved courses
    HORT 6002 Capstone: Problem Solving in Horticulture 2  
    Total 30  

    Course Options

    MPS in Horticulture students can choose from a number of different course and thematic options at University in varying colleges and departments, such as:

    • Horticulture (HORT)
    • Agronomy (AGRO) and Entomology (ENT)
    • Environmental Sciences (ESPM) and Plant Pathology (PLPA)
    • Natural Resource Management (FNRM)
    • Conservation Biology (FW) and Soil, Water, and Climate (SOIL)

    For detailed course information, visit the U of M Schedule Builder and enter the designator above.

    Students are also encouraged to explore Applied Professional Studies (APS) courses to complement their professional goals and career preparation. These include:

    • APS 5101 – Ecological Design for Horticulture
    • APS 5102 – Garden Design: Theory and Application
    • APS 5103 – Integration of Sustainable Agriculture Concepts
    • APS 5104 – Conservation at Botanic Gardens
    • APS 5105 – Where People and Plants Meet: Social Science Dimensions of Horticulture
    • ASCL 6312 – Finance for Nonfinancial Managers
    • ASCL 6313 – Data for Decision Making
    • ASCL 6314 – Leading Projects and Teams

    Sample Specializations

    The program areas described below are suggestions; we encourage you to pursue your own interests and objectives in consultation with the Horticulture Director of Graduate Studies.

    Public Garden Management

    Public Garden Management

    For students interested in conservation, display gardens and plant collection management involving arboreta, botanic gardens, zoological gardens, parks, and other organizations.


    Restoration and Conservation

    Restoration and Conservation

    For students who seek positions involving the design, development, restoration, and maintenance of natural and man-made landscapes.


    Sustainable Landscape Plant Production

    Sustainable Landscape Plant Production

    For students who are interested in sustainability issues involving fruit and nut crops, vegetables, nursery, and greenhouse crops within our rapidly changing environment.


    Urban Agriculture and Food Production

    Urban Agriculture and Food Production

    For students interested in food and ornamental plant production practices that emphasize organic, community-focused methods and strategies.


    Additional Areas of Interest

    You might also consider these areas of study.

    • Landscape design
    • Safe and healthy food
    • Horticultural marketing
    • Horticultural education
    • Horticultural therapy
    • Environmental horticulture
    • Urban horticulture
    • Horticultural writing and illustration

    What Can I Do With a Horticulture Degree?

    You can go into a variety of related fields. Companies are looking for employees who not only have a plant science background but can also communicate and manage effectively.

    • 49%Employment growth in Minnesota in occupations related to horticulture between 2019-29*

    Horticulturists can work in a wide variety of organizations—owned by industry, government, institutions, or privately—that are involved in the care and maintenance of plants, such as:

    • Parks, aquariums, or zoos
    • Greenhouses or garden centers
    • Botanical or public gardens
    • Nurseries or orchards
    • Golf courses or athletic fields
    • Sod or tree farms
    • Landscaping companies

    With a master's degree in horticulture, you could become a: *

    • Climate Research Farm Manager
    • Agricultural Specialist
    • Garden Manager
    • Farm Manager
    • Ranch Manager
    • Agronomist

    * Burning Glass Technologies: Program Insight™, accessed 08/5/21

    To hear about more opportunities from former Horticulture Director of Graduate Studies, Mary Meyer, watch this short video.

    Align Your Skills with a Rewarding Career

    The chart below can help you see how your interests might position you in the job market.

    Trees, Flowers, Landscapes

    Infographic-trees, flowers, landscapes
    Landscape designer or gardener, greenhouse technician, garden manager, plant collection manager, nursery owner, conservationist, arborist

    Food Production

    Infographic-food production
    Orchardist, vegetable specialist, urban farm manager, community garden manager


    Golf course, athletic field, or park manager, caretaker, groundskeeper, park superintendent, lawn care specialist

    Pest Management

    Infographic-pest management
    Controller of insects, diseases, and other pests for public spaces

    Restoration Ecology

    Infographic-restoration ecology
    Crew manager, conservationist, land care manager, plant records analyst

    Public Gardens

    Infographic-public gardens
    Education manager, teacher, curator, horticulture manager, landscape gardener, conservationist

    Admissions Advising

    Graduate enrollment advisor Steve Wicks is happy to answer your questions about the Horticulture program and the application process.

    Or you can give Steve a call at 612-301-6127.

    Do you have a more detailed question or want to tell us a little bit about yourself before the meeting? Fill out this brief questionnaire.


    Fall Semester Application Deadline: March 15
    Spring Semester Application Deadline: October 15

    We strive to be fair in the admissions process. Our program thrives when we have students from different backgrounds and cultural experiences. The admissions committee completes a holistic review of all required application materials to ensure that you will be successful in the program. We do not require standardized test scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

    Learn more about the application process in the video below. If you have questions about the admission requirements or would like advice on how to put together application materials, please contact Steve Wicks.

    Read the transcript here.


    Complete prerequisite courses before you apply. Your application may be considered if you are currently enrolled in your last prerequisite course. You may complete prerequisite coursework at the University of Minnesota or at other accredited educational institutions, but the transcript must be received prior to official admission.


    Any one of the six math courses listed below satisfies the algebra requirement.

    • MATH 1031 College Algebra and Probability
    • MATH 1051 Precalculus I
    • MATH 1142 Short Calculus
    • MATH 1151 Precalculus II
    • MATH 1155 Intensive Precalculus
    • MATH 1271 Calculus I
    • STAT 3021 Introduction to Probability and Statistics


    Either of the two chemistry courses listed below satisfies the chemistry requirement:

    • CHEM 1015/1017 (or CHEM 1011) Introductory Chemistry
    • CHEM 1021 Chemical Principles I

    Biology, Botany, or Plant Propagation

    Any one of the three options below satisfies this requirement:

    • BIOL 1009 General Biology
    • BIOL 2022 General Botany
    • HORT 1001 Plant Propagation

    Several of the courses listed above are also prerequisites for other classes you’ll likely take.

    Admission Requirements

    We welcome applications from students who have:

    • a bachelor's degree from an accredited post-secondary US institution, or its international equivalent
    • a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8*
    • evidence of knowledge of current, introductory college level concepts of algebra and chemistry and biology or botany or plant propagation
    • completed prerequisite coursework (see above)

    * If you have a GPA below 2.8, please include an explanation in the extenuating circumstances part of your professional statement.

    Application Checklist

    Your complete application will include:

    • An online application
    • A professional statement
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • College transcripts
    • A resume or curriculum vitae
    • English proficiency test scores (if applicable)
    • An application fee

    Ready to take the next step?


    Faculty and Staff

    Mary Rogers with a giant head of lettuce

    Director of Graduate Studies

    Mary Rogers, PhD

    Mary Rogers left Tennessee to become a faculty member in the Department of Horticulture Science at the University of Minnesota in 2013. As Director of Graduate Studies, Mary supervises and coordinates the horticulture program, guides and improves the educational experience, and serves as a liaison among students, faculty, staff, and administration.

    She enjoys having MPS in Horticulture students in her classes because “they're here because they want to be, and they're really passionate. I see them following their passion in horticulture and then finding new careers that are more aligned with what they really want to be doing.”

    Learn more about Mary Rogers.

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