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.

    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

    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:

    • Ecological Design for Horticulture (APS 5101)
    • Garden Design: Theory and Application (APS 5102)
    • Integration of Sustainable Agriculture Concepts (APS 5103)
    • Conservation at Botanic Gardens (APS 5104)
    • Finance for Nonfinancial Managers (ASCL 6312)
    • Data for Decision Making (ASCL 6313)
    • Leading Projects and Teams (ASCL 6314)

    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 climate.


    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


    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 looks at all the pieces of your application equally 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.


    Prerequisite coursework should be completed 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 (3 credits; prereq. 3 years of high school math and placement exam or GC 0731 with a grade of C or better)
    • MATH 1051 Precalculus I (3 credits; prereq. 3 years of high school math and placement exam or GC 0731 with a grade of C or better)
    • MATH 1142 Short Calculus (3 credits; prereq. 3−5 years of high school math or MATH 1031 with a grade of C or better)
    • MATH 1151 Precalculus II (3 credits; prereq. 3−5 years of  high school math and placement exam or MATH 1051 with a grade of C or better)
    • MATH 1155 Intensive Precalculus (5 credits; prereq. 3 years of  high school math and placement exam or GC 0731 with a grade of C or better. Equivalent to MATH 1051 plus 1151)
    • MATH 1271 Calculus I (4 credits; prereq. 4 years of  high school math including trigonometry and placement exam or MATH 1151 or MATH 1155 with a grade of C or better)
    • STAT 3021 Introduction to Probability and Statistics ( 3 credits; prereq. MATH 1272)


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

    • CHEM 1015/1017 (or CHEM 1011) Introductory Chemistry (4 credits; prereq. high school chemistry and 2 years of high school math; high school physics recommended; for students not passing placement exam)
    • CHEM 1021 Chemical Principles I (4 credits; prereq. placement exam, or CHEM 1011, or CHEM 1015/1017)

    Biology, Botany, or Plant Propagation

    Any one of the three options below satisfies this requirement:

    • BIOL 1009 General Biology (4 credits; prereq high school chemistry, one term of college chemistry recommended)
    • BIOL 2022 General Botany (3 credits; prereq. BIOL 1001 or BIOL 1009)
    • HORT 1001 Plant Propagation (4 credits; no prereq.)

    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 foreign 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 3.0, 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?

    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.


    Faculty and Staff

    Director of Graduate Studies

    Mary Rogers

    Mary Rogers

    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 received her PhD in plants, soils and insects from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. She is an Associate Professor of Sustainable & Organic Horticultural Food Production Systems in the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota, and her research program investigates plant‐insect interactions and biological and environmental strategies to improve the production of organic vegetables and fruit in the upper Midwest. Current research focuses on controlled environment agriculture, urban agriculture, and integrated pest management for local and organic production systems.


    In addition to teaching many of the courses you’ll be taking, Horticultural Science faculty are also accessible to students as internship and directed studies supervisors, program plan advisors, and as career mentors. You’ll also routinely take courses from faculty in other departments across the University, most notably in Soil, Water and Climate; Plant Pathology; and Entomology.

    The best way to contact a faculty member is to send a brief email message with "Master of Professional Studies-Hort" noted in the subject line.

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