15 Best Horticulture Degree Programs in 2020

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

What Is a Horticulture Degree?

A horticulture degree prepares you for the cultivation and processing of various types of plants, including fruits and vegetables. The courses you take will teach you about landscape restoration, garden design, and conservation methods.

What Does a Horticulturalist Do?

Horticulturalists have different specialties. For instance, horticulturalists who specialize in ecological landscapes and urban forestry create landscapes that provide ecosystem services such as improving air and water quality. Horticulturalists who specialize in ecological and sustainable production often advise growers on the most appropriate practices for sustainability.

Rank School Location
1Valencia CollegeOrlando, Florida
2Miami-Dade CollegeMiami, Florida
3Utah State UniversityLogan, Utah
4New Mexico State UniversityLas Cruces, New Mexico
5SUNY Farmingdale State CollegeFarmingdale, New York

Top schools for horticulture degrees.

1

Valencia College

  • Orlando, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 49%

Valencia College is considered as one of the best colleges in the country and has several campuses in Winter Park, Orlando, Lake Nona, and Kissimmee. The college offers an Associate of Science in Plant Science and Agricultural Technology which takes an all-around approach by offering specialization in horticulture and landscape. The program focuses on horticulture greenhouse and nursery operations, landscape design, and sustainable agriculture edible crop production. You will gain hands-on experience at the school’s 3,000 square foot rooftop hydroponic and aquaponics garden. You can move on to a bachelor’s degree through the DirectConnect to UCF program which guarantees admission and transfer to the University of Central Florida.

Some of the courses include:

Introduction to Plant Science

Principles of Entomology

Botany

Estimated tuition: $6,000 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 100%
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2

Miami-Dade College

  • Miami, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

Miami-Dade College offers an Associate of Science in Landscape & Horticulture Technology. The school gives you the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills that are essential for processing, shipping, and marketing commercially viable plants. The program prepares you for career opportunities in the landscape and horticulture industries.

Some of the courses include:

Horticulture

Principles of Entomology

Pesticide Applications

Estimated tuition: $7,093 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 100%
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3

Utah State University

  • Logan, Utah
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

The Bachelor of Science in Horticulture at Utah State University prepares you for a variety of careers, including nursery production, landscape management, and greenhouse crop production. The comprehensive curriculum focuses on applying horticultural principles, including plant biology, crop production, and insect control, among others. Graduates from the horticulture program have high success rates for professional job positions. The exciting career opportunities include agricultural production, greenhouse or nursery management, and golf course superintendent, to name a few.

Some of the courses include:

Plants, Soils, and Climate Orientation

Introduction to Horticulture

Woody Plant Materials: Trees and Shrubs for the Landscape

Estimated tuition: $6,731 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 89.1%
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4

New Mexico State University

  • Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

There are four options available in the horticulture major, including horticulture business, crop consulting, ornamental horticulture, and landscape design. You will have experiential learning opportunities and gain hands-on experience at New Mexico State University’s student gardens— a two-acre organic farm located on the main campus. The school teaches and conducts research on sustainable and organic agricultural systems that are pertinent to New Mexico farms.

Some of the courses include:

Natural History of Life

Plant Physiology

Plant Pathology

Estimated tuition: $6,469 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 65.7%
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5

SUNY Farmingdale State College

  • Farmingdale, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

The Department of Urban Horticulture and Design combines traditional methods with innovative technology. The department leverages its strong partnerships with the horticulture industry in the area to make you a strong candidate for internships, scholarships, and job opportunities. Farmingdale State College offers diversified instruction which allows you to learn in the classroom, labs, studios, and greenhouses. As an essential part of training, you will participate in internships at the Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens which is comprised of 5 acres of theme gardens that are meticulously designed, planted, and maintained by students.

Some of the courses include:

Botany

Entomology

Essentials of Plant Pathology

Estimated tuition: $7,070 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 46.1%
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6

South Dakota State University

  • Brookings, South Dakota
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

The research at the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science has resulted in a boost of agricultural productivity and a greater understanding of plant diseases. The programs at South Dakota State University were developed with a balance of theoretical principles and hands-on experience. These approaches prepare you for a career in local food production, landscape tree management, and greenhouse production, among others.

Some of the courses include:

Introduction to Horticulture and Lab

Soils and Lab

Principles of Plant Pathology and Lab

Estimated tuition: $9,008 per year-in-state
Acceptance rate: 92.4%
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7

University of Maine

  • Orono, Maine
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

The University of Main offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Horticulture with four concentrations, including horticultural business, landscape design, sustainable horticulture, and turfgrass management. The program offers you the opportunity to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in a variety of areas, including greenhouse management, plant and soil sciences, and landscape management.

Some of the courses include:

Plant Science

Environmental Communication Skills

Vegetable and Fruit Production

Estimated tuition: $9,240 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 92.3%
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8

Kansas State University

  • Manhattan, Kansas
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

The Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources at Kansas State University is committed to bettering lives by way of diverse instruction and dynamic research programs. There are four areas of specialization to concentrate on that will give you an expansive range of opportunities. The specialization areas include Horticulture Production Specialization, Horticulture Science Specialization, Landscape Horticulture Specialization, and Golf Course & Sports Turf Operations Specialization. There is also a variety of clubs and organizations that grant opportunities for hands-on experience, travel, and industry involvement. For instance, the Horticulture Club sponsors teams to travel to national and regional competitions. The Collegiate Landscape Competition places you with other students that are the best in American horticulture and connects you with career and internship opportunities.

Some of the courses include:

Horticultural Entomology

Fundamentals of Food Processing

Principles of Horticultural Science

Estimated tuition: $10,440 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 93.4%
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9

Kent State University

  • Kent, Ohio
  • Graduation Rate: 55%

Kent State University offers a Bachelor of Applied Horticulture which helps you with developing management proficiency in the areas of turfgrass management, greenhouse and nursery operations, and landscape design. You will learn a wealth of information to prepare you for a career in horticulture. By the time you graduate, you will be able to properly identify plants and understand their characteristics as well as interpret soil test results, analyze, and decide on the most appropriate course of action.

Some of the courses include:

Horticultural Botany

Ecological Principles of Pest Management

Plant Identification and Selection

Estimated tuition: $11,587 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 85.4%
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10

Colorado State University

  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

Colorado State University offers an extensive list of programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. The school has been a long-time leader in pinpointing a rapidly changing global environment. In the horticulture program, you will gain a greater understanding of plant growth and development that are affected by fertility management, greenhouse management, and integrated pest management. You will also develop leadership and management skills that will allow you to obtain a job position as an entry-level supervisor in a research program or a specific business.

Some of the courses include:

Principles of Plant Biology

Horticultural Science

Plant Propagation

Estimated tuition: $11,814 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 83.9%
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11

University of Kentucky

  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

A Horticultural Science degree from the University of Kentucky prepares you for a career in the production and management of plants, soils for food, and landscaping. Upon graduation, you would have developed a rich blend of scientific and technical skills that are essential to function effectively in your professional endeavors. The school allows you to tailor your courses to pursue a path that fits your interests. There are two areas of emphasis in the horticulture degree program: Horticulture & Plant Science and Horticultural Plant Production & Management. The career opportunities for horticulture graduates include retail horticulture, horticulture education, and horticulture research, among many others.

Some of the courses include:

Introduction to Horticulture Professions

The Dynamics of Rural Social Life

Plants, Soils, & People: A Science Perspective

Estimated tuition: $12,484 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 94.5%
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12

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, Oregon
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

At Oregon State University, you have the option to take classes on-campus or online. If you attend the Corvallis Campus, you will experience Oregon’s farms and landscape up-close through experiential work and field trips. If you take classes online, you will also be presented with applied learning experiences. The Department of Horticulture faculty contributes to teaching, researching, and extension programs in collaboration with those who share the same interests. OSU strongly emphasizes active learning, which means you will be gaining plenty of hands-on experience evaluating systems, cultivating gardens, and vineyards, along with learning and exploring practices.

Some of the courses include:

Introduction to Horticultural Systems, Practices, and Careers

Introduction to Organic Agricultural Systems

Social Impacts of Science

Estimated tuition: $12,165 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 80.6%
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13

Virginia Tech

  • Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

The School of Plant and Environmental Science at Virginia Tech conducts research to enhance agricultural productivity, improve the health of soil and water, and decrease negative impacts on the environment. The school prepares you with insight on how to feed, shelter, and clothe the population without exhausting the limited natural resources. Graduates from the program commonly use innovative technologies, such as the latest production systems. Many of the graduates are hired for professional job positions at governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as commercial companies.

Some of the courses include:

Horticulture Sciences

Environmental Factors in Horticulture

Plant Propagation

Estimated tuition: $13,691 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 64.8%
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14

Southern Illinois University

  • Carbondale, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Southern Illinois University offers a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. Through the university’s hands-on approach, you will learn how to effectively integrate the mechanisms of technology, modern science, and business for intensive plant cultivation. There are three specializations, including production horticulture, landscape horticulture, and turfgrass management.

Some of the courses include:

General Horticulture

Genetics for the Amateur Gardener

Floral Arrangements

Estimated tuition: $15,104 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 71.9%
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15

Temple University

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

Temple University offers a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture with a curriculum that integrates horticulture and landscape architecture. This correlation allows you to gain a better understanding of the complete range of the landscape process, including plant production, design, and installation. You will discover the relationships between technology, horticulture, and the natural ecological process. Students who graduate from the program get professional career opportunities in restoration, landscape contracting, nurseries, and more. Most of the courses are taken at the Ambler Campus while some of the courses can be taken at the main and Center City campuses.

Some of the courses include:

General Botany

Plant Ecology

Plant Physiology

Estimated tuition: $16,080 per year/in-state
Acceptance rate: 58.5%
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Our Ranking Methodology

We made a list of 15 schools that offer horticulture degrees. For tuition, we used undergraduate, in-state tuition based on what was stated on the school’s website. We also factored in the acceptance rate.

If you work for one of the schools we ranked and you notice any incorrect information we used to rank you, please contact us to let us know what needs to be corrected.

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