FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do I need to have a bachelor's degree in Horticulture?
No. One of the admission criteria is that you must have previously earned an accredited bachelor's degree. The degree does not need to have been earned in horticulture or a related field.

Do I really need to have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale?
Yes, particularly if you have earned that degree in the past several years. A few potential applicants with slightly lower GPAs, but with substantial life and career experience, and exceptional motivation, have been permitted to take related graduate-level course work prior to submitting their application for admission for the purpose of confirming that they are now capable of comfortably managing the course work requirements of the MPS in Horticulture.

I’m missing two of the three prerequisite college-level courses in algebra, chemistry, and biology/plant science/horticulture. May I complete them after I am admitted?
No. These courses are required prior to admission. We will not review your application until you have earned credit in these courses. You may enroll in these courses at the University of Minnesota or at another accredited institution. Contact the program’s Director of Graduate Studies to confirm that the course or courses that you plan to take will be accepted as fulfilling the prerequisites.

Do I need to complete the requisite course work in soils, plant pathology, and entomology before I can be admitted?
No. These courses may be completed after you are admitted to the program. If you took courses in these disciplines prior to admission, they may satisfy this graduation requirement. Check with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Are any of the courses offered in the evening or online?
At this point there are only a few that are offered outside the day course schedule, but we are in the process of developing more. For example, in the fall semester only, Plant Propagation (Hort 1001) is taught in a hybrid format where the lecture content is delivered online and the labs are conducted face-to-face. One of the lab sections is held on Wednesday evenings so a student only needs to come to campus once a week. Hort 1061, The Sustainable Lawn, is taught online. Hort 1031, Vines and Wines, and Hort 5023, Public Garden Management, are typically offered late afternoon or early evening.

I took college algebra back in 1990. Does that still count?
Yes, it does as long as you still retain what you learned. If your math skills have slipped over the past 20 years, a refresher course may be necessary to bring up your skills and understanding to the level needed for success in subsequent courses.

Can I satisfy the chemistry prerequisite by taking a course at my local community college?
Yes, but the course must be college-level chemistry (not a remedial course) equivalent to the courses noted in the Admission Prerequisites Web page. Contact the program’s Director of Graduate Studies to confirm that the course or courses that you plan to take will be accepted as fulfilling the prerequisites.

How long does it take to complete the degree?
Students have up to five years to complete a degree and the time taken to complete the degree varies. More commonly, students pursuing the MPS-Hort degree are part-time students with other commitments in their lives besides academics. They take one or two courses per semester, finishing in about three years.