Master of Professional Studies in Horticulture

Horticulture Major web header image
  • Level: Graduate
  • Credits: 30 
  • Cost: Tuition $805.00/credit (resident), $1,207.00/credit (non-resident) plus fees
  • Schedule: Primarily daytime, attend part-time or full-time

Horticulture is the art and science of growing and maintaining ornamental plants and fruits, vegetables, and nuts to eat and use in and around our homes. Horticulture, though a part of agriculture, does not include agronomic crop production or other agricultural products for animal consumption.

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Horticulture is an applied (rather than research-based) degree, focused on coursework and learning that you can apply directly to growing and managing plants.

Admission

Fall Semester Application Deadline | March 15

Spring Semester Application Deadline | October 15

Admission to the Master of Professional Studies in Horticulture is competitive, and the faculty committee reviews all applications to ensure a good fit for academic success.

We encourage you to talk with an adviser prior to submitting an application. They can help you decide how the Horticulture program might fit with your background, professional goals, and schedule. Admission decisions are and made and notification sent within four to six weeks of application deadline.

 

Prerequisite course work may be completed at the University of Minnesota or at other educational institutions and is subject to transfer review.

Algebra

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)

Chemistry

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.

The following items are required for admission:

  • 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

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required.

* In exceptional circumstances, promising applicants with lower GPA or less work experience may be considered for the program. An explanation for the GPA, and evidence that academic success at the graduate level is achievable, must be addressed in the application (extenuating circumstances).

Transferring Credits

You may be allowed to transfer up to 12 credits of previous graduate-level course work (credits must appear on a graduate transcript) from other institutions or the University of Minnesota, as determined by the Horticulture Director of Graduate Studies.

  1. First, access the online application.
  2. For the question “What is your proposed major and degree objective?” choose: Horticulture MPS under “Twin Cities Campus Programs.”
  3. All required application materials must be electronically attached to your application.

Applicant Statements

  • Statement 1: Your personal statement (typically one to two pages, double-spaced) should describe your personal and/or career goals.
  • Statement 2: This statement is optional.
  • Extenuating Circumstances: If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 or you have less work experience, please provide an explanation.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. Letters should be solicited from individuals who can provide a candid assessment of your abilities (including strengths and weaknesses), personality, character, and potential for graduate-level academic success and professional achievement. 

Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts or academic records for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) should be uploaded directly to the online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. If possible, make sure the institution has put your name on the transcript/record. 

Resume or CV

Submit a current resume or CV.

GRE Scores

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $75 ($95 for international students) must be paid on submission. 

If your native language is not English, please submit scores from the TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS English proficiency examination. Read more about required scores.

  • Required TOEFL scores are 84 or above, with section scores of at least 21 on writing and at least 19 on reading.
  • Required IELTS score is 6.5, with section scores of at least 6.5 on both writing and reading.
  • Required MELAB score is 84.

For information on visa status, contact the International Student and Scholar Service for information on visa status.

If you need to take a course to fulfill a prerequisite prior to admission and are not a current University of Minnesota student, follow the registration steps below:

How to Register for Undergraduate Courses to Satisfy Prerequisites

  1. Download and submit a Registration/Cancel Form. Registration for non-admitted students is not available online.

  2. Send the form to the department offering the courses for authorization, if department authorization is required. This form must be used each term until you are admitted to a graduate program.

  3. Ask the department if they will forward your form to the registrar upon authorization approval.

  4. You will receive confirmation and payment instructions by email.

How to Register for Graduate-level Courses BEFORE Being Admitted to a Graduate Program

Credit courses taken before admission may be applied toward this degree. You can take a graduate-level course before being admitted if:

  • the course is graduate-level (4xxx-level or above), and
  • you register for credit as a non-admitted graduate student and pay graduate-level tuition.

Follow these step to register:

  1. Download and submit a Registration Request for Graduate Credit for Non-degree Students Form. Registration for non-admitted students is not available online.
  2. Send the form to the department offering the courses for authorization. This form must be used each term until you are admitted to a program.
    • Upon authorization, the department offering the graduate course will forward the form to the registrar or provide you with further instructions.
  3. Check email and mail for confirmation and payment instructions.
     

More information can be found on the One Stop page for non-admitted students.

Career Outlook

Companies are looking for employees who not only have a plant science background but can also communicate effectively with individuals in different roles, from personal clients to government officials.

Find Your Place in the Industry

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
  • Greenhouses
  • Botanical or public gardens
  • Nurseries
  • Orchards
  • Golf courses or athletic fields
  • Sod or tree farms
  • Garden centers
  • Landscaping companies
  • Aquariums or zoos

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

Turfgrass

Infographic-turfgrass
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

Courses

Degree Requirements

Requirement Credits Options
Horticulture Courses 15 or more credit(s)

HORT 4xxx-level courses

HORT 5xxx-level courses

HORT 6003 Internship (1−3 credits)

HORT 6011 Plant Propagation (4 credits)

HORT 8xxx-level courses
Related Fields At least 11 credits  
HORT 6002 Capstone: Problem Solving in Horticulture 4 credits  
Any additional prerequisites    
Total 30 minimum  

Introductory Coursework

As part of your degree requirements, you will complete introductory coursework in soils, plant pathology, and entomology, in consultation with the HORT Director of Graduate Studies.

Courses currently offered at the University of Minnesota that satisfy these requirements include:

Course Name Credits Offered
Basic Soil Science (SOIL 2125) 4 fall and spring
The Soil Resource (SOIL 1125) 4 fall
Soil Science for Teachers (SOIL 5125) 3 fall

 

Course Name Credits Offered
Introductory Plant Pathology for Horticulturists (PLPA 2001) 3 spring
Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees (PLPA 3003/5003) 3 spring
Biology of Plant Diseases (PLPA 5201) 4 fall

 

Course Name Credits Offered
Insect Biology (ENT 3005) 3 fall
Ornamentals and Turf Entomology (ENT 4015) 3 spring
Forest and Shade Tree Entomology (ENT 4251) 3 fall
Honey Bees and Insect Societies (ENT 4021) 3 fall

 

Course Options

As an MPS in Horticulture student, you have access to the breadth of courses offered at the University. The following lists are just a sampling of the courses you can apply to your degree.

Course Name Course Number Credits
Advanced Plant Materials: Special Topics HORT 4015 1
Turfgrass Management HORT 4061 4
Turfgrass Weed and Disease Science HORT 4062 3
Turfgrass Science HORT 4063 3
Applications of Biotechnology to Plant Improvement HORT 4071W 4
Professional Exp. Program (Internship) HORT 4096 and 4096(W) 1 (can repeat)
Plant Production 1 HORT 4141W 4
Horticultural Marketing HORT 4461 3
Aquaponics: Integrated Fish and Plant Food Systems HORT 4601 4
Pollinator Protection in Managed Landscapes HORT 4850 3
Advanced Plant Propagation HORT 5007 3
Public Garden Management HORT 5023 2
Organic Vegetable Production HORT 5032 3
Plant Production II HORT 5051 4
Specialty Greenhouse Crop Production HORT 5052 3
Restoration and Reclamation Ecology HORT 5071 3
Directed Studies HORT 5090 1−3
Student Organic Farm Planning, Growing, Marketing HORT 5131 3
Manipulation of Plant Growth and Reproduction HORT 8044 2

To view course descriptions, visit the University Catalog.

To view course details (date, time, instructor, etc.), use the Class Search

Course Name Course Number Credits
Agronomy
World Food Problems AGRO 4103 3
Biology, Ecology, and Management of Invasive Plants AGRO 4505 3
Issues in Sustainable Agriculture AGRO 4888 2
Introduction to Plant Breeding AGRO 5021 3
Ecology of Agricultural Systems AGRO 5321 3
Physiological Ecology of Plants in Natural and Managed Ecosystems AGRO 8305 4
Advanced Management of Agroecosystems AGRO 8605 3
Entomology
Agroecology and Insect Pests (Online) ENT 4001 3
Ornamentals and Turf Entomology ENT 4015 3
Honey Bees and Insect Societies ENT 4021 3
Forest and Shade Tree Entomology ENT 4251 3
Insect Structure and Function ENT 5011 4
Insect Biodiversity and Evolution ENT 5021 4
Scientific Illustration of Insects ENT 5051 3
Insects, Aquatic Habitats, and Pollution ENT 5081 3
Applied Experimental Design ENT 5121 4
Medical Entomology ENT 5275 3
Biological Control of Insects and Weeds ENT 5341 3−4
Aquatic Insects ENT 5361 3

To view course descriptions, visit the University Catalog.

To view course details (date, time, instructor, etc.), use the Class Search.

 

Course Name Course Number Credits
Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management
Water Quality and Natural Resources ESPM 4061W 3
Environmental Interpretation ESPM 4811 3
Ecological Restoration ESPM 5071 4
Conservation of Plant Biodiversity ESPM 5101 3
Ecology of Managed Systems ESPM 5108 3
Environmental Conflict Management, Leadership, and Planning ESPM 5202 3
Methods for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy ESPM 5242 3
Sustainable Land Use Planning and Policy ESPM 5245 3
Natural Resource Law and Management of Public Land/Water ESPM 5256 3
Wetland Soils ESPM 5555 3
Enviro. Life Cycle Analysis ESPM 5603 3
Agroforestry in Watershed Management ESPM 5703 3
Plant Pathology
Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees PLPA 5003 3
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions PLPA 5103/8103 3
Field Plant Pathology PLPA 5202 2
Introduction to Fungal Biology PLPA 5203 3
Current Topics in Molecular Plant Pathology PLPA 5300 1
Plant Genomics PLPA 5301 3
Ecology, Epidemiology, Evolutionary Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions PLPA 5444 3
Principles of Plant Pathology PLPA 5480 3
Plant Disease Resistance and Applications PLPA 5660 3

To view course descriptions, visit the University Catalog.

To view course details (date, time, instructor, etc.), use the Class Search.

 

Course Name Course Number Credits
Managing Recreational Lands FNRM 4232W 4
Forest Ecology FNRM 5104 4
Hydrology and Watershed Management FNRM 5114 3
Science and Politics of Global Environmental Change FNRM 5146 3
Forest and Wetland Hydrology FNRM 5153 3
Forest Fire and Disturbance Ecology FNRM 5203 3
Landscape Ecology and Management FNRM 5204 3
Productivity and Ecology of Forest Soils FNRM 5205 3
Measuring and Modeling Forests FNRM 5218 3
Visitor Behavior Analysis FNRM 5259 3
Remote Sensing & Geospatial Analysis of Natural Resources & Environment FNRM 5262 4
Advanced Forest Management Planning FNRM 5264 3
Managing Forest Ecosystems: Silviculture FNRM 5411 4
Managing for Ecosystems: Silviculture FNRM 5413 1
Urban Forest Management: Managing Greenspaces FNRM 5501 3

To view course descriptions, visit the University Catalog.

To view course details (date, time, instructor, etc.), use the Class Search.

 

Course Name Course Number Credits
Conservation Biology
Intro. to Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology FW 2001W 3
Principles of Conservation Biology FW 4102 3
Principles of Wildlife Management FW 4103 3
Soil
Soil Geography    SOIL 4505 2
Field Study of Soils SOIL 4511 2
Soil Science for Teachers SOIL 5125 3
Vadose Zone Hydrology SOIL 5232 3
Soil Genesis and Landscape Relations SOIL 5515 3
Wetland Soils SOIL 5555 3
Soil Biology and Fertility SOIL 5611 3

 To view course descriptions, visit the University Catalog.

To view course details (date, time, instructor, etc.), use the Class Search.

Course Name Course Number Credits
World Food Problems APEC 4103 3
What Does it Mean to Be Green? APS 4072 3
Polyculture Design APS 5101 3
Garden Design: Theory and Application APS 5102 2
Ethics APSC 8123 0.5
Ecology BIOL 5407 3
Plant Physiological Ecology EEB 4068 3
Ecosystem Ecology EEB 4609 3
Holistic Approaches to Improving Food System Sustainability FDSY 4101 3
Marketing Management MBA 6210 3
Marketing Research MKTG 6051 4
Buyer Behavior MKTG 6055 4
Colloquium in Sustainable Agriculture SAGR 8010 2
Applied Regression Analysis STAT 5302 4

To view course descriptions, visit the University Catalog.

To view course details (date, time, instructor, etc.), use the Class Search.

 

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.

Horticulture Public Garden photo

Public Garden Management

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

 

Horticulture Restoration and Conservation photo

Restoration and Conservation

For students who seek positions involving the design, development, restoration and/or maintenance of natural and manmade landscapes.

 

Horticulture Sustainable Landscape Plant Production photo

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.

 

Horticulture Urban Ag and Food Production photo

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

Faculty and Staff

Staff

Mary Meyer
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 is professor and extension horticulturist at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and chair of the board of directors of the American Society of Horticultural Science, 2014−15. Mary can be found at 424 Alderman Hall, 1970 Folwell Avenue, Saint Paul campus; meyer023@umn.edu.

Faculty

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 advisers, 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.

Department of Horticultural Science Faculty

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Contact Us

612-624-4000 or 800-234-6564 | cceinfo@umn.edu

20 Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Ave, Saint Paul, MN 

In-Person Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Phone Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.