Horticulture combines art and skill with science and technology for sustainably growing, distributing, and using ornamental plants, fruits, and vegetables. Landscapes, homes, and public buildings are surrounded by horticulture. Lives are enriched through the varied diets and physical activities resulting from this field of study. Graduates, depending on their option, become experts in disciplines such as vegetable production, landscape design or golf course management. According to a national study, job openings in horticulture will exceed the number of graduates needed to fill them in the next decade.
"I chose horticulture because I like working outdoors with my hands, and because it is both an art and a science. The faculty and staff have expertise in many different areas. I’ve enjoyed the practical experience of working with them in the KSU Gardens, greenhouses and in class. My goal is to create dream landscapes so people can call their house a home."
Students with a degree in Horticulture are prepared for careers as greenhouse grower, nursery or garden center manager, production horticulturist, landscape designer, golf course manager, sales and marketing manager, technical representative, buyer, gardener, groundskeeper, superintendent, general manager, extension agent, plant breeder, sports turf manager, horticultural therapist and research scientist.
Golf Course and Sports Turf Operation
This program is designed to prepare for rewarding careers as the next generation of golf course superintendents and managers, and as turf managers for professional sports organizations, school districts, colleges and university grounds departments, and municipal park and recreation departments. The unique curriculum combines courses in business, communications, hospitality, and turfgrass management, along with two internships. Graduates are employed by golf courses, golf clubs, and other sports facilities all over the U.S. and world, as well as in industries allied to golf and turfgrass management.
An education combining horticulture and business courses prepares students for opportunities in propagation and production of potted crops, bedding plants, trees and shrubs, cut flowers. This program also prepares students for careers in organic, sustainable, and conventional fruit and vegetable production. Many students obtain professional positions as greenhouse, nursery, or garden center managers or with allied trades such as seed breeding companies, supply firms, research greenhouses, retail floral shops, and wholesale brokers. Employment opportunities also include owner or manager of a fruit or vegetable farm; organic farmer; or work with non-profit organizations in the new area of urban and community gardening. Graduates would also be qualified to be field representatives for processing, agricultural input suppliers, or equipment companies; or as managers, buyers, field representatives, or produce brokers/marketing representatives. Our greenhouses and student educational farm allow students to get hands-on experience in many of these areas in addition to course-work and field trips.
This option is intended for students who plan to pursue a graduate degree. Universities, state and federal agencies, and industries need trained scientists who can teach, conduct research, and communicate research findings to the public to increase the production and effective use of horticultural products. Many who earn the master of science degree work as consultants, technical representatives, community college instructors, and county extension agents. Those earning a doctorate degree work at universities, the USDA, and research and development for industry firms.
Opportunities abound in the landscape profession, from design and construction/installation through maintenance of commercial and residential landscape environments. This specialization is a perfect marriage of art and science and is ideal for people who enjoy being outdoors and working with a wide variety of plants and people. It includes business management, tree and shrub care, flower bed installation, designing and trouble-shooting irrigation systems, and landscape construction projects. Students with interest in developing artistic and design skills learn to create functional and sustainable landscape environments for outdoor living. Landscape horticulturists are sought by garden centers, botanical gardens, tree care, landscape maintenance and installation firms, nurseries, and governmental bodies. Private consulting is also a possibility. Many of these careers involve consumer relations and sales. Graduates are highly employable by professional firms nationwide.