Graduate Studies

The Department of Horticultural Science offers graduate students a dynamic place to conduct original research. Our faculty belong to several programs throughout the University, and our graduate students take advantage of these connections to gain expertise from professors and students in multiple departments.

Graduate students in horticultural science belong to one of the programs listed below. Students may pursue a Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) or a Master of Science (M.S.). We also offer a Master of Professional Studies degree through the College of Continuing Education for students interested in pursuing a second career in the horticultural industry, satisfying a personal interest in horticulture, or honing their basic horticultural skills. Many of our students receive graduate assistantships, which covers much or all of the cost of attending. Look through the websites of the graduate programs you're interested in to learn more.

MPS in Horticulture

Group burning a part of a field

The Master of Professional Studies in Horticulture is designed to enhance the capacity of those currently working in the horticulture industry, and provide the knowledge base needed by others interested in beginning new careers, starting their own business, or pursuing personal interests in horticulture. Many M.P.S. students are working professionals and maintain full-time jobs while taking classes part time in pursuit of the degree.

Applied Plant Sciences

Lady crouching down to tend to plants

Biological solutions to real-world problems come to life in the Applied Plant Sciences (APS) graduate program. Administered jointly by the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics and the Department of Horticultural Science, this program allows graduate students to create an integrated, individualized program combining a breadth of courses from several disciplines. This program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with specializations in various fields. Picture courtesy of Waseca County News.

Plant Biological Sciences

Student in laboratory

The Plant Biological Sciences (PBS) graduate program is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental program offering M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in a broad range of plant biology research areas, with primary emphasis on Ph.D. training. The program offers cutting-edge research opportunities both on campus and abroad and provides mentoring to help students reach their career goals working in academia, industry, governmental agencies, or private organizations.

Conservation Sciences

Student kneeling in field

The overall aim of the Conservation Sciences program is to educate students who will understand the causes of conservation problems and will be well prepared to develop sound solutions or approaches to these problems that are likely to be acted upon or implemented. It provides students with sound training in the biological sciences while at the same time exposing students to the social, political, and economic sciences that relate to both the recognition and solution of conservation problems.

Applied Economics

The Applied Economics (APEC) M.S. and Ph.D. programs prepare students for a variety of employment opportunities from faculty positions in the U.S. and abroad to administrative positions with government agencies, international organizations, and private sector firms. Many APEC M.S. graduates continue their studies in the Ph.D. program.

How to Apply

student amidst lines of plant trays

Students apply to be a graduate student in our department by applying to one of the programs listed here. Please follow the links for more information on each program, its prerequisites, and details about its admission policies. Once you have selected a program, you must apply through the University of Minnesota Graduate School. Be aware that some programs require students to also submit certain documents to the program itself. If you have any questions, contact Lauren Matushin at