Whether you’re looking to learn more about the science behind plant breeding or the logistics of starting up an aquaponics farm, you can find the answers in horticultural science. Students interested in delving into horticulture have the option of two undergraduate majors: plant science or food systems. These interdisciplinary majors allow students the freedom to tailor their education to the topics they feel passionate about.
Plant science students learn about conventional large-scale farming, organic agriculture, new sustainable production practices, medicinal plants, greenhouse management, and turf and lawn management. You'll do all this in the classroom, online, in greenhouses, in the field, and possibly through study abroad. Learn more about the plant science major on the Plant Science website.
This major teaches students the knowledge and problem-solving skills to address complex challenges and opportunities in food systems. This is guided by an interest in food and food systems that are sustainable in environmental, economic, and social terms. Students study food systems in diverse contexts and at different scales. Learn more about the food systems major on the Food Systems website.
Horticultural Science Majors
Are you currently majoring in horticultural science? See your class requirements and what forms you need to complete on our Horticultural Science Majors page. This major is no longer available to students declaring their major in Fall 2013 or later.
Plant science or food systems are great majors to consider if you are changing majors within the University of Minnesota, or if you are transferring from another school. The majors are flexible, and the large number of free electives built into them makes it easy to 1) transfer coursework into our majors from other departments or universities or 2) pick up a minor. Please contact Carolyn Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding a potential transfer.
Minor in Horticulture
Plants provide many practical and recreational benefits to society, whether it is the food we eat, the parks we play in, or the gardens we admire. The horticultural science minor is geared toward students who want to learn more about plants and their many uses in the landscape.
The horticulture minor requires 18 credits:
- Required Courses - 4 credits
- HORT 1001 (4 cr)
- Horticulture & Elective Courses - 14 credits
- At least 14 credits (6 credits must be taken at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) from courses with a HORT designator, of which one horticulture-related elective course may be substituted (such as SOILS, ENT, PLPA, etc.). At least two HORT courses must be at the 4XXX or 5XXX level. A maximum of 3 credits of HORT 3090 (Directed Studies) may be applied.
Interested students can apply for the minor online. Stop by 305 Alderman Hall if you have any questions.
Careers in Horticulture
Earning a horticulture-related degree will prepare you for a variety of careers. The job titles vary from business owner, to garden manager, to plant biologist, and more. Whether you want to work in a lab, a field, a floral shop, at an arboretum, at a botanical garden, on the golf course, or something completely different, the possibilities are endless.
Majors begin their career experiences early with a required internship and are notified of many other internships and part-time jobs throughout the year. You can begin your search with the following resources:
- GoldPASS, the U of M's online job and internship database
- Hire Horticulture, a job posting site specifically for the horticulture field
- The LandLovers, a great web resource for students interested in working with the land
- Michigan State University posts internship and job openings throughout the country
Our students experience a vast amount of learning outside the classroom, and get to meet friends and gain experience in horticulture through Hort Club, Turf Club, and Cornercopia (the Student Organic Farm). The more hands-on experience, the better! Read more about student activities and professional development on our Get Involved page.
The department offers a wide variety of courses, some every semester and others only once every other year. You can see a complete list of classes available through the department on our course page, or download our printable comprehensive PDF guide. For descriptions, information on classes offered in the near future, or instructor information, please refer to the U of M Class Search.