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Horticulture is an art as old as the ancient garden and a science as new as today’s genetic engineering. It involves intensive cropping technology, including the development, production, distribution and utilization of vegetables, fruits, turfgrass, woody landscape and greenhouse plants. Horticulture is an industry, profession, business, vocation and avocation. It is of universal value and application to the populace, whether rural, suburban or urban. Horticulture enriches our lives with nutritious, delectable foods and the beauty and utility of creative plantscapes.

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The program

The Department of Plant Sciences offers a four-year curriculum in horticulture leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. There are seven horticulture options: horticulture biotechnology, horticulture science, landscape design, landscape management, productionbusiness, sports and urban turfgrass management, and urban forestry and parks.

Career Opportunities

Production -- Producers of horticultural food crops for fresh consumption or processing; nursery and greenhouse production of food and ornamental crops; field positions for processing, marketing and seed companies; and plant propagation/tissue culture specialists.

Marketing -- Positions in the retail/wholesale distribution of horticultural products and buying, selling and distribution of supplies and products used by the horticultural industries

Industry -- Management and sales positions in horticulture or allied firms for fertilizers, seed, food and ornamental crops, pesticides, equipment, processing and packaging

Inspection -- Field diagnosticians and inspectors for fresh and processed products in federal or private agencies

Landscaping -- Planners, designers and installers of residential, commercial, public and recreational landscapes (both exterior and interior), employment with nurseries, landscape management and maintenance firms or private consultants

Research -- Positions at public and private institutions as technicians in field and laboratory research. Areas of research include horticultural plant breeding, pesticide evaluation, crop physiology, product testing and quality control, plant propagation and biotechnology

Arborist or Urban Park Forester -- Selection, planting and management of woody plants in urban environments

Park Management and Maintenance -- Positions in national, state and local park systems, botanic gardens and arboreta

Communication -- Writers/editors for television, radio, magazines and newspapers

Teaching and Extension -- Extension personnel who assist growers, industry and the public through education and outreach

Golf Course Superintendent -- professional manager who manages the labor, time, materials and financial resources needed to care for the turfgrass and landscaped grounds on a golf course. Starting as an assistant, it is possible for a graduate to become a full-fledged golf course superintendent in three to five years. Starting salaries range from $28,000 to $35,000, with the national average of head superintendents reaching more than $80,000

Sports Turf Management -- professional manager that is entrusted with the operation and management of sports fields and facilities. The average salary of a sports turf manager is about $44,000. Sports fields include baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, lawn bowling and cricket.

Lawn Care Operator -- professional manager responsible for the cultivation and care of the landscaping and grounds surrounding a business or building. Lawn care operators comprise the largest single group of potential career opportunities for the graduate with more than 6,000 companies in the United States servicing millions of American lawns at the residential, commercial and institutional levels.

Facility Managers -- professional manager that maintains the buildings and grounds of an organization, directing staff and overseeing the upkeep of equipment and supplies. Facilities managers make sure the buildings and grounds are maintained, which entails daily and weekly reduction improvements and safety inspections.

Graduates with master’s degrees find positions in research, extension service and private industry. Teaching positions are available at community colleges, technical schools and other agriculture-related institutions.

They are also in demand for technical, supervisory and managerial positions in various horticultural industries. Graduates with doctoral degrees are qualified for teaching, research and extension positions at universities. They also may be employed for research positions by the USDA, government agencies, public and private botanical gardens and institutions, and various horticulture, breeding and biotechnology companies.


The Department of Plant Sciences awards 15 horticultural scholarships each year. The Horticulture and Forestry Club also awards one scholarship. Contact the department for more information.

Extra-Curricular Activities

An active Horticulture and Forestry Club meets at least monthly. Collegiate contests and exhibits provide educational and leadership opportunities. Field trips are made annually, exposing students to a diversity of horticultural enterprises and potential job opportunities. Club members propagate, grow and sell flowers and ornamental plants to finance social events, field trips and scholarships.

Turf Club

The goals of the Turf Club are to provide students with opportunities to share information, connect with the turf industry, gain real world experience and broaden their knowledge. The club organizes field trips, topic discussions and presentations by guest speakers. Other activities include attending regional and national turf conferences, community service and fundraising.

High School Preparation

Students should take high school courses in the sciences, such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and vocational agriculture. English, communication and familiarity with computers also are essential.


Loftsgard Hall, a state of the art facility, houses the Department of Plant Sciences, including classrooms, research labs and student learning centers. Other facilities include campus greenhouses, the Horticulture Research Farm and Arboretum near Absaraka and NDSU Research/Extension Centers located throughout the state.

Sample Curriculum

General Education Requirements
    First Year Experience
1     AGRI 189 - Skills for Academic Success
3     COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
3, 3     ENGL. 110, 120 - College Composition I, II
3     English Upper Level Writing Course
    Quantitative Reasoning
3     STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics
    Science & Technology
3, 1     CHEM 121, 121L - General Chemistry I and Lab
3     CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II
3 or 4     CSCI 114 - Microcomputer Packages or 
        CSCI 116 - Business Use of Computers
6   Humanities & Fine Arts
    Social & Behavioral Sciences
3     ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics or 
        ECON 202 - Principles of Macroeconomics
3     Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective
2   Wellness
-   Cultural Diversity
    Global Perspective
3     ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics
40   Total
Credits   Major Requirements
1   AGRI 150 - Agriculture Orientation
3, 1   BIOL 150, 150L - General Biology I and Lab
3   ENT 350 - General Entomology
3, 1   PLSC 210, 211 - Horticulture Science and Lab
3   PLSC 315 - Genetics
3   PLSC 355 - Woody LandScape Plants
3   PLSC 457 - Horticulture and Turfgrass Systems (Capstone)   
1   PLSC 491 -  Seminar
3   PPTH 324 - Introductory Plant Pathology
38-53   Option Electives
25   Electives
88-103   Total

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Loftsgard Hall
Room 166

Loftsgard Hall is located near the center of campus on Albrecht Boulevard, just west of Visitors Lot E (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Dr. Richard Horsley, Head
Department of Plant Sciences
North Dakota State University
Loftsgard Hall 166
Dept #7670, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7971 / Fax: (701) 231-8474

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 01, 2016 4:57:03 PM
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