Best Online Horticulture Programs

This degree also helps you develop the applied research competencies needed to obtain an online master's degree in horticulture.

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by Staff Writer

Updated April 26, 2022

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An online bachelor's in horticulture prepares graduates for roles as plant breeders, farmers, landscape architects, and flower designers. The cost of these programs varies greatly. CollegeBoard reports that public schools charged an average tuition of $10,740 for the 2021-22 academic year. Private institutions charged an average of $38,070 during the same timeframe.

Most full-time students graduate in four years, regardless of online or in-person program formats. Graduates can look forward to a variety of exciting careers. Although, some careers may require extra training to qualify.

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Whether students need to find the top online schools for horticulture or have questions about required courses, this page provides that information. It also covers potential careers for graduates and degree costs.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Horticulture Program?

Before enrolling in an online bachelor's in horticulture program, interested students should consider whether program outcomes align with their expectations. Many people who decide to pursue a horticulture degree enjoy being outdoors and appreciate the natural world. They also like thinking creatively and working with others to bring a vision to life.

Most online bachelor's in horticulture degrees consist of about 120 credits and require four years of full-time study. Part-time students may need six years to graduate. Learners who select an accelerated option can graduate in as few as three years.

In addition to general core requirements, many schools provide concentrations to help students build specialized skills in niche areas. Concentrations vary by program, but common options include:

Aside from coursework, many programs require students to participate in a semester-long internship during their third year of studies. This internship allows students to build real-world experience and start networking before graduation.

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Popular Online Bachelor's in Horticulture Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Horticulture Program?

Introduction to Horticulture Professions

Taken in the first semester, this course introduces learners to horticulture as a profession. Coursework highlights the various career paths available to graduates. It also considers the work horticulturists do and how it contributes to society.

Plants, Soil, and People

This course focuses on the impending issue of global food shortages. Course topics emphasize biological and ecological concerns for food production.

Turf Management

This course looks at what it takes to maintain various types of turfgrasses. Examples include those at athletic fields, parks, residential lawns, or golf courses. Students learn how to identify and install different types of turf and properly maintain them.

Landscape Construction

Designed for students considering landscape architecture careers, this course looks at design principles, soil preparation, and planting based on climate. Students design their own layouts as part of the class.

Floral Design

Students consider the appropriate uses for both spring and fall flowers. Topics include design principles, various types of flowers and foliage, and how to use flowers in floral arranging and construction.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Horticulture Program?

Admission requirements for an online bachelor's in horticulture degree vary by school and program, but most look similar. Both online and campus-based programs may ask for a portfolio of work as part of the admissions process. We look at other common requirements below.

Application

All applicants to an online bachelor's in horticulture program must submit an application. Prospective students can typically do this online. The process requires a nonrefundable processing fee. Application information commonly required includes the applicant's full name, mailing address, date of birth, and citizenship status.

Test Scores

Depending on an applicant's school, they may need to submit test scores from a college entrance exam. The two most commonly used exams include the ACT and the SAT. Some schools have waived this requirement, especially during the COVID-19 era.

Letters of Recommendation

Many applications ask for letters of recommendation. These letters allow those who know the applicant well to speak to their strengths and weaknesses, and their preparedness for higher education. Recommendation letters typically come from current and former teachers, supervisors, volunteer managers, or faith leaders.

Essays

College application essays provide the opportunity for students to write about why they want to study horticulture. Learners can also share how they plan to use the degree and why they want to attend a particular school. Students should try to write a unique essay that helps them stand out from other applicants.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts serve many purposes. Along with helping admissions counselors confirm GPAs and ensure students took all prerequisite classes, transcripts also help transfer students. Admissions officers use transcripts to learn which college-level classes taken previously can transfer to the new horticulture program.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Horticulture Degree?

Career Outlook

Earning an online bachelor's in horticulture degree provides the training and knowledge needed to qualify for various jobs. While some positions require candidates to possess a master's or doctoral degree, many entry-level jobs only require baccalaureate credentials. Although it may not be one of the most popular college majors, students who choose this path often enjoy their training.

Graduates may earn median salaries between $40,000-$70,000 on average. Although, factors such as experience level, job title, employer, and location all affect these numbers. Horticulture graduates can work in many fields, including landscaping, gardening, floral design, or turf management.

Career Paths

Tree Trimmer or Pruner

These professionals use advanced techniques to climb and rig large trees to remove excess or dead branches. They may work for local governments to trim trees near power lines or busy roads. Or, they may own their own tree trimming business, taking on residential and commercial clients.

Median Annual Salary: $41,340

Landscape Architect

Landscape architects use their skills to design outdoor spaces. These professionals can work on college campuses, recreational areas, private homes, or businesses. They use their knowledge of terrain, soil, climate, and land features to create designs that meet client needs. They also conduct environmental studies to ensure proper drainage and sunlight.

Median Annual Salary: $70,630

Environmental Scientist

These professionals use their knowledge of natural sciences and environmental studies to help protect the environment and, by extension, human health. They collect environmental data such as soil, water, and other natural materials to analyze. These scientists use their findings to address water pollution and other environmental issues.

Median Annual Salary: $73,230

Horticulturist

Horticulturists perform various important tasks, including breeding existing and new plant species, using plants to landscape outdoor areas, and ensuring the plants used in their designs stay healthy and well tended. They frequently complete an apprenticeship or internship as part of the hiring process.

Average Annual Salary: $42,780

Nursery Manager

Nursery managers care for a variety of plants in a commerce setting, ensuring they stay healthy until people purchase them. These managers are also responsible for ordering new plants and supplies as needed to keep stock levels high. In addition, they oversee other nursery workers and interact with customers and plant providers directly.

Average Annual Salary: $45,120

Horticulture Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

After working in the field for several years, online bachelor's in horticulture graduates may decide to return to school. Earning a master's or doctorate in horticulture can open new professional pathways and allow graduates to take on senior-level positions providing higher pay and managerial experience.

Some students may decide to move into research-based roles, developing new plant and flower varieties or addressing environmental concerns. Others may decide to educate the next generation of horticulture students by filling a faculty position at a college or university.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Horticulture Program?

Cost

The cost of an online bachelor's in horticulture can vary widely based on the type of school a learner attends. Students on a budget may decide to study at a public school in their state of residence. Making sure students understand the true program cost and that they compare costs between online and on-campus programs can help save money.

Program Format

Programs may offer various learning options. Some programs provide synchronous classes, while those looking to add extra flexibility offer asynchronous coursework. Learners can also choose from full-time and part-time schedules, depending on their needs. Some schools may provide accelerated programs that allow students to graduate faster.

Location

Students can pick a school anywhere nationwide when completing a fully online bachelor's in horticulture. Because some online programs provide in-state tuition regardless of where students live, this option may provide a more affordable education. That said, students must first decide whether they should attend college on-campus or online.

Accreditation

Attending a properly accredited school and program helps ensure that students can find jobs, pursue advanced education, and transfer credits. In addition to finding an online college with proper institutional accreditation, students can also look for programs accredited by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

Student Support

The best online bachelor's in horticulture programs provide solid student support services, such as opportunities for mentorship and access to high-quality internship programs. Distance learners should also consider finding a program with accessible and meaningful online student services.

Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Horticulture Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

Best Horticulture

  1. Oregon State University
    Location

    Corvallis, OR

    Tuition

    $18625

    Based in Corvallis, OSU enrolls nearly 33,000 students each year. The school provides an extensive array of degrees, including an online bachelor's in horticulture that prepares candidates for careers as conservation scientists, crop and livestock managers, and park naturalists. The program offers flexible course scheduling and four yearly start dates.

    The 180-quarter-credit curriculum covers topics like plant nutrition, environmental economics and policies, and applied ecology. Students learn how to cultivate sustainable landscapes and implement organic farming/gardening initiatives. Candidates must also complete a 360-hour internship.

    OSU prefers first-year applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher. The university maintains a test-optional policy, allowing students to decide whether they want to submit their ACT/SAT scores.

  2. Colorado State University - Fort Collins
    Location

    Fort Collins, CO

    Tuition

    $17914

    CSU powers distance education with the Canvas platform. Undergraduate students can pick from 12 online degree options, including a bachelor of science in horticulture with a horticulture business management concentration. By completing this 120-credit program, graduates gain the necessary skills to work as landscape technicians, greenhouse managers, and plant collections curators.

    Required coursework covers topics like agricultural/resource economics and plant physiology. Distance learners also delve into horticulture entomology, focusing on food crops and landscape plants. Students can augment their online bachelor's degree in horticulture by pursuing a minor in a complementary field, like anthropology, political science, or global and environmental sustainability.

    CSU offers fall, spring, and summer entry dates. Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA for admission. In addition to a low tuition rate that disregards residency status, distance learners can access military benefits and institutional scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Horticulture Programs

Is a bachelor's in horticulture worth it?

After deciding whether an online degree is worth it, prospective students must then decide whether a bachelor's in horticulture program provides the credentials and training they need for their desired careers.These programs offer a solid education for those looking to take care of the natural world and use plants and other natural elements as part of floral and landscape designs. Students who plan to work in these types of roles typically find that a bachelor's in horticulture meets their needs and the needs of future employers.

What can I do with a bachelor's in horticulture

Earning a bachelor's in horticulture degree allows graduates to pursue jobs in many fields and specializations. Learners can work in plant breeding, landscape design, or modern farming. They can also find roles in nursery production, food science, or genetic engineering.In addition to these core topics, some programs also let students specialize in horticulture entrepreneurship. Learners who want to own a business often pursue this concentration as it provides two sets of necessary knowledge. Others decide to add an education concentration to teach others about horticulture.

Are horticulture majors in demand?

While bachelor's in horticulture programs may not be the most popular college degrees, they act as a niche subject area for students with passions in landscape, food production, and caring for the natural world.The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for landscape architects to remain static from 2020-2030. However, the BLS projects roles for environmental scientists and specialists to expand by 8% between 2020-2030. This growth may lead to the creation of 7,300 new roles by the end of the decade.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in horticulture?

Data from the BLS and Payscale show that many professionals with a bachelor's in horticulture earn median or average salaries between $40,000-$70,000. For instance, tree trimmers and pruners earned median wages of $41,340 in 2020. Landscape architects made median annual salaries of $70,630 during the same year.Many students decide to pursue a master's or doctorate in horticulture or a related topic. These advanced credentials can help professionals boost their salaries.

What was the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in horticulture?

According to the BLS, environmental scientists and specialists earned median annual salaries of $73,230 in 2020. The top 10% of earners earned more than $129,450 during the same year. When considering how to maximize income, graduates must consider several factors. For instance, those who live in larger cities with higher costs of living typically earn more than their counterparts in smaller towns or rural areas. While people in cities may earn higher salaries, they spend more on housing, transportation, and food.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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