Horticulture Options

As an undergraduate, you’ll get firsthand experience with Oregon horticulture. Many courses include field trips to farms, orchards, vineyards, golf courses, landscape management firms, and contemporary and historic landscapes.

Ecological Management of Turf, Landscape, and Urban Horticulture

Curriculum for Ecological Management of Turf, Landscape, and Urban Horticulture Option

The turf, landscape, and urban horticulture industries are large and diverse, offering careers in golf course and athletic field management; landscape design, construction, management, and ecological restoration; conservation; park, botanical, and public garden management; urban horticulture and forestry policy and management; research; and consulting.

The Turf Management program works to develop ecological and sustainable ways to manage large grassed areas, such as golf courses, athletic fields, and parks. A natural fit for the grass seed capital of the U.S., the Willamette Valley, the turf management program allows you to integrate horticulture, biology, soil science, and pest management in your studies. Today's turf landscapes are managed with a focus on sustainability and ecosystem enhancement, and Oregon State leads the way. In addition to sustainable methods, you’ll learn about the environmental benefits of turf, like pollutant filtration and flood control, and you'll become an expert in understanding how to maintain native wildlife and bird populations while using cutting edge turf management techniques.

Recent graduates who have focused on Turf Management have become golf course supervisors, athletic field managers, and caretakers of the parks and grounds of cities, counties, and school districts. The program focuses on science, technology, 'in-field' hands-on experience, and decision making in real-world settings. Activities stress networking and exposure to multiple work environments to help students integrate quickly into the industry.

In the Landscape and Urban Horticulture program, students will learn about sustainable landscape management, urban forestry, and the ecosystem services provided by the built environment, such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation, temperature modulation, waste decomposition and detoxification, purification of water and air, storm and rainwater management, crop pollination, pest and disease control, nutrient dispersal and cycling, seed dispersal, intellectual and spiritual inspiration, recreational experiences, and scientific discovery.

Landscape professionals design, build, and manage aesthetically pleasing, functional, and environmentally responsible natural spaces where we all live, work, and play. Some focus is on ecological restoration of disturbed habitats. In recent years, the industry has expanded and rapidly become more sophisticated to meet the challenges of today’s urban environment. Consequently, there is great demand for creative, motivated individuals who love the outdoors and enjoy working with plants, soil, water, nature, and people.

Active Learning

As a student studying Turf Management, you'll spend time conducting field research trials at our turfgrass research facility at Lewis-Brown Farm. You'll also have the opportunity to compete in the yearly Collegiate Turf Bowl at the GCSAA Education Conference and the Golf Industry Show. Most students also join the Turf Club, as there you'll get to meet industry members, visit their golf courses and athletic fields, perform community service, and play golf at a local golf course - for free!

As a student studying Ecological Landscapes and Urban Horticulture, you'll spend time in one of our greenhouses, learning the best methods to grow and propagate plants and at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture, working on permaculture and landscape design, construction and management projects. You'll also learn from faculty in the College of Forestry, to explore the latest urban forest management techniques. Student teams will also attend the Collegiate Competition at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Landscape Professionals. The Department of Horticulture encourages students to get out of the classroom and take a hands-on approach to learning and skill development.

General Horticulture (Online)

Curriculum for General Horticulture (Online) Option

If you're seeking the flexibility of an online degree, the General Horticulture option offered through Oregon State's Ecampus gives you the opportunity to face problems as a professional horticulturist, with a solid education and background in sound scientific principals.

This option is especially recommended if you're already working in the horticultural industry, because it will build upon your existing knowledge in biology, plant science, soils, and more. The General Horticulture option will also introduce you to the latest technology and trends in the field.

Recent graduates of the online General Horticulture option have been promoted to agricultural inspector, started a landscape architecture business, and become technical writers.

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Active Learning

While most of your schoolwork will be completed online, you will be required to complete hands-on lab experiences, either through purchased kits or through virtual lab projects created collaboratively between Horticulture faculty and the curriculum design team in Ecampus. In addition, your schedule's flexibility may allow you to accept an internship or work in one of our many facilities. An internship provides professional-level interaction with growers, managers, field reps, and consultants; and provides hands-on experience.

If you'd like to conduct your own research project, there are research intensive classes available both online and in a classroom setting.

Horticultural Research

Curriculum for Horticultural Research Option

The Horticultural Research option is designed for students interested in graduate school and/or a career in academic or industrial research. It provides you with an excellent foundation in the natural sciences and horticulture, and accommodates your specific research interests. Your studies will involve you in critical thinking, and allow you to seek out, synthesize, and apply information from many sources to analyze novel situations and solve problems.

You will complete a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor, and will write an undergraduate thesis. Many theses focus on problems and challenges found in Oregon horticulture and provide Oregonians with innovative solutions.

Recent graduates have gone on to Masters and Ph.D. programs at Oregon State, U.C. Davis and Cornell University, received a Fulbright Scholarship to study abroad and have studied diverse topics such as plant breeding, green roof technology, entomology, and weed science.

Active Learning

Our undergraduates have worked at local research institutions including the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service laboratories, the National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, the Corvallis Plant Materials Center of the National Resources Conservation Service, and the North Willamette Research and Extension Center. With your faculty mentor, you'll determine the best setting for your research.

Plant Breeding and Genetics

Curriculum for Plant Breeding and Genetics Option

An interdisciplinary approach to applied plant breeding is the cornerstone of the Plant Breeding and Genetics option. After completing this degree, you will have gained fundamental knowledge in plant breeding that may be applied to a range of crops including annual and perennial horticultural crops, agronomic food and feed crops, and forestry products.

Graduates of the Plant Breeding and Genetics option often enter public or private sector breeding programs, or go on to attend graduate school.

Active Learning

As a student studying Plant Breeding and Genetics, you'll gain practical experience in breeding and genetic analysis working in the greenhouse, field, and lab. You'll also be able to take advantage of OSU's extensive, cross-campus interdisciplinary plant science network and the Pacific Northwest's largest plant breeding program to explore your research interests.

Sustainable Horticultural Production

Curriculum for Sustainable Horticultural Production Option

As a student focusing on the Sustainable Horticultural Production option at Oregon State University, you will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to manage integrated and organic fruit, berry, vegetable, nursery and/or greenhouse production systems. You will gain knowledge and experience in integrated pest management, plant propagation, plant nutrition, soil science, ecology, economics and business.

Recent graduates who have focused on Sustainable Horticultural Production have become plant breeders, started small farms, worked as field scouts and crop advisors, managed retail gardens and nurseries, and gone to graduate school.

Active Learning

As a student studying Sustainable Horticultural Production, you'll spend time in our greenhouses and out in the field, studying the best production methods. The Department of Horticulture encourages students to get out of the classroom and take a hands-on approach to learning so that they become proficient in the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their horticultural career.

Therapeutic Horticulture

Curriculum for Therapeutic Horticulture Option

As a Therapeutic Horticulture student, you will acquire the skills and knowledge needed to design healing and adapted gardens and to provide therapy programs that improve the quality of people’s lives. Our curriculum stresses effectively treating such clients as senior citizens struggling with physical or cognitive issues, individuals with developmental disabilities, and at-risk youth with the restorative powers of gardens, landscapes, and greenspaces.

As a horticultural therapist, you'll help treat patients with significant health or emotional problems through the healing influence of nature. Horticultural Therapy is practiced throughout the world in a wide diversity of settings and cultures, including mental health settings, physical rehabilitation, vocation services, corrections, long-term care and hospice, special education programs, and youth and community services. Memory can be improved through learning a gardening process, coordination can be strengthened by planting, and connections can be made between the earth and those with emotional and mental disabilities.

Graduates of the Therapeutic Horticultural option may become Registered Horticultural Therapists, Community Garden Coordinators, and Rehabilitation Program Coordinators.

Active Learning

As a horticulture therapy student, you'll attend some of your classes at Legacy Healthcare System in Portland, in their award-winning therapy gardens. By working closely with patients, in a renowned Horticultural Therapy program, you will enhance your patient care skills while gaining real world experience.

Viticulture and Enology

Curriculum for Viticulture and Enology Option

Our Viticulture and Enology option is designed to support your learning about sustainable wine grape production practices that consider vine and vineyard health while also emphasizing the profitability of the vineyard and winery business. This learning, along with a strong basic horticultural sciences background, will be critical to your growth as a professional in vineyard production science and to your ability to contribute effectively to the wine grape industry upon graduation. As only one of five universities in the nation with programs in both grape and wine production sciences, the Viticulture and Enology option through the Department of Horticulture is an excellent program for you if you are interested in vineyard production, vine growth and physiology, as well as enology.

Vineyard and winery production and the wine sales and agri-tourism associated with the industry is a significant component of the Oregon economy; it is estimated to contribute $2.7 billion annually. The increase in acreage, number of wineries and total wine sales in the past ten years shows that Oregon's reputation as a well-respected wine production region continues to grow. As a student of this program, you will help bolster this reputation by becoming an expert in sustainable viticulture production methods with a strong background in basic sciences, horticulture production, agriculture, and viticulture sciences.

Recent graduates of the Viticulture and Enology option have become vineyard managers, viticulturists, consultants, and winemakers.

Active Learning

As a student studying viticulture and enology, you'll spend time conducting trials and research projects at Woodhall Vineyard, Oregon State's research vineyard. Students will also visit Willamette Valley vineyards to learn about problems and opportunities facing local producers. VITIS Club, the student organization for those interested in wine production at OSU, coordinates yearly wine tours and assists in yearly maintenance at Woodhall Vineyard. The Department of Horticulture encourages students to get out of the classroom and take a hands-on approach to learning and research in viticulture and enology.