Horticultural industries include a prolific array of crops, plants, climates, gardens, and people interested in a tremendous diversity of enterprises, applications, and activities. Plants and plant communities in urban landscapes, watersheds, parks, golf courses, turf, gardens and arboreta, native plants, streamside gardens, restoration sites, bioswales, and green technologies are used to enhance environments and reduce energy requirements, provide ecosystem services, and contribute to human health and the beauty of our world. ruits, vegetables, berries, viticulture, and nuts are studied in our program to lead to optimized production and the development of new varieties with enhanced flavor, storage, pest and disease resistance, nutritional value and sustainability.
Horticulture faculty contribute to research, teaching, and Extension programs in collaboration with people who share an interest or passion for managing plants for human use and enjoyment. Research faculty explore the frontiers of genetics, genomics, molecular biology, physiology, ecology, soils, crop and nutrient management, water quality and conservation, tillage and cropping systems, integrated pest management, and sustainable and organic farming systems. Teaching faculty train students in integrated horticulture production (IHP), turf, and landscape management while other faculty teach graduate courses. Extension faculty deliver educational topics in a variety of formats and research applications within subject matter or commodity areas.
Our faculty include 58 individuals in professional and instructor rank positions who work in 23 counties, four branch stations, and the Corvallis campus. Appointments often are split between research and teaching, multi-county Extension programs, disciplines covering multiple commodities, and administration in counties or experiment stations. Also, nine courtesy faculty contribute to horticultural research with USDA appointments and 36 emeritus faculty are involved in statewide activities.
Why Choose a Horticulture Degree?
Are you interested in creating a secure and sustainable food source for the future? Or, is the design, construction, and management of community and private gardens and landscapes, and recreational facilities, more your speed? Perhaps you want to use plants to restore wetlands and other ecosystems or to provide habitat for pollinators and other beneficial organisms. Possibly you want to help others by providing refuge and healing through therapeutic horticulture. You can explore all of these paths, and more, as a student in the Department of Horticulture. Here we stress broad knowledge, critical thinking, active learning, analysis of novel situations, and field-based problem-solving.
If you’re attending the Corvallis Campus, you'll have the opportunity to experience Oregon's landscapes and farms up-close and personal with field trips and experiential work at our research facilities while studying for a Horticulture degree. For our E-campus students, applied learning experiences will also be provided. We emphasize active learning, so you'll be out in the field evaluating systems, learning and exploring practices, establishing gardens, orchards, vineyards, landscapes, hardscapes, permaculture sites and more.
Where can a degree in Horticulture take you?
Explore career paths in Horticulture in Career Paths and options below:
- Serving as superintendent of a golf club
- Overseeing sports parks as an athletic field director
- Maintaining fields as a turf manager or grounds maintenance supervisor
- Working for parks and recreation programs as a facility manager
- Identifying and using ecologically sound methods to reduce water, fertilizer, and pesticide use to create wildlife habitat
- Creating vital landscapes that provide ecosystem services
- Owning or managing a landscaping business and establishing landscapes for homeowners and commericial and public properties
- Designing and maintaining public parks and botanical gardens
- Developing and applying innovative urban landscape techniques that improve air and water quality and reduce energy inputs for buildings
- Owning or managing a nursery, greenhouse, orchard, vineyard, market garden, or Christmas tree farm
- Advising growers or educating the public about ecological issues in horticulture
- Consulting about sustainable land use practices
- Representing a horticultural service, supply, or food processing company to growers
- Working as a field or laboratory researcher
- Participating in breeding new varieties of fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals
- Developing innovative methods to control pests and diseases
- Exploring the emerging field of landscape ecology
- Continuing your interests in graduate school
- Designing healing gardens for patients and caregivers at medical and other care facilities
- Designing and using horticultural systems for people with disabilities
- Using therapeutic horticulture to assist people with physical, empotional, or mental challenges in gaining skills, adaptations, and coping methods that enhance their lives
- Owning or managing a vineyard or winery
- Advising growers about viticulture and vineyard management
- Educating the public about topical issues in viticulture
- Representing and promoting the wine industry
- Attending graduate programs in plant breeding and genetics.
- Working as a field or laboratory researcher in plant breeding or biotechnology.
- Establishing your own breeding company.