M.S. in Horticulture


The M.S. degree consists of course work and original research, which is reported in a thesis. The research is performed under the guidance of the major professor. The study program, i.e., the list of graduate courses to be taken, is developed under the guidance of the major professor and a committee of graduate faculty organized by the student and the major professor. The graduate committee evaluates the thesis and the student’s knowledge of his or her field in a final oral examination.


  • A minimum of 45 graduate credit hours is required, including 6 -12 credits of thesis, i.e., Hort 503.
  • Approximately two-thirds of work (30 hours) must be in the major and one-third (15 hours) in the minor field.
  • The residence requirement is 30 Oregon State University credits after admission as a graduate student. This does not include hours taken as a post-baccalaureate or special student.
  • A maximum of 15 term hours of graduate work may be completed at another accredited institution.
  • A study program for the degree must be filed in the Graduate School before the completion of 18 hours of graduate course work, usually before the end of the second term.
  • No more than 9 blanket-numbered* credits are to be contained in the program, excluding the research paper or thesis. [* blanket-numbered courses are those whose middle digit is zero, e.g., 505, 507, etc. (See Graduate Catalog for more information).
  • The Department of Horticulture requires that the following is included in a student’s MS study program:
    • HORT 507 (1 credit), Horticulture Seminar. The student presents a seminar at the regularly scheduled time of the department seminar (Tuesdays at 4:00 PM).
    • HORT 511 (2 credits), Research and Educational Perspectives in Horticulture, to be taken the first Fall term of enrollment.
    • A minimum of 4 credits of ENT/HORT 518, PBG/HORT 519, or HORT 520 (two credits per course).  At least one course should be related to the student's area of emphasis, but students are encouraged to enroll in other topic areas.
  • Successful completion of the final oral examination.
  • All work for a Master's degree must be completed within seven years, including transferred credits, course work, thesis, and all examinations.

The M.S. Graduate Committee consists of two faculty members from the major department, one from outside the major, and a representative from the Graduate Council (the "Grad Rep"). The department recommends selection of the Grad Rep early in the program so that students can obtain his or her input.

Students majoring in horticulture are required to have 30 credit hours in the major. These courses may be selected from those in horticulture as well as from those offered by many other departments.



Learning Outcomes: 

Through successful participation and completion of a Master of Science, Horticulture degree program, students will gain an advanced understanding of horticultural sciences and its relationship to other disciplines. Students will be sufficiently trained through disciplinary coursework and research experience to provide horticulture expertise and will have the breadth of knowledge to be able to communicate with professionals from the broad range of specialties involved in horticultural systems management and research.


Graduates will have the ability to conduct research that extends knowledge in the field of horticulture. This will be demonstrated through mastery and application of critical thinking in the design and conduct of research, and application of standard and innovative theory and methods in both coursework and an individual thesis research project.

Outcome 2: KNOWLEDGE

Graduates will be able to demonstrate:

• In-depth disciplinary knowledge and capacity to apply that knowledge to horticultural systems issues at multiple scales and levels of biological organization.

• Demonstrated skill in integrating horticultural systems concepts across multiple disciplines.

• The ability to employ technical knowledge and leadership skills to a horticultural research problem.

Learning outcomes specific to horticulture students:

• Ability to perform basic analyses in horticulture and associated sciences.

• Ability to perform other basic tasks required of a professional horticultural scientist.

• Understand key linkages and interactions between horticulture and other biological and earth science processes. These outcomes will be accomplished through successful completion of the coursework required for the degree and a thesis research project.


Graduates will have the ability to communicate professionally and with the public about horticulture research and resources. They will gain skills and experience in communicating in both formal and informal venues with learners, practitioners and community members. This will be demonstrated through presentation of a public thesis seminar and public non-thesis seminar.


Graduates will have a commitment to diversity and high ethical standards in scholarship, teaching and service. This will occur through participation and training in research methods courses, professional development courses, and seminars, workshops, or other activities focused on diversity and ethics.


Graduates will demonstrate awareness of the broader implications of their research. These broader implications can include the linkages and relationships between the student’s research and aspects of broader society such social relationships—including issues relating to diversity equity and inclusion, economics, and environmental impacts. This will be demonstrated through exploration of these issues in the thesis, as part of the thesis seminar, or during the final exam.





Learn more: 

Degree: Horticulture

Level: Master of Science (M.S.)

Department: Department of Horticulture

Class Location: Corvallis Campus

Contact Us: 

For more information or to review our admissions process, please contact:

Elaine Clark
Oregon State University
4017 ALS Building
Corvallis, OR 97331-3002
Phone: (541) 737-5477
Fax: (541) 737-3479

Degree Requirements - OSU Catalog

John Lambrinos
Director of Graduate Programs
4137 Ag Life Sciences Bldg
Corvallis, OR 97331-3002
Phone: (541) 737-3484


Graduate Program

How to Apply

Ph.D. in Horticulture

Accelerated Master's Platform in Horticulture

Financial Support

Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses AY 2023-2024

Graduate Student Handbook

Graduate Student Success

Graduate Certificate (Online)


Graduate News

Horticulture Graduate Council

Graduate School News