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Department of Agriculture  

For More Information

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5638
Fax: 417-836-6979
Email: Agriculture@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

Horticulture is the production, care, marketing and use of landscape plants, flowers, turfgrass, fruits and vegetables. A Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture prepares graduates for employment in a number of career areas.

Landscape horticulture involves phases of production, marketing, installation and care of landscape plants, including landscape design and landscape plant identification. Turfgrass management relates to work in golf course and other sports turf management and lawn care services. Floriculture is a choice for students interested in greenhouse management and production of bedding plants, perennials or foliage plants, as well as work in cut flower marketing and floral design. In pomology, or fruit culture, graduates can find career opportunities in orchard and vineyard management and fruit production and marketing. Olericulture is the field of vegetable production, with career opportunities in vegetable growing and marketing.

Many students pursuing careers in the above areas of production, marketing and service seek to be self-employed, with the goal of having their own horticultural business. Related career opportunities also exist in sales of horticultural supplies, seeds, fertilizers and chemicals. Opportunities in landscape horticulture and turfgrass management are abundant for students with a good business management background along with the horticultural skills, particularly in the service-related sectors of these fields.

Horticultural graduates are commonly employed in landscape design and installation, garden center management, wholesale nursery plant production, golf course management, lawn maintenance services, greenhouse management, floral design, botanical gardens and arboreta, public parks, corporate grounds, horticulture therapy, agricultural education, cooperative extension service and research. In addition, horticulture graduates are prepared to enter graduate programs in plant breeding, plant pathology, vegetable production, native plant restoration and other plant science areas.

Academic Program

The four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree at MSU requires all students to complete 49-51 hours of general education courses. In addition, Horticulture majors take 55 hours of horticulture major courses, which include supporting courses in soil science, plant nutrition, entomology, plant pathology, weed management and taxonomy. An additional 15 hours of accounting, economics, marketing and business management courses are required for the general horticulture major to prepare the students for operating a business. Horticulture majors are also required to enroll in an internship while attending MSU. Internships provide on-the-job, practical experience in a horticultural field of interest to the student and provide college credit toward the degree.

There are no special high school courses required in preparation for a B.S. degree in Horticulture; however, students are encouraged to prepare themselves by taking science-related courses such as biology and chemistry as well as mathematics. In addition, good communication skills are essential. Vocational agricultural courses in the horticultural field can give students a boost in starting their college careers at Missouri State University.


The following is a list of specific courses in horticulture. These are included in the more than 80 courses offered by the Department of Agriculture.

  • Applied Entomology*
  • Diseases of Economic Plants*
  • Floral Design
  • Floriculture
  • Greenhouse Management
  • Herbaceous Plants
  • Indoor Plants
  • Internship in Horticulture*
  • Introduction to Forestry
  • Landscape Design
  • Landscape Plants
  • Nursery Management
  • Plant Propagation
  • Pomology
  • Turfgrass Management*
  • Vegetable Production*
  • Viticulture
  • Weed Management*

* Required courses; all others can be selected as a group of 11 hours of required horticulture electives.


Two of the 15 full-time Department of Agriculture faculty hold Ph.D. degrees in horticulture and serve as academic advisors for undergraduate horticulture majors. Typical horticultural class sizes are 10-30 students, and most courses in the horticultural curriculum are taught by Ph.Ds. Important strengths of the undergraduate horticulture program at MSU are the individualized curriculum and career advisement available to students by horticultural faculty members.


The horticulture facilities include an on-campus 3900 square foot greenhouse, which is used by undergraduate and graduate student courses and research projects. Research and classroom demonstration space is also provided at the Darr Agricultural Center located a short distance from campus in Springfield. Area horticultural businesses frequently hire horticulture student interns as well as provide sites for class field trips. Research and field trips are conducted at the Fruit Experiment Station on the Missouri State University Mountain Grove campus.


Several scholarships are available to qualified horticulture majors in the Missouri State Agriculture Department, in addition to other state and national horticulture scholarships.

An active Horticulture Club provides student members with more activities related to their interests, including plant sales, landscaping, field trips and intercollegiate competitions.

Students have the opportunity to receive credit for involvement in undergraduate research supervised by one of the horticulture faculty through the Special Problems in Horticulture course.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

First Semester Courses Hours
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations2
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
CSC 111 Introduction to Computing3
AGN 115 Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment3
KIN 210 Healthy Lifestyles: Preventive Approaches3
BIO 102 or 1214
Total Hours 16
Second Semester Courses Hours
ENG 110 Writing I3
Culture and Society-Humanities3
CHM 107 Chemistry for the Citizen3
CHM 108 Chemistry for the Citizen Laboratory1
MTH 135 College Algebra3
Horticulture Elective3
Total Hours 17

Sophomore Year

First Semester Courses Hours
HST 121 or HST 1223
AGB 144 Agricultural Economics I4
AGN 215 Soils3
ACC 201 Introduction to Financial Accounting3
Total Hours 16
Second Semester Courses Hours
PSY 121 Introductory Psychology3
PLS 101 American Democracy and Citizenship3
AGN 335 Soil Conservation and Water Management3
AGP 441 Vegetable Production3
Culture and Society3
Horticulture Elective2
Total Hours 17

Junior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
AGP 485 Weed Science3
AGB 334 Marketing Agricultural Products3
Horticulture Elective3
BIO 339 Identification of Woody Plants2
General Elective3
AGR 490 Agronomy/Horticulture Senior Seminar1
Total Hours 15
Second Semester Courses Hours
AGR 320 Writing in the Applied Sciences3
AGP 353 Turf Science3
AGP 393 Fruit Production3
AGR 300 Food and Agricultural Chemistry3
Total Hours 15

Senior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
AGP 583 Plant Pathology3
MGT 340 Organizational Behavior and Management3
Horticulture Elective3
AGR 499 Internship in Agriculture1-8
General Elective3
Total Hours 15
Second Semester Courses Hours
AGN 405 Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition3
General Elective3
AGH 3833
GEP 397 Capstone Course3
MKT 350 Principles of Marketing3
Total Hours 15