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College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


Required Courses
Honors in the Major

381/385 Horticulture Building, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-1490; hort@hort.wisc.edu; www.horticulture.wisc.edu

Professors Goldman (chair), Bamberg, Bussan, Colquhoun, Havey, Jiang, Krysan, Nienhuis, Palta, Patterson, Simon, Spooner, Yandell; Associate Professors Bethke, Jansky, Jull, Weng; Assistant Professors  Atucha, Dawson, Endelman, Soldat, Zalapa

Horticulturists work to enrich our lives by integrating and applying plant science, environmental science, molecular biology, biotechnology, genetics, physiology, and management. Specifically, horticultural science deals with the development, production, growth, distribution, and use of fruits, vegetables, greenhouse crops, ornamentals, turf, and specialty plant crops (used for flavoring and medicine). Horticultural science is one of the most diverse biological sciences one can study at a university. Not only are the biology and genetics of crop plants interesting, but the application of this knowledge is equally important in a myriad of situations. Undergraduate horticulture majors will obtain specialized training in greenhouse/field management and the production and use of fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbaceous/woody ornamentals, and turfgrass through the Bachelor of Science degree program.

Majoring in horticulture fits the needs of students who wish to graduate with the bachelor's degree, as well as of those planning on postgraduate work. The major provides an excellent background for graduate study in the field of plant sciences. Areas of graduate study include plant breeding and plant genetics, horticulture, agronomy, plant pathology, or other related fields such as biology, environmental science, natural resource management, agroecology and genetics.

Students with either undergraduate or graduate degrees in horticulture have a variety of career opportunities. The degree serves as excellent preparation for careers in food production, plant nurseries, community supported agriculture (CSA), public gardens, landscaping, urban agriculture, greenhouse production, teaching, public parks, vegetable fields, golf courses, urban agriculture, extension and community based educational work, work in research labs, and the health sciences. In addition, many horticultural science majors go on to work in public sector jobs including city and state positions with the Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, and University of Wisconsin Extension. Students with degrees in horticulture also work in hospitals (horticultural therapy), aerospace (food and recycling in space labs), and zoos (managing environments for animals and visitors). Although the career opportunities are numerous, horticulture students have a common desire to work intensively with plants to improve our environment and our health.

Required Courses

Courses may not double count within the major (unless specifically noted otherwise), but courses counted toward the major requirements may also be used to satisfy a university requirement and/or a college requirement. A minimum of 15 credits must be completed in the major that are not used elsewhere.

Mathematics and Statistics

Math [112 and 113], or 114, or 171* or may be satisfied by placement exam
3 credits required from: Math 210, 211, 217*, 221, 222, Stat 301, 371, Comp Sci 302
*If Math 171 is taken, Math 217 must also be taken.


Chem 103 and 104, or Chem 109


One of the following sets:
Botany 130 and Zoology 101 and 102  
Biology/Botany/Zoology 151 and 152  
Biocore 381 and 383 and two of the following labs:  Biocore 382, 384, or 486 

Agricultural Breadth

Entom 302 or 351
Genetics 160 or 466
Botany 300 or 305 or 500
Pl Path 300 or 309
Soil Sci 301


Horticultural Core

One course required from: Botany 300, 400, 401, 455, 460, 500
Hort 120
Hort 121
Hort 227
Hort 320
Hort 326
Hort [334* and 335] or 375 (Organic Vegetable Production)
3 courses required from: Hort 234, [261 and 262], 263 or 375 (Arboriculture and Landscape Maintenance), 345*, 370
*Alternate years

Electives (5 cr)

Students may not double count courses within the major requirements (Agricultural Breadth, Horticulture Core, Electives, Capstone)

Business and Economics: AAE 215, 244, 246, 319, 320, 323, 343; Gen Bus 310, 311
Ecology, Conservation, and the Environment: Botany 460; F&W Ecol 248, 360, 455, 550, 565, 651; Geog 120, 127, 139, 338, 339; Geosci 106; History 460; Land Arc 361; Zoology 315, 316
Food, Health and Human Well-being: AAE 340; Agronomy 203, 300, 350, 377; C&E Soc 222, 230, 650; Food Sci 321; Geog 309; Hort 345; 370; 375 (Plants and Human Wellbeing; Organic Vegetable Production); Nutri Sci 132, 332; Pl Path 311
Landscape Horticulture: BSE 201, 243; F&W Ecol 375 (Tree Risk Assessment and Decay Detection); Hort 234, 261, 262, 263, 332, 334, 335, 375 (Arboriculture and Landscape Maintenance), 461; Land Arc 250, 260, 262
Pest Management: Agronomy 328; Entom 473, 500; Pl Path 332
Plant Biology: Botany 300, 305, 400, 401, 410, 422, 474, 500; F&W Ecol 415
Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology: Agronomy 565; Hort 338, 339, 340, 375 (Genetically Modified Crops), 500, 501, 502, 550; Hist Sci 202, 203
Public Policy and Environmental Ethics: C&E Soc 541; Envir St 368, 439, 575; Poli Sci 219, 449
Soil Science: Soil Sci 305, 321, 322, 323, 324, 575
Weather and Climate Change: Atm Ocn 101, 102, 171, 332, 520


Hort 372 or 374 or a course as approved by advisor and chair of the curriculum committee,* usually taken as a Hort 399 or 699.
*Example activities include broad-based internships or broad-based international study.

Honors in the Major

To earn Honors in the Major, students are required to take at least 20 honors credits. In addition, students must take Horticulture 289, 681 and 682 when completing their thesis project; please see the Honors in Major Checklist for Horticulture for more information. The Department of Horticulture also works collaboratively to strongly support students through the Honors in Research program.

Interested students should check with the department advisor, Kirsten Brown, once per semester to seek guidance about planning the best possible Honors in the Major curriculum.