rhsa banner
Search the site:  
  1. Admissions
  2. Scholarships
  3. Student Organizations
  4. Virtual Campus Tour
Ornamental Horticulture Program
Program Objectives
Graduation Requirements
Related Facilities
Career Opportunities

The Horticulture program at the University of Connecticut reflects the diversity of the industry in the state. Despite its urban nature, Connecticut has more trees and green space per square mile than any other state. The state ranks tenth in the nation in nursery production and has a strong greenhouse industry as well as viable orchard, vegetable, Christmas tree, and pick-your-own operations.  Florists, garden centers, landscapers, groundskeepers and arborists are also growing industries.
With this diversity in mind, the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture offers balanced curricula covering many aspects of plant science. Students studying Horticulture may choose to focus on Floriculture, Nursery Management, and/or and Landscaping. 

The Horticulture program in the Ratcliffe Hicks School is offered by the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. The department undertakes comprehensive teaching, research and outreach activities.

Program Objectives

The goal of the Horticulture program is to prepare students for employment, management, or entrepreneurial positions in florist, garden center, landscaping, greenhouse and nursery operations or related businesses.
A graduate of the program should be able to:
  • Understand basic fundamentals of plant growth
  • Understand relationships between soil and plants
  • Understand plant water relationships
  • Understand Integrated Pest Management related to plant management
  • Understand plant/environment interactions
  • Understand how plant management practices/strategies effect water quality and the environment
  • Identify and describe insect, disease, and physiological problems of plants and develop control strategies
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Demonstrate skills in accessing information
  • Demonstrate mathematical skills utilized by today’s Green Industry
  • Identify major taxa of ornamental plants, both woody and herbaceous
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of landscape plant management
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of horticultural crop production
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate uses of ornamental plants
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practices of plant propagation.
  • Demonstrate a professional attitude in relationships with employers, customers, fellow employees, and professional peers.
  • Understand the importance of professional development, continuing education, and life-long learning as components of a successful career

The Department of Plant Science offers a wide range of courses in Horticulture providing both academic and applied educational opportunities. Descriptions of all of the courses in the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog. Highly qualified, experienced and dedicated faculty members provide an excellent educational environment.

The Department of Plant Science has an active Horticulture Club, whichclub presents a two-day Horticulture Show during the fall semester. The club also has a landscape exhibit at the Hartford Flower Show in February, invites noted horticulturists to speak at its meetings, and takes trips to horticultural showplaces such as Longwood Gardens and trade shows.

Students are encouraged to participate in student organizations offered within the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as other student activities offered by the University (visit: getinvolved.uconn.edu).

Graduation Requirements

Students who complete the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture Ornamental Horticulture and Turfgrass Management program earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Turfgrass Management. In order to earn the AAS degree, students must fulfill all requirements as outlined on the current RHSA Plan of Study and also in the RHSA section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

In order to complete 64 credits in four semesters, students need to average 16 credits per semester. Students meet with advisors regularly to discuss appropriate registration, academic concerns, and their individual interests and goals. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they complete graduation requirements. View a suggested four-semester sequence for students in the Ornamental Horticulture program.


Related Facilities

Excellent laboratory and field facilities, high-tech classrooms, and computer facilities support the Horticulture program. They include:
  • Floriculture Greenhouses: Six greenhouses with about 17,000 square feet available for teaching, research and production.
  • Plant Science Teaching and Research Facility: This ninety-acre farm includes greenhouses, shaded areas, and field plantings used for research and teaching in crops, floriculture, nursery, soils, turf, and vegetables.
  • Ratcliffe Hicks/C.R Burr Teaching Nursery: Five-acre nursery operation with greenhouses, hoop houses, capillary beds and field plots for both container and field production of nursery crops.
  • University Campus/Arboretum: Extensive grounds with an impressive collection of woody plant materials used in teaching.
  • Plant Biotechnology Facility: Includes a commercial laboratory and is used for micropropagation and other tissue culture projects.
  • Landscape Computer Aided Design Laboratory: Microcomputer laboratory set up with AutoCAD and LANDCADD for classroom and individual use.
Career Opportunities
Career options are wide open for graduates of our program. Through the years, graduates have gone into business for themselves, or worked in floricultural or nursery production, sales, landscaping, groundskeeping, retail garden centers, florist shops. Others have moved into management positions. Many graduates have continued their education in baccalaureate and graduate programs.

Related Links:
Department of
Plant Science & Landscape Architecture
Recommended course sequence for RHSA Ornamental Horticulture
List of RHSA courses
Plans of Study
Scholarships and
Financial Aid
Careers and Internships
Advising Information
Application Process
UConn Student
Services Center
Office of the Registrar
©University of Connecticut, Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
1376 Storrs Road, U-4090
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-2920
canr rhsa