Environmental Horticulture

Note: MSU's programs in the biological sciences are distributed across multiple departments.  MSU does not have a single Department of Biology.  For additional options see Biological Sciences at MSU.

Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology


The department participates in MSU’s Genetics Minor and recommends this minor to students particularly interested in genetics.

The curriculum in Environmental Horticulture is administered by the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology. Options are available in Environmental Horticulture Science, and Landscape Design.

Faculty members who advise students and teach courses are also active researchers in their disciplines. Students learn current knowledge and technology through formal coursework and gain valuable first-hand experience in departmental laboratories, greenhouses, and at field research farms. Students are encouraged to seek additional learning experiences outside the classroom by working in summer jobs and internship with private industry and government agencies.

Each student works closely with a faculty advisor to formulate a program of study which is appropriate with the student's career goals and also fits into one of the following options.

Environmental Horticulture Science Option

Horticulture is the science and art of growing and maintaining plants for food and for the enjoyment and improvement of the human environment. Its application through research has led to improved varieties of plants to benefit our daily lives. Students studying horticulture take fundamental courses in biology and chemistry prior to taking specialized courses such as plant materials, plant physiology, commercial plant production, plant propagation, turfgrass management and horticulture capstone and landscape management.

Graduates of this program are prepared for careers in such area as nursery crop production; landscape nurseries; greenhouse businesses; botanic gardens; golf courses; grounds maintenance; cooperative extension service; and research with private companies, public agencies or institutions of higher learning.

Landscape Design Option

The Landscape Design option will prepare students to solve aesthetic and functional landscape problems. Students learn written, oral and graphic communication skills which are necessary to convey creative solutions for landscape planning. This blend of art and science which utilizes both technical and creative studies leads to problem-solving skills for beautiful, functional and efficient landscape design solutions. Emphasis is placed on utilization of plant materials to solve specific site problems. Graduates are employed by landscape nurseries, landscape contractors, and planning agencies; others become self-employed as landscape designers and contractors. Many students have chosen to continue advanced studies in programs of landscape architecture.