Online Graduate Certificate

Online Horticulture Certificate student instructing youth programThe Online Graduate Horticulture Certificate is a non-degree, individually-tailored program offered through the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. The program is designed to increase knowledge and skills for current or future employment in the horticulture industry.

The graduate certificate requires only 15 credit hours of coursework. Courses are taught online, so students won’t need to take time off from work or face long commutes to campus. Because of the diversity of learner interest, students may concentrate in such areas as general horticulture, food or ornamental horticulture, or plant breeding and may also include a limited number of courses from other academic areas within agriculture.

Tailor your coursework and education based on your interests. Note: Students interested primarily in exploring horticulture for enrichment who do not have a science background will find the Undergraduate Certificate in Horticultural Science more appropriate.

Apply Now


Participants must hold a bachelor’s degree to enroll in this program. Online Horticulture Certificate applicants should have majored in horticulture, crop science, plant science, or agricultural education with a concentration in plant science, or another closely related degree.

Students may begin taking courses for the certificate in Summer, Fall, or Spring. All certificate course work must be completed within four years of enrollment.


Visit NC State’s Graduate Online and Distance Education Tuition rates page for detailed information about graduate tuition and fees.

The total Online Certificate in Horticultural Science cost estimate (North Carolina residents) for 2018-2019 is $6,793.20 for all 15 hours of coursework.

Financial aid eligibility is determined by the Financial Aid Office. We encourage you to contact your financial aid advisor in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Criteria for funding is based on academic merit, demonstrated financial need, and enrollment in multiple Online and Distance Education courses per semester. For additional information, please visit NC State’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid website, or call 919.515.2421. NC State also offers a monthly payment plan.


Enrollees must complete a minimum of five (5) courses resulting in at least fifteen (15) credit hours. The student and his or her advisor will select the courses that will constitute the student’s certificate requirements. No thesis or dissertation is required. A minimum of nine (9) credit hours should be from Horticultural Science courses. The remaining six (6) credit hours may be selected from the following areas:

  • Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Agricultural and Extension Education
  • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Crop Science
  • Entomology
  • Food Science
  • Plant Pathology
  • Soil Science

Up to twelve (12) credit hours of courses taken during post-baccalaureate studies (PBS) may be used in the certificate program if approved by the student’s advisor.

Certificate students are assigned an academic advisor from the Horticultural Science graduate faculty. The student and advisor reflect on the student’s personal and professional goals to design an individual course of study.

After starting or completing the Online Horticulture Certificate, students may wish to count their earned credits toward a Master of Horticultural Science degree. To transfer credits from the Certificate program to the Master’s degree, the following conditions must be met:

  • The course number must be at the 500 level or higher
  • The course must be letter graded
  • The student must have earned a B or better in the course

Below is a list of courses that may be taken as part of the certificate program. To learn more about each course, click the course number. Credit hours for each course are provided in parentheses after each course name.

  • HS 523 – General Viticulture (3)
  • HS 532 – Introduction to Permaculture (3)
  • HS/CS 541 – Plant Breeding Methods (3)
  • HS 543 – Food Production in Greenhouses and High Tunnels (3)
  • HS 550 – Environmental Nursery Production (3)
  • HS/FS 562 – Postharvest Physiology (3)
  • HS 583 – Advanced Floral Crop Production and Handling (3)
  • HS 590 – Special Topics: Plant Breeding Overview for non-Majors (1-6)
  • HS 590 – Special Topics: Physiology and Culture of Temperate Zone Tree Fruits (3)
  • HS 703 – Breeding Asexually Propagated Crops (1)
  • HS 706 – Fruit Development and Postharvest Physiology (1)
  • HS 707 – Environmental Stress Physiology (1)
  • HS/CS 729 – Herbicide Behavior In Plants (2)
  • HS 790 – Special Topics: Diagnostic Criteria for Plant Nutrition (3)
  • HS 790 – Special Topics: Integrated Breeding Databases (1)

Online Horticulture Certificate Program Coordinator

Online Horticulture Certificate CoordinatorHelen T. Kraus Ph.D.
Undergraduate Coordinator and Undergraduate Professor
Department of Horticultural Science
114 Kilgore Hall, Campus Box 7609
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
Phone: 919.515.1208
Contact Me

Next: FAQs >