Floriculture And Nursery Production Management Graduate Certificate

Online and Distance Education Program

horticulture plant
Ag*IDEA Program

The online Floriculture & Nursery Production Management, Graduate Certificate is designed to provide students with field knowledge that is then interwoven with practical cultural and production methods.

The Floriculture & Nursery Production Management, Graduate Certificate is designed for:

  • Nursery, greenhouse and garden center industry professionals
  • Horticulture agents involved in Extension programs
  • K-12 science teachers particularly those who may wish to pursue a Master of Science degree

The online graduate certificate in Floriculture and Nursery Production Management offers a selection of courses that focus on floral and nursery crop production including business management. Core courses lend a solid science background in order for the student to gain a greater understanding of how ornamental and floral plants grow.

Students who complete this certificate may also wish to pursue a plant-related master's degree such as a Master's of Science or a Master's of Applied Science in Agronomy or Horticulture.

This program is offered as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA) and provides you with diverse perspectives on the field. You enroll in courses at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln even though courses may be taught by other Great Plains IDEA member institutions. The certificate comes from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

Students who complete this certificate may also wish to pursue a plant-related Master of Science degree or a Master of Applied Science.

Additional Certificates

The University of Nebraska - Lincoln's Department of Agronomy and Horticulture offers three graduate certificates in horticulture:

The department is able to offer these three certificates as a member of the AG*IDEA Consortium.

Career Outlook

Work in the horticulture field ranges from grounds maintenance staff who require no formal education to scientists who need a minimum Ph.D. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), grounds maintenance workers held 1,309,300 jobs in 2016. The BLS reported from 2014-2024, there would be an 11% increase in employment for grounds maintenance workers. The projected amount of job openings during this period is 146,300. The BLS projects that businesses in green-industry occupations and careers that protect the planet will increase.

Ag*IDEA Program Ag*IDEA is an affiliate of the Great Plains IDEA, a national consortium of universities that offer programs and courses in agriculture disciplines. The Ag*IDEA's membership of top accredited universities offer master's degrees and graduate certificates fully online from top faculty.


Core Courses
HORT 824: Plant Nutrition and Nutrient Management (3 credits) Macro- and micronutrient elements and their function in the growth and development of plants; the role of single elements; interaction/balances between elements and nutrient deficiency/ toxicity symptoms as they affect the physiology of the whole plant; and the relationship between crop nutrition and production/environmental considerations (e.g. yield, drought, temperature, pests).
HORT 842B: Plant Physiology (3 credits) Presents fundamental concepts underlying the science of crop physiology, including crop phenology, canopy development and light interception, photosynthesis and respiration and dry-matter partitioning.
HORT 843A: Advanced Greenhouse Crop Production (3 credits) Principles and practices of commercial production of greenhouse crops involving crop scheduling, greenhouse construction, heating, cooling, growing media, pest management, nutrition, fertility, growth regulation, irrigation, post-harvest handling and marketing of greenhouse crops.
HORT 844A: Environmental Nursery Production Practices (3 credits) Cultural nursery crop production practices will be presented with consideration of current recommended Best Management Practices, conservation of resources, scientific research-based investigations related to nursery cultural practices, potential risks to nursery personnel and off-site movement of airborne materials and effluents to surrounding areas and public watersheds.
HORT 896: Plant/Water Relations (3 credits) Presents fundamental concepts underlying the science of crop physiology, including crop phenology, canopy development and light interception, photosynthesis and respiration and dry-matter partitioning.
Elective Courses
ENTO 803: Management of Horticultural Insects (3 credits) This course focuses on identification, biology, ecology and management of insect pests of horticultural crops, including vegetables, deciduous fruits and nuts, trees and shrubs, greenhouse crops, turf and ornamentals. Emphasis is on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies employed to maintain pests below damaging levels while minimizing the use of traditional insecticides.
ENTO 812: Entomology and Pest Management (3 credits) Principles embodied in the implementation of multifaceted tactics designed to successfully manage insect populations.
HORT 817: Plant Pathology: Principles and Applications (3 credits) This course is an introduction to pathogen biology, pathogen-host interactions, and environmental influences on plant diseases. It includes implementation of cultural, resistance and chemical strategies for disease management.
HORT 844B: Environmental Stress Physiology (1 credit) Physiology of plant responses to environmental stresses, with emphasis on current research in selected physiological, molecular, and biochemical mechanisms for tolerance to environmental stresses such as temperature extremes, drought, salt, pathogens and other plants.
HORT 888: Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development (3 credits) Students will research a specific agricultural enterprise, then develop and present a business plan using materials from the primary area of interest. Requires the completion of a shadowing assignment and the analysis of case studies. Please note that while the course is offered by UNL in both the fall and spring semesters every year, it is available through the special AG*IDEA enrollment system only in the Spring of odd-numbered years.
Additional Information

The Floriculture & Nursery Producation Management, Graduate Certificate requires the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours.

The universities in the AG*IDEA Consortium, which offers the Horticulture certificate, are:

  • KSU - Kansas State University
  • NCSU - North Carolina State University
  • TTU - Texas Tech University
  • UNK - University of Nebraska-Kearney
  • UNL - University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Core Courses: Minimum of 5 hours required

  • HORT 824 Plant Nutrition & Nutrient Management, OR
  • HORT 842B Plant Physiology, OR
  • HORT 896 Plant/Water Relations


  • HORT 843A Advanced Greenhouse Crop Production OR
  • HORT 844A Environmental Nursery Production Practices

Elective Courses: Minimum of 7 hours required. Select from the following:

  • HORT 844B Environmental Stress Physiology
  • HORT 888 Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development
  • HORT 817 Plant Pathology: Principles & Applications


  • ENTO 803: Management of Horticultural Insects OR
  • ENTO 812: Entomology and Pest Management
Tuition and Fees How to Apply Contact Us

Students pay the Ag*IDEA/Great Plains IDEA common price per credit hour for this program. Choose "Online Distance Class (ES)" on the tuition and fees cost estimator page and enter your credit hours in the "AG*IDEA, Great Plains IDEA" boxes.

Clicking "How to Apply" takes you to the Graduate Studies website for additional program and application information.

Graduates of the Advanced Horticulture, Graduate Certificate may find careers in a multitude of areas, including:

  • Olericulturist (vegetable grower, seller and marketer)
  • Production and sales
  • Viticulturist/enologist
  • Plant ecologist
  • Floral company owner, florist/floral designer
  • Flower propagation & preparation of floral & foliage products for sale
  • Food scientist
  • Researcher or technologist
  • K-12 science teachers particularly those who may wish to pursue a Masters degree
  • Horticulture educators involved in Extension programs
  • Industry support
  • Plant technician or researcher
  • Hydroponics
  • Inspection of plants
  • Public gardens employee or Urban Gardener/Urban farmer
  • City parks and recreation employees
  • Arborists or tree trimmers & pruners
  • Nursery, greenhouse and garden center industry professionals
  • Landscape maintenance planners & practitioners
  • Landscape designer, services or estimator
  • Landscape construction and management
  • Landscape design
  • Communications blogger, writer, journalist, photographer, marketer
  • Farm or Co-op organizational management

I like that it's diversified and I can take classes that interest me. It's also easier to get a minor in whatever I want without having to invest additional time in college.

Applied Science Student in Central City, Nebraska

Service you expect from a leading University

  • Access the same student services available to on-campus students
  • An academic adviser will guide you along your journey
  • Career services are available when you are ready to take your next step


  • Combine a number of disciplines to create a unique degree
  • Choose more than 50% of the courses you take as electives
  • Complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you within a select timeframe

Quality learning experience

  • The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years
  • Interact with faculty and students through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups
  • Direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience

To be accepted to this program

  1. A bachelor's degree
    A degree in biology or a plant-related major and successfully completed at least a semester of coursework in biology, plant sciences, genetics, algebra and chemistry.
  2. 3.00 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale.
  3. A written personal statement
    In 1-2 pages, describe
    1. your professional goals and career aspirations and specifically what you plan to do with your certificate
    2. background experiences, events, and/or education that have influenced your professional goals
    3. how enrolling in this certificate program will assist you in meeting your professional goals.
  4. 3 letters of recommendation.
    These must be from professionals who are familiar with your work ethic or scholastic ability. Personal references from friends, relatives, etc. are not acceptable.
  5. Resume or vitae
  6. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS. Only required if English is not your native language. Minimum score of 79 on Internet-based TOEFL, 600 on paper-based TOEFL or 6.5 on IELTS required for admission.

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester: May 15
Spring Semester: October 1
Summer Session: February 15

Ellen Paparozzi

Ellen Paparozzi, PhD


Ellen Paparozzi’s key areas of focus are plant physiology (plant nutrition) and anatomy, floriculture and ornamental horticulture and plant physiology and production ecology. Her main research focus is on the broad topic of leaf yellowing and subsequent re-greening of leaves. She is approaching this topic using physiological, anatomical and molecular biological methods. She teaches several courses and has published numerous articles.


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