Ornamental, Landscape & Turf, Graduate Certificate

Online and Distance Education Program

horticulture plant
Ag*IDEA Program

The online Ornamental, Landscape and Turf, Graduate Certificate offers a selection of courses that focus on turf, ornamental and landscape aspects of horticulture. Courses are designed to provide students with basic knowledge interwoven with situation-oriented disease, weed and insect classes to help the practitioner advance his/her management knowledge.

Why choose this program?

  • Gain knowledge through graduate-level courses in ornamental, landscape and turf aspects of horticulture.
  • Experience the breadth and diversity of the horticulture field through flexible course selection.
  • Enhance or expand career options in the field of horticulture.

This certificate is designed for students who work in the following areas:

  • Golf course superintendents
  • City parks and recreation employees
  • Landscape maintenance practitioners
  • Nursery/landscape-oriented garden center owners and professionals
  • Lawn & Garden professionals
  • Horticulturists & turf specialists employed in extension programs

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 Masters 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

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), grounds maintenance workers held 1,300,300 jobs. The BLS reported from 2016-2024, there would be an 11% increase in employment for grounds maintenance workers. The projected amount of job openings during this period was 146,300.

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 & 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). (Cross-listed as AGRO 824)
HORT 842A: Plant Pathology (3 credits) Survey of the principles and practice of plant pathology. The main and genetic elements in plant disease will be covered. Many of the major diseases, as well as their causes and effects, will be surveyed. Course is taught by faculty from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and will be offered in the spring semester of even-numbered calendar years. To enroll, students must be accepted into the horticulture graduate certificate program or get permission.
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 843K: Arboriculture (3 credits) This course focuses on the physiological principles and industry practices in the production, moving, care, and maintenance of ornamental trees, shrubs and ground covers. The purpose of this course is to provide students with the career tools to install and maintain woody plants. This goal will be accomplished through the review of the pertinent literature and through class exercises designed to improve students’ skills and knowledge of woody plant physiology, care and maintenance.
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 Crop Insects (3 credits) Prereq: Introductory course in biology. Credit toward the degree cannot be earned in both ENTO 303 and ENTO 403/803. Biology, ecology and management of insect pests of horticultural crops such as vegetables, fruit trees, trees and shrubs, greenhouse crops, turf and ornamentals. Employs IPM strategies to maintain pests below damaging levels while minimizing the use of traditional insecticides.
ENTO 812: Entomology and Pest Management (3 credits) Prereq: Introductory course in entomology. Principles and practices of managing insect pests. Pest management theory, use of sampling, evaluation, tactics, types of insect pests, and current issues.
HORT 814: Turf Disease Management (1 credit) Course focuses on diseases of grasses maintained as turf, emphasizing diseases that occur in the northern Great Plains of the U.S. In addition to strategies used in managing the diseases, the biology of the causal organisms and the influence of environmental conditions are examined.
HORT 817: Plant Pathology Principles and Application (3 credit) Introduction to the biology of plant pathogenic organisms, pathogen-plant interactions, environmental influences, cultural, resistance and chemical strategies for plant disease management.
HORT 843M: Weed Science (4 credits) In this course we will study weeds and weed control methods in agronomic and horticultural crops and turf grass with an emphasis on chemical weed control. The course is divided into lecture and laboratory sections. The lecture portion will count three-fifths (3/5) of your total grade and the laboratory will count two-fifths (2/5). In lecture, we will discuss the history of weed control, weed characteristics, weed competition, and methods of weed control including mechanical, cultural, biological, and chemical. Herbicides will be discussed by family with specific regard to their chemical structure, efficacy, mode and mechanism of action, crop selectivity, soil activity and persistence, and cost. In lab, we will examine the practical aspects of weed control including weed seed and plant identification, sprayer equipment, sprayer calibration, herbicide formulations, herbicide labels, crop/weed response to herbicides and injury symptomology, and Worker Protection Standards.
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 880: Modified Rootzones (1 credit) Comprehensive, in-depth study of modified rootzones and their applications in the turfgrass and landscape management industries, including applications in current construction techniques. The course focuses on "created" soils for specialized situations, such as golf greens, sports fields, container plants and green roofs.
HORT 888: Business Management of Agriculture Enterprises (3 credits) Students will research a specific agricultural enterprise then develop and present a business plan using materials from the primary area of interest. This course requires the completion of a shadowing assignment and the analyses of case studies.
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:

  • Turf and Landscape professionals/Lawncare specialists
  • Sports Turf managers
  • Groundskeepers
  • Gardeners
  • Interiorscape specialists
  • Landscape Designers
  • Landscape Construction and Management owners & employees
  • Vegetable growers & producers
  • Plant propagators and technicians
  • Public Garden practitioners
  • Forest and conservation workers
  • Logging workers
  • Natural lands managers
  • Urban planners

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.
  2. 3.00 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Completed coursework
    Successfully completed at least a semester of coursework in biology, plant sciences, genetics, algebra and chemistry.
  4. 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.
  5. Personal Statement.
    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.
  6. Submit a resume and/or curriculum vitae.

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

Grass with descriptions marked in areas for Ornamental, Landscape and Turf class

About Our Faculty

University of Nebraska online courses are taught by expert faculty who embody the qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience. Students learn from faculty with a variety of backgrounds, many of whom are published researchers in their fields. NU faculty who teach online do so in a way that enables maximum learning and because technology provides students with maximum access to education.


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