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Typical Student Curriculum, 1890

by Denise E. McKinney

Introduction

Under the direction of Professor William F. Massey, the first students in the Department of Horticulture at the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts began their coursework in 1890. The department has the distinction of being one of the original departments in the college that would later become North Carolina State University.

At the time of the college's founding, the inclusion of a Department of Horticultural Science was considered essential due to the increasing importance of the nursery and florist business in the state at the time. Those students pursuing this course of study were considered to have made a wise career choice and were hoped to fill the many vacancies within the industry for which employers were forced to recruit from northern states.

The original horticulture curriculum included instruction in greenhouse propagation, ferriculture, forestry, landscape art, and the forcing of fruits, flowers, and vegetables under glass.

The curriculum for the first horticulture science students was structured as follows:

  • Freshman Year
    • Field and laboratory study in general morphology and gross anatomy of plants
    • Practice and field lectures in vegetable culture
  • Sophomore Year
  • Fall and Winter Terms
    • Lectures on vegetable physiology and anatomy, with illustrations on a compound microscope
    • Pomology and nursery management
    • Practice in propagation by seeds, cuttings, budding and grafting
  • Spring Term
    • Lectures on market gardening and small-fruit culture
    • Systematic botany
    • Practice in pruning and grafting, collection and classification of flowering plants
    • Practice forming herbaria
  • Junior Year
  • Fall and Winter Terms
    • Lectures on cryptogamic botany and upon grasses
    • Practice in greenhouse propagation and collection of composition and grasses
    • Laboratory study of minute anatomy of plants
  • Spring Term
    • Lectures on invertebrate zoology to Insecta
    • Collection and laboratory study of insects
    • Compound microscope work in animal and vegetable anatomy and histology
  • Senior Year
  • Fall and Winter Terms
    • Lectures on exotic horticulture
    • Floriculture and the forcing of fruits, flowers, and vegetables under glass
    • Laboratory study of Fungi
  • Spring Term
    • Lectures on landscape art and forestry
    • History of cultivated plants and origin of floral structures
    • General botanical and horticultural history
    • Laboratory study of fungi, with special reference to fungal diseases in plants
    • Thesis

Reference: First Annual Catalogue of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts