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Plant the seeds for a sustainable career.

A Blossoming Field

Are you driven to improve food security and safety? To sustain the environment? To enhance economic vitality and improve the quality of life for individuals and communities?

If so, the robust Department of Horticultural Science invites you to experience the ground-breaking teaching, research and outreach here in the ever-changing field of horticulture. Our wide-ranging work influences society—from human health to nutrition to natural beauty—and is recognized around the world.

Hands-on learning in a tight-knit atmosphere with diverse faculty fosters students’ growth. Ample travel and research opportunities deepen students’ expertise. We encourage a local feel, but enact a global reach, helping our students establish roots for a stable and fruitful career.

Our Mission

We provide innovative teaching, research, and outreach in the art and science of horticulture. These programs encompass the basic biology, ecology, production, and use of horticultural products including fruits, vegetables, flowers, and landscape plants. Our goal is to meet the ever-changing challenges of a highly competitive and technological world through constant evaluation and adjustment of our programs and positions.

We serve the people of the state, country, and world within the concept of the Land-Grant mission upon which North Carolina State University was founded. We work to build a community that is inclusive and welcoming to all people, including those with disabilities.

Becky DeBosy

Our History

The doors of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts opened in 1889. The Department of Horticulture, Arboriculture, and Botany was one of the five instructional departments established concurrently. A division of horticulture was also formed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture in The Experiment Station.

The department divided in 1901 when Biology was established and became the Department of Horticulture. In 1961, all three functions of teaching, research, and extension were incorporated into the department. Today, the department — now known as the Department of Horticultural Science — has 38 faculty members across teaching, research, and extension.

NC State University belltower