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Undergraduate Certificate

Prepare for a blossoming future.

About the Program

The Horticulture Undergraduate Certificate is a non-degree, individually-tailored program, with courses available online and campus, offered through the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. Intended for horticultural professionals and avid gardeners, the Undergraduate Certificate in General Horticulture is designed to meet both the foundational and specialized educational needs of these non-traditional students at the undergraduate level. Students completing the 15 credit hours of coursework will have a strong background in horticultural science and techniques and specialization in elective areas of the student’s choosing.


Participants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in this program. Online Horticulture applicants are enrolled, students must receive a minimum grade of C (2.0) in all courses.

Students may begin taking courses for the certificate in Summer, Fall, or Spring.


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

NC State University also offers a monthly payment plan to make paying for your education easier.


Enrollees must complete a total of 15 credit hours. All the course work is available as online and distance education courses. Two foundational horticultural courses are required for the certificate, taking up six of the total fifteen credit hours:

  • HS 201  – World of Horticulture: Principles and Practices (3)
  • HS 203  – Home Plant Propagation (3)

The student and his or her advisor will select the remaining nine hours of courses that will constitute the student’s certificate requirements. Students enrolled in the Certificate program may take all 15 hours from the Department of Horticultural Science:

  • HS 200  – Home Horticulture (3)
  • HS 202  – Power of Plants: Appreciation and Use (3)
  • HS 205  – Home Food Production (3)
  • HS 250  – Home Landscape Design (3)
  • HS 280  – Hands-on Horticulture (3)
  • HS 432  – Permaculture: Sustainable Living (3)
  • HS 451  – Plant Nutrition (3)
  • HS 462  – Postharvest Physiology (3)

Or, they may choose at least 12 hours from Horticultural Science, with remaining credit hours from approved classes in other departments. These approved classes include:

  • PP 315 – Principles of Plant Pathology
  • PP 318 – Forest Pathology
  • CS 210 – Lawn and Sports Turf
  • ENT 425 – General Entomology
  • SSC 200 – Soil Science
  • SSC 341 – Soil Fertility and Fertilizers

With the completion of 15 credit hours and a grade of C (2.0) or better in each course, the student will be award a certificate acknowledging their accomplishments.


The Undergraduate Certificate Coordinator will serve as the academic advisor for all certificate students. 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 Undergraduate Certificate, students may wish to count their earned credits toward a Bachelor of Horticultural Science degree. To transfer credits from the Undergraduate Certificate program to the Bachelor’s degree, the following conditions must be met:

  • The course number must be at the 200 level or higher
  • The course must be letter graded
  • The student must have earned a C or better in the course

Frequently Asked Questions

Select the questions below for more information.

  1. What is the Undergraduate Certificate program? The Undergraduate Certificate Program in Horticultural Science is a distance education non-degree program offered through the Department of Horticultural Science. The program is designed to provide a strong foundation in the principles of horticultural science with an emphasis on current technologies and environmentally responsible practices.
  2. How will the Undergraduate Certificate help me? Whether you simply have an interest in increasing your knowledge of the subject or are currently employed in the industry, the Undergraduate Certificate courses will equip you with an understanding of the basic concepts of horticultural science. The knowledge you gain from these courses will be applicable in a variety of situations, whether at home or on the job. Certification demonstrates interest and proficiency to potential employers and may also open new employment opportunities to people already in the horticultural industry.
  3. Are there prerequisites for the Undergraduate Certificate? Participants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in this program. Once enrolled, students must receive a minimum grade of C (2.0) in all courses.
  4. How do I gain admission? Enrollment is through the Department of Horticultural Science and the University Non-Degree Studies Program. Apply directly to the Non-Degree Studies Program and email the departmental application to Mr. Issac Lewis. To learn more about the application process, visit our Apply page.
  5. What courses do I have to take? The Undergraduate Certificate in Horticultural Science requires enrollees complete, within four years of enrollment, five courses (15 credit hours) chosen from a web-based list. A program may include as many as five or as few as four courses in horticultural science. Courses selected must be approved by the student’s advisor.
  6. How do I register? After acceptance into the program, NC State students may register for courses online using their Unity IDs, Unity password, and PIN. For complete registration instructions, visit DELTA.
  7. How much time will it take? The University Certificate in General Horticulture requires 15 credit hours. Students pursuing university certificate programs are considered non-degree studies (NDS) students for the purpose of university registration; NDS students may register for a maximum of 6 credit hours per semester. Thus, the University Certificate in General Horticulture may be completed in as little as three academic terms.
  8. What does it cost? The standard tuition charge per academic credit hour for in-state and out-of-state students, as applicable. See DELTA for current tuition fees.
  9. Can I take courses in other departments? If four horticultural science courses are selected, other courses may be selected from Agricultural and Resource Economics, Agricultural and Human Sciences, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Crop and Soil Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology, and Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences. Courses are accessed through DELTA, the distance learning division of NC State University. On-campus students may take these online and distance education courses too. On-campus courses can be accessed through the lifelong learning program.
  10. I am enrolled in/have completed the Certificate in Horticultural Science. Can I transfer the credits I earned in that program 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

Undergraduate Certificate Coordinator

Issac Lewis
Mr. Issac Lewis, Administrative Support Specialist for Undergraduate Programs

Mr. Issac Lewis
Administrative Support Specialist for Undergraduate Programs
Department of Horticultural Science
112 Kilgore Hall, Campus Box 7609
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
Phone: (919) 513-1786

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