Ornamental, Landscape & Turf, Graduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate in Ornamental, Landscape and Turf

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Fully Online
  • 12
  • $590.00
  • $590.00

Program Overview

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. 

Students choose this program to: 

  • 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 their 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-Lincolns Department of Agronomy and Horticulture offers three graduate certificates in horticulture:

  • Advanced Horticulture
  • Ornamental Landscape and Turf Management
  • Floriculture and Nursery Production Management

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. 

Additional career paths may include:  

  • 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

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

    A bachelor’s degree in biology or a plant-related major.

  2. 3 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)

  5. 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 and 3) how enrolling in this certificate program will assist you in meeting your professional goals.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete online Graduate Studies application

Courses You’ll Take

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
HORT 824Plant Nutrition & Nutrient Management3
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). Prerequisite: AGRO 824
HORT 842BPlant Physiology3
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 842APlant Pathology3
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 896Plant/Water Relations3
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 843KArboriculture3
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.

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
ENTO 803Management of Horticultural Crop Insects3
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.
HORT 880Modified Rootzones1
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 843MWeed Science4
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.
ENTO 812Entomology and Pest Management3
Principles embodied in the implementation of multifaceted tactics designed to successfully manage insect populations.
HORT 814Turf Disease Management1
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 888Business Management of Agriculture Enterprises3
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.
HORT 817Plant Pathology Principles and Application3
Introduction to the biology of plant pathogenic organisms, pathogen-plant interactions, environmental influences, cultural, resistance and chemical strategies for plant disease management.
HORT 844BEnvironmental Stress Physiology1
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.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

About 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 optimizes learning within the online modality and because technology enables students to access education they may otherwise may not be able to pursue.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterMay 15
  • Spring SemesterOct 01
  • Summer SemesterFeb 15