Fruit, Vegetable and Organic Horticulture Management

Program Description

Gainful Employment Disclosure

The Fruit, Vegetable, and Organic Horticulture Management program provides students an opportunity to gain the necessary skills for a successful career in the fruit and vegetable industries. The program combines classroom instruction and theory with practical experience gained through laboratories, campus horticultural facilities for teaching and research, and a professional internship.


The 48-credit East Lansing based program is 3- 4 semesters of classroom instruction and a semester off-campus in a professional internship. It couples academics with hands-on field practice and also offers study abroad opportunities. Students will find a very personal atmosphere in this program since class sizes are small and students receive individualized instruction and advising.

 Students will benefit from a core set of classes in applied plant science, soil science, entomology, irrigation systems, pruning, career development, and plant pathology.  The core required courses lay the foundation for understanding the best practices in fruit and vegetable production.   Through a wide range of elective courses in agribusiness, agricultural technology, and horticulture students can then tailor their studies to individual preferences.  Examples of elective areas include agri-food systems, sales, agricultural finance, organic farming, greenhouses, plant propagation and much more in the management of plant production.

To see courses required for this program, visit the Fruit, Vegetable, and Organic Horticulture Management certificate listing in the MSU course catalog.

For more information visit the Department of Horticulture.


The internship places students in a professional learning environment that challenges their ability to apply knowledge with hands-on mastery along with interpersonal and professional skills. Students earn credit for supervised on-the-job training. Employers are eager to hire MSU graduates, in part because of the field experience students take to that first job.  Internships are individualized and are as diverse as our students. Students have flexibility in scheduling and employment options. Students are encouraged to seek new or expanded work opportunities for the internship rather than return to familiar employers.   For specific internship requirements, visit the Department of Horticulture Internship Program page.

Student Activities

Students will have opportunities to be extensively involved in professional and social activities beyond the classroom including: working in research laboratories; assisting in field-based projects, assisting with food crop production; and becoming involved with the Student Organic Farm, the Ecological Food and Farm Stewardship Club, and/or the Student Horticulture Association.


Students will have access to the Horticulture Teaching & Research Center, Student Organic Farm, Horticulture Demonstration Gardens and Teaching Greenhouses, and other related Horticulture laboratories.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program work as owners, managers, buyers, or salespersons in a wide variety of horticultural food crop industries: fruit and vegetable plant production; farmers’ markets; organic farms and community-supported agriculture programs; urban gardening; irrigation design, installation, and management; public and/or private botanical gardens; and more.

 Visit our Horticulture department page to learn more about careers in Horticulture, and find job and internship opportunities.

Admission Requirements

The Fruit, Vegetable, and Organic Horticulture Management program is for students who have a strong work ethic, enjoy working with plants, and are interested in a career in food production.  Enrollment into the program is open to those with a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, and who have earned a minimum grade point average of 2.0. ACT or SAT scores are used as needed in the admission process.  This is an excellent program for recent high school graduates, workers seeking to retrain or retool, and those seeking a career change or to explore new options.  Your next step to enroll in this program is to apply for admission on the IAT apply page - APPLY NOW!



Michigan State University Michigan State University Close Menu button Menu and Search button Open Close