Landscape and Nursery Management

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Landscape and Nursery Management at MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology

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Program Description

The Landscape and Nursery Management Program at Michigan State University offers those students interested in working with plants, people, and in the outdoors, specialized training to pursue a career in the multi-billion dollar green industries. The program combines classroom instruction and theory with practical experience gained through field laboratories and a professional internship. The Landscape and Nursery Management Program encompasses the production, selection, use, and management of ornamental plants. The curriculum begins with the understanding of plant growth, development, and identification. Related sciences of soils, entomology, and pathology are integrated with plant knowledge.  The mechanical aspects of production systems, equipment operations, and cultural practices are also taught and applied.


The 48-credit campus-based program is 3- 4 semesters of classroom instruction and 1 semester of off-campus 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 they receive individualized instruction. When added to this, all the other experiences a Big Ten university such as MSU can offer, students have the best of all choices.

To see courses required for this program, visit the Landscape and Nursery Management certificate listing in the MSU course catalog.

For more information about this program and other horticulture certificate programs 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.


Students will have access to the Clarence E. Lewis Landscape Arboretum and the Horticulture Teaching & Research Center, along with the landscape design lab and teaching greenhouse complex.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Another great part of the Landscape and Nursery Management Program is having the chance to become involved in the Student Horticulture Association (SHA). The SHA is made up of any student at MSU who has an interest in horticulture and working with plants. Each year the students put together a large spring show and plant sale. The spring show allows students to fully experience every aspect of the industry by growing their own plants, designing and installing a themed landscape for the show, marketing and promoting the show, and retail skills during the plant sale. This event generates the funds to support SHA members travel to attend career fairs, conferences, and competitions.

Career Opportunities in Landscape and Nursery Management

Opportunities for employment are extremely favorable in the landscape and nursery industry. Job placement is throughout Michigan and the U.S., as well as, internationally. Some career opportunities include:

  • Landscape Design, Maintenance, and Construction
  • Nursery Manager
  • Nursery Production
  • Retail/Wholesale Garden Center
  • Irrigation Installation, Design, and Maintenance
  • Public Gardens and Arboreta
  • Urban Forestry
  • Business owner

For information on job postings and internships.

Admission Requirements

The Landscape & Nursery Management program is for students who have a strong work ethic, enjoy working with plants, and are interested in a career in the green industry.  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!

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