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A.A.S. Horticulture

The Degrees

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)


The Outlook

According to the U.S. Labor Department, a growth in the area of landscape development is expected through 2020, due to an increase in new construction and a growing commitment to environmental planning and historic preservation. In addition, environmental concerns and increased demand for sustainably designed projects will spur demand for professionals with this area of expertise.

Employment opportunities exist in golf courses and lawn management, landscape design and sales, arboriculture, plant propagation and nursery management, floriculture and greenhouse management, integrated pest management, garden center management, applied research, and education.

The Program

The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Horticulture is designed for students who enjoy working with nature to preserve plants and improve the environment. Horticulture enhances our living environment and merges the natural ecology of the land with the preservation and development of ecologically sound landscapes. Students in this program master the culture and production of plants, the development of landscape plans, and the protection of shrubs, trees, turfgrasses, and foliage plants from pests. They also learn to determine what composition of plant life will not only survive in a landscape, but will benefit the environment.

FLCC's Horticulture Program is widely respected for its emphasis on quality. Our instructors are experts in the field and are often called upon for consultation and assistance by local and national agencies. Our small class size allows for individual attention, enabling you to uncover your talents and develop strong skills.

Honors Courses: The College offers honors courses that provide enhanced educational experiences for students who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability. Enrollment in honors courses is open to qualified students in this degree program, as well as all other qualified FLCC students. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase student transfer options to four-year institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • read, write, integrate and analyze information from multiple resources on a topic in their major.
  • speak and present before a group on a topic in their major.
  • test for and classify soils commonly found in Upstate, Central, and Western New York State using standard testing procedures and published reference materials.
  • understand the impact of their behaviors on local, regional and global sustainability.
  • perform a variety of hands-on techniques relative to the horticulture field including installation in both the field and greenhouse, plant pruning, general and specific care, maintenance and production techniques.
  • demonstrate the ability to develop written, computer generated documents in direct support of an internship search.
  • score 65% or higher on the four-part horticulture program exit exam.
  • apply principles of mathematics to solve problems related to horticulture volumes and fertilizers.
  • demonstrate professional competency by identifying plants, pests, diseases and disorders prevalent in the horticulture industry.


A one-year certificate program in Horticulture is offered if you are currently employed in the horticulture-landscape-plant protection field and wish to further your training, or if you have a general interest in flowers and plants and wish to grow ornamental or native plants to landscape your own property. View Certificate Program Details »

The Experience

The unique beauty of the Finger Lakes Region is part of the "outdoor classroom" in this degree program and certificate. As part of their training, students utilize the FLCC main campus, Geneva, Newark and Victor campus centers, the Muller Field Station in Honeoye Falls and the East Hill campus in Naples, NY. The New York State Agriculture Experiment station in Geneva and the Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua as well as numerous other parks and landscape facilities are used as local examples and references for plant, insect, landscape design and plant-health specimen diagnosis.

Field trips

In addition to class related excursions held during class times or pre scheduled off-class times, field trips are offered each academic year either in the spring or summer semester. Past trips have included Cornell University Plantations, Ithaca, New York, Longwood Gardens, outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Holden Arboretum, outside of Cleveland, Ohio, numerous college campuses and, many production nurseries. Future field trips will include the Royal Botanical Gardens of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts.

Students are encouraged to attend professional conferences and events. This includes the New York State Turf and Grounds Conference, the Rochester Flower and Garden Show, Regional Integrated Pest Management Conference, the Genesee/Finger Lakes Horticulture Education Days, Canada Blooms, GardenScape, Plantasia, and the Philadelphia Flower Show. Experiences gained from these events provide students with insight and contact information regarding possible professional careers and internships.


Students in both the AAS and the Certificate programs are required to complete a course in Field Experiences in Horticulture. This class involves outside work hours with a professional in the field of the student's interest in addition to professional image development by way of resume and cover letter writing and an exit exam. Many horticulture professionals submit internship and employment postings seeking the graduates of the FLCC Horticulture programs. These opportunities provide students with additional hands-on learning and the ability to evaluate diverse working locations.

Designed to be an enhancement to the learning experience found in the Horticulture programs, past internships have been obtained with propagators, designers, installers, arborists, greenhouses, scientific researchers, landscape and/or turf management and landscape care professionals. Locations have included the Experiment Station, Genesee Mumford Museum, Northern Nurseries, Broccolo Landscape, Bristol's Nursery and Garden Center, and Rochester Museum and Science Center.

The Graduates

Graduates of the Horticulture program are prepared for employment opportunities in golf courses and lawn management, landscape design and sales, arborculture, plant propagation and nursery management, floriculture and greenhouse management, plant health care, insect management, arboretum management, garden center management, and field research in the applied plant sciences.

Those graduates who transfer pursue degrees in landscape architecture, plant pathology, forestry, environmental studies, biology, horticulture sciences, entomology, and turf management at such four-year institutions as Cornell, Syracuse, Penn State, Colorado State, and Purdue Universities, Universities of Texas, SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry and the Colleges at Brockport and Geneseo, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.*

* This is a sampling of some of the four-year colleges and universities to which our students have transferred. Please consult your advisor or the Educational Planning and Career Services office for a complete listing of transfer agreements between Finger Lakes Community College and four-year institutions.

The Scholarships

Scholarships available to horticulture students meeting specific criteria include the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association Scholarship, New York State Lawn Care Association Scholarship, Turfgrass Association and Arborist Scholarships,the Genesee Finger Lakes Nurserymen Scholarship, FLCC Conservation/Horticulture Faculty Scholarship, and the Collins Scholarship. For details, contact a member of the horticulture faculty or the Financial Aid Office.