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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Horticulture?

It is the art and science of gardening and growing plants.

What is the Horticulture Technology Program?

It is a college-level program that can be completed in two years, resulting in an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.

The A.A.S. degree offers two major options -- 1.) A degree in Horticulture where the major emphasis is to provide the student with a balance of horticulture theory and practice, with application to commercial and ornamental horticulture. 2.) A specialization in Landscape Design that focuses on the analysis and design organization of a site utilizing plants and other materials to create functional spaces.

Is it necessary to be a full-time Horticulture student in order to take Horticulture courses or to receive the A.A.S. degree?

No. While many students attend on a full-time basis, other students attend part-time, and often work when not on campus. A student may sign up for only one course or a number of courses during the 16-week semester.

Is it possible to complete the degree by going part-time?

Yes. However, attending on a part-time basis has the effect of extending the two-year Associate of Applied Science degree beyond two years. Courses are offered during weekday mornings, afternoons and evenings and on Saturdays. The academic year consists of the fall and spring semesters, with additional courses offered during the summer semester.

Can students such as homeowners not seeking a degree in Horticulture still take Horticulture courses?

Yes. Many students take courses of interest to them personally or to improve their status in a horticultural businesses. Courses may be audited or taken for credit.

Is the Horticulture Technology program only offered at the Loudoun Campus?

Yes. Due to the support facilities required Horticulture classes are based at the Loudoun Campus. Some of our courses are offered in the field at local locations and some, such as Turf and Intro to Horticulture are hybrid courses. It is possible to take many of the general education courses needed for the degree, such as Business, Mathematics, and English at any NOVA campus or through the Extended Learning Institute.

What support facilities are available to the Horticulture Technology program at the Loudoun Campus?

The facilities include a greenhouse with approximately 5,200 square feet, outdoor planting areas and two laboratory spaces for Soils, Botany, Landscape Design and our other classes. These facilities help the student gain proficiency with hands-on experience in horticultural practices.

Will the A.A.S. degree allow me to get a good job in the field of Horticulture?

Yes. Graduates of our program are in demand and the broad background of courses and hands-on practical experience makes them very competitive in the work place. Many students find permanent employment with employers for whom they worked in their cooperative education experience.

What is the job outlook for graduates of the Horticulture Technology program?

Since the inception of the program in 1974, there have consistently been more horticulture jobs available in the greater Washington area than students to fill these positions. Potential employers often contact NOVA regarding openings, allowing students to remain informed about career opportunities. We have a Career Tech Web Board were employers may post job opportunities and students may post their resume.

Many part-time and full-time positions are filled every year in the private sector, often leading to supervisory or managerial opportunities. Graduates often accept positions in service-related occupations, including landscape design and operations, greenhouse management, turf and grounds management, floral design and retail flower shop management.

How can I decide if the field of Horticulture is for me?

One way is to enroll in the Introduction to Horticulture (HRT 100) course to learn about the variety of opportunities available. Another way is to participate in on-the-job training in an area of horticulture that interests you. All students must complete a 16 week training period working in a horticultural related position of their choice before graduation. In lieu of cooperative education, students may substitute coordinated internship, to earn credits while volunteering their time in a horticultural position with a business or non-profit organization.

Is financial aid available for Horticulture Technology students?

Yes. Numerous scholarships are available for those individuals who meet eligibility criteria. There is also a financial aid counselor on campus who can provide further information about scholarships and other types of financial assistance.

Do credits earned in the NOVA Horticulture Technology curriculum transfer to four-year colleges or universities?

The courses that will transfer vary by four-year institution. It is suggested that individuals planning to take advanced credits upon completion of the A.A.S. degree contact the college or university to which they plan to transfer.

How do I apply?

You should contact the Student Services office at any of the five NOVA campuses.

If you have more questions, please contact the Horticulture Department at 703.450.2575.