The Degree

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

The Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a steady growth rate in the area of landscape development is expected through 2020. As new construction and a growing commitment to environmental planning and historic preservation increase, the job outlook in this field will remain steady. 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
  • Education

The Program

The A.A.S. degree program in Horticulture is designed for you if you 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. While enrolled in this program, you will master the culture and production of plants, the development of landscape plans, and the protection of shrubs, trees, turf grasses, and foliage plants from pests. Furthermore, you will learn to determine what composition of plant life will not only survive in a landscape, but will benefit the environment.

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

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 percent 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.

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 your training, you will utilize the FLCC main campus, Geneva, Newark and Victor campus centers, the Muller Field Station in Honeoye and the East Hill campus in Naples. The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva and 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, NY)
  • Longwood Gardens (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Holden Arboretum (Cleveland, OH)

Future field trips will include the Royal Botanical Gardens of Hamilton, Ontario (Canada) and the Arnold Arboretum, which is located in Boston, MA.

While enrolled in this degree program, you will be encouraged to attend professional conferences and events such as:

  • New York State Turf and Grounds Conference
  • Regional Integrated Pest Management Conference
  • Genesee/Finger Lakes Horticulture Education Days
  • Canada Blooms
  • Plantasia
  • Philadelphia Flower Show

Experiences gained from these events will provide you with insight and contact information regarding possible professional careers and internships.


While enrolled in this program, you will be required to complete a course in field experiences in horticulture. This class involves outside work hours with a professional in the field of your 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 opportunities seeking graduates of the Horticulture degree program. These opportunities provide you 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 program, past internships have been obtained with:

  • Propagators
  • Designers
  • Installers
  • Arborists
  • Greenhouses
  • Scientific Researchers
  • Turf Management and Landscape Care Professionals

Internship locations have included:

  • The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Northern Nurseries
  • Broccolo Landscape
  • Bristol's Nursery and Garden Center
  • George Eastman House
  • Sonnenberg Gardens
  • White Oak Nursery
  • Wayside Garden Center
  • Lucus Greenhouse

The Graduates

Graduates of the horticulture program are prepared for employment opportunities in:

  • Golf Courses and Lawn Management
  • Landscape Design and Sales
  • Arboriculture
  • Plant Propagation and Nursery Management
  • Floriculture and Greenhouse Management
  • Plant Health Care
  • Insect Management
  • Arboretum Management
  • Garden Center Management
  • Field Research in the Applied Plant Sciences

Graduates transferring pursue degrees in landscape architecture, plant pathology, forestry, environmental studies, biology, horticulture sciences, entomology, and turf management at four-year institutions* such as:

  • Cornell
  • Syracuse
  • Penn State
  • Colorado State
  • Purdue
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
  • SUNY Colleges at Brockport and Geneseo
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute

*This is a sampling of some of the four-year colleges and universities to which FLCC 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

As a Horticulture major, if you meet specific award criteria, you will be eligible for the following scholarships:

  • Broccolo Tree and Lawncare Horticulture
  • Robert L. (Rodge) Case Award
  • FLCC Horticulture Faculty Award
  • S & S Memorial Scholarship

For information on these scholarships, contact the FLCC Foundation.