Horticultural Therapy

Course series approved by the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA)

Cultivate a Rewarding Career

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Do you enjoy plants and being outside? Do you aspire to help people in recovery? Horticultural therapy may be the right career path for you.

Our course series will provide you with the fundamentals and skill set to implement evidence-based techniques within specialized treatment and wellness care settings.

What is Horticultural Therapy?

Horticultural therapy is the practice of using plants and plant-based activities, along with established therapeutic modalities, rehabilitation and vocational plans, to achieve treatment goals for individuals.



UCLA Extension’s Horticultural Therapy course series is designed to serve both novices and professionals. It is approved and accredited by the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA), and offers students a foundation in horticultural therapy that meets the standards of the professional advocacy group.

Unique Hybrid Format

Program courses are a combination of nine remote class meetings via Zoom and three in-person field days. The series is taught by experienced registered horticultural therapists who provide instruction in theory, applications and business practices. Attendance at in-person field days is a requirement to successfully pass each course. 

Course Sequence

Courses are five quarter-units equivalent to the three semester-units required by the AHTA.

Students are required to follow the course sequence below, starting in Fall quarter.

Fall Foundations of Horticultural Therapy
BIOLGY X 466.1
Winter Horticultural Therapy Techniques
BIOLGY X 466.2
Spring Horticultural Therapy Program Management
BIOLGY X 466.3

Additional Information

Courses in this series are open enrollment, and each course is paid for individually.

UCLA Extension operates on the quarter system. Each quarter is typically 11 weeks. Classes meet online (live Zoom meetings) once a week, typically during the week from 6:30-9:30 p.m. PT. In-person classes meet on the weekends at various sites within Los Angeles County.

View the UCLA Extension quarterly calendar

Students wishing to fulfill the requirements for professional registration as a Horticultural Therapist (HTR) may need to complete additional coursework in plant sciences and/or human science. UCLA Extension is currently reviewing additional course offerings in plant and human science to meet the educational requirements for HTR. Further information regarding these requirements is available on the AHTA website.

UCLA Extension horticulture staff is available by email or phone (310-825-9414) if you have questions about the structure and format of our courses.

For AHTA registration requirements, we encourage you to visit their website.

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Expect more from your education.

Learn from Industry Leaders

Karen Haney has an M.A. in clinical psychology, is a UCCE Master Gardener, and a registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR). She has worked for many years with children, youth and adults who have specialized programming needs.

Karen Haney

🌿 About the AHTA

Established in 1973, the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) is the only national U.S. organization advocating for the development of the horticultural therapy profession and the practice of horticulture as therapy for human well-being.

Horticultural therapists have a foundation of knowledge in plant science, human science, and horticultural therapy principles and experience in the application of horticultural therapy practices.

American Horticultural Therapy Association
Horticultural therapist definition
two individuals in a greenhouse

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Learn about UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture & Horticulture Certificates, courses and specializations, some of which may qualify for AHTA registration.

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