Take your love of plants and turn it into a career. The Horticulture Certificate provides students with the foundational science behind maintaining plants and their environment. This program may be completed 100% online.

This program is perfect for...

  • Aspiring horticulturists or entrepreneurs with a passion for plants and the environment
  • Professionals currently working in the landscape industry looking for career advancement
  • Individuals interested in sustainability and plant science who are looking to transition into the green industry
  • Gardeners seeking expert, science-based knowledge and skills for proper plant care

What you can learn.

  • Plant taxonomy and identification, fundamental botany concepts, as well as basic plant nutrition and fertilization
  • Diagnose and treat common garden insects, diseases, and weeds, integrated pest management, and sustainable gardening practices
  • Irrigation methods and design, water conservation methods, and how to leverage new technologies for efficiency
  • 150+ plants best suited for use in Southern California, proper placement within the landscape, and basic principles of planting design
  • The physical, biological, and chemical properties of soils, and a holistic approach to landscape management and assessment

Cultivate your passion.

purple succulent

Founded in 1974 by world-renowned botanist Dr. Mildred E. Mathias, UCLA Extension’s Horticulture & Gardening program has a long history of excellence.

Designed for aspiring horticulturists and for professionals currently working in the landscape industry, the Horticulture Certificate provides the science-based curriculum sought by current industry employers.

Our program provides students with a comprehensive approach to horticulture, teaching proper plant care, to think strategically and holistically in any environment, and how to be successful and competitive within the industry. 

The certificate is also a convenient way for working professionals currently in the field to access an education from the country’s #1 public university.

The perfect first step for a new career.

The Horticulture Certificate offers the knowledge and skills to start on a new green path.

It is designed to provide foundational horticulture science principles with a focus on plants, insects, and soils commonly found in Southern California biomes.

Study in-person or online—or, both.

We offer certificate courses in two formats: in-person and remote. Students can take courses in one format or a combination of both.

For more information on the certificate and course formats, see the frequently asked questions on this page.

Show More

Expect more from your education.

Learn from Industry Leaders

Halleck is a Certified Professional Horticulturist and book author. More importantly, she's a plant nerd and lifelong gardener who loves to inspire her student's intellectual curiosity about plant life and cultivation. 

Leslie Halleck

🌿 Horticulture Hour

Hosted by the horticulture program office, this informal Zoom event is a platform for current and new program students to connect and network. Drop in for 10 minutes or stay for the hour. Have questions about the certificate or program, bring them with you!

Thursday, March 21, 3pm - 4pm PT

Email horticulture@uclaextension.edu for the meeting link.

I enrolled in the Horticulture program because I had recently made a career change and started a garden design business. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the world of plants, and I knew it would bring confidence and credibility to my work, which it has!

Lisa Brady
Horiculture Certificate Graduate
California poppies in bloom

Grow with us.

When you study at UCLA Extension, you'll learn from practicing professionals who are experts in their field.

Our instructors span several industries, including: public horticulture, biology, landscape architecture, nursery management, and landscape maintenance. Instructors may also include UCLA faculty.

Many have taught with us for a number of years and all are familiar with the challenges facing working adults who wish to advance their skills. These working professionals offer networking opportunities and unique insights into the industry.

Horticulture Advisory Board

Two people cutting Apple Blossom In Orchard

The role of the Horticulture Advisory Board is to advise the Horticulture Program on the latest trends and scientific developments within the horticulture and landscape fields. They also provide strategic guidance and help us reach new students in California and beyond.

Advisory board members are distinguished practitioners across the spectrum of areas within the field who share a strong commitment to furthering the standards of horticulture practices within Southern California.

Advisory Board Members

Carol Bornstein
Director of the Nature Gardens (Retired), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County  | Personal Website

Allison Keeney
 Assistant Director, UCLA Mildred E Mathias Botanical Garden

Evan Meyer
Executive Director,
Theodore Payne Foundation

James Minnich
Regional Manager, Ewing Irrigation

Jill Morganelli
Horticulture Supervisor (Retired), Los Angeles County Arboretum, Instructor, UCLA Extension Horticulture and Gardening

Darlene Pickell
Sales Manager,
Marina del Rey Garden Center

Dr. Lawren Sack
Professor, UCLA Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Dept.

Dr. Victoria Sork
Director, UCLA Mildred E Mathias Botanical Garden

Brian Sullivan
Director of Agronomy,
Wilshire Country Club


The Advisory Board is not a fundraising entity and members are not solicited for any financial contribution. The Board meets three time a year.
Show More


Click below to view the required and elective courses, if applicable, for this program.

Required Courses
BIOLGY X 496.2
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
BIOLGY X 499.97
Typically Offered: Spring, Summer
BIOLGY X 498.2
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer
BIOLGY X 493.2
Typically Offered: Winter, Spring
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer
BIOLGY X 424.41
Typically Offered: Winter
Students must complete 4 elective units.
ARCH X 472
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer
ARCH X 472.6A
Typically Offered: Summer
ARCH X 494.65
Typically Offered: Spring
BIOLGY X 465.33
Typically Offered: Winter, Summer
BIOLGY X 465.4
Typically Offered: Summer
BIOLGY X 466.1
Typically Offered: Spring
BIOLGY X 466.2
Typically Offered: Winter
BIOLGY X 466.3
Typically Offered: Spring
BIOLGY X 492.67
Typically Offered: Winter
BIOLGY X 492.68
Typically Offered: Spring
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
BIOLGY X 497.19
Typically Offered: Fall
BIOLGY X 497.35
Typically Offered: Summer
BIOLGY X 497.5
Typically Offered: Summer
BIOLGY X 498.10
Typically Offered: Summer
BIOLGY X 499.22
Typically Offered: Spring
BIOLGY X 499.999
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
see all courses

How to Get Started

Courses in this program are open enrollment, and each course is paid for individually. You may take courses without committing to the program; however, establishing candidacy provides many benefits exclusive to our certificate students. Please refer to the frequently asked questions below for more detail.

Note: A grade of "C" or better must be earned in all courses in order to fulfill certificate requirements.


How to Apply

  1. Click the Apply Now button below
  2. Login or create a new student account
  3. Once you are logged into the student portal, you can select “My Applications” from the left side menu at any time to return to your application. Click the yellow “Start” button to proceed.
  4. On the Certificate Application page, follow the instructions and click save. Then submit your application. 
  5. Proceed to checkout and pay the nonrefundable candidacy fee to finalize your application. 

Benefits exclusive to UCLA Extension certificate students:

  • Access to Handshake, UCLA Career Center’s online job board, with access to thousands of job and internship postings.
  • Become a member of the UCLA Alumni Association (upon completing your certificate) and a nationwide network of Bruin family.
  • Join us for the annual UCLA Extension Graduation Ceremony on campus to celebrate all your hard work.
  • Get access to UCLA Recreation facilities as a student affiliate.**
  • Open an affiliate/Guest UCLA Bruin ID Card* for a number of student-related benefits.
  • Access to UCLA Extension’s Career Resources including online career coaching, workshops and networking events.
*Nominal Fee Required

Is there an application process to join the Horticulture Certificate?

Yes, there is a short application to enroll as a student in the Horticulture Certificate (CE0668). The application fee is $200 and is required to receive the official UCLA Extension Horticulture Certificate.

It is recommended that students start the application process before enrolling in certificate program courses. Alternatively, students may apply to the certificate after enrolling in courses or after they have completed all the required certificate courses. The application and associated fee, regardless of when it is submitted, is required for students to receive the certificate. To apply, click the “Apply Now” button below.  

Individuals are welcome to enroll in any horticulture program course regardless of their application status in the Horticulture Certificate program. All horticulture courses are open enrollment.

Do I need to join the certificate and pay the application fee to take horticulture courses?

No, individuals can take any course offered within the program without applying to the certificate. If, at a later point in time, a student decides to join the certificate, all previously completed course work with a letter grade of “C” or better that apply to the certificate will automatically count toward the certificate.

*The shelf life of courses that count toward the certificate is five years.

Can I complete the certificate online?

The short answer is yes. We offer courses in the Horticulture Certificate in two different formats: remote instruction and in-person. Students can complete required courses in any combination of the above formats. For those who do not live in Los Angeles and would like to complete the certificate, we offer all core courses in the program online or by remote instruction.

The certificate curriculum is designed to serve students in Southern California and the Pacific Time Zone (PT). Course curriculum focuses on horticulture practices in Southern California as well. Learn more about our online and remote methods of instruction.

The remote format consists of weekly live (synchronous) Zoom lectures. This option is best for students who cannot or choose not to commute to campus. Students who do not live in Southern California and are interested in earning the certificate can expect a focus on insects, gardening practices, soils, and plants that exist in the Southern California biomes. Students are expected to participate in fieldwork and hands on learning.

If I do not live in California, can I still enroll in the Horticulture Certificate and courses?

Yes, the certificate and all core courses are open to anyone to join. Students not living in California should be aware of a few things before joining a course or the certificate.

The instructors and the courses materials focus on plants, insects and horticulture practices common to Southern California. This may create a lack of breadth and depth for some individuals and in some courses, due to lack of access to live plant material and insects. However, this will not affect a student’s ability to pass courses successfully.

We offer remote instruction courses exclusively in Pacific Time (PT). The program office and instructors will not accommodated alternate schedules.

Attendance in remote instruction courses is required. Missed class meetings will have a negative effect on student grades.

Can I take certificate courses on a pass/not pass status?

All required courses in the certificate must be taken for a letter grade; a grade of “C” or better is required for the course to count towards the certificate.

How long does it take to complete the Horticulture Certificate?

Students complete their studies at their own pace and can enroll in as many or as few courses to meet their needs. Those who wish to pursue the certificate program can complete their studies in as little as four quarters (one year).

How many courses should I take each quarter?

Each quarter is 11 weeks long and most courses meet once per week for three hours. Full-time enrollment is two courses per quarter. Reference the curriculum chart for quarterly core course offerings.

When are courses typically offered?

We know that many of our students are working professionals, so we schedule our classes in the evenings during typical non-work hours (5:30pm-10pm). We offer classes in the evenings during the week and sometimes on weekends. Schedules vary; check course listings for specific course schedules.

Can I work while I am a student?

Yes, this program is uniquely designed for the working professional, with courses offered weekday evenings typically after 5:30pm PT.

Is there a difference in costs for out-of-state residents?

Course fees are the same for both in state and out-of-state residents. Courses in this program are open enrollment and students pay for each course at the time of enrollment in a course.

Where are classes located?

We offer in-person classes in Westwood Village, and the UCLA main campus.

Remote instruction courses are held on the Zoom platform.

Need Help? Book an appointment with an Academic Advisor.

Estimated Cost Breakdown

All courses in this program are paid for individually, unless otherwise noted. An application form is required to establish candidacy in this program. From the 'Apply Now' button, complete the online application and pay the application fee if applicable.

Application & Candidacy Fee


Estimated Program Tuition


Estimated program textbook/materials


*The Application & Candidacy Fee establishes your candidacy in the program for a period of time covering normal progress toward completion and may allow you to access a variety of program benefits.

**Federal Financial Aid Gainful Employment Disclosures

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information for any financial aid eligible program that, “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. This information includes program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; occupational profiles; on time completion rate; and for the most recent award year: the number of students who have completed the program, the number of students who complete the program within the estimated duration, the job placement rate, and the median Title IV and private loan debt incurred by those who complete the program. For gainful employment information for this program, visit our Financial Aid page.

Plant seedlings in terra cota pots

J. Michael Baer Horticulture Scholarship

Students pursuing the Horticulture Certificate with demonstrated financial need are encouraged to apply. 

The application deadline is January 15th every year.

Learn More and Download Application

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

Programs you may also like...

Ready to start
your future?
By signing up, you agree to UCLA Extension’s Privacy Policy.

vector icon of building

Corporate Education

Learn how we can help your organization meet its professional development goals and corporate training needs.

Learn More

vector icon of building

Donate to UCLA Extension

Support our many efforts to reach communities in need.

Innovation Programs

Student Scholarships

Coding Boot Camp

Lifelong Learning