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You enjoy working outdoors and don’t mind getting your hands dirty. Gardening and growing plants is important to you, yet you’d still like to improve your horticulture skills and have the garden you’ve always dreamed of. Perhaps you enjoy horticulture so much that you’d like to explore it as a career option. Or better yet, you’re already working in the industry but would like to earn credentials to advance your career. Whatever your situation, horticulture studies at the University of Guelph will provide you with a high-quality education that is meaningful and practical in the real world.

Our Horticulture Diploma features a program structure that allows you to tailor your studies to your personal and professional learning goals. Courses are taught by industry experts and are delivered entirely online so you can enjoy the convenience and flexibility of studying at a time and place that works for you, from anywhere in the world.

With a total of 10 online courses to complete, the diploma program will strengthen your horticulture knowledge. The program requires the completion of three foundational courses, two advanced courses, and five electives. You may choose to complete one or two areas of focus within your diploma program for a more specialized diploma, or choose courses from a variety of subject areas for a broader approach.

Horticulture Diploma Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing all required courses within the Horticulture Diploma, you will be able to:

  • Apply the principles of plant and soil science to the production and maintenance of health in a variety of plant types (herbaceous plants, woody plants, indoor plants, water plants, vegetables, and turf).
  • Utilize knowledge of specific plant characteristics and maintenance requirements to identify plants and develop planting plans that are appropriate to specific site criteria.
  • Apply the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) including diagnostic and monitoring techniques, action thresholds, and control measures to develop environmentally sound pest, weed, and disease management strategies.
  • Recognize the potential environmental effects of common horticultural industry practices and recommend practices that will contribute to healthier environmental conditions for plants, animals, and people.
  • Research and integrate fundamental business concepts used in the horticulture industry including business planning and goal setting, product development, market research and financial costs.
  • Apply knowledge of horticulture to respond effectively to client needs using language the client can understand.
  • Model effective communication techniques within a team for dealing with common challenges associated with the production and sale of horticultural crops.
  • Compare new innovations and trends in horticulture and identify opportunities within these for ongoing professional development.

Program Details

All courses are 12 weeks in length and delivered online. There is a schedule of studies and you will be expected to complete coursework each week—including reading, activities and discussions. There are graded assignments and quizzes in each course. Most courses are offered once per year. 

Admission Requirements

  • This program is intended for adult learners who are at least 18 years of age.
  • There is no admission process or prerequisites for this program. You can begin by simply registering in one of the course offerings.
  • Courses begin in September, January and May.

Planning Your Studies

Courses may be taken in any order. We recommend that you begin your studies with the required foundational courses before registering in the required advanced courses.

Required Foundational Courses

  • Plant Identification
  • Soils and Plant Growth
  • Integrated Pest Management

Required Advanced Courses

  • Business Management in Horticulture
  • Horticulture Capstone
    • You may complete the Horticulture Capstone course after you have completed at least seven courses.

Elective Courses

  • Complete five elective courses
  • Achieve an area of focus by completing two courses below the area of focus title.

Achieving the Diploma

To be eligible to receive the Horticulture Diploma, you must successfully complete five required and five elective courses, a total of 10 courses.

Additional Information

If you would like additional information on this diploma, please contact our main office.



Minimum Required

5 Course(s)

Students must successfully complete five (5) elective courses as part of their Horticulture Diploma from the following list.  An area of focus can be achieved by successfully completing the two (2) courses indicated below the area of focus title.
Required fields are indicated by .