Home < Degrees < Horticulture


Administrative Unit:Horticulture
College/School: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Ph.D. Minor

Faculty: Professors Goldman (chair), Bamberg, Goldman, Havey, Jiang, McCown, Nienhuis, Palta, Simon, Spooner, Stier, Yandell; Associate Professors Bussan, Colquhoun, Jansky, Jull, Krysan, Patterson; Assistant Professors Bethke, Harbut, Jansky, Wen, Zalapa


The department provides graduate training leading to the master of science and the doctor of philosophy in horticulture.  Specializations are available in several aspects of crop science: cytogenetics and breeding, weed control and herbicide physiology, organic and sustainable horticulture, environmental regulation of growth and development, biochemistry and molecular biology of horticultural plants, microculture and biotechnology, environmental impact of horticultural practices, and biostatistics. Students have the opportunity to develop their research problem using economic plants:  fruits, trees, ornamentals, turf, vegetables, or certain specialty crops as well as model species (e.g., Arabidopsis). The department may be consulted for specific career information.

Labs equipped for research in the separate areas of specialization, controlled environment chambers, and greenhouses are available. The Biotron facility may be requested for those studies requiring very rigid and specific environmental control. Field-plot areas with associated storage and laboratory facilities are available at the UW–Madison Arboretum, Horticulture Research Farm, and the University Experimental Farms at selected locations throughout the state. In conjunction with the farm at Sturgeon Bay, the world's largest collection of tuber-bearing Solanums is maintained by the Inter-Regional Potato Introduction Project and is available for research use.

Master's International Program (MIP) 

This joint program with the U.S. Peace Corps coordinates graduate study with a two-year Peace Corps service commitment. Students work with faculty to develop applied research that fulfills the requirement of a thesis or creative project. For more information, see UW–Madison Peace Corps.

Ph.D. Minor 

Students in other departments who wish to receive a minor in horticulture must complete a minimum of 10 graduate credits in horticulture, including 2 credits of Horticulture 910. Interested students should contact the department for more information.


The department accepts applications for fall, spring, and summer entry.  The applicant's academic preparation should include fundamental courses in the plant sciences such as botany, bacteriology, genetics, and physiology, as well as courses in chemistry (general, organic, quantitative), physics, mathematics, and biochemistry. The academic average should be at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) with evidence of proficiency in subjects related to agriculture and plant sciences.

For more information: Department of Horticulture, 385 Horticulture Building, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-8406; fax 608-262-4743; krbrown7@wisc.edu; www.horticulture.wisc.edu.