FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the advantage of attending the school of professional horticulture versus earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in horticulture?
The advantage can be summarized with one word—skills! The School’s strength is that it teaches students valuable horticulture skills, which give our graduates a competitive advantage over other programs based solely on coursework. The School’s program combines the theoretical and the practical, teaching not just how to grow plants, but why plants grow the way they do. It is due to this kind of education that our students are highly sought after, not just for internships, but also for full-time employment upon graduation.

As someone who is switching careers, what is it like to work in the horticulture industry?
It is a close-knit community of dedicated and passionate professionals who are willing to share their knowledge, experience, information, and employment opportunities. As a student, you meet many key people in this profession from around the world in diverse areas of horticulture, and as a graduate, you become part of that community. One of the biggest benefits of attending the School is making these lifelong contacts here at NYBG and beyond.

what is the typical demographic of students in the school?
Students come from all over the country and world. Most students have some college background, and many have degrees in fields other than horticulture. The majority of students are career changers and range in age from their late teens to mid-50s.

Will I be able to find a job when I graduate?
The School has had a job placement rate of nearly 100% for the past several years. Our alumni are highly sought after by botanical gardens, public parks, celebrity estates, and even major league sports stadiums. Exceptional students also are often hired at NYBG upon graduation when a position is available. However, the School does not promise or guarantee employment.

What kind of starting salary can I expect to receive?
Generally, private industry pays more than public parks and gardens. The starting salary range in private industry is typically $45,000–$55,000; for non-profits it is $35,000–$45,000.

How is the two-year program divided?
The program is divided into nine terms. Academic classes are concentrated between rotations and include evening sessions.

What if I have fewer hours of experience by application deadline, should I still apply?
Yes; contact the Director to assess your situation.

How many hours of studying can I anticipate?
On horticulture rotation days, students start at 8 a.m. and finish at 4 p.m. On class days, students may start at 10 a.m. and finish at 6 or 9 p.m. Students also can expect to have classes some evenings throughout the year. Some courses require homework and studying outside class hours.

Why are some courses taught in the evenings?
Many courses are taught by our expert Horticulture staff. Due to their daytime schedules, they are only free to teach after 4 p.m.

Is it possible to work part-time while I am a student in the School?
Due to the intense schedule of academic courses and work rotations, in addition to various lectures, field trips, and plant ID walks, it’s nearly impossible to hold a part-time job, find time to study, and stay in good academic standing for the two-year program.

What does one receive after Graduating from the school?
After successfully completing the program, students receive a Diploma in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden.