Hands-On Training

Field trips, plant walks, a student garden, a second-year internship, and the Winter Lecture Series allow students to further experience the diversity of the horticul- ture field.

Plant Walks

Plant walks are designed to help students learn to identify plants based on morphological similarities and differences in preparation for the Plant Final. More than 20 plant walks and cumulative quizzes are scheduled during the spring-summer-fall quarters of the first year to review plants listed in the Required Plant List manual (over 1,000 plants). The 20 quizzes make up 30% of the Plant Final. Plant families, genus, and specific epithet are stressed. The Plant Final is an all-day exam to determine if students can identify plants on the Required Plant List. Scheduled on the last Friday in October, students are asked to identify plants from specimens and/or samples. Students must attain 70% or higher on the Plant Final to pass the exam.

Yuichi Murayama from The New York Botanical Garden on Vimeo.

Field Trips

During the first year, students participate in 10–12 field trips to public gardens, private gardens, nurseries, and ecological areas. Field trips encourage students to explore horticultural opportunities, meet practitioners in the field, and learn how horticultural sites function. Trips take place during the week. Food expenses on field trips are not included in tuition.

Mike DiTota from The New York Botanical Garden on Vimeo.


The internship is designed to allow students to expand their horticultural skills and to work on their professional development skills. Second- year students commence their six-month internships in April and end them in September (total of 1,040 hours). Students are responsible for identifying areas and businesses/institutions that they would like to explore. They must secure approval from the Director prior to starting an internship. The Director regularly checks on the student through on-site evaluations. Upon completion of the internship, students deliver a 10-minute presentation and write a 10-page paper on their internship experiences. A final internship grade is given based on the site evaluation, presentation, and paper.

Sonsuk Kim & Yoojin Kim from The New York Botanical Garden on Vimeo.


Held in January, February, and March, the Winter Lecture Series showcases experts in the field. Topics include diverse disciplines such as native plants, ecological design, and urban farming. These three lectures further expand students’ knowledge of their chosen fields.