SoPH Student working in Gardening.

Hands-on Training

Specialized Training

Field trips, plant walks, student garden plots, externships, and symposia allow students to further experience the diversity of the horticulture field.

Plant Walks and the Plant ID Final

Plant walks are designed to help students learn to identify more than 1,000 plants based on morphological similarities and differences in preparation for the second-year Plant Final, an all-day exam to test students on the Master Plant List.

Yuichi Murayama from The New York Botanical Garden on Vimeo.

Field Trips

During their first year, students participate in 10 to 12 field trips to public and private gardens, nurseries, celebrity estates, and ecological areas. These trips encourage students to explore opportunities, network with practitioners in the field, and see how a variety of sites function.

Mike DiTota from The New York Botanical Garden

Student Garden Plots

The Student Garden allows first-year students to creatively apply newly acquired skills. Each student is assigned a plot and provided instruction on how to design, install, maintain, and dismantle a 100-square-foot vegetable garden. Students are responsible for day-to-day care of the site and will receive a grade after the final evaluation.

Herbarium Collection Workshop

Over the course of their first year, students learn the technique and skills to collect, dry, mount, and label museum-quality herbarium specimens. Students will learn how to select the best material for preservation; use a plant press; dry plant samples; make a specimen label; and mount plants using archival materials.

Second-Year Training

Second-year hands-on training is designed to further expand students’ horticultural skills and to work on their professional development. Second-year students commence their six-month externships in April and end them in September (total of 1,040 hours). Students are responsible for identifying areas and businesses or institutions they would like to explore for their externships and for securing approval from the Director prior to starting. Upon completion, students deliver a 10-minute presentation and write a 10-page paper on their experiences.

Sonsuk Kim & Yoojin Kim from The New York Botanical Garden

Lecture Series and Symposia

Students attend the many lecture series and symposia sponsored by the Garden throughout the year. Among them are the Landscape Design Portfolio Lectures, the Humanities Institute Symposia, the Winter Lecture Series, and other special lecture events. Because of the world-class reputation of the Garden, these events showcase leading experts in the field on topics such as native plants, ecological design, and urban farming.