This unique curriculum provides the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as a garden design professional. It features a solid foundation in plantsmanship and science-based gardening techniques, both of which are essential to creating successful gardens for a wide spectrum of projects, — from private residences to municipal plantings.
Who should participate? Aspiring professional garden designers, and gardeners and garden designers seeking professional development. There are no prerequisites for this program, and no prior horticulture experience is needed.
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Download a course overview chart
The program requirements include 23 core courses and 24 instructional hours of elective courses. After completing Botany 1, remaining core courses may be taken in any order if no prerequisite is listed.
For the certificate, a grade of at least 70 percent must be achieved for each core course. All requirements for the certificate must be completed within seven years of the start date of our first core course. Students typically complete this program within 3 years.
You can prove proficiency for up to 20 percent of the coursework by passing proficiency exams for approved courses or providing transcripts indicating grades of at least 70 percent for similar courses. There is no separate enrollment for the program.
Students pursuing the Garden Design Certificate are encouraged to complete their Ornamental Plant Materials Certificate as well. This only requires the addition of 24 hours of OPC elective credit.
|GDC Required Courses||Prerequisites|
|Botany 2||Botany 1|
|All OPC core courses
PLUS choice of two Gardening Techniques Courses
|Gardening Techniques: Session A*||Botany 1|
|Gardening Techniques: Session B*||None|
|Gardening Techniques: Session C*||Botany 1|
|Gardening Techniques: Session D*||Botany 1|
|Plant Health 1 (winter session)||Botany 1|
|Plant Health 2||Botany 1, Plant Health 1|
|Soil Basics — Spring Session||None|
|Graphics — Winter Session*||None|
|Introduction to Professional Practice||Graphics* can be taken concurrently|
|Principles of Garden Design — Spring Session||Graphics, Introduction to Professional Practice|
|Hardscape Basics||Graphics, Introduction to Professional Practice,
Principles of Garden Design
|Introduction to Grading and Drainage||Graphics, Introduction to Professional Practice,
Principles of Garden Design
|Planting Design||4 OPC core courses, Graphics,
Introduction to Professional Practice,
Principles of Garden Design, Hardscape Basics
|Garden Design Implementation||Graphics, Introduction to Professional Practice, Principles of Garden Design, Hardscape Basics, Planting Design|
|Garden Design Studio||Capstone course|
*Class may be taken prior to fulfilling the Botany 1 requirement.
Classes are formatted with CEUs.
Example: 0.3 CUEs = 3 elective hours. Credits are recorded by attendance, no testing is involved.