Ornamental Plant Materials Certificate Program

In the Ornamental Plant Materials Certificate program, students develop knowledge of the ever-expanding variety of ornamentals well-suited for Northeastern Illinois. The program covers more than 500 plants, focusing on identification, cultural requirements, and use in gardens and the broader landscape.

Who should participate? Avid amateur gardeners and plant enthusiasts, aspiring horticulture professionals, horticulturists, garden designers, and landscape architects 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

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Program Requirements

The program requirements include nine core courses and 24 instructional hours of elective courses. The core courses are offered on a rotating basis over a 2-year period. If you are able to take all the courses when offered, you can complete the certificate in just two years.

A selection of elective courses is offered throughout the year. Topics range from organic gardening techniques and sustainable practices to choosing the best shrubs for summer and the identification and care of specific ornamentals.

After completing Botany 1, all remaining core courses may be taken in any order. 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 five years of the start date of our first core course.

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.

 

OPC Core Courses Prerequisites
Botany 1 — Spring Session None
Hardy Bulbs
Garden Walk Series
Optional Study CD
Botany 1
Small Flowering Trees
Garden Walk Series
Optional Study CD
Botany 1
Ground Covers and Vines
Garden Walk Series
Optional Study CD
Botany 1
Deciduous Trees
Garden Walk Series
Optional Study CD
Botany 1
Deciduous Flowering Shrubs
Garden Walk Series
Optional Study CD
Botany 1
Annuals and Biennials
Garden Walk Series
Optional Study CD
Botany 1
Herbaceous Perennials
Garden Walk Series
Optional Study CD
Botany 1
Conifers and Evergreens
Garden Walk Series
Optional Study CD
Botany 1
OPC Elective Courses Prerequisites
Plant Propagation None
Clematis Up Close None
Vibrant Viburnums None
Best New Annuals for 2015 None
Magnolias None
Ornamental Grasses None
Success with Rhododendrons None
Organic Pests and Disease None
Meet the Cultivars: Deciduous Trees None
Healthy Gardens None
Sustainable Gardener Series
Positive Economic Impacts for our Landscape None
Social Impacts of Sustainability None