A young woman in the background kneels to examine a tomato plant while a box filled with picked tomatoes sits in the foreground.

Environmental Horticulture

Prepare for High-Demand Jobs in Plant Science

Horticulture is all about plants, the food we eat, and the landscapes where we live. It is the business of using what we grow, while caring for the health of our soil, air, and water.

Global initiatives to combat climate change, air and water pollution, and food insecurity have created an increased need for professionals educated in plant science and sustainable growing practices. 

Students in the Appell Environmental Horticulture Program at York College don’t just learn how to maximize crop yields; they learn how to contribute to meaningful change. In this major, you’ll develop knowledge in areas like ecology, plant nutrition, and pest management, but you’ll also learn the business management and communications skills necessary to apply that knowledge in a real-world work environment. 

You will study two main areas of plant science:

  • Food Plants and Global Use
  • Ornamental Plants and Landscaping

In both areas, an emphasis is placed on sustainability and environmentally responsible practices. As an Environmental Horticulture major, you’ll also have hands-on learning opportunities through the City of York’s food security initiatives and Millbourne, a 50-acre estate that serves as a horticultural learning lab.

A woman in gardening gloves kneels beside a batch of plants, making notes on a clipboard

Majoring in Environmental Horticulture

  • Key Courses

    Key Courses

    The Environmental Horticulture major offers a wide variety of required classes, electives, and real-world learning opportunities. These include:

    • HRT 100: Plant Science
    • HRT 310: Economic Botany
    • HRT 355: Vegetable and Fruit Production
    • HRT 350: Landscape Plants, Design and Management
    • HRT 460: Sustainable Horticulture
  • Career Opportunities

    Career Opportunities

    No matter your interests, York College’s experienced faculty will guide you toward real-world opportunities that allow you to build a strong professional network in your preferred subject area.

    These are just a few of the many career opportunities available to graduates of the Environmental Horticulture program:

    • Fruit & Vegetable Farming 
    • Landscaping & Turf Operations
    • Nursery Operation
    • Greenhouse Operation 
    • Urban Food Production 
    • Agriculture 
    • Floriculture  
    • Soil & Plant Management
    • Entrepreneur

  • Internships & Work Experience

    Internships & Work Experience

    All students majoring in Environmental Horticulture will complete an internship to help them gain professional experience. A variety of internship locations are available, and your specific site will depend on the type of horticulture career you wish to pursue. 

    Even before it’s time to start an internship, you’ll find classes that provide hands-on, real-world experience in plant science and management of sustainable growing practices. York College enjoys a close partnership with the city of York, PA — and in the Environmental Horticulture program, you’ll have a direct role in supporting local projects in food security, urban farming, and food production.

    We also know that a career in horticultural science requires more than research. You’ll need skills that complement your knowledge of plant production, botany, and sustainability — so you’ll take courses in areas like management and entrepreneurship, communication, and global citizenship to help you excel as a professional in niche markets.

  • Mentorship & Community

    Mentorship & Community

    Students at York College benefit from our strong, supportive community, and that’s especially true for those in the Appell Environmental Horticulture Program.

    The program was founded through support from the Powder Mill Foundation, established by the late Louis J. Appell, Jr. The 50-acre grounds at Millbourne, Mr. Appell’s private estate, provide a hands-on learning laboratory for majors in Environmental Horticulture. 

    At York College, environmental sustainability is also an ever-growing focus of our campus culture. A number of student organizations are involved with on-campus efforts, including student-run Spartans for Sustainability.

Program Requirements

Required Courses and Degree Requirements for Graduation
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2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Contact Us
Appell Environmental Horticulture Program


Charles MacVean, Ph.D.
Dean, Kinsley School of Engineering, Sciences and Technology
Diehl Hall, Room 104
Phone: 717.815.1710

Most Tahera Naznin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Environmental Horticulture
Appell Life Sciences, Room 347