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ECC student looking at flower outside in meadow

Horticulture is defined as the science or art of cultivating fruits, vegetables, flowers, turf grass and ornamental plants. The field can take you in many directions, but most careers involve some type of science related to biology, chemistry, and physics. Activities within the field include plant breeding, growing and maintaining fruits/vegetables/ornamentals in the field and/or greenhouse, and managing turf grass for golf courses. Horticulture is closely related to agriculture, agronomy, biotechnology, entomology and landscape architecture.

Horticultural research has resulted in the development of higher yielding varieties and varieties with better resistance to pests or improved flavor and appearance of horticultural products. The science of Horticulture plays an important role in continuing research into developing better plants and food crops. Horticulture also continues to be important in growing better plants for greenhouses and nurseries.


Job titles within the field of Horticulture include agronomer, landscape designer, greenhouse grower, fruit and vegetable grower, nursery manager, public garden manager, golf course manager, horticulture science and/or horticultural communication specialist, retail florist, resort landscape manager, and grounds crew supervisor for athletic teams.

Because these job duties and responsibilities vary so widely, you are encouraged to check the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook to find current educational requirements, median salary information, and employment prospects for each career in which you’re interested.


ECC’s Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree is designed to meet the requirements of colleges and universities to which students may wish to transfer for completion of baccalaureate (BA or BS) degrees. In many instances, transfer colleges accept this degree as equivalent to their own general education requirements.

Because the requirements for an AA transfer degree change periodically, students should check with their academic advisor or the ECC Admissions Office to confirm that they have the most current information. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree they hope to obtain and for planning their schedule accordingly.

Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa

ECC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable ECC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at ECC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the ECC Admissions Office for more information!


  • ECC currently has the 17th highest student success rate (graduation rate + transfer rate) of any community college in the nation.
  • The College offers generous scholarships and financial aid packages, which is why our graduates have one of the lowest average student debt loads of any college in Iowa, public or private, two-year or four year!
  • What students appreciate about ECC is our smaller class sizes, which results in more one-on-one attention from the instructor and greater classroom success.