Landscape & Nursery Management Program - East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State University

Program Description

The Landscape and Nursery Management Program at Michigan State University offers those students interested in working with plants, people, and in the outdoors, specialized training to pursue a career in the green industry.  The program combines classroom instruction and theory with practical experience gained through field laboratories and a professional internship.

The Landscape and Nursery Management Program encompasses the production, selection, use, and management of landscape plants. The curriculum begins with the understanding of plant growth, development, and identification. Related sciences of soils, entomology, and pathology are integrated with plant knowledge. The mechanical aspects of plant production systems, equipment operations, and cultural practices are also taught and applied.


Students will have access to the Clarence E. Lewis Landscape Arboretum and the Horticulture Teaching & Research Center, along with professors who are experts in Horticulture science. 

MSU Horticulture Facility - Plant and Soil Sciences Building, Greenhouse, and Gardens


The campus-based program is typically 24 months long, including 4 semesters of MSU instruction and 1 semester of off-campus internship.  The duration of the program can be shortened to as little as 1 year if proper transfer credits can be used from another college / university.  The program couples academics with hands-on field practice and also offers Study Abroad opportunities.  You will find a very personal atmosphere in this program since class sizes are small and students receive individualized instruction.  When you add to this all the other experiences a Big Ten university such as MSU can offer, you have the best of all choices.

Click here for the Certificate Requirements (2-year plan).

Internship Program

A professional internship is required. The internship places you in a professional learning environment that challenges your ability to combine knowledge and hands-on mastery, and your interpersonal and professional skills. You'll earn credit for supervised on-the-job training.  Employers are eager to hire MSU graduates, in part because of the field experience you'll take to that first job. Internships are individualized, and are as diverse as our students. You'll have flexibility in scheduling and employment options.  Students are encouraged to seek new or expanded work opportunities for your internship rather than return to familiar employers.

Click here for more details on the Internship Requirements.

MSU Horticulture Club

Group photo of the MSU Horticulture ClubAnother great part of the Landscape and Nursery Management program is having the chance to become involved in the Horticulture Club. The club is made up of any student at MSU who has an interest in the green industry.  Each year the students put together their big Spring Show and plant sale.  This allows students to fully experience every aspect of the industry by growing their own plants, designing and installing a themed landscape for the show, marketing and promoting the show, as well as learning retail skills during the plant sale.  This event allows the club to travel all over the U.S. to various career fairs, conferences, and competitions.

Career Opportunities

  • Landscape Design, Maintenance, and/or Construction
  • Nursery Manager
  • Nursery Production
  • Retail/Wholesale Garden Center
  • Irrigation Installation, Design, and/or Maintenance
  • Opportunities for full-time positions are extremely favorable
  • Job placement throughout Michigan, across the US, and internationally
  • For more details on career opportunities, visit The Land Lovers web site
  • Visit our Internship and Job Posting web page for current and archived postings for internships, part-time and full-time jobs, homeowner requests, etc.

Who Should Enroll

Enrollment into the Landscape and Nursery Management Program is open to high school graduates and/or college students with a GPA of 2.0 or higher.  No ACT or SAT exam scores are required.  An official copy of your high school or college transcript should be sent directly to the address on the application form.

Click here for the IAT Landscape and Nursery Management Program Application.

Contact Information:

Marcus Duck - Landscape and Nursery Program Coordinator Marcus Duck
Landscape and Nursery Management Program Coordinator & Academic Advisor
A240-D Plant & Soil Sciences Building
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 355-5191 x 1351
Fax: (517) 353-0890