Landscape Design & Sustainable Horticulture

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  • Type of Degree: Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
  • Location: Randolph Center Campus
  • Credit Requirements: 63

Interested in landscape design and plant science? At VTC, you'll gain the scientific, creative, technical, and business skills necessary to grow a variety of plant crops as well as design and manage landscapes that enhance our environment. 

The LDSH program is unique in that it combines the theory and practice of horticultural science and landscape design, construction, and management. As part of our program, you will identify and propagate woody and herbaceous ornamental plants; diagnose and create preventive plans for insect and disease problems; and manage nutrients and water for plant crops. You will also gain fluency in design practices such as analyzing a site for the best design fit; taking site measurements and creating base maps; developing conceptual design ideas; and designing planting plans for real-world projects through hand drafting and computer-aided drafting programs.

Graduates of this program pursue careers in the fields of landscape design and plant science, obtaining positions as landscape designers; contractors; greenhouse managers; perennial growers; plant propagators; nursery and garden center operators; arborists; technicians for state and federal agencies; and horticulture supply representatives. Those who complete the associate degree may continue seamlessly into the bachelor’s degree program in Business Technology & Management or Diversified Agriculture.

Students with an Associate of Applied Science in Landscape Design & Sustainable Horticulture learn the following competencies:

  • Graphic Communication Skills: demonstrate an appropriate mastery of freehand sketching, presentation graphics, presentation layout, and CAD as effective tools for the formulation, exploration, communication, and presentation of design ideas
  • Communication Skills: demonstrate a high level of ability to communicate technical and theoretical information effectively to clients, customers, and coworkers, both through the written and spoken word; demonstrate excellent listening and interpersonal skills; demonstrate the principles of professional conduct in all aspects of client/customer and employee/employer relations
  • Technical Skills: demonstrate a high level of comprehension and the ability to analyze, solve, and apply the following: materials and methods of construction; site engineering issues such as grading and drainage; the creation and maintenance of healthy plant environments; the installation, operation, advantages, and disadvantages of greenhouse and nursery environmental systems; integrated pest management; and the use of appropriate computer applications
  • Design Skills: integrate fundamental design principles and practice, including site analysis; base plan measurements and preparation; and study of historic precedent in order to analyze, create, and apply these concepts to comprehensive and holistic landscape designs. This includes working drawings, presentation drawings, client/jury evaluations, and write-up. This course of study culminates in a proposed master plan project that integrates all aspects of design study
  • Horticultural Skills: demonstrate a high level of comprehension and the ability to analyze, solve, and apply the following: identification, production, and use of herbaceous and woody ornamental plants; propagation; diagnosis of insect and disease problems and the assimilation of integrated, environmentally safe, and sustainable approaches for their management; soil properties; and landscape applications such as plant selection; planting and pruning practices; cultural requirements and practices; and maintenance
  • Business Skills: examine and analyze: practical aspects of organizing and managing a small business; marketing (product, place, pricing, and promotion); and management skills. Demonstrate a working knowledge of generally-accepted accounting practices as they apply to the horticultural/design industry. Demonstrate a high level of ability in such essential “soft skills” as interpersonal communication, professionalism, and teamwork
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Education & Career Opportunities


Percent Job and Advanced Education Placement Rate in Landscape Design & Sustainable Horticulture

Vermont Tech Landscape Design & Sustainable Horticulture student outcomes are strong. The class of 2015 had a 100% job and advanced placement rate within six months of graduation. Many students have internships while they’re in college that lead to full-time employment after graduation.


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