Horticultural crops are important sources of food, environmental enhancement, and personal enjoyment. The horticultural science program provides students with higher education and research opportunities in biotechnology, production, management, utilization, and postharvest handling of horticultural crops. The program focuses on plant breeding, genetics, basic and applied plant production technologies, environmental conservation, and postharvest technology.
Program research fields include: physiology, ecology, and genetics of horticultural crops and native plants. Research also covers the development of high quality, energy-saving, and environmentally friendly production systems, environmental and chemical control of plant growth and development, construction of genetic maps and the development of molecular markers, breeding of disease-resistant and functional cultivars using conventional methods and biotechnology, rapid mass production of virus-free plants and secondary metabolites, postharvest management and processing for product quality maintenance; advanced and protected horticulture and soilless culture, and the improvement of living environments using ornamental and landscape plants. Students in their second academic year can begin to specialize in horticultural science.
Students in graduate school can study in the following areas: vegetable science, pomology, floriculture and landscape plants, plant breeding, horticultural crop biotechnology and genomics, postharvest physiology and technology, and plant environment control. Career opportunities in horticultural science are numerous in all aspects of plant production and the related agribusiness fields both in the government and the private sector. Horticultural science students also have the opportunity to prepare for graduate school in preparation for teaching, research, or extension work.