Horticulture is a branch of agricultural science that deals with the art, science and technology of growing and cultivation of plants that include fruits and vegetables, medicinal plants, nuts, seeds, herbs, sprouts, flowers etc. The word Horticulture comes from the latin word Hortus meaning ‘garden’ and Cultus/Cultura meaning ‘cultivation’. 

The scope of horticulture does not lie only in the cultivation of plants, but also covers vast areas like plant conservation, landscape designing and maintenance. According to the data provided by the Government of India, horticulture crops are being cultivated in 24 million hectares, which is about 7% of India’s total cropped area. Health consciousness among people all over the world is increasing. As a result, the demand for fruits and vegetables is also high, increasing the scope of horticulture. According to University of Minnesota (2011), horticulture is the art and science of plant production for both beauty and utility.

(In Kerala, There is one Horticulture College and it conducts Bsc Agriculture Course and Agriculture related PG course only)


There are multiple levels of courses available in Horticulture.

BSc in Horticulture / B.Sc (Hons) in Horticulture: This is a 3 or 4 year undergraduate program depending upon the institutions/ universities.

It covers topics like crop physiology, tropical and subtropical fruits, pomology, fundamentals of entomology, principles of plant breeding, orchard management, floricultural, fundamentals of soil science etc.The course covers both theory and practical aspects of the subject.

MSc in Horticulture: After doing B.Sc in Horticulture, students can choose Msc. It is a 2 year post graduation program which will be completed in 4 semesters. 

The course covers a variety of topics such as crop management, biotechnology, genetics, plant propagation, plant and soil biochemistry, economics etc.

MPhil: MPhil or Master of Philosophy in Horticulture is a pre-doctoral degree and duration of the course is 2 years. 

Subjects of study covers topics such as Research Methodology, New trends, Social aspects, Scientific aspects and Business aspects of Horticulture.

PhD: Doctor of Philosophy in Horticulture is a 3 year doctoral level program. 

It is an integrated study of the horticultural system applicable in multi disciplines of research.The course comprises examinations, projects and submission of research thesis. Admission procedures followed by different universities may vary.

Required Skills and Aptitude

The skills and aptitudes required for a Horticulture career include the following:

  • Analytical and research oriented
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Environmental consciousness
  • Hands-on, practical and realistic approach to work
  • High observation skills
  • Planning, organising and managing skills
  • Scientific nature

Eligibility Criteria

It is required for a science background to pursue a course in Horticulture. Basic requirements for admission such as aggregate marks, eligibility etc will vary according to institutes/ universities. The eligibility required for different levels of courses are as mentioned below.

BSc in Horticulture / B.Sc( Hons) in Horticulture: Candidates must have passed +2 or equivalent qualifying exam in science stream with chemistry, physics, maths and biology/agriculture/forestry with a minimum 50% aggregate marks. The admissions are either based on merit or through entrance examinations at national level, institution level or a state level.

MSc in Horticulture: Candidates aspiring for admission to PG courses should complete a graduation in the relevant discipline such as Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry or B.Tech-Agriculture from a recognised university. Admissions are based on either the marks obtained in the qualifying exam or various entrance exams conducted at national or state or institution level.

MPhil: Interested students should have passed a master’s degree in Horticulture or relevant field with a minimum of second class securing at least 55% of aggregate marks or in an examination recognised as equivalent. 

PhD: Eligibility is Post Graduation degree in Horticulture or qualified an M.Phil degree or any equivalent examination with minimum aggregate marks of 50% and above.

Entrance Examination

Admissions to Horticulture courses in many universities or colleges are based on entrance exams and the common entrance exams are listed below:

CG PAT( Chhattisgarh Pre Agriculture test)

HORTICET (a state level exam conducted by Dr.Y.S.R. Horticultural University (Dr. YSRHU),

ICAR AIEEA UG/PG/Ph.D: Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) All India Entrance Examination (AIEEA) Undergraduate (UG)/PG is the national level entrance exam for admission to UG/PG agriculture, horticulture, forestry, community science, food nutrition and dietetics, sericulture, dairy technology, food technology, bio technology courses in and related courses in agricultural universities on 15% of the university seats (100% seats in few colleges too). AIEEA UG/PG is conducted yearly by the National Testing Agency.

OUAT ( Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology)

PAT (Pre Agriculture Test conducted by different states)

Job Profiles

Here is the list of some top professional avenues open to graduates / postgraduates in Horticulture.

  • Breeding Manager
  • Crop consultant
  • Crop production advisor
  • Floriculturist
  • Horticulture Specialist
  • Horticulturist
  • Nursery Manager
  • Plantation Manager
  • Pomologist
  • Technical Assistant

Top Recruiters

A horticulturist can work in both Government as well as private sectors. A graduate with a degree in Horticulture can enter a wide range of challenging and rewarding careers in areas like production, management, marketing, designing, teaching and research. They can start their own business ventures such as nurseries, landscape designing and maintenance companies, greenhouses, fruit and vegetable production companies etc. Followings are some of the firms where jobs for horticulture experts are available:

  • Amalgamated Plantation Pvt Ltd ( Tata Group)
  • Biobritte Agro Solutions Pvt Ltd
  • Future Consumer Ltd
  • Goodricke group Ltd
  • JK Horticulture Export Pvt Ltd
  • Kaveri Seed Ltd
  • Modern Nursery Gardens
  • VST Industries Ltd


There are many institutions offering Horticulture courses in India. Some of the best institutes are listed at each level of course for your reference. It is recommended prior to choosing an institute, go through the website, talk to faculty and past students for the complete details on the course. 

BSc Horticulture: Some of the best Institutes are listed below:

MSc Horticulture: Following are some of the top institutions:

MPhil Horticulture: Some of the best Institutes are listed below:

PhD in Horticulture: Top Universities offering PhD:

Questions & Answers​

Q) How can one get a Govt job after a degree in Horticulture?

A) You can apply for various Govt posts like Junior technicians, Officer scale 2, Crop inspectors, District horticulture officers etc through the examinations conducted by Union Public service Commission or State Public Service Commission. You can also apply for teaching or technical posts in colleges/ universities with the required qualification.

Q) Is horticulture a good career in India?

A) In India, horticulturists are highly in demand in various industries. There are a number of job opportunities that are available after completion of this study. After this one can become a horticulturist, floriculturist, pomologist,landscape manager, crop production controller, consultants etc. In this field, one can also become a scientist in research studies. You can also set up your own business enterprise in the agricultural field

Q) What is the difference between Horticulture and Agriculture?

A) Horticulture is the study of the scientific production of fruit crops, vegetable crops, their seed production, propagation techniques, flowers and landscaping, post-harvest technology etc. and it is a part of agriculture. Agriculture, on the other hand is a study of cultivation of crops, animal husbandry, poultry, fish farming, soil science, agronomy etc.

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