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Masters of Professional Studies in Horticulture (MPSH)

With a specialization in Water-Efficient Landscaping, the Masters of Professional Studies in Horticulture (MPSH) is available as an online degree or with face-to-face classes available at the Logan USU campus.

Program Objectives

With an estimated 60% of drinking water in the western U.S. applied to urban landscapes, water conservation in the landscape is an important issue. Utah State University is the only university with a professional Master's degree that focuses on urban landscape water conservation. Using landscape water efficiently is a multi-faceted issue involving an understanding of plant science, irrigation technologies, human behaviors, and landscape design, all set within the political and economic contexts of communities challenged to meet the water demands of growing populations. The purpose of this degree is to provide horticulturists with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively promote landscape water conservation. As water becomes more precious, the demand for these skills will continue to increase.

Career Opportunities

The primary goal of the MPSH program is to provide additional training and education for horticulturists to become highly qualified landscape water conservation specialists. Graduates pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Water conservation specialists with water districts, cities, counties or federal agencies
  • Directors or managers of water conservation gardens
  • Extension specialists
  • Water-efficient irrigation designers
  • Specialists in water-efficient Landscape Design, Maintenance or Construction
  • Private sector consultants


The Masters of Professional Studies in Horticulture (MPSH) is a Plan C graduate degree program with a required internship or capstone project. This program available completely online. The program consists of 33 semester credits, with 20 credits of required courses, 4 credits of internship experience or capstone project, and 9 elective credits. The courses are designed to increase skills and expertise in all aspects of landscape water conservation. Courses cover all aspects of water conservation in the landscape, including water law and policy, low-water landscaping, turf and urban landscape water management, climate change, and landscape irrigation.

  • MPSH degree program coursework list in USU Degree Finder
  • MPSH degree program course planning documents
  • Prerequisites

  • PSC 2600 Herbaceous Plant Materials
  • PSC 2620 Woody Plant Materials: Trees and Shrubs for the Landscape
  • PSC 3300 Residential Landscapes
  • PSC 3400 Arboriculture
  • PSC 3810 Turfgrass Management
  • PSC 3000 Fundamentals of Soil Science
  • Admissions

    1. Completion of a short essay on your motivation for entering the program. The essay should be sent to Susan Buffler, and can also be used as the statement of interest required in the USU graduate school application.
    2. Completion of a telephone or in-person interview with the faculty adviser. The purpose of the interview is to help us determine student potential for success within the program.
    3. Admission to the School of Graduate Studies at Utah State University.  For information on applications see the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.
    4. Completion of the required prerequisite courses or their equivalents. Awarding credit for prerequisite courses completed at other institutions will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Decisions on missing courses and requirements to complete them will be made prior to matriculation into the program.


    Program Coordinator: Susan Buffler, 
    Faculty Advisor: Larry Rupp, 

    Other Resources