Horticulture Associate of Arts/ A.A.

About the Program: 

The Horticulture Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program is specifically designed for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs at West Virginia University but generally involves the undergraduate course work essential to degree programs at other four-year institutions. The degree encourages students to:

  • explore, discover and develop their special aptitudes and interests and to reach beyond their own perceived limitations;
  • acquire the knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork, ethical, and social skills needed to support their immediate educational goals, as well as life-long learning in a world characterized by change;
  • nurture social responsibility and receptive attitudes compatible with citizenship within a global society. 

What you can do with this Degree: 

The AA degree in Horticulture provides a variety of options. As a stand-alone associate’s degree, the graduate will be qualified to enter the workforce as an entry level technician, farm worker, sales associate or entrepreneur. As a 2+2 associate’s degree, the two years of study at Potomac State College will transfer directly to the Morgantown campus for any degree offered by the Davis College Division of Plant and Soil Sciences. Within the division, students may further their education in agroecology, horticulture, environmental management, and applied and environmental microbiology.

The national society offers a test to certify horticulturists at various levels as described on their website (http://www.ashs.org/).

American Society of Horticultural Science Certified Horticulturists (CH) are practicing horticulturists who are skilled and knowledgeable in all areas of horticulture. Those with the ASHS CH certification are required to pass a rigorous four-hour exam based on the following areas of horticulture:

  • Landscape Design and Maintenance
  • Production of Fruits, Vegetables, Turf, and Ornamental Plants
  • Shipping and Handling of Final Product
  • Propagation
  • Monitoring and Testing,
  • Diagnosing and Managing Plant Problems
  • Business Practices

The ASHS Certified Horticulturist Board requires candidates to have a minimum of:

  • three (3) years of paid full-time experience in horticulture, or
  • a two-year degree in Horticulture and two (2) years of paid practical experience, or
  • a four-year degree in Horticulture or a related field and one (1) year of paid practical experience.

What you can earn with this Degree: 

Possible employment opportunities exist for this field of study including the following as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/agricultural-and-food-scientists.htm#tab-8 )


Median pay

Entry level education

Work experience

Farmers, ranchers, and other ag. managers

$64,170 per year

High school or equivalent

5 years or more

Agriculture and food science technicians

$36,480 per year

Associates degree


Agriculture and food scientists

$62,470 per year

Bachelor’s degree


Environmental scientists and specialists

$67,460 per year

Bachelor’s degree


Conservation scientists and foresters

$60,220 per year

Bachelor’s degree



Degree Program:


Degree Designation:

Associate of Arts

Donna Ballard