PHC is a distance-delivered horticulture program designed specifically for the Prairie Provinces. It was developed for professionals and gardening enthusiasts. PHC is collaboratively offered through a consortium of three Western Canadian educational institutions: Assiniboine Community College (Brandon, Manitoba), Olds College (Olds, Alberta) and the University of Saskatchewan. Each consortium partner develops and delivers courses in their respective areas of expertise.

Quick facts
  • 2 year certificate
  • Part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school
  • You can complete this program off-campus

What you will learn

Horticulture is the study of the biology, improvement, production and utilization of fruits, vegetables, flowers, medicinals, ornamental crops, trees, shrubs and turf grass grown under field and greenhouse conditions. It is the most diverse of agricultural industries, involving both art and science with career opportunities from greenhouse and golf course management, food production and landscaping to research and education and beyond.

With the PHC program, you can chose one of four streams of study. These include:

  • Fruit and vegetable production stream
  • Greenhouse crop production stream
  • Landscaping and arboriculture stream
  • Nursery and crop production stream

A first-year schedule sample

PHC is flexibly designed as a part-time program so you can balance work, school and life. Students typically enroll in 1 to 2 classes per term, which are offered over three terms per year. Classes will vary depending upon which stream you choose. Each stream has a different set of required and elective courses; however, it is recommended that you start with Applied Botany and Soils for Horticulture as they are foundational courses required in all streams.


Required courses for all streams
HORT 13 Applied Botany (University of Saskatchewan)
SLSC 14 Soils for Horticulture (University of Saskatchewan)
Required courses for fruit and vegetable stream
HORT 38 Postharvest Handling of Food Crops (Assiniboine Community College)
Required courses for greenhouse and crop production stream
HORT 25 Greenhouse Crop Production (Olds College)
HORT 35 Greenhouse Structures and Environments (Olds College)
Required courses for landscaping and arboriculture stream
HORT 27 Woody Landscape Plants (University of Saskatchewan)
HORT 30 Arboriculture (Olds College)
Required courses for nursery and crop production stream
HORT 26 Nursery Crop Production (Assiniboine Community College)
HORT 28 Propagation

* These are elective courses. You'll have a large number of courses to choose between.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Here are just a few of the classes you might take while you complete this degree:

HORT 15: Safe Work Pesticide Application (applicable to all streams)
Learn about different aspects of attitudes on safety in the use of pesticides in the horticulture industry. Topics include: basic chemistry; legislation and regulations; labeling; toxicity; handling practices; environmental protection; pest management; application equipment; emergency response; and public relations. The course provides an opportunity to write the qualifying exams for the Manitoba Pesticide Applicator Certification in the landscape category according to the National Task Force Standards on Pesticide Education, Training and Certification.

HORT 41: Basics of Horticultural Marketing (applicable to all streams)
This course introduces marketing basics to students who are interested in marketing within the Horticulture industry. Students will gain an understanding of the fundamental marketing elements of the Canadian and Prairie horticultural industry, basic principles of marketing, principles of consumer behaviour, price-setting, and credit granting strategies, the elements of the sales process, the elements of distribution channels in domestic and global markets and the marketing Plan and its components.

HORT 37: Landscape Construction (applicable to the Landscaping and Arboriculture Stream and the Nursery and Crop Production stream)
This course is an introduction to the theory and application of landscape construction. You will learn about: interlocking paving stones; water features; retaining walls; low voltage lighting; wooden decks; and fences. Safety procedures are emphasized.


We are committed to finding solutions to sustainably feed a hungry and growing world. Our five departments provide a foundation for our broad array of research activities, both basic and applied. We have over a century of innovative products and practices that have transformed the world.


Our faculty and researchers actively collaborate across the university, as well as nationally and internationally. We have created strong, productive partnerships with numerous governments, private enterprises, producer groups, research centres, and industry associations to develop a sophisticated network for applied science, business and policy development. Outreach, technology transfer and information sharing is an important part our research.

Our facilities

Our campus offers world-renowned scientific research facilities, which include the Canadian Light Source—a research centre specialising in health, agriculture and the environment. We are also home to Canada’s only synchrotron and the International Vaccine Centre—a state of the art facility for the study of infectious diseases. Our campus is also home to numerous provincial and gederal government agencies: Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, the Plant Biotechnology Institute, National Research Council, Canadian Wildlife Service, National Hydrology Research Centre, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Innovation Place with Saskatchewan Research Council and the Bio Processing Centre.


The Prairie Horticulture Certificate (PHC) provides all the essential tools to:

  • Work in the horticulture industry
  • Upgrade your teaching certification
  • Advance your civic career
  • Start your own business
  • Work or volunteer in your community
  • Expand your gardening hobby

PHC is recognized by the Ministry of Education in the Province of Saskatchewan for the Additional Qualification Certificate (AQC). K to 12 teachers can upgrade their classification with PHC.

As well, the College's strong ties with industry and reputation for producing well-rounded, quality graduates means that many businesses turn here first when recruiting employees.

Tuition Estimates

Course fees, descriptions and textbook estimates are listed on the PHC website.

Program option

The Prairie Horticulture Certificate is collaboratively offered by University of Saskatchewan's College of Agriculture and Bioresources in partnership with Assiniboine Community College (Brandon, Manitoba), Olds College (Olds, Alberta). Your accreditation 

Admission requirements and deadlines


  • 17 years of age and older
  • Grade 12 or equivalent (GED, ABE, ACE subjects are not accepted for regular admission)

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may be eligible for probationary admission.

Admission Deadlines
Term 1: Last week of August;
Term 2: Second week of December;
Term 3: Last week of February

Visit the phc website for detailed information, including how to apply.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

Stay connected

Do you want us to send you important reminders, information about our programs or notifications about uSask events?