The MPSH is an online, professional graduate degree program with a required internship or capstone project. The program consists of 33 semester credits, with 21 credits of required courses and 4 credits of internship experience or capstone project. The courses are designed to increase skills and expertise in all aspects of landscape water conservation.
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 horticulturalists with knowledge and skills needed to effectively promote landscape water conservation. As water becomes more precious, the demand for these skills will continue to increase.
Because USU’s MPSH program with a specialization in water-efficient landscaping is designated as a Western Regional Graduate Program, students from participating western states qualify for in-state tuition. For more information, visit Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
USU Department of Plants, Soils and Climate:
Plants, Soils and Climate Degrees
Horticulture - MPSH
Students receiving the MPSH must complete this plan option:
- The Plan C option, which does not involve a thesis or a defense meeting and is comprised of coursework only.
Applicants are not required to have an undergraduate degree in horticulture or plant science, but they must have taken the following prerequisite courses or equivalents:
- PSC 2600 Annual and Perennial Plant Materials
- PSC 2620 Woody Plant Materials: Trees and Shrubs for the Landscape
- PSC 3300 Residential Landscapes
- PSC 3400 Landscape Management Principles and Practices
- PSC 3810 Turfgrass Management
- PSC 3000 Fundamentals of Soil Science
- PSC 4500 Soil Reclamation
- Complete the online application
- Pay the application fee
- Score at or above the 40th percentile on the GRE
- Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
- Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
- Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
- Complete a short essay on your motivation for entering the program. The essay should be sent to Larry Rupp, and can also be used as the statement of interest required in the USU graduate school application.
- In addition to your essay, please provide a complete description of your background in horticulture or another related field.
- Complete a telephone or in-person interview with the faculty of the Center for Water Efficient Landscaping who direct the MPSH-WEL program. This interview is to determine student potential for success within the program
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Applications for graduate programs are accepted year-round. However, it is preferred that students being coursework spring semester so they can complete a semester and then continue with an internship over the summer.
A variety of funding opportunities are available, including fellowships, scholarships, assistantships, tuition awards, and travel support. Additionally, students may be eligible for subsidized health insurance through qualifying assistantships.
This degree is offered through Utah State University Regional Campuses and follows the USU Regional Campus tuition schedule. See Tuition & Payment for more information.
The primary goal of the MPSH program is to create highly qualified water conservation specialists for various organizations. Graduates can also pursue a variety of careers, including:
- Water conservation specialists with water districts, cities, counties or federal agencies
- Directors or Managers of water conservation gardens
- Cooperative Extension specialists
- Water-efficient irrigation designers
- Specialists in water-efficient landscape design, maintenance, or construction
- Private sector consultants
The following degrees are available on the USU Eastern Price and Blanding Campuses:
Use the USU Degree finder to search all degrees available throughout the Utah State University system.