Native Plant Trust

Certificate Programs

Boost Your Career with a Certificate

Choose Field Botany or Native Plant Horticulture + Design

Our respected certificate programs combine structured courses of study with the flexibility to work at your own pace. Whichever program you choose, you'll learn to identify, cultivate, and conserve native plants, while gaining a deeper understanding of their ecological importance. We designed these programs to serve all types of students, from amateur botanists and gardeners to green-industry professionals and conservation managers. And each program offers opportunities for hands-on field work, so you won’t be stuck at a desk as you learn.

Both programs offer basic and advanced certificate options. To enter the advanced program, students must complete the basic certificate or have the equivalent experience. Both basic and advanced programs require students to complete specific core courses, elective classes, horticulture and design field studies, and community service. For more details, click below to watch our orientation webinar.


Native Plant Field Botany Certificates

We created the first independent field botany certificate program, and we continue to refine the program to meet your needs. These certificates focus on native plants, plant communities, field ID techniques, and regional conservation issues.

  • Basic Field Botany - Enroll now

    Certificate Requirements

    • Eight core courses (all required)
    • Four electives (courses change each term)
    • Four botanical field studies (courses change each term)
    • Fifteen hours of community service

    You may volunteer with us or another native plant or plant conservation organization to fulfill the community service requirement.

  • Advanced Field Botany - Enroll Now

    Certificate Requirements

    • Five core courses (all required)
    • Four electives  (courses change each term)
    • Three botanical field studies (courses change each term) 
    • Two plant diversity workshops (courses change each term)
    • Twenty-five hours of community service (see below)

    Community Service Projects
    Students must apply their newly learned skills in the field by completing a Native Plant Community Service Leadership Project that benefits the community and furthers our mission. Past student projects include: 

    • Watch List Species Evaluation: Linum striatum
    • Vascular Plant Survey of Talus Slopes at the Arthur Iverson Conservation Area, Warwick, MA
    • A Botanical Study of Upper Mill Brook Conservation Area in Wayland, MA
    • Inventory of Natural Areas within the City of Newton, MA
    • Flora of Pisgah State Park: Kilburn Loop, Hinsdale, NH, Cheshire County
    • Prospect Hill Park (Waltham, MA): Survey and Data Collection along a Southeastern Transect
    • A Botanical Inventory of the Welch & Baiting Brook Tracts, Framingham, MA
    • Complete Listing of Tree Species Observed at Fort Point Woods
    • Oakland Forest and Meadow: A Land Management Plan for Long Term Biodiversity
    • Plant Inventory: Vernal Pools in Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Brave Boat Harbor, York and Kittery, ME
  • Credit Key - -

    FB = Basic Field Botany
    Adv.FB = Advanced Field Botany
    HD = Basic Native Plant Horticulture and Design
    Adv.HD = Advanced Native Plant Horticulture and Design 
    Field = Botanical or Horticultural and Design Field Study
    Core = Core Courses
    Elective = Elective Classes

    PDW = Plant Diversity Workshops

  • Plant List - -

    Students in both field botany certificate programs should gain a working familiarity with the plants listed in this spreadsheet, which has one tab for basic certificate students and one tab for advanced. 

  • Track Your Credits - -

    Download past program catalogs and transcript forms below to track your credits as you complete your certificate in Field Botany. Fill out your transcript as you progress, and consult previous program catalogs to record class credits you may have earned in the past.  

    Transcript Forms
    Field Botany Basic
    Field Botany Advanced

  • Past Program Catalogs - -


Native Plant Horticulture + Design Certificates

This program focuses on ecological horticulture techniques and sustainable landscape design. Both certificate options encourage students to consider the value of native plants and to promote their use in a wide variety of horticulture and design projects.

  • Basic Horticulture + Design - Enroll now

    Certificate Requirements

    • Nine core courses (all required)
    • Four electives (courses change each term)
    • Four horticulture and design field studies (courses change each term)
    • Fifteen hours of community service

    You may volunteer with us or another native plant or plant conservation organization to fulfill the community service requirement.

  • Advanced Horticulture + Design - Enroll now

    Certificate Requirements

    • Four core courses
    • Four electives (classes change each term)
    • Three horticulture and design field studies(classes change each term)
    • Two design workshops (workshops change each term)
    • Twenty-five hours of community service (see below)

    Community Service Projects
    Students must apply their newly learned skills in the field by completing a Native Plant Community Service Leadership Project. Projects must benefit the community and further our mission. Past projects have focused on design and installation of native plant gardens, landscape restorations, and native plant program development.

  • Credit Key - -

    FB = Basic Field Botany
    Adv.FB = Advanced Field Botany
    HD = Basic Native Plant Horticulture and Design
    Adv.HD = Advanced Native Plant Horticulture and Design 
    Field = Botanical or Horticultural and Design Field Study
    Core = Core Courses
    Elective = Elective Classes

    PDW = Plant Diversity Workshops

  • Plant List - -

    Students in both the basic and advanced certificate programs should gain a working familiarity with the plants listed in this spreadsheet.

  • Track Your Credits - -

    Download past programs catalogs and transcript forms below to track your credits as you complete your certificate in Horticulture + Design. Fill out your transcript as you progress, and consult previous program catalogs to record class credits you may have earned in the past.  

    Transcript Forms
    Horticulture + Design Basic
    Horticulture + Design Advanced


  • Past Program Catalogs - -

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“The certificate program provided me a useful framework and the needed encouragement for pursuing interest in native plants and conservation.”

—Bruce Patterson, Advanced Certificate, Field Botany

“The program advanced my knowledge in native plants and fits well with my sustainable philosophy and residential design practices.”

—Bridget McManus, Advanced Certificate, Native Plant Horticulture and Design
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