The Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is one of the four original departments of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and was founded in 1889. The department provides programs that are focused on fundamental studies of plant biology, crop production, and utilization of horticultural crops. It also seeks to provide educational opportunities for the pursuit of careers in horticulture, strengthen the competitive position of Wisconsin's horticulture industry, and increase the use of plants for environmental improvement and as a source of personal enrichment. The work of department faculty, staff, and students has made substantial impacts in the state and nation for over 125 years and continues to do so.

The department prides itself on cutting-edge research focusing on horticultural plants, solving problems for our horticultural industry partners and farmers, helping students gain key experiences in research and outreach during their degree programs, and serving both the State of Wisconsin and the broader scientific community through the generation of new knowledge, techniques, and discoveries that can benefit society.

The department maintains a vibrant undergraduate major. Innovative ideas have been generated from among our undergraduates, including the Campus Food Shed, a program to redistribute unused produce from nearby farms to the campus community free of charge. Instruction is offered in all of the primary areas of horticulture and additional coursework is available in a number of subjects including molecular biology and bioinformatics. Approximately $25,000 in scholarship funds are available annually to undergraduate students in the department each year. The department's graduate program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in a variety of specialties. Many graduate students advised by horticulture faculty also pursue graduate degrees in programs such as plant breeding and plant genetics, cell and molecular biology, and agroecology. The department has also recently created a new M.S. program that has an emphasis in organic and sustainable production. The department offers some unique international opportunities in Costa Rica and other Central American countries that focus on tropical horticulture.

The Department of Horticulture is home to a number of successful outreach programs that serve the citizens, public sector, and businesses of the State of Wisconsin. These include the Nutrient and Pest Management Program, the Integrated Pest and Crop Management Program, the Crop Diagnostic Training program, the IR-4 program, the Master Gardener Program, and the Allen Centennial Gardens. In addition to these activities, faculty and staff are active in field days, Extension programs, courses, seminars, and webinars, and author newsletters and other media that are distributed statewide.


Bamberg, Colquhoun, Goldman, Krysan (chair), Simon, Weng, Zalapa

Associate Professors

Atucha, Bethke, Dawson, Endelman, Jull

Assistant Professors 

Ellison, Kovaleski, Wang

USDA Scientist


Instructional staff

Calderon, Luiken, Oosterwyk


The Department of Horticulture offers several departmental scholarships that students can apply for through the CALS Scholarship Application. The application opens at the beginning of November and remains open until the beginning of February each academic year. Students only need to fill out one single application to be considered for all CALS scholarships.


Several important supporting facilities are associated with the Department of Horticulture, including: