Training professionals in the core knowledge of horticultural therapy

Based in Denver, Colorado, the Institute has reached students from nearly every state in the U.S. and across the globe through an intensive course format. Additionally, we have expanded to offer certificate courses in other parts of the U.S.

Unique course format:

  • Accommodates working adults and students
  • Requires minimal travel, with only four visits to the class site or online
  • Offers significant face-to-face instruction and interaction
  • Four or five-day class meetings combined with pre and post-class assignments done at home.
  • Provides opportunities to capitalize on the breadth of experience of students and instructors
  • Allows certificate completion in one year.

HTI program objectives

The certificate program gives students the skills necessary to establish, manage and work in viable, effective HT programs. Through a curriculum based on recognized competencies, students experience practical problem-solving, as well as a discussion of the “heart” of the human/nature connection. Students with diverse life experiences contribute to a rich forum of ideas throughout the courses and serve as a network of resources to enhance budding HT programs. The certificate programs offer:

  • Four courses designed to train professionals in the core knowledge of HT.
  • Classroom experiences combined with assignments and projects accomplished at a distance.
  • Classes and distance assignments that are practical, useful, real-world experiences — enabling students to gain proficiency and confidence to practice HT in their own communities.
  • High-quality educational opportunities with faculty members who are experienced and enthusiastic practitioners and educators.
  • AHTA accredited certificate program.
  • Optional Academic Credit from Colorado State University

Horticultural Therapy Institute’s Curriculum

Educational options that work

An emphasis on horticultural therapy education enables the Institute to focus resources and effectively respond to change.

The curriculum:

Class Schedules

Horticultural Therapy Institute Schedule of Classes

Courses are offered in two formats: face-to-face and online. The curriculum is the same for each section of classes and students chose one of the formats to attend. If online is chosen, students commit to 4 full intensive days online and live, to achieve full immersion in the subject matter. This is for the benefit of the student to set aside specific time dedicated to learning. If face-to-face is chosen, the same 4 full intensive days offer the student opportunities for direct communication, collaboration, active engagement, and experiential learning. The Horticultural Therapy Institute values this face-to-face learning style and believes it is the best way to prepare students for work in the connected and nature-based human service field of horticultural therapy. We highly recommend students take at least one (hopefully more) face-to-face class.

Students begin in the fall with Fundamentals of Horticultural Therapy, followed by one class each semester, ending the following fall. There are no prerequisites for enrolling in Fundamentals of Horticultural Therapy. However, because subsequent classes build upon the content learned in previous courses, there are prerequisites for each of them. In most years we offer Fundamentals of Horticultural Therapy in three locations around the country. The remaining three courses in the certificate series are offered in various locations around the country. Recently the Institute has been alternating classes between California and North Carolina every other year. The course curriculum at each location is the same and courses can be taken at either location.


Does the curriculum meet the professional registration requirements of the American Horticultural Therapy Association?

Yes, the four courses total 9 credits and include the topics required for horticultural therapy coursework.

I have taken classes in the past from HTI. Can I still complete a certificate?

Yes! Please contact us for guidance in which classes to enroll, as some content has shifted from course to course.

Do I have to take the classes in order?

The beginning class, Fundamentals of Horticultural Therapy is a prerequisite for the remaining four classes. The curriculum builds upon the prior class and it’s recommended to take them in order. On occasion, a student will be allowed to miss a class and join the next class with the permission of the director.

Are there entrance requirements?

No. Simply enroll in the beginning class, Fundamentals of Horticultural Therapy.

Are there prerequisites for the classes?

Yes. Students must complete (with a C or above) all listed prerequisite courses before being eligible to enroll in advanced courses. In some individual circumstances, the instructor may give permission to enroll without a prerequisite or take a class out of sequence.