yellow red and purple flowers

Home Study - Distance Learning

For a complete overview of the program, please see our Student Handbook.

The Prairie Horticulture Certificate (PHC) Program is the first home study program in horticulture designed specifically for the Prairie Provinces and is offered by the Continuing Education Department in the School of Environment at Olds College.

It is jointly offered by a consortium of three Western Canadian Institutions:

  • Olds College
  • Assiniboine Community College
  • University of Saskatchewan

It's easy to start! Simply register for your first course in one of the three terms: Fall, Winter and Spring, and we will be your home base to answer questions and to handle all of your future registrations.

Complete one course or the entire program. See below for the complete list of courses.

Choose one of the 4 streams and once you have completed all of the courses in your selected stream you will be granted a Prairie Horticulture Certificate from Olds College.


Term Dates for 2016/2017:

Term 1: September 18 - November 24, 2017
Exam: November 25, 2017 (if applicable)

Term 2: January 15 - March 23, 2018
Exam: March 24, 2018 (if applicable)

Term 3: March 26 - June 1, 2018
Exam: June 2, 2018 (if applicable)
REGISTRATION DEADLINE - Monday, March 12, 2018


For print based courses (Home Study), be sure to register well before the above stated registration deadlines in order to receive your course package in time to start on the actual term start date. Depending on where you reside, there is no guarantee that you will receive your course package by the term start date if you register on or close to the registration deadline. Extensions will not be granted due to receiving course materials late.


The Prairie Horticulture Certificate program offers four streams:

Certificate Requirements

  • To receive a Prairie Horticulture Certificate, students must complete all courses specified for their particular stream and maintain an overall average of 60%.
  • A total 9 courses and 360 hours represents the minimum requirement for a certificate.

Choosing Courses

  • You can complete as many or as few courses as you like and you are free to choose courses that interest you from any stream.
  • If you are interested in pursuing a certificate we recommend that you start with Applied Botany and/or Soils for Horticulture followed by the required courses and then the elective courses.
  • You can expect to work 12 - 15 hours per week for a 60 hour course or 6 - 10 hours per week for a 30 hour course.

Course Delivery

  • All assignments are handled by the course delivering institution.
  • The course instructor is available by telephone or email to answer questions or receive comments about the course.
  • All classes offered by the Assiniboine Community College, and the University of Saskatchewan are delivered electronically.
  • Olds College is transitioning to online delivery of PHC courses. For a period of time some courses will be online while others will still be offered as print based courses. Check course descriptions for delivery format.

Course Details

Choose a stream above to learn more details about each course.

This course list comes from our Curricunet Academic database

Continuing Education

Course Cancellations

Students have two weeks (14 days) after the start of the term to withdraw from any course. The tuition fee less a $50.00 administration fee will be issued upon return of the course package. All course material fees are non refundable. Refunds are NOT issued after the second week of the term. Non-payment of fees, non-attendance, or failure to submit assignments does not constitute cancellation of registration. The effective date of cancellation is the date on which your Withdrawal Letter is received by Olds College.


When nearing the end of the Certificate Requirements, students must complete and submit a Graduation Application form in order to participate in the Olds College Graduation Ceremony.  

Register Now!

Continuing Education Department

Phone: 1-800-661-6537

Olds College leads real-life, hands-on education in Canada. We help you explore your passion.