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Program Overview

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Agriculture and Life Sciences focus area in Dairy Business Management is designed for individuals interested in gaining exposure to dairy business management in order to enhance their career potential in agribusiness. Students in this area of focus learn the methods and tools necessary to manage a dairy farm as a successful business.

Additional coursework in strategic thinking, communications and leadership, combined with a capstone project, provide students with practical problem-solving skills. The skills developed can be applied to numerous emerging applications and careers in dairy business management, such as:

  • Dairy Financial Consultant
  • Dairy Manager
  • Extension Educator
  • Environmental Steward
  • Facilities Manager
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Nutrition Consultant
  • Technical Services Provider
  • Training Consultant

Dairy Management in today’s market requires a whole-farm approach, with farm management skills needed in a wide range of areas including: nutrition and feeding, reproduction performance, health assessments, data collection, incorporation of the latest technologies, and financial management.

Students in the MPS program will learn the necessary skills, both through courses and applied, hands-on experience to successfully manage a dairy business.

The MPS is a NY state accredited, one-year, course-based master’s degree program that prepares individuals for the 21st century workplace through knowledge development and career skillset refinement. The specialized, course-based instruction led by world-class faculty broadens expertise and expands versatility.

The CALS MPS degree program has two main components:

  1. Coursework: Students work with a faculty advisor to customize their course of study based on their area(s) of interest.  While the majority of the courses (20 of the required 30 credits) will be in CALS, students have the flexibility to take electives across Cornell.
  2. MPS team project: With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students work on solving a real-world problem, building project management and team leadership skills sought by employers.

MPS students are part of a cohort of CALS professional master’s students specializing in diverse fields of study. The program is fast-paced and rigorous. Professional master’s students have a dedicated support organization, offering career guidance and professional skill development.

    Sample Curriculum

    Working with a faculty advisor, students design a plan of study based on interests and career goals. To learn more about these courses, visit the Courses of Study website.

    Fall semester:

    • ANSC 6880: The Global Food, Energy, and Water Nexus
    • ANSC 6110: Integrated Cattle Nutrition 
    • ANSC 6510: Dairy Herd Business Management
    • VTPMD 6640: Introduction to Epidemiology
    • ALS 5211: Career Readiness: Engaged Learning for CALS Professional Master's Students
    • ANSC 6100: Animal Science MPS Seminar 
    • ALS 5900: MPS Project Development

    Spring semester:

    • ANSC 6120: Whole-Farm Nutrient Management
    • ANSC 6560: Dairy Management Fellowship
    •  ANSC 5550: Dairy Cattle Nutrition
    • Choose one of three:
      • ANSC 5540: Dairy Cattle Herd Health
      • ANSC 5510: Dairy Herd Management
      • ANSC 5450: Reproductive Physiology and Management of Dairy Cattle
    • AEM 5040: Dairy Markets and Policy Seminar
    • VTPMD 7081: Cornell Dairy Center of Excellence Seminar
    • ANSC 6100: Animal Science MPS Seminar 
    • ALS 5910: MPS Project Completion

    Admission Requirements

    The ideal candidate will demonstrate a passion for dairy management, competency in undergraduate science coursework, and interest in applying knowledge gained in a professional career. Admission requirements include:

    For More Information

    calsprofprograms [at] (subject: More%20information%20about%20Dairy%20Business%20Management%20admissions) (Email us) to discuss the admissions process.