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Graduate Field of Plant Pathology & Plant Microbe Biology

Advancing understanding of pathogens and their control

The Field of Plant Pathology focuses on all aspects of plant diseases and the biology of plant-microbe interactions at the molecular to ecosystem levels of organization. This Field is also the home for studying the biology, genetics and evolution of fungi and oomycetes.

Overview

There are five fields of graduate study within the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS): Horticulture, Plant Biology, Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, and Soil and Crop Sciences.

The SIPS Graduate Resource Page can help you identify graduate fields and faculty research programs that match your interests.

Master of Science (M.S.)

The Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section seeks highly motivated applicants with excellent academic credentials and a well-founded sense of purpose. Previous research experience is not essential but is often beneficial.

An M.S. degree is not required to enter the Ph.D. degree program. A student in the Ph.D. program may petition to change to the M.S. program at any time. Likewise an M.S. candidate may petition to change to the Ph.D. program.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section seeks highly motivated applicants with excellent academic credentials and a well-founded sense of purpose. Previous research experience is not essential but is often beneficial.

An M.S. degree is not required to enter the Ph.D. degree program. A student in the Ph.D. program may petition to change to the M.S. program at any time. Likewise an M.S. candidate may petition to change to the Ph.D. program.

Possible MPS Specializations

Close up photo of a plant.

Controlled Environment Agriculture

One of the fastest growing areas of agriculture, is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponically-based agriculture. Plants are grown within a controlled environment so that horticultural practices can be optimized. This specialization emphasizes specific skills to understand lighting, hydroponic production, pest control, and horticultural aspects of production will be part of the program.

Hemp Science

Focused on the development of specific skills to understand plant breeding and genetics; hydroponic and field crop production; processing; food, fiber and medicinal applications; and product development. Students will also have a broad-based understanding of the industry from seed to sales, exploring the legal and regulatory environment and challenges facing the cannabis industry today and in the future.

Public Garden Leadership

Focused on the management of public gardens and requires a mix of academic training and practical experience. This specialization emphasizes leadership, strategic decision making, and business management, preparing students for managerial and leadership roles in the public garden field.

Viticulture

Viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes. This specialization emphasizes knowledge development and hands-on experience. With Cornell’s ideal location in the Finger Lakes region – home to nearly 10,000 acres of vineyards – students will be exposed to every aspect of grape growing and wine making.