Program overview

The Agronomy concentration within the Integrative Plant Science MPS focuses on soil and nutrient management, crop physiology and ecology, cropping systems, and pest management with an emphasis on solving practical problems. 

Agronomy is the interdisciplinary science and applied practice of sustainable field crop production, including organic farming.  By nature, agronomy recognizes that productivity, farm profitability, and the essential ecosystem services derived from agriculture require the integrated management of soils, crops, and other part of the farm enterprise – often including animals. 

Good agronomy necessitates systems thinking that combines foundational biophysical concepts with economics, risk management, and the challenges of scaling novel production technologies. With rapid advances in digital agriculture open new pathways for precision management coupled with the growing urgency of maintaining crop productivity while protecting natural resources, the demand for highly skilled agronomists has never been higher.

CALS MPS program details

Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program is an accredited, course-based, one-year master’s degree program that emphasizes professional development and intellectual investigation in the areas of agriculture, life sciences and global development. (The Integrative Plant Science MPS program is STEM-designated degree program.)

Though similar to a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in its academic rigor, the MPS degree differs from a traditional M.S. degree in its structure and focus. An M.S. is research-based, with students building a thesis over the course of two or three years. In contrast, the MPS degree is a one-year, course-based program where students study the intricacies and in-depth questions of their field of study. Instead of a thesis or research project, MPS students complete a capstone project during their final semester. To understand this difference in greater detail, please visit our FAQ page.

MPS students are part of a community of diverse students and faculty who share common goals, connecting research and practice to solve complex problems. 

The Integrative Plant Science Master of Professional Studies program is a STEM-designated degree with coursework requirements that differ slightly from other MPS programs at Cornell.

 

Field of Integrative Plant Science MPS Degree Requirements: 

Students earning the MPS in Integrative Plant Science complete 30 credits of graduate level courses (5000+), with at least 20 of these credits earned through the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and at least 18 of these credits taken for letter grade. (Note that physical education courses and language courses do not count towards degree.)

Specific course requirements of the Integrative Plant Science MPS Degree are as follows:

  • Core Courses (13 credits required):
    • Professional Development (5 – 9 credits)
    • Quantitative Literacy (2 – 6 credits)
    • Capstone Project (2 – 6 credits)
    • View core course details. 
  • Concentration Courses (12 credits required):
    • Courses specific to your concentration - See details for this concentration below. 
  • Elective Courses (5 credits required)
    • Graduate level course you choose in consultation with your advisor.

Note: 2.5 GPA required for graduation.

This project may be an action program, the development of a plan to address a pertinent problem, the development of materials or methodology suited to the student's situation, or the development and execution of research appropriate to the profession. A formal project report must be submitted to and approved by the candidate's faculty advisor. 

Browse recent projects.

Next steps

Deadline to apply: January 15*

*For regular Fall Semester start. Late applications may be accepted under exceptional circumstances.  Contact Tara Reed for more information: tln2 [at] cornell.edu (tln2[at]cornell[dot]edu).

two women and man looking at young corn in the field

Meet some of our Agronomy faculty

Faculty spotlight

Toni DiTommaso

Toni is the chair of the Soil and Crop Sciences Section and studies the basic biological/ecological principles governing agricultural and environmental weed population dynamics. He investigates the development and implementation of safe, effective, sustainable and economically viable weed management strategies, and coaches Cornell's student weed science team.

toni ditomasso
Jerome Cherney
Jerome Cherney

E.V. Baker Professor of Agriculture

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Jerome Cherney
Profitable management of forage crops
Environmental sustainability
Grass bioenergy
Antonio DiTommaso
Antonio (Toni) DiTommaso

Professor and Section Head

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Antonio (Toni) DiTommaso
Weed ecology and biological weed management
Invasive plant species
Climate change impacts on weed performance and distributions
Peter Hobbs
Peter Hobbs

Adjunct Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Peter Hobbs
International agriculture
Tropical cropping systems
Agroforestry
vipan kumar headshot
Vipan Kumar

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Vipan Kumar
Integrated weed management, including weed biology and ecology, crop-weed competition and cover crops
Herbicide-resistant weeds and herbicide-based weed control
Artificial intelligence and precision weed control
louis longchamps
Louis Longchamps

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Louis Longchamps
  • ll928 [at] cornell.edu
Farm data management
Farmer-centric on-farm experimentation
Precision agriculture
Andy McDonald
Andrew McDonald

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Associate Professor

Department of Global Development

Andrew McDonald
  • ajm9 [at] cornell.edu
Cropping systems ecology
Climate change adaptation and mitigation
Agricultural sustainability, food security, water resources, international agriculture, policy, and applied social sciences
man in apple orchard
Gregory Peck

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Gregory Peck
Tree fruit and hard cider
Organic agriculture and soil health
Climate change
Headshot of Jeff Perry
Jeffrey Perry

Senior Lecturer

Department of Global Development

Jeffrey Perry
Extension Education
Teaching Methods
Youth Leadership Development
Marvin Pritts
Marvin Pritts

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Plant Sciences Major

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Professor

Department of Global Development

Marvin Pritts
Berry crops
Season extension
Sustainable production practices
Steve Reiners
Steve Reiners

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Cornell AgriTech

Steve Reiners
Processing vegetables (peas, beans, sweet corn)
Vegetable production systems
Organic gardening
man in field
Matt Ryan

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Matt Ryan
Sustainable cropping systems and agroecology
Cover crops and ecological weed management
Organic production
Peter Woodbury
Peter Woodbury

Senior Research Associate

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Peter Woodbury
Agricultural and forest ecosystems
Greenhouse gas emissions
Geospatial modeling, land use and environmental quality

Questions about Integrative Plant Science MPS? Contact us:

Dan Buckley
Director of Graduate Studies
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-1716
Email: dhb28 [at] cornell.edu (dhb28[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Tara Reed
Program Coordinator
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-2131
Email: tln2 [at] cornell.edu (tln2[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Marvin Pritts
Student Experience Coordinator
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-1778
Email: mpp3 [at] cornell.edu (mpp3[at]cornell[dot]edu)