Program overview

The Plant Biotechnology concentration within the Integrative Plant Science MPS centers on the application of scientific techniques to develop and improve plants for the benefit of society. It is a way to increase agricultural productivity and to enhance plant breeder’s abilities to make improvement in plants. Tools such as plant tissue culture, genetic engineering, molecular diagnostics, plant breeding, computational biology and other analytical systems are used to produce genetically modified plants that exhibit new or improved desirable characteristics. These new crops possess desirable characteristics in terms of flavor, flower color, growth rate, size of harvested products and resistance to diseases and pests.

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

plants in biotech experiment

Meet some of our Plant Biotechnology faculty

Faculty spotlight

Mark Bridgen

Bridgen is an ornamental plant breeder, leader in the floriculture industry and director of the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center. His approach involves a balance of basic and applied research. He has expertise in new plant development and breeding, plant cell and tissue culture, and in vitro plant breeding, including somaclonal and gametoclonal variation, embryo culture, somatic embryogenesis, mutation breeding, meristem culture for the production of pathogen free plants, and micropropagation. 

mark bridgen
Mark Bridgen
Mark Bridgen

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Mark Bridgen
Ornamental plant breeding
Cell and tissue culture
Greenhouse floriculture
William Crepet
William Crepet

Professor and Section Head

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

William Crepet
Plant systematics and phylogeny
Flowering plants
Paleobotany
Susheng Gan
Susheng Gan

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Susheng Gan
Plant senescence
Dimensional control of gene expression
Jian Hua
Jian Hua

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Jian Hua
Environmental responses; Adaptation; temperature; immunity; plants
Guarav Moghe
Gaurav Moghe

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Gaurav Moghe
Evolution of plant specialized metabolism
plant natural variation; genomics
metabolomics
Wojtek Pawlowski
Wojtek Pawlowski

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Wojtek Pawlowski
Meiotic recombination
Advanced microscopy methods
Recombination and genome rearrangements in new polyploids
jocelyn rose
Jocelyn Rose

Director

School of Integrative Plant Science

Barbara McClintock Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Jocelyn Rose
Plant structural polymers, cell wall structure and function
Cuticles and plant surfaces
Fruit biology
Joyce Van Eck
Joyce Van Eck

Adjunct Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Joyce Van Eck
  • jv27 [at] cornell.edu
Biotechnological approaches to the study of gene function and crop improvement
Disease resistance
Nutritional 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)