Program Overview

The Plant Protection concentration within the Integrative Plant Science MPS encompasses strategies and tactics for managing insect pests, weeds, and plant pathogens. Students in this concentration take courses with Integrated Pest Management experts and master the application of applied concepts from allied fields such as economics, ecology, and toxicology. 

The increasing demand for agricultural products is driving both an increased value of agricultural products and value of protecting those products from pests.  These trends are creating an increasing demand for trained pest management professionals to work in long-term positions with corporations or government agencies and to work as shorter term consultants.

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)
  • Concentration Courses (12 credits required):
    • Courses specific to your concentration
  • Elective Courses (5 credits required)

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).

 

Graduate student working with diseased plants in growth chamber

Meet some of our Plant Protection Concentration faculty

plant protection faculty spotlight

Antonio DiTommaso

Toni's research focuses on gaining a more in-depth understanding of the basic biological/ecological principles governing agricultural and environmental weed population dynamics that ultimately lead to the development and implementation of safe, effective, sustainable and economically viable weed management strategies.  He is also Section Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in Soil and Crop Sciences.

Toni DiTommaso outside Bradfield Hall
Carlyn Buckler
Carlyn Buckler

Associate Professor of Practice

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Carlyn Buckler
  • csb36 [at] cornell.edu
Science communication and digital technologies
Plant genetics
Diversity, equity and inclusion
Clare Casteel
Clare Casteel

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Clare Casteel
  • clc269 [at] cornell.edu
Viral plant pathogens
Plant-virus-vector interactions
Molecular basis of plant virus defenses
A man stands smiling in a fruit orchard
Kerik Cox

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Cornell AgriTech

Kerik Cox
Orchard fungal ecology
Fungicide resistance
Pesticide stewardship, fruit pathology
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
heather grab
Heather Grab

Senior Lecturer

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Heather Grab
  • heathergrab [at] cornell.edu
Industrial hemp production and processing
Agroecology
Plant-insect interactions
Michelle Heck
Michelle Heck

Adjunct Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Michelle Heck
  • mlc68 [at] cornell.edu
Molecular interactions among plant pathogens, insect vectors, and plant hosts
Jian Hua
Jian Hua

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Jian Hua
Environmental responses; Adaptation; temperature; immunity; plants
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
portrait of Betsy Lamb
Elizabeth Lamb

Senior Extension Associate, Ornamentals IPM Coordinator

NYS Integrated Pest Management

Adjunct Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Elizabeth Lamb
Ornamental and greenhouse integrated pest management
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
A man in a blue shirt sits at a lab desk, facing the camera.
John Losey

Professor

Department of Entomology

John Losey
Rebecca Nelson
Rebecca Nelson

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Professor

Department of Global Development

Rebecca Nelson
Circular bionutrient economy and enhancing wellbeing in peri-urban areas through waste valorization
Agroecology and supporting student leadership toward sustainability
Participatory research and extension
Teresa E. Pawlowska
Teresa Pawlowska

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Teresa Pawlowska
Evolutionary and population genomics
Innate immunity in fungi and fungal-bacterial interactions
Arbuscular mycorrhizae
Frank S. Rossi
Frank Rossi

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Frank Rossi
Lawn, golf and sports turf
Urban grasslands management
Chris Smart
Christine Smart

Goichman Family Director

Cornell AgriTech

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Christine Smart
Biology and management of vegetable diseases
Host-pathogen interactions
Karen Snover-Clift
Karen Snover-Clift

Senior Extension Associate

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Karen Snover-Clift
Plant disease diagnosis
Plant pathology training of Master Gardeners, Extension Educators, and green industry members
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)