Program overview

The Plant Systems concentration within the Integrative Plant Science MPS allows for maximum flexibility in curriculum design and project work. With nearly fifty MPS faculty advisors who offer diverse areas of expertise, you can customize a curriculum that is relevant to individual passions, interests, and career goals.

Explore facets of sustainable agriculture, food security issues, international agriculture, environmental information systems, climate change, biodiversity conservation, human-plant interactions, computational biology, garden-based learning, agricultural education and more. The options are limited only by your imagination. 

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: February 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 students working with hemp in greenhouse

Meet some of our Plant Systems faculty

Faculty spotlight

Yu Jiang

Yu Jiang’s research focuses on systems engineering and data analytics for specialty crops and involves interdisciplinary innovation among engineering, computer science, and plant science. His interests include agricultural robotics and artificial intelligence, image processing and high throughput plant phenotyping.

A man stands by a sunny window
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
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
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
Giulia Friso
Giulia Friso

Senior Research Associate/Senior Lecturer

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Giulia Friso
Ethnobotany, plants and health
Plant biochemistry and mass spectrometry
Cannabis
Maria Gandolfo
Maria Alejandra Gandolfo Nixon

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Maria Alejandra Gandolfo Nixon
Paleobotany
Diversification and evolution of angiosperms
Plant anatomy
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
kathie hodge headshot with turf and tree n the background
Kathie Hodge

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section

Kathie Hodge
Fungal systematics
Fungal pathogens of plants and insects
Jian Hua
Jian Hua

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Jian Hua
Environmental responses; Adaptation; temperature; immunity; plants
Yu Jiang
Yu Jiang

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Cornell AgriTech

Yu Jiang
Agricultural robotics and artificial intelligence
Image processing
High throughput plant phenotyping
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
jason londo headshot black t shirt
Jason Londo

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Cornell AgriTech

Jason Londo
Fruit crop stress physiology and adaptation
Graft physiology and phenotypic plasticity
Comparative genetics and genomics
Bill Miller
Bill Miller

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Bill Miller
Flower bulbs and floriculture
Greenhouse and nursery crops
Physiology and post-harvest management
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
virginia moore
Virginia Moore

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Virginia Moore
  • vm377 [at] cornell.edu
Breeding for sustainable cropping systems
Cover crops, intercropping, polycultures, organic farming systems
Legumes, forages, alfalfa, hemp
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
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
Anu Rangarajan
Anusuya Rangarajan

Senior Extension Associate and Director, Cornell Small Farm Program

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Anusuya Rangarajan
Fresh market vegetable production
Small farms and sustainable agriculture
Organic and reduced tillage vegetable production
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
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
sonja skelly headshot
Sonja Skelly

Director of Education, Cornell Botanic Gardens and Adjunct Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Sonja Skelly
  • sms92 [at] cornell.edu
Public garden leadership
Plants and human well being
School & youth gardening, adult education, climate change education
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
Richard Stup
Richard Stup

Senior Extension Associate, Agricultural Workforce Specialist

Cornell Cooperative Extension

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Richard Stup
Agricultural workforce issues
Leadership development
Human resources and farm labor
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)