Program Overview

The Cannabis Science and Hemp Sciences concentrations within the Integrative Plant Science MPS pertain to Cannabis and Industrial Hemp, which hold great promise for their application in food, fiber and medicinal products. The 2014 and 2018 U.S. Farm Bills have progressively legalized hemp (Cannabis sativa) cultivation, generating tremendous interest in food and fiber products. Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) has assembled a multidisciplinary team of researchers, faculty and extension educators who are building a program to study hemp cultivation, pests and diseases, microbiome, agroecology, biochemistry, tissue culture and transformation, production economics, and to establish a long-term breeding program to produce new cultivars.

The Cannabis Science MPS and the Hemp Sciences MPS focus 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 develop 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.

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.

Students work with a faculty advisor to map out their individualized course of study based on their areas of interest, and complete a minimum of 30 credit hours related to their concentration of study. While 20 credit hours must be taken within CALS, there is flexibility to take courses across Cornell.

13 credits in the core:

  • 5 credits of professional development
  • 2 credits of quantitative literacy
  • 2-6 credits for project

(If project is less than 6 credits, students must complete more credits in professional development and/or quantitative literacy.)

  • 12 credits in concentration-specific courses
  • 5 credits of elective courses
  • 30 credits total
  • 30 credits in graduate level classes (5000+)
  • 20 credits in CALS courses
  • 18 credits for letter grade
  • Gym/language courses do not count towards degree

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.

working with hemp seedlings in greenhouse

Meet some of our Hemp Sciences Concentration faculty

Faculty spotlight

Carlyn Buckler

Dr. Carlyn Buckler is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, and is the faculty lead for the Hemp Sciences Concentration. She teaches courses on digital technologies in agriculture and skills for public engagement, as well as the overview course for the concentration, Cannabis: Biology, Society and Industry (PLSCI 4190). Carlyn chairs the college’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and serves on the SIPS Diversity and Inclusion Council. She is a member of the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture (CIDA) and is also the Advisor and Faculty Mentor for the Cornell SMART group (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research and Transparency).

Carlyn Buckler
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
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
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
neil mattson
Neil Mattson

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Neil Mattson
Greenhouse horticulture
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)
Greenhouse lighting and systems engineering
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
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
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
Lawrence Smart
Larry Smart

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Larry Smart
Breeding and genomics
Industrial hemp
Willow bioenergy crops

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

Tara Reed
Plant Science IPS-MPS Program Coordinator
Phone: (607) 255-2131
Email: tln2 [at] cornell.edu

Marvin Pritts
IPS-MPS Student Experience Coordinator
Phone: (607) 255-1778
Email: mpp3 [at] cornell.edu