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.
Questions about Integrative Plant Science MPS? Contact us:
Director of Graduate Studies
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-1716
Email: dhb28 [at] cornell.edu
Plant Science IPS-MPS Program Coordinator
Phone: (607) 255-2131
Email: tln2 [at] cornell.edu
IPS-MPS Student Experience Coordinator
Phone: (607) 255-1778
Email: mpp3 [at] cornell.edu