MS/PhD Field of Plant Breeding

Genetic improvement of crop plants for the benefit of society

Graduate study in Cornell's Integrative School of Plant Science is organized into five Graduate Fields providing unparalleled opportunities to connect disciplines, creatively solve problems, and integrate complex systems, preparing graduates for diverse careers and futures as leaders in science and society.

Students specializing in Plant Breeding and Genetics are prepared with a solid foundation of coursework and participate in cutting-edge research to improve cultivated plant species though the application of genetics and related sciences. Graduates of this program are ready for many exciting opportunities, including careers in industry, research, agricultural extension, international programs, and the public sector.

Most of the faculty advisors in the Field of Plant Breeding are affiliated with the Section of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the School of Integrative Plant Science.

Grand Challenge Fellowships

The School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) is offering four two-year fellowships to graduate students for research tackling our Grand Challenges.

  • Fellowships are for August 2024 admission.
  • Application deadline is December 1, 2023. (November 15, 2023 for Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology.)
  • More information.

Plant Breeding

Graduate Field Concentrations

The MS/PhD Graduate Field of Plant Breeding has two concentrations:

Plant Breeding: Development of plant materials for greater yield, disease resistance, climate resilience, and quality

Plant Genetics: Molecular genetic studies to identify important genes, compare genomes, assess diversity, and develop bioinformatic tools

woman kneeling beside plants