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.

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

What's happening in Plant Breeding?

Learn more about research, education, and outreach in the Field of Plant Breeding

A cassava flower held by two fingers

News

Cornell researchers provide new insights on cassava flowering
A tropical root-crop that is a daily staple food to hundreds of millions of people in Africa and increasingly being used by small-holder farmers in commercial production, cassava has historically been difficult for plant breeders to improve in...
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
A group examines a harvest of pearl millet outside in a field

News

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement works with smallholder farmers and rural populations in West Africa to develop sustainable crop innovations that address climate change and other social challenges.
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Man holds a fresh salmon.

News

Breeding Insight, a new program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through Cornell University, will share latest tools with breeders in the U.S.
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Leah Nandudu stands outside in a cassava field

Field Note

NextGen Cassava Fellow Leah Nandudu is applying her passion for plant science to improve lives for smallholder cassava farmers around the world.
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Hops growing on a vine

News

The program – to be led by Larry Smart, professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – will integrate AgriTech expertise to help the state’s hops growers overcome breeding and disease-management challenges. Craft...
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Cornell Craft Beverage Institute
  • School of Integrative Plant Science