Plant Sciences Major curriculum

Current majors: Find more information on Canvas. (Cornell netid required.)
If you still have questions, email Lauren Boggs: leb69 [at] (leb69[at]cornell[dot]edu)


The Plant Sciences curriculum helps students understand how plants work from the molecular to ecosystem levels. It prepares graduates to:

  • Make new discoveries in the lab and field to produce enough food for a growing world population.
  • Breed plants to tolerate the heat- and drought-stress of climate change.
  • Develop sustainable cropping practices to produce healthful and nutritious food.
  • Investigate new methods to fight plant pests and disease.
  • Transform sterile urban environments into vibrant microcosms of nature.

More than 150 courses that deal directly with some area of plant science are offered in the School of Integrative Plant Science. Plant Sciences majors are expected to take introductory coursework in biology, chemistry, and statistics and a primary core of four plant-focused courses. This is followed by a selection of foundational courses and a suite of courses concentrating on the student’s area(s) of interest in the Plant Sciences, rounded out with a broadening course, an experiential practicum and a senior symposium. There are also opportunities to engage in internships, undergraduate teaching, and research experiences. See Experiential learning for more information.

View details about the Plant Sciences major curriculum at the University Registrar website, including:

Example concentrations

Here are just a few of the many different concentrations students have pursued in consultation with their faculty advisor: 

  • Sustainable plant production
  • Plant breeding
  • Computational biology
  • Plant diseases
  • Evolution and diversity
  • Plant molecular, cellular & developmental biology
  • Medicinal plants
  • Public garden management
  • Soil science

Questions? Contact us

Lauren Boggs
Plant Sciences Major Coordinator
Phone: (607) 255-8826
Email: leb69 [at]

Marvin Pritts
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Phone: (607) 255-1778
Email: mpp3 [at] (mpp3[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Current majors:
Find more information on Canvas. (Cornell netid required.)

Courses for non-majors

If you are interested in plants but don't have a strong science background, here are some courses that will expose you to the wonders of plants. (Plant Sciences Majors can take most of these, too.) 

  • PLBIO 1130 - Light and Life: The Relationship between Light and Life in the Natural World
  • PLBIO 2400 - Green World/Blue Planet
  • PLBRG 2010 - Plants, Genes, and Global Food Production
  • PLHRT 1102 - Hands-On Horticulture for Gardeners
  • PLSCI 1125 - Nature Rx
  • PLHRT 2010 - The Art of Horticulture
  • PLSCI 1115 - The Nature of Plants
  • PLSCI 1300 - Just Food: Exploring the Modern Food System
  • PLSCI 2010 - Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds
  • PLSCI 2260 - Practicum in Forest Farming as an Agroforestry System
  • PLSCS 1900 - Sustainable Agriculture: Food, Farming, and the Future

To learn more about these courses,  visit the Courses of Study website.