SIPS Horticulture Section

As the only horticulture program in the Ivy League, our faculty, staff and students work to shape the food systems and landscapes of today and tomorrow.

Our faculty work across New York to make discoveries and share knowledge about fruits, vegetables and landscape plants. They are called on by farmers, golf course managers, urban foresters, government officials and many others to solve problems around the globe.

If you've ever been shaded by trees on a city street, enjoyed an apple in winter, visited a farmer's market or watched a sporting event on natural grass, then it is likely you have been touched by our work.

Improving our lives with plants

Vegetables

Leafy greens, tomatoes, and squash — our researchers are breeding new varieties and innovating cultivation.

Improving our lives with plants

Fruits

Whether apples, grapes or berries, our researchers are finding innovative strategies for growing the fruit crops central to New York agriculture.

Improving our lives with plants

Ornamental plants

Our researchers are introducing new flower varieties and landscape plants and innovating environmentally sustainable strategies for growing them.

Improving our lives with plants

Urban landscapes

Improving quality of life by enhancing the functions of plants within urban ecosystems.

Improving our lives with plants

Garden-based learning

Engaging and enabling home gardeners and children and adult educators to transform landscapes and lives.

Improving our lives with plants

Turfgrass

Making lawns, sports fields and golf courses sustainable environmental assets.

two people in a field of greens
hands holding apples
poeple standing behind outdoor flower beds
people working on a green area bordering a road
students exploring climate change garden at Cornell Botanic Gardens
group watching robotic mower

Advancing new products and technologies

students with grafted apple plants

Whether building the cider apple industry or breeding fruits and vegetables for regional conditions and markets, our faculty play an important role in supporting New York economic development.

woman in vineyard holding a drone

Our faculty are using cutting-edge tools for imaging and data analysis for precision monitoring of plant growth and health.

man in purple shirt bending over plants

CEA is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponically-based agriculture where plants grow within a controlled environment to optimize horticultural practices.

Graduate and undergraduate training

Horticulture offers degrees and training opportunities at all stages of the educational pipeline.

group of students stnading outside with gardening equipment

Graduate Field of Horticulture

Students interested in obtaining an MS or Ph.D. degree in the graduate field of horticulture can select among four concentrations.

  • Physiology and ecology of horticultural crops
  • Human-plant interactions
  • Breeding of horticultural crops
  • Horticultural crop management systems

Undergrad: Plant sciences major

Undergraduates majoring in the plant sciences can choose to concentrate in one of many areas related to horticulture, preparing them for careers in the green industry, academia and more

Master of Professional Studies

Our MPS programs are one-year, course-based degrees, ideal for individuals interested in in-depth study of the issues and advancements in plant and soil sciences. Choose from specializations in controlled environment agriculture, viticulture, public garden leadership, hemp science, plant protection, geospatial applications and more.

Undergrad research — Summer Research Scholars

The Summer Research Scholars Program for undergraduates is offered by Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York. Undergraduate students participate in exciting research projects in one of three disciplines including horticulture.

Undergrad research — more opportunities

The Office of Undergraduate Research provides information about exploring the wealth of research opportunities at Cornell.

The Honors Program in Biological Sciences is designed to offer advanced training in laboratory and field research through the performance of an original research project under the direct guidance of a member of the Cornell faculty.

News from the SIPS Horticulture Section

Learn more about recent developments in our research, outreach and education.

Graduate student works with middle school students.

Field Note

Brennan Hyden: Exploring willow’s potential as a sustainable bioenergy crop
Brennan Hyden is a Ph.D. candidate working in the lab of Larry Smart, professor of horticulture at Cornell AgriTech, where his work focuses on using willow as a sustainable bioenergy crop. For his excellence in bioenergy research, Hyden was...
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Horticulture Section
red cherry tomatoes with gold stripes

News

New Cherry Ember tomato reveals stripey charm, bright flavor
A cross between heirloom tomato varieties, Cherry Ember was developed by Phillip Griffiths, associate professor of horticulture in the School of Integrative Plant Science, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The new tomato is...
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Horticulture Section
Smiling woman holds apple.

News

Cornell apple breeder named National Academy of Inventors fellow
Brown leads the oldest apple breeding program in the United States, located at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her work supports the state’s robust apple industry — valued at $262...
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Horticulture Section
a hand holds a clump of soil

News

State-funded study provides soil health guidelines for New York agriculture
To fill that research gap, a team of soil scientists in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), conducted a state-funded project to characterize soil health across New York state agricultural lands. Published in...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Horticulture Section
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
brown soil laid out on a white counter

News

Worm-like, soil-swimming robots to measure crop underworld
Now, a Cornell project funded by two separate three-year grants will develop worm-like, soil-swimming robots to sense and record soil properties, water, the soil microbiome and how roots grow. A $2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant...
  • Cornell Initiative for Digital Agriculture
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Horticulture Section