SIPS Plant Breeding & Genetics Section
Plant breeding is a critical tool in the fight for food security and responsible environmental stewardship in the 21st century. For more than one hundred years, Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University has been widely recognized for developing novel breeding methodologies and discovering economically important genes and varieties.
Ranked the top plant breeding department in the nation, our scientists and students conduct translational research that bridges the gap between fundamental research and its implementation in applied breeding programs. Learn more about the history of our section and the vision of our school.
Plant Breeding & Genetics
Center of excellence for classical plant breeding, molecular approaches to crop improvement and creation of superior agricultural and horticultural varieties.
Cross-cutting themes & tools
Plant Breeding & Genetics faculty are developing and using the latest tools in digital agriculture for rapid and precise analysis of plant traits.
Our faculty are leaders in international agriculture, addressing problems in global food security through advanced breeding of rice, cassava and other staple crops.
Whether developing new barley varieties, identifying lines of hemp, or breeding vegetables for regional conditions and markets, our faculty play an important role in supporting New York economic development.
Graduate and undergraduate training
Plant Breeding & Genetics offers degrees and training opportunities at all stages of the educational pipeline
Graduate field of plant breeding
Students interested in obtaining an MS or PhD degree in the graduate field of plant breeding can select among two concentrations.
Undergraduate — plant sciences major
Undergraduates majoring in the plant sciences can choose to concentrate in plant breeding and genetics, preparing them for careers in plant improvement and policy whether in private industry or public government/university sectors.
Undergraduate — plant breeding minor
Cornell is one of few places in the United States where students can receive in-depth training in plant breeding. Undergraduate students in diverse majors can add a minor in plant breeding, and gain in depth knowledge of this discipline.
Undergraduate research — Plant Genome Internship
The National Science Foundation-sponsored Plant Genome Internship introduces high school and undergraduate students to state-of-the-art techniques in plant biology and trains students in scientific ethics, laboratory safety, and data presentation.
Undergraduate research — other
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.
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.
News from the SIPS Plant Breeding & Genetics Section
Learn more about recent developments in our research, outreach, and education
40 years of crop research shows inequities
A systematic analysis of 40 years of studies on public crop breeding programs found that cereal grains receive significantly more research attention than other crops important for food security and only 33% of studies sought input from both men...
Cornell researchers have used high-speed cameras to analyze what happens when raindrops hit a leaf of a wheat plant infected with rust – a pathogenic spore that has decimated crops globally.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is helping New York state farmers learn how to grow rice, a potentially lucrative crop that can thrive on flood-prone land as a hedge against climate change.