Integrative Plant Science M.P.S. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Integrative Plant Science

Program Description

The MPS degree program at Cornell CALS is ideal for career-focused students interested in the thorough study of issues and advancements in the fields of life, social, and environmental sciences and agriculture.

Though similar to a Master of Science (MS) degree in its academic rigor, the MPS degree differs from a traditional MS degree in its structure and focus. An MS is research-based, with students building a thesis over the course of two or three years. In contrast, the MPS degree is a one-year, course-based program where students study the intricacies and in-depth questions of their field of study. Instead of a thesis or research project, MPS students complete a capstone project during their final semester. To understand this difference in greater detail, please visit our FAQ page.

 At Cornell CALS, our MPS program spans multiple fields of study within the realm of agriculture and life sciences, including animal science, food science, global development, horticulture, plant and soil science, biological and environmental engineering, and more.

The Master of Professional Studies program has two main components:

  • Coursework: Students work with a faculty advisor to map out their individualized course of study based on their areas of interest. The majority of courses (20 credits) will be within CALS; however, students have the opportunity to take courses across Cornell.
  • Capstone project: With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students work on solving a real-world problem.

While students have the opportunity to customize their own course of study with their faculty advisor, the field offers several areas of concentration/specialization for MPS degree candidates. Each of these areas includes a suggested curriculum of core and elective courses that fulfill the requirements of the MPS in Agriculture and Life Sciences degree while placing a particular emphasis on an area of specialization.

Contact Information

Phone: (607) 255-2131

124 Plant Science Building
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • agronomy
  • cannabis science and industry
  • climate change and agriculture
  • controlled environment agriculture
  • field crop sciences
  • geospatial applications
  • hemp science
  • plant biotechnology
  • plant breeding
  • plant protection
  • plant systems
  • public garden leadership
  • soil science
  • viticulture


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Spring: October 30

Fall: February 15

Applications may be submitted after the deadline upon request if space is available.

Requirements Summary:

  1. Complete Cornell’s Online Graduate School Application
  2. Unofficial copies of your college and university transcripts
  3. 2 Letters of Recommendation
  4. Résumé or CV
  5. The English Language Proficiency Requirement for all applicants (Cornell does not accept PTE Academic scores or any other alternatives. An application cannot be considered complete until Cornell receives official scores from ETS or IELTS Academic.)

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe plant biology at genetic, molecular, physiological, and organismal levels to integrate plant functionalities in a hierarchical manner, from individual cells to the biosphere.
  • Apply major concepts and principles from multiple areas of life science to create plant-related solutions to problems such as access to food, agriculture in a changing climate,and pest challenges.
  • Contribute to the application of the plant science knowledge base toward critical problems in national and worldwide industries and economies.
  • Formulate original questions about plants into empirically testable hypotheses, collect and analyze data obtained from original research, and apply experimental data to advance the field and solve real-world problems.
  • Discuss natural and managed ecosystems at local, regional, and global levels and evaluate their effects on environmental sustainability and human health and well-being.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the ethical principles and global consequences associated with past, present and future advances in plant science, demonstrate an appreciation for the range of cultures, values and perspectives of living in a global community, and engage in actions that reflect civic responsibility.
  • Identify suitable career paths requiring skills of plant science and communicate information about the breadth of issues in plant science to diverse audiences in oral and written formats.
  • Deliver a high quality problem-solving capstone project such as an action project, the development of a plan to address a pertinent problem, the development of novel outreach materials or methodologies, or the development, execution, or analysis of research data appropriate to the profession.