Plant Biology Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Plant Biology

Program Description

Programs in the Field of Plant Biology range from the molecular/genetic investigation of fundamental plant processes and mathematical modeling of plant development to study of plant diversity and evolution. In addition to studying a major subject in the Field of Plant Biology, students also take course work in two other minor subjects of their choice, either in or outside the field. The field has no language requirement.

Students who want to major in plant ecology are encouraged to apply through the Field of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Research facilities:
The field provides equipment and expertise in all research programs related to the special interests of the faculty. Instrumentation of modern molecular and biochemical techniques, visible and electron microscopy, biological spectrometry, and computing equipment are available. Growth chambers, cell culture and transformation facilities, greenhouses, and field plots are also readily available. L. H. Bailey Hortorium Herbarium, adjacent to the Plant Science Building, houses one of the nation's major systematics resources.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-4075

412 Mann Library Building
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • cytology
  • paleobotany
  • plant biochemistry
  • plant biotechnology
  • plant cell biology
  • plant ecology
  • plant molecular biology
  • plant morphology, anatomy, and biomechanics
  • plant physiology
  • systematic botany


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall: Dec. 1; no spring admission

Requirements Summary:

  • A Research Statement that summarizes your research experience including the research questions that were addressed, methods utilized, and summary of research outcomes and significance. Note that this Research Statement is separate from the Statement of Purpose contained within the Graduate School Requirements. The Statement of Purpose should include an overview of your current interests, why the Plant Biology Field at Cornell aligns with those interests, and future aspirations/expectations.
  • Three recommendations
  • GRE test scores are NOT required and are NOT accepted
  • English Language Proficiency Requirement for all applicants
  • Prospective applicants are encouraged to correspond with faculty members in their area of interest. Additional details, including descriptions of courses available in the field, can be obtained from the graduate field office.

Learning Outcomes

  • Conduct original, publishable research in the field.
  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge across several sub-disciplines as well as in-depth knowledge in at least one area of expertise of theory and research in the field.
  • Demonstrate a degree of independence in research.
  • Write and speak effectively to professional and lay audiences about issues in the field.
  • Demonstrate teaching competence through TA experience.