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Master of Professional Studies Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences (M.P.S.)

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M.P.S. degrees are offered within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. It is primarily a course-driven degree where candidates complete a problem-solving project instead of a hypothesis-driven thesis. In addition, there is a 30 credit hour course requirement. The M.P.S. degree is most useful for those students who wish to acquire greater subject-matter expertise in an aspect of horticulture or who are changing their field to horticulture. 

  • The M.P.S. student selects a Special Committee composed of a minimum of two faculty members. The student selects a faculty member from his or her chosen field to chair the Special Committee. The second member of the committee may represent either another field or another concentration in the same field as the chair.
  • Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework related to the candidate's professional interest, as agreed upon with the Special Committee. At least 24 credits must be in courses numbered 4000 or higher. A maximum of 6 of the required 30 credit hours may be earned through the student's problem-solving project.
  • Satisfactory completion of a problem-solving project under the supervision of the Special Committee. This project may be an action program, the development of a plan of attack for a pertinent problem, or the development and execution of research appropriate to the profession. A formal project report must be submitted to and approved by the candidate's Special Committee.
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.5.
  • Completion of a minimum of 2 units of registration credit. Finishing in one to two years is the norm. However, requirements must be completed within four years of admission.

Another M.P.S. program has slightly different requirements: 

  • Agriculture - Public Garden Leadership Fellows Program – An intensive one-year Master of Professional Studies program focused on public garden professionals who wish to advance their knowledge and career. The program emphasizes strategic decision making, leadership, and financial/business management so that students will be prepared for managerial and leadership roles in public horticulture. Each student selects an action project related to their interest area and of importance to Cornell Botanic Gardens and the public garden field.  Opportunities also exist for independent study projects with Botanic Gardens staff members. Individuals accepted into the PGL program are responsible for paying the tuition and fees required of all CALS MPS programs, but partial scholarships are available on request. Applications must be submitted by February 1 and decisions are reached by March 15.  Successful candidates are notified of their entry into the program by April 1.  More information.