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Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Agriculture and Life Sciences

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Agriculture and Life Sciences is a one-year, course-based, master's degree program. The flexible, interdisciplinary program offers customized coursework and experiential projects to advance technical knowledge and career potential. The program is designed for students who wish to acquire greater subject matter expertise in an aspect of horticulture or who are changing their field to horticulture, or people who are entering or already established in a horticulture-related professional career but desire to upgrade their skills and knowledge.

Working with a faculty advisor, students complete 30 credits of coursework, including a capstone project in an area of interest for their professional development. The mix of coursework and final project prepares students for careers in industry, government, or non-profit agencies. Some MPS students decide to continue their studies in research.

MPS Specializations

While students have the opportunity to customize their own course of study with their faculty advisor, the Field of Horticulture offers several areas of specialization for MPS degree candidates. Each of these areas include a suggested curriculum of core and elective courses that fulfill the requirements of the MPS in Agriculture and Life Sciences degree while placing particular emphasis in an area of specialization. Click on the links below to view prerequisites and course suggestions for each specialization: 

  • Controlled Environment Agriculture - one of the fastest growing areas of agriculture, is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponically-based agriculture. Plants are grown within a controlled environment so that horticultural practices can be optimized. This specialization emphasizes specific skills to understand lighting, hydroponic production, pest control, and horticultural aspects of production will be part of the program.
  • Hemp Science - focused on the development of specific skills to understand plant breeding and genetics; hydroponic and field crop production; processing; food, fiber and medicinal applications; and product development. Students will also have a broad-based understanding of the industry from seed to sales, exploring the legal and regulatory environment and challenges facing the cannabis industry today and in the future.
  • Public Garden Leadership - focused on the management of public gardens and requires a mix of academic training and practical experience. This specialization emphasizes leadership, strategic decision making, and business management, preparing students for managerial and leadership roles in the public garden field. Learn more about Cornell's Botanic Gardens
  • Viticulture - is the science, production and study of grapes. This specialization emphasizes knowledge development and hands-on experience. With Cornell’s ideal location in the Finger Lakes region – home to nearly 10,000 acres of vineyards – students will be exposed to every aspect of grape growing and wine making.

Learn more about all the Masters of Professional Studies specializations offered in the School of Integrative Plant Science