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

The Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in Agriculture and Life Sciences degree program is a course-based, one-year, master's level program offered by the Field of Horticulture at Cornell.  The M.P.S. is a professional degree 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. A small percentage of M.P.S. students decide to continue their studies in research.

M.P.S. 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.
  • 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.
  • Public Garden Leadership Fellows Program (PGL-FP) – In addition to pursuing a Public Garden Leadership MPS specialization, students may apply for consideration into the Public Garden Leadership Fellows Program. The PGL-FP 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. 

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