Bachelor of Science in Plant Sciences Program By Cornell University |Top Universities

Bachelor of Science in Plant Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Plant Sciences

  • QS World University Rankings
    21
  • Degree Other
  • Study Level Bachelors

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The program in Plant Sciences prepares students for careers that focus on producing enough food for a growing world population; breeding plants to tolerate the heat- and drought-stress of climate change; developing sustainable cropping practices to produce healthful and nutritious food; investigating new methods to fight disease; and transforming sterile urban environments into vibrant microcosms of nature. Plant Sciences courses are taught by faculty in the School of Integrative Plant Science, which is the administrative home for the Sections of Horticulture, Plant Biology, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, and Soil and Crop Sciences. Together, they represent one of the strongest groups of plant scientists in the world. Students in the program share a common interest in learning about topics associated with plant growth and development in the broadest sense, but beyond that common thread, individual career goals vary widely. Some have their sights set on careers in applied agriculture, others plan to contribute to advancements of our knowledge through teaching or research, and still others see study in plant science as a stepping-stone to specialized training in business, government, or law. In addition to the college distribution requirements, Plant Sciences majors must take plant biology, plant evolutionary biology, genetics, and soil science, among other courses. Students spend the first year or two taking foundational coursework in biology, chemistry, statistics and plant biology, and writing. Thereafter, they select a concentration to flesh out their interests and prepare them for a career doing what they love. Each concentration has specific requirements beyond the basic core courses. However, the added requirements do not exceed 15 credits, leaving students with ample opportunity to explore other areas of interest or to study abroad. More than 140 courses that deal directly with some area of plant science are offered in the School of Integrative Plant Science. There are also opportunities for internships, undergraduate teaching, and research experience. Qualified students, especially those expecting to go on for graduate degrees, are encouraged to engage in one or more of those experiences. Students who are planning to enter the workforce immediately upon completion of the B.S. degree are encouraged to obtain practical experience. This may involve summer employment in research or in a plant production or maintenance-related industry such as a lawn and tree care company, commercial greenhouse, nursery, orchard, vineyard or winery, botanical garden or arboretum, crop production farm, or with Cooperative Extension. In addition to classrooms and laboratories in five buildings on the Cornell campus proper, research and teaching facilities adjacent to the campus are freely available to students for hands-on practice, technical training, independent research projects, and internships. These facilities include research orchards and vineyards, golf courses and a turf research facility, the Cornell Plantations (including arboretum and natural areas), and vegetable and field crop farms. Demonstration/research facilities in Aurora (Cayuga County), Geneva (Ontario County), Highland (Ulster County), Lake Placid (Essex County), Middletown (Orange County), Odessa (Tioga County), and Riverhead (Suffolk County) are also sites administered by the School of Integrative Plant Science and are available for undergraduate and graduate field study.