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Graduate Admissions

The Field of Plant Breeding welcomes applications from U.S. and international students with an interest in modern crop breeding and genetics. Department faculty provide training that links applied crop improvement with the latest discoveries in plant genomics and bioinformatics. Some students begin their graduate studies immediately after earning B.S. or M.S. degrees, while others return to school after working for some time. A strong background in biology is preferable, but occasionally, students are admitted with other types of experience.

Admission Requirements

Admission is competitive, and students with a grade point average less than 3.0 (B) are generally not considered. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required of U.S. applicants and recommended for all others. Applicants who wish to be considered for Cornell fellowships must take the GRE, preferably including the Biology subject test. Letters of reference, previous research experience, and the quality of the Statement of Purpose are other important factors in evaluation of candidates. International students must have a sub-scores of at least 20 (reading), 20 (writing), 22 (speaking) and 15 (listening) on the internet-based TOEFL exam.


Applications for Fall admission are accepted until December 1.   Applications for Spring admission are accepted until July 1.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply online at the Cornell Graduate School.   GRE scores and letters of recommendation should be  submitted electronically via the online application system.

Kim Cotton
Graduate Field Coordinator
Soil and Crop Sciences & Plant Breeding and Genetics
School of Integrative Plant Science
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
231 Emerson Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-3267