Plant Breeding and Genetics is one of five concentrations within the Plant Sciences major. Undergraduates who specialize in Plant Breeding and Genetics learn the application of genetics to improve cultivated plants, including varieties of agronomic, vegetable, horticultural, and ornamental crops.
Students are taught in lectures and laboratories by faculty who conduct world-renowned research in gene mapping, varietal development, tissue culture, and myriad other topics within the field. Additionally, undergraduates have many opportunities to gain first-hand research experience while working alongside their professors and graduate students in Cornell’s laboratories and greenhouses.
Courses and Academic Opportunities
Students who choose a concentration in Plant Breeding and Genetics must complete several required courses in addition to those required for all Plant Science majors. Additionally, and in cooperation with a faculty advisor, each student plans a course curriculum of basic and applied sciences that is best suited to his or her goals. Students are encouraged to sample courses that provide a broad background in the plant sciences and other related fields, such as plant biology, plant pathology, entomology, soils, and plant taxonomy. Plant breeding and genetics courses available to undergraduates are listed under departmental courses.
The Minor Program of Study in Plant Breeding can complement most any major in the life sciences. It provides a basic understanding of crop improvement, a historical perspective of the discipline, and a sense of how plant breeding contributes to modern society’s demands for food, fiber, fuel, and environmental sustainability.
Students may enter the Plant Breeding and Genetics specialization either as Cornell freshmen or as transfer students. Prospective students may obtain an application for admission from the CALS Office of Admissions.