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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Nov 17, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Academic Options


In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .


Early Enrollment in Cornell Graduate Programs


Students who excel in their undergraduate curriculum and have an interest in pursuing a graduate degree in the College of Veterinary Medicine or the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management are expected to meet the following criteria by their four year of undergraduate enrollment:

  • All distribution requirements for the college have been completed (e.g. humanities and social sciences, 55 CALS credits, etc.)
  • The student will earn a Bachelor of Sciences degree from CALS at the end of their fourth year.

The College of Veterinary Medicine may accept students who are then permitted to double-register in their seventh and/or eighth semester and complete requirements for the bachelor of science degree in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Students should consult with the college registrar, 140 Roberts Hall, to file an application for dual-enrollment and to ensure that degree requirements have been fulfilled.

Johnson Graduate School of Management
Five (5) Year Dual Degree Program
Johnson permits a limited number of exceptional Cornell undergraduates to participate in a Five (5) Year Dual Degree Program that results in the awarding of both the baccalaureate and MBA degrees. This option is open to students enrolled in any of the University’s undergraduate colleges.

Five (5) year applicants are subject to the same admissions’ criteria as all candidates. If accepted, they must complete all core course requirements during their fourth year at Cornell and then register for thirty (30) hours of approved School courses during their fifth year. All other degree requirements for the MBA apply to five (5) year students. They register with, and pay tuition to, their undergraduate colleges during the fourth year and the School during the fifth year. Students may consult with the college registrar, 140 Roberts Hall, to verify degree requirements.

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers a first professional degree curriculum in landscape architecture at both undergraduate (BSLA) and graduate levels (MLA I) as well as a second professional graduate degree program (MLA II). The curricula for both the undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board. The graduate program is cosponsored by the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and by the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Graduate Fields of Study


Graduate study is organized by fields that generally coincide with the academic departments but may draw faculty from several disciplines in the various colleges of the university. The following graduate fields have primary affiliation in Agriculture and Life Sciences. Current directors of graduate studies are also listed. For more information on graduate programs, please refer to the Graduate Bulletin, or www.gradschool.cornell.edu. Information following this list refers to undergraduate studies.

Agriculture and life sciences [M.P.S. (agr.)]: Don Viands, 174 Roberts Hall, drv3@cornell.edu

Animal science: Patricia Johnson, 202 Morrison Hall, paj1@cornell.edu

Applied economics and management: Calum Turvey, 237 Warren Hall, cgt6@cornell.edu

Atmospheric sciences: Daniel Wilks, 1113 Bradfield Hall, dsw5@cornell.edu

Biochemistry, molecular, and cell biology: Siu Syvia Lee, 339 Biotechnology, ssl29@cornell.edu

Biological and environmental engineering: Antje Baeumner, 202 Riley-Robb Hall, ajb23@cornell.edu

Biometry: Giles Hooker, 1186 Comstock Hall, gjh27@cornell.edu

Biophysics: Gerald W. Feigenson, 201 Biotechnology Bldg., gwf3@cornell.edu

Communication: Katherine McComas, 313 Kennedy Hall, kam19@cornell.edu

Development sociology: Douglas Gurak, Academic Surge A-110, dtg2@cornell.edu

Ecology and evolutionary biology: Monica Geber, E413 Corson Hall, mag9@cornell.edu

Education: John Sipple, 102 Academic Surge A, jws28@cornell.edu

Entomology: Brian Lazzaro, 3134 Comstock Hall, bl89@cornell.edu

Environmental toxicology: Andrew Yen, T4-008 Vet Research Tower, ay13@cornell.edu

Food science and technology: Martin Wiedmann, 412 Stocking Hall, mw16@cornell.edu

Genetics and development: Paul Soloway, 211 Weill Hall, pds28@cornell.edu

Horticulture: William Miller, 28 Plant Science Bldg., wbm8@cornell.edu

International agriculture and rural development [M.P.S. (agr.)]: Steven Kyle, 332 Warren Hall, sck5@cornell.edu

International development: Steven Kyle, 332 Warren Hall, sck5@cornell.edu

Landscape architecture [M.L.A.]: Kathryn L. Gleason, 446 Kennedy Hall, klg16@cornell.edu

M.P.S. agriculture with Peace Corps option (offered by most agriculture fields with M.P.S. programs): Steven Kyle, 332 Warren Hall, or see director of graduate studies for chosen field, sck5@cornell.edu

Microbiology: James Shapleigh, 257A Wing Hall, jps2@cornell.edu

Natural resources: Shorna Allred, 209 Bruckner Hall, srb237@cornell.edu

Neurobiology and behavior: Kerry L. Shaw, W317 Mudd Hall, kls4@cornell.edu

Nutritional sciences: Charles McCormick, 223 Savage Hall, ccm3@cornell.edu

Physiology: Robin Davisson, T9-014C Vet Research Tower, rld44@cornell.edu

Plant biology: Jian Hua, 158 Emerson Hall, jh299@cornell.edu

Plant breeding: Walter DeJong, 309 Bradfield Hall, wsd2@cornell.edu

Plant pathology and plant-microbe biology: Stewart Gray, 309 Plant Science Bldg., smg3@cornell.edu

Plant protection [M.P.S. (agr.)]: William Reissig, Barton Laboratory, Geneva Campus, whr1@cornell.edu

Soil and crop sciences: Dan Buckley, 705 Bradfield Hall, dhb28@cornell.edu

Statistics: Giles Hooker, 1186 Comstock Hall, gjh27@cornell.edu

Zoology and Wildlife Conservation: Ned J. Place, S1-088 Schurman Hall, njp27@cornell.edu

Opportunities in Research


Undergraduate Research

A multitude of opportunities to be engaged in research exist across the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the university.

Students may be able to work on a faculty member’s research project for pay. Opportunities can be explored by contacting individual faculty members or departmental offices. Another option is for students to receive credit through a 4990-level course within a department by conducting their own research project under a faculty mentor. More than 600 students each year conduct research for credit. Upper-class students usually have the course background to engage in research, but freshmen and sophomores also may be equipped to do some types of research. Off-campus research experiences are also available for pay or as internships.

The following web sites provide information about research and internships:

CALS Career Development Team in the Student Services Office:

www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/career

CALS Undergraduate Research Opportunities:

www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/undergrad (information on how to explore research opportunities)

CALS Research Honors Program:

www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/honors

CALS Undergraduate Student Grants Proposal Development:

www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/undergrad-student-grants-proposal-info.cfm

CALS Undergraduate Minority Research:

www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/minority

CALS Internship Guidelines:

www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/internship

Undergraduate Research @ Cornell:

www.research.cornell.edu/undergrad

Cornell Undergraduate Research Board:

www.research.cornell.edu/curb (student organization to promote and facilitate undergraduate research)

Biological Sciences:

www.biology.cornell.edu

Research Honors Program

The Research Honors Program provides students with a special opportunity to work with a faculty mentor to experience the research process. The Bachelor of Science degree with “distinction in research” is conferred upon those students who, in addition to having completed the requirements for the B.S. degree, have satisfactorily completed the honors program and have been recommended for the degree by the honors committee.

Research may be done in these program areas: animal sciences, biological sciences, biology & society, entomology, information science, landscape studies, natural resources, nutritional sciences, physical sciences, plant sciences, and social sciences. Each program area has its own requirements in addition to the college requirements. After reviewing the requirements of each program area (below), students’ questions may be directed toward the appropriate program area chair.

Consult “Undergraduate Research Opportunities” on the web (cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/undergrad) for information about identifying a research topic, conferring with a faculty member, and undergraduate funding opportunities.

Learning Outcomes 
Students will be able to:

  • Identify a question or topic requiring original research through critical examination of existing literature
  • Formulate the question into one or more testable hypotheses or central arguments and develop methods suitable to evaluate these hypotheses or arguments
  • Obtain information relevant to the hypotheses or arguments through effective use of contemporary methods and research techniques
  • Critically analyze the evidence obtained to refute or support the hypotheses or arguments
  • Integrate the findings of this research to the findings of others and to larger issues in the discipline
  • Communicate effectively through writing the thesis and oral or poster presentations

Assessment occurs primarily through faculty evaluation of the thesis produced and, in some program areas, an oral defense of the thesis.

Honors Program Requirements

An undergraduate wishing to enroll in the honors program must have completed at least 55 credits, at least 30 of those 55 at Cornell. In addition, the student must have attained a cumulative Cornell GPA of at least 3.0 (unless otherwise noted by a particular program) at the time of entry.

Interested students must submit a written application and thesis proposal early in the first semester of their senior year; however, they are encouraged to make arrangements with a faculty member during the second semester of their junior year. Several program areas require students to submit their application and thesis proposal to the program area honors committee chair by the end of the third week, while other program areas have students submit the application and proposal to the CALS Registrar’s office by the end of the sixth week. It is the student’s responsibility to know the deadlines and submission procedures for the particular program area of interest. Application forms are available from the CALS Registrar in 140 Roberts Hall or online at www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/honors. Applications for biological sciences students can be picked up at 200 Stimson Hall, and for biology & society students at 306 Rockefeller Hall.

To complete the application form, signatures of approval are required in the following order: faculty research mentor, academic advisor, and research honors program area chair. After the college registrar verifies the student’s GPA, the CALS Research Honors Program Committee makes the final approval of the applicants, then the students are officially enrolled in the honors program. Additional requirements for application and completion of the program are described under each program area.

Academic credit also may be earned by enrolling in an appropriate independent research course (required by some program areas). Research funding opportunities are described at cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/undergrad.

Successful completion requires a thesis written in the style of a master’s thesis or scholarly journal article. Examples are on the web at ecommons.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/2936/simple-search?query=. In addition, your program area chair might have examples. Original honors research may be suitable for publication in a professional journal. Students may volunteer to publish their theses on the eCommons website if it does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in another journal. During each summer the CALS Research Honors Abstracts is published on the web at www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/honors/abstract-booklets.cfm as a compilation of honors theses abstracts.

Unless otherwise indicated in the following program area descriptions, the research report in the form of a thesis or journal article should be submitted to the research program committee no later than four weeks before the end of classes of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences wishing to participate in the Research Honors Program are not eligible for distinction in research by participating in a program offered by another college or administrative unit.

At or near the completion of their research, students are required to give an oral presentation or poster session during an appropriate event. Some departments have a seminar series when presentations may be given. The Cornell Undergraduate Research Board Forum is another venue for presentations.

For more information, go to www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/current/student-research/honors.

The following are the honors program areas:

Animal Sciences

Faculty committee: S. M. Quirk, chair; Y. R. Boisclair, D. J. Cherney, K. J. Czymmek, J. R. Giles, J. Gavalchin, P. A. Johnson, T. R. Overton, Q. M. Ketterings

The objective of the animal sciences research honors program is to provide outstanding undergraduates with the opportunity to pursue supervised independent research and to develop an awareness of the scientific process. It is expected that the research will require significant effort and creative input by the student in its design and execution and in the reporting of the results.

Those students with majors in animal sciences who are interested in doing a research project should consult with their faculty advisors by their junior year. All students are expected to meet the college requirements in qualifying for the program and to complete the following:

  • Identify a potential research honors project sponsor (i.e., a faculty member working in the animal sciences) and secure that faculty member’s commitment to sponsor the student in the research project. This should be accomplished by the second semester of the junior year. Students are encouraged to implement some research during the junior year and/or summer before the senior year.
  • Register for ANSC 4991 - Undergraduate Honors Research in Animal Science .
  • Participate in ANSC 4020 - Seminar in Animal Sciences  during the spring semester and report on and discuss the project and results.
  • Submit a written thesis to the Animal Sciences Research Honors Committee by the scheduled deadline. Specific information regarding deadlines, format, and organization for the thesis will be provided.
  • Meet with the Animal Sciences Research Honors Committee for a short oral defense of the thesis following a review of the thesis by the student’s mentor and the research committee.
  • Submit electronically to the honors committee chair a copy of the final approved thesis (in pdf or Word format).
  • In addition, students are required to submit electronically to the honors committee chair their thesis title, research advisor’s name, and abstract (in Word format) for publication by CALS. During each summer, the CALS Research Honors Abstracts publication is published (on the web beginning 2009) as a compilation of research honors thesis abstracts.

Details pertaining to the specific requirements of the program can be obtained from Dr. Quirk, Department of Animal Science, 434 Morrison Hall.

Biological Sciences

Students interested in the Research Honors Program in the biological sciences should consult with their faculty advisors and with potential faculty research sponsors early in their junior year. See “Independent Research and Honors Program ” in the Biological Sciences section of this catalog for complete details. Information on faculty research, applications, and program requirements may be obtained from the Office of Undergraduate Biology, 216 Stimson Hall, or at biology.cornell.edu/index.php/honors-program.

Biology & Society

Faculty committee: B. Chabot, chair

The Research Honors Program in Biology & Society is designed to provide independent research opportunities for academically talented undergraduate students in Biology & Society. Students who enroll in this program are expected, with faculty guidance, to do independent study and research dealing with issues in biology and society. Students participating in the program should find the experience intellectually stimulating and rewarding whether or not they intend to pursue a research career.

Biology & Society students are considered for entry into the research honors program at the end of the second semester of the junior year. Application forms for the program are available in the Biology & Society office, 306 Rockefeller Hall. To qualify for the Biology & Society Research Honors Program, a student must have an overall Cornell cumulative GPA of at least 3.3, have formulated a research topic, and have found a project supervisor (with a Cornell academic appointment) and a Biology & Society faculty member willing to serve as his or her advisor. The director of undergraduate studies will appoint a third reader of the completed research thesis. Applications will be reviewed by a committee headed by the director of undergraduate studies, who will notify students directly of the outcome. Students will be permitted to register for the research honors program only by permission of the Biology & Society program. Students must enroll for two semesters for 4 credits each in BSOC 4991 -BSOC 4992 , ALS 4991 -ALS 4992 , or HE 4991 HE 4992 , Honors Project I and II. More information on the honors program is available in the Biology & Society office, 306 Rockefeller Hall, (607) 255-6047.

Important Deadlines. Note: If the following dates fall on a weekend, the deadline is the preceding Friday.

  • Last week of second semester of the junior year: Application for honors program submitted to 306 Rockefeller Hall.
  • April 11: Thesis completed in a form satisfactory for evaluation and submitted to the three readers.
  • April 25: Thesis defense accomplished.
  • May 9: Two bound copies of completed and defended thesis submitted to director of undergraduate studies.

Students may volunteer to submit electronically to the honors committee chair a copy of their final approved thesis (in pdf or Word format) for Mann Library. Mann Library has given CALS the opportunity to have theses available to the public electronically if this does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in another journal. A permission form to allow the thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.

In addition, students are required to submit electronically to the honors committee chair their thesis title, research advisor’s name, and abstract (in Word format). During each summer, the CALS Research Honors Abstracts publication is published (on the web beginning 2009) as a compilation of research honors thesis abstracts.

Entomology

Faculty committee: C. Gilbert, chair

The Program. A research honors program in entomology may be pursued by any qualified student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The student need not be majoring in entomology. Insects, because of their variety, small size, and easy availability, are convenient subjects for studying a wide array of problems in living systems. Short life cycles, unique physiologies and developmental patterns, and species with easily managed husbandry requirements and a wide range of behavioral traits provide the raw material for research honors study. Cornell’s diverse faculty interests and extensive collections and library in entomology are also major assets if a student selects entomology as the area for research honors study.

Research honors students have the option of earning academic credit by enrolling in ENTOM 4991 - Undergraduate Honors Research in Entomology  during any semester while working toward a research honors thesis. Credits and grade option for satisfying requirements of ENTOM 4991  should be discussed with the thesis advisor (below).

Note: Enrolling in an independent study course, either ENTOM 4970 , ENTOM 4990 , or ENTOM 4991 , is not a requirement for graduating with distinction in research honors in entomology.

Sequence of Requirements. The Entomology Research Honors Committee requires that an undergraduate who is interested in embarking on a research honors project proceed with the following steps:

  1. Discuss the matter with his or her academic advisor, preferably in the junior year. This schedule makes it possible to carefully plan a research project and implement some research during the junior year and/or summer before the senior year.
  2. Select an appropriate faculty member in the Department of Entomology who can serve as a supervisor to oversee the honors research. This need not be the student’s academic advisor. The academic advisor will be of assistance in determining which faculty member has expertise most compatible with the interests of the student.
  3. Discuss and develop a project with the honors project supervisor, ultimately resulting in a brief written plan. The plan should include a statement of objectives or hypotheses, proposed methods for testing the hypotheses and needs for laboratory space or shared equipment.
  4. Submit a completed application and proposal approved by the honors project supervisor to the Chair of the Entomology Research Honors Committee no later than the end of the fifth week of the first semester of the senior year. Earlier submission is encouraged. Applications are available from the CALS registrar, 140 Roberts Hall.
  5. Submit a brief progress report, approved by the project supervisor, to the Chair of the Entomology Research Honors Committee by midterm of the semester in which the student will complete his or her graduation requirements.
  6. Present a formal seminar reporting the significant findings of the research to the Department of Entomology (as a Jugatae seminar) in the last semester of the senior year.
  7. Submit two copies, one electronic and one printed, of the final honors thesis (as approved by the thesis supervisor) to the Chair of the Entomology Research Honors Committee no later than two weeks before the last day of classes in the semester in which the student anticipates graduation. The thesis will be reviewed by the faculty honors project supervisor and at least one other referee selected by the chair of the honors committee.
  8. Referees will return the thesis to the student one week before the last day of classes. If reviewers indicate that changes must be made, the revised thesis should be submitted to the Entomology Research Honors Committee Chair no later than the last day of classes. Referees should include a recommendation to the Entomology Research Honors Committee Chair regarding acceptability of the honors thesis. The approved honors theses will be bound and housed in the Entomology Library in Comstock Hall.
  9. Students may volunteer to submit electronically to the honors committee Chair a copy of their final approved thesis (in pdf or Word format) for Mann Library. Mann Library has given CALS the opportunity to have theses available to the public electronically if this does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in another journal. A permission form to allow the thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  10. In addition, students are required to submit electronically to the honors committee Chair their thesis title, research advisor’s name, and abstract (in Word format). During each summer, the CALS Research Honors Abstracts publication is published (on the web beginning 2009) as a compilation of research honors thesis abstracts.

The complete text of this section can be found at www.entomology.cornell.edu/cals/entomology/undergraduate-program/distinction-in-reserach-honors-in-entomology.cfm

Information Science

Students should follow the CALS social sciences guidelines to obtain research honors in information science.

Landscape Studies

Faculty committee: D.W. Krall, chair

The research honors program in landscape studies offers outstanding undergraduates in CALS the opportunity to work with a member of the landscape architecture faculty to pursue supervised independent research in design, the cultural landscape, landscape archeology, environmental design, and community-based planning and design. The student need not be a major in the landscape architecture professional design curriculum. The subject matter and nature of the research experience may be quite varied. Students participating should find the experience intellectually stimulating and rewarding, whether or not they intend to pursue a research career. The guidance and supervision of a faculty member with substantial interest and expertise in the subject is essential to the success of the project. It is expected that the research will require significant effort and creative input by the student in its design and execution and in reporting the results.

Students who consider this option should be aware that honors research is undertaken above and beyond any of the requirements for graduation in the major of landscape architecture. It involves a number of deadlines and a considerable time commitment. Before signing on for research honors, students need to consult with their academic advisor to make sure that honors research projects will not interfere with other academic or professional objectives, such as job applications, preparation of portfolios, or application to graduate school. These may need to be deferred until the thesis is complete. Students are responsible for meeting deadlines and being prepared for presentations and other meetings.

Although honors research credits for spring semester junior year and both semesters senior year are designated a letter grade, individual mentors may choose the R grade for work in progress until the project has been fully completed. Grade is determined by each student’s mentor. The designation of “distinction in research” on the diploma is awarded at the recommendation of the faculty advisor and other referees to the honors committee chair. An outline of activities for both years is given below.

The Landscape Studies Research Honors Committee requires that an undergraduate who is interested in embarking on a research honors project proceed with the following steps:

  1. Junior year: Identify a potential research honors project sponsor and secure that faculty member’s commitment to sponsor the student in the research project. This should be accomplished early in the second semester of the junior year and be finalized by the end of the spring semester. Pre-register during the spring for the research honors program (LA 4991 ).
  2. Work with a faculty advisor to identify and formulate a research problem. If the faculty advisor is not in the Department of Landscape Architecture, select a co-advisor from the department to ensure that the research is consistent with the field.
  3. Submit a completed application and proposal (approved by the honors project supervisor and the chair of the research honors committee) no later than the end of the fourth week of the first semester of the senior year. Earlier submissions are encouraged. These will be reviewed by ad hoc committee members, and successful thesis proposals will be submitted to the college honors committee by the sixth week.
  4. Carry out an independent research effort that is original and separate from the work of others who may be investigating similar subjects.
  5. Submit an outline of the thesis to the chair of the committee by the end of January for a May graduation.
  6. Submit a draft to the readers by April 15. Describe and summarize the work within the range of formats used in the master’s thesis program or professional journals in design or research. This version will be reviewed by the faculty supervisor and two ad hoc reviewers, and the student will be able to incorporate the committee’s comments and suggestions into the final version, which will be due the last day of classes. Referees prepare a recommendation to the honors committee chair regarding the acceptability of the honors thesis.
  7. Give two oral presentations to the group of other honors research students and invited faculty members. Both presentations are during the student’s senior year.
  8. Send two bound copies of the completed and defended thesis to the honors committee chair by May 13.
  9. Students may volunteer to submit electronically to the honors committee chair a copy of their final approved thesis (in pdf or Word format) for Mann Library. Mann Library has given CALS the opportunity to have theses available to the public electronically if this does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in another journal. A permission form to allow the thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  10. In addition, students are required to submit electronically to the honors committee chair their thesis title, research advisor’s name, and abstract (in Word format). During each summer, the CALS Research Honors Abstracts publication is published as a compilation of research honors thesis abstracts.

Natural Resources / Science of Natural and Environmental Systems

Faculty director: J. B. Yavitt, chair

The research honors program in natural resources involves original, independent research that generates novel findings in applied ecology and resource policy and management. Students learn how to design and carry out research under the direct supervision and guidance of a faculty member or senior research associate in the department. Most students in the program begin their research before the start of the senior year, often in the summer after their junior year. Students may enroll and receive credit in independent study (NTRES 4991 - Honors Research in Natural Resources ) during their honors research. Students will also be required to attend bi-weekly meetings throughout fall and spring semesters and will receive credit by enrolling in NTRES 4870 - Undergraduate Research Methods . The research findings are presented in a written thesis that is reviewed by two experts in the field. Many theses have been published in leading journals in the disciplinary area of the research. Although the format is not prescribed, the thesis usually consists of a short introduction, relevant materials and methods, a concise presentation of the meaningful data, a discussion, and the student’s interpretation of the conclusions. Students also give an oral presentation of their research findings in a special symposium hosted by the department in early May.

Students should adhere to the following schedule.

Junior Year

  1. File an informal application with the faculty director. The application includes a project description and advisor information.

Senior Year

  1. Enroll in NTRES 4870 - Undergraduate Research Methods , 1 credit (fall and spring).
  2. Register for NTRES 4991 - Honors Research in Natural Resources  before the add deadline (fall and spring); independent study form required, signed by your research and academic advisor).
  3. Sixth week of fall semester: Submit formal application to faculty director (124 Bruckner Hall).
  4. March 31: Thesis should be close to completion.
  5. April 15: Submit two copies of the thesis to the faculty director for ad hoc reviews.
  6. May 4: Pick up ad hoc reviewers’ comments from the faculty director.
  7. May 15: Submit two copies of the final thesis: one for the college, one for the program director.
  8. Week of May 25: Students will be notified of the decision, and the faculty director will recommend that each approved student graduate with “Distinction in Research.”
  9. Students may volunteer to submit electronically to the honors committee chair a copy of their final approved thesis for Mann Library. Mann Library has given CALS the opportunity to have theses available to the public electronically if this does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in another journal. A permission form to allow the thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  10. In addition, students are required to submit electronically to the honors committee chair their thesis title, research advisor’s name, and abstract (in Word format). During each summer, the CALS Research Honors Abstracts publication is published (on the web beginning 2009) as a compilation of research honors thesis abstracts.

Nutritional Sciences

Faculty committee: Chair, Cha-Sook You

The research honors program in the Division of Nutritional Sciences is a structured experience that requires (1) successful completion of NS 3980 , (2) conducting a research project through which the student becomes intellectually engaged in the whole research process, total 6 credits of NS 4990 , (3) completing a written thesis that reports the research, and (4) giving an oral presentation of the project at the undergraduate honors symposium. Students must maintain a minimum grade point average to graduate with honors in research.

The research honors program is an excellent opportunity for students who are highly interested in research and wish to commit substantial time and intellectual energy to a project that will span about four semesters of their undergraduate experience. Honors students experience the excitement of participating in a project to generate new knowledge on a topic that interests them and reporting the project findings. By working with faculty mentors and other researchers, they develop skills in research methods and data analysis. Students also learn that research projects are labor intensive and that writing research reports, such as the honors thesis, is a vital, but time-consuming, aspect of the research process. This intensive research experience is not suitable for all students, and those who wish a less intensive research experience may conduct research with a faculty member under NS 4010 .

Students interested in the program should take NS 3980  (fall only) as early in their program as possible, preferably sophomore or junior fall. Students may review program requirements at www.human.cornell.edu/dns/academic/undergradhonres.cfm or contact Dr. Cha-Sook You. Acceptance into the research honors program occurs when the student (1) is accepted into a faculty member’s research program and (2) submits a research proposal abstract that is approved by the director of the research honors program.

Students interested in the program typically spend the spring sophomore semester and fall junior semester exploring honors project opportunities with prospective faculty mentors. Students are responsible for contacting faculty members and applying to their research programs, although some guidance in this process will be provided in NS 3980 . By the fall of the junior year, the student is expected to have identified his or her faculty member and be working with him or her on a proposal abstract, which is due early in the spring junior semester.

Students receive academic credit for work on their honors project under NS 4990 . The 6 required credits may be taken over several semesters. How much time is spent on the project each semester will be the decision of the student and the faculty mentor. For each three to four hours of work per week, the faculty mentor usually will assign one hour of academic credit. This applies to the preparation of the research plan and necessary library research (usually completed during the junior year) as well as the carrying out of the research itself and preparation of the thesis.

The research honors project is the major component of the research honors program. It should be well defined and sufficiently circumscribed to give the student the opportunity to develop the research plan, execute the research, and write an acceptable thesis within the limited time available to students carrying full academic loads. Typically, the project is designed early in the junior year and conducted in the spring junior semester and fall senior semester. Students may arrange with their faculty mentor to work on the project during the summer. The spring senior semester is usually devoted to writing the thesis (at least 25 pages). The student works with the faculty mentor to prepare a draft of the thesis, which is submitted before spring break to a second faculty member for evaluation. When comments are received from the reader, the student must revise the thesis to meet the criteria for acceptance. The student presents the thesis at the Honors Student Symposium at the end of the semester.

Students may volunteer to submit electronically to the honors committee chair a copy of their final approved thesis (in pdf or Word format) for Mann Library. Mann Library has given CALS the opportunity to have theses available to the public electronically if this does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in another journal. A permission form to allow the thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.

In addition, students are required to submit electronically to the honors committee chair their thesis title, research advisor’s name, and abstract (in Word format). During each summer, the CALS Research Honors Abstracts publication is published (on the web beginning 2009) as a compilation of research honors thesis abstracts.

Physical Sciences

Faculty committee: S. J. Mulvaney, chair

The research honors program in physical sciences provides outstanding students with an opportunity to do independent research under the supervision of a faculty member in the Departments of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Food Science, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, or Biological Statistics and Computational Biology.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the college, the student is expected to:

  1. Identify a thesis advisor and thesis topic before the end of the junior year.
  2. Work with the thesis advisor to prepare a budget, short research proposal (2–3 pages), and application form. These materials must be received by the Physical Sciences committee chair by the end of the third week of senior year.
  3. Enroll in the program for a minimum of two semesters.
  4. Enroll in the appropriate departmental undergraduate research course for a total of at least 6 credits.
  5. Submit an outline of the thesis to the chair of the committee by the end of January (for a May graduation).
  6. Submit a draft of the thesis to the thesis advisor with sufficient lead-time for a revision to be prepared.
  7. Submit three copies of the thesis and names of recommended reviewers to the chair of the honors committee by four weeks before the end of classes in the semester in which graduation is expected.
  8. Students may volunteer to submit electronically to the honors committee chair a copy of their final approved thesis (in pdf or Word format) for Mann Library. Mann Library has given CALS the opportunity to have theses available to the public electronically if this does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in another journal. A permission form to allow the thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  9. In addition, students are required to submit electronically to the honors committee chair their thesis title, research advisor’s name, and abstract (in Word format). During each summer, the CALS Research Honors Abstracts publication is published (on the web beginning 2009) as a compilation of research honors thesis abstracts.

There is no required format, but the thesis is usually written in the form of a research journal article or a master’s thesis.

Further details of the program can be obtained from the chair of the Physical Sciences Research Honors Committee.

Plant Sciences

Faculty committee: O. K. Vatamaniuk, chair; I. A. Merwin, E. B. Nelson, A. DiTommaso, M. E. Smith-Einarson

Students perform independent scientific research under the guidance of faculty members in the fields of horticultural, agronomic, and soil sciences; plant biology; plant genetics and breeding; and plant pathology.

Guidelines for Applicants:
For admission to the program, students must meet college requirements and submit to the Chair of Plant Sciences Honors Committee (Olena K. Vatamaniuk, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Bradfield Hall 608, email: okv2@cornell.edu) the following:

  • An application form (available at cals.cornell.edu/current/student-research/honors/index.cfm).
  • A project proposal (two to three pages) that includes a title; a brief background to the problem (justification and literature review); a clear statement of objective(s) and hypotheses to be tested; methodology and experimental plan, necessary space, equipment and supplies.
  • A project budget (within 2-3 page limit of project proposal).
  • A signed letter from the faculty supervisor stating that he/she has approved the project plan and that its completion within the remainder of the student’s undergraduate tenure is feasible.

The proposal must be also submitted electronically to the chair of the committee (Olena K. Vatamaniuk: okv2@cornell.edu). The deadline for submission is the end of the third week of the senior year (September 14th for spring 2013 graduates). The research honors committee will review applications within two week and may accept it or return it to the student with specific recommendations for revisions. When the committee accepts the project proposal, the chair will recommend to the associate dean and director of academic programs and to the college registrar that the student be accepted into the research honors program.

Final Report:
Successful completion of the research honors program requires acceptance by the honors committee of two copies of a research report and electronically to the chair of the committee (okv2@cornell.edu). The report should be written in the format of a research publication in the appropriate scientific field. The acceptable report must have been reviewed and corrected according to the recommendations of the research supervisor before the report is submitted to the honors committee. The report must be received by the honors committee at least two weeks before the last day of classes of the semester in which the degree is sought and must be accompanied by a letter from the research supervisor evaluating the research and, if appropriate, recommending graduation with distinction in research. In addition, the research advisor can request Cornell faculty members who could review the thesis of the honors student.

The report will be reviewed by two Cornell faculty, within two week and may be accepted or returned to the student with specific recommendations for revisions. A suitably revised version must be submitted to the committee before the first day of the examination period. When the committee accepts an honors report, the chair will recommend to the associate dean and director of academic programs and to the college registrar that the student be graduated with distinction in research. One copy of the accepted report will be returned to the student with review comments from the committee.

Students may volunteer to submit electronically to the honors committee chair a copy of their final approved thesis (in pdf or Word format) for Mann Library. Mann Library has given CALS the opportunity to have theses available to the public electronically if this does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in another journal. A permission form to allow the thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.

Checklist of Items Necessary for a Plant Science Honors Thesis Plant Science Research Honors Program

_____ Final version of Honors thesis
_____ Two copies of thesis turned in
_____ Letter from thesis advisor
 

Time line for the Plant Science Area Honors Graduates
(January 2013 and May 2013 Graduates)
  January 2013 Graduates:  
  Project Report Due to: Research Supervisor November 2, 2012
  Midsemester presentation to the committee TBA
  Project Report Due to: Honors Committee November 16, 2012
  Committee Comments Due to: Student November 30, 2012
  Final Revised Report Due: December 4, 2012
  May 2013 Graduates:  
  Project Report Due to: Research Supervisor  April 5, 2013
  Midsemester presentation to the committee  TBA
  Thesis Due to: Honors Committee  April 19, 2013
  Committee Comments Due to: Student  May 3, 2013
  Final Revised Thesis Due:  May 7, 2013


Research presentations are recommended for honors graduates (e.g., Cornell Undergraduate Research Board Spring Forum [CURB] usually held in April [courses2.cit.cornell.edu/CURB/], department seminars, and professional meetings).

Social Sciences

Social Sciences Program Area Faculty Committee: N. Chau, chair; P. M. Eloudou-Enyegue, T. D. Park, and C. W. Scherer

Overview
Research projects in the social sciences include applied economics and management, communication, development sociology, education, and information science. Students are accepted into the social sciences research honors program of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences after meeting all the college criteria described above, after evaluation of the student’s written application, and on approval of a detailed thesis proposal.

The program provides an excellent opportunity for students to pursue independent study and research under the guidance/mentorship of a faculty member. Previously approved theses covered a wide range of topics and methodologies. A complete list can be found at ecommons.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/2937.

Guidelines and Due Dates

A. Application and Proposal:

Students must submit one hard copy of the completed application and proposal to the social science program area faculty committee chair two semesters before their prospective graduation date (see deadlines below). Late applications will not be considered.

Graduation Date Proposal Due Date
December 2012 February, 15, 2012
May 2013 September 14, 2012
December 2013 February 15, 2013
May 2014 September 14, 2013
December 2014 February 15, 2014
   

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with faculty during their junior year in order to identify someone to serve as their honors thesis advisor. Honors thesis faculty advisors must be members of the graduate faculty. Exceptions may be granted for persons with special expertise pending petition to the committee.

Working with their honors thesis advisor, students should begin developing their thesis proposal during the second semester of their junior year. The purpose of the proposal is twofold. First, it formalizes a plan of study and establishes a set of expectations between the student and the faculty advisor. Second, the honors committee reviews the proposal to determine whether it is consistent with honors thesis requirements and to make suggestions for improvement.

The proposal should be 5 to 10 typed, double-spaced pages and include the following:

  1. Research Topic: State the problem to be studied or the topic of interest. Review the basic literature and the background of the problem or topic; include a more extensive bibliography to be consulted.
  2. Research Questions/Empirical Hypotheses: Specify the proposed questions to be answered or hypotheses to be tested empirically via collection of data and a mode of analysis accepted in the social sciences.
  3. Research Methods: Discuss the models to be constructed (if any), sampling procedures, data collection procedures (including measurement instruments and survey or experimental designs, if appropriate), and proposed methods of analysis.
  4. Expected Significance: State what new knowledge or information is likely to be forthcoming and why it is important. State any practical applications expected as a result of the research.

Students accepted into the honors program should register for credit directed by the honors thesis faculty advisor (e.g., AEM 4991 , COMM 4991 , DSOC 4991 , EDUC 4991 ).

B. Final Submission for Review and Approval Requirements:

Honors theses should be written according to the form of any standard journal within the appropriate field. Distinction in research is awarded upon approval of the research honors thesis by the committee. Both the results of the research and the methodology (or the logical argument by which the results were achieved) must be reported. Reviews of the literature, practical conclusions or applications, or broad characterizations of an area of inquiry may constitute part of the research report but are not themselves sufficient as research.

The committee recommends the submission of the thesis draft to the research advisor two months before graduation to permit sufficient time for revision.

Completed theses are due approximately one month before graduation:

Graduation Date
Thesis Due Date
December 2012 November 15, 2012
May 2013 April 12, 2013
December 2013 November 15, 2013
May 2014 April 12, 2014
December 2014 November 15, 2014
   

One electronic copy of the final thesis (in pdf or Word format) should be sent by email to the Social Sciences program area faculty committee chair no later than the due date. A supporting letter from the faculty member supervising the work also must be submitted either electronically or as a hard copy.

The thesis will be independently reviewed typically by two faculty committee members within about two weeks. If further revisions are required, students will be informed and a revised draft will be requested. Students will be notified of the committee’s decision by the week of May 25.

Students may volunteer to submit electronically to the honors committee chair a copy of their final approved thesis (in pdf or Word format) for Mann Library. Mann Library has given CALS the opportunity to have theses available to the public electronically if this does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in another journal. A permission form to allow the thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.

In addition, students are required to submit electronically to the honors committee chair their thesis title, research advisor’s name, and abstract (in Word format). During each summer, the CALS Research Honors Abstracts publication is published (on the web beginning 2009) as a compilation of research honors thesis abstracts. 

Off-Campus Opportunities


There are three types of off campus study: (1) credit may be earned at another institution and transferred to Cornell, (2) credit may be earned in Cornell courses that require off-campus activity, or (3) Cornell credit may be earned at a CALS Exchange Partner abroad.

Students who plan to enroll in courses at another institution should refer to the non-Cornell credit policies . Information about enrolling at another institution outside of the United States can be found under “Study Abroad and Other International Opportunities.”

Albany Programs

Off-campus study in Albany, the New York State capital, provides a unique opportunity to combine career interests with academic and legislative concerns. Two formalized opportunities are available. The Assembly Intern Program is offered in the spring semester and provides placement with a staff member of the New York State Assembly. The Senate Assistants Program also occurs during the spring semester and has placements with New York State senators and selected staff. Each program has an academic component as well. Information and applications are available in the CALS Student Services Office, 140 Roberts Hall.

Cornell in Washington

The Cornell in Washington program offers students in all colleges an opportunity to earn full academic credit for a semester in Washington, D.C. Students take part in small seminars led by Cornell faculty, gain work experience through an internship, and carry out individual research projects while living in Cornell housing in the heart of Washington, D.C. Learn more about Cornell in Washington.

Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences must register for ALS 4998  and cannot receive credit for the internship experience alone.

SEA Semester

SEA Semester students study the ocean from the perspectives of science, history, literature, and policy. Each 17-credit program is 12 weeks in length and provides students with the opportunity to gather first-hand knowledge about the ocean, as well as practical seamanship skills. Courses are directly transferable and listed in Courses of Study under SEA. Students spend the first part of the semester studying at the SEA campus in the world-renowned oceanographic community of Woods Hole, Mass. The second part is spent on one of SEA’s two 134-foot sailing research vessels in either the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea or Pacific Ocean. Six unique SEA Semester programs are offered— focusing on a number of topics including island history and culture, climate change, and biodiversity. SEA Semester: Ocean Exploration is also offered as a 12-credit, eight-week summer program. Students of all majors are welcome and no prior sailing experience is necessary.

For more information, contact Sea Education Association, P.O. Box 6, Woods Hole, MA 02543, (800) 552-3633 x 770, admissions@sea.edu, or visit www.sea.edu. CALS students should file an intent to study off campus form with the college registrar as early as possible to ensure proper registration and enrollment in courses. Program costs are to be paid in place of regular Cornell tuition and fees.

Instructors for SEA Semester include faculty of the Sea Education Association and visiting faculty from a number of colleges and universities.

Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML)

The Shoals Marine Laboratory, run cooperatively by Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire, is a seasonal field station located on 95-acre Appledore Island off the coast of Portsmouth, NH, in the Gulf of Maine. SML provides a unique opportunity to study marine science in a setting noted for its biota, geology, and history. Please refer to the Shoals Marine Laboratory  section under Biological Sciences for a list of courses (BIOSM) offered.

For more information, contact the Shoals Marine Laboratory office, 106A Kennedy Hall, 255-3717, email: shoals-lab@ornell.edu, or visit www.sml.cornell.edu.

Internships

Several departments in the college offer supervised internships for academic credit. Internships may be granted for pay and/or credit with a limit of up to 3 credits per internship and no more than 6 credits total allowed for internships consisting of off-campus work experiences that do not have the continued presence of a Cornell faculty member. The number of credits awarded should reflect the amount of knowledge gained per internship and/or following the CALS guidelines for assigning credits. The 6-credit allotment includes transfer credit and credit from other internships in other colleges at Cornell. The 6-credit limit does not apply to secondary, post-secondary, and Cooperative Extension teaching internships. The awarding of credit will not be allowed in cases where a student brings to the college or to a professor a description of a past experience and requests credit. Note that a maximum of 15 (prorated for transfer students) of the 120 credits required for the degree may be taken in internships, independent study courses, and undergraduate teaching or research. For internships not governed by an established internship course, the student must enroll in a 4970-level course for the number of credits assigned.

To ensure a fair and manageable system to deal with internships, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has set forth guidelines to serve as minimum requirements for a student to receive internship credit.

  1. Credit will be assigned or accepted only in cases in which a Cornell CALS faculty member is directly involved in determining both the course content and in evaluating the student’s work.
  2. The internship should be purposeful, provide opportunities for reflection, present a continual challenge to the student, and incorporate active learning, with the student an active participant in all stages of the experience from planning to evaluation.
  3. Before a student begins the internship, a learning contract needs to be written between the Cornell CALS faculty member internship advisor on campus, the supervisor at the location, and the student. This contract should state the conditions of the work assignments, supervisor, learning goals, number of credits, and methods of evaluation of the work. An Independent Study, Research, Teaching and Internship Form can be obtained from the CALS Student Services Office, or online through DUST (dust.cals.cornell.edu), click on Forms and Policies. Some departments may have their own form.
  4. Students should further develop the internship experience based on the college Experiential Learning Criteria, which can be found at cals.cornell.edu/cals/teaching/elr.
  5. Students must keep their Cornell CALS faculty member internship advisor updated on the progress of the internship while away from campus.

Arrangements should be made with the offering department for assignment of a faculty mentor for planning the program of work and for evaluating student performance. Individual departments may add more requirements to the internship based on specific needs such as time constraints, faculty workloads, and the relationship of the internship to the goals of the department. The specific terms of the contract should be recorded, using the Independent Study, Research, Teaching, and Internship Form, available in 140 Roberts Hall or in DUST (dust.cals.cornell.edu) under Forms and Policies.

Pay and Credit for Undergraduate Research, Teaching, and Internships

Research: students can receive pay or credit. They can partition it so that they receive pay for part of the research and credit for the other as long as the work does not overlap.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant: students can receive either pay or credit, but not both.

Internships: students may receive both pay and credit for the same internship experience.

Study Abroad and Other International Opportunities


As the land grant university to the world, we believe that our students should have knowledge and cultural competence extending beyond the borders of the United States.  To support students’ diverse interests, needs and desires, a great variety of international options are available to CALS students. While studying abroad for a semester or a year can be one of the most enriching ways to gain in-depth knowledge of another culture’s customs, people, and language—while making progress toward your Cornell degree—it’s the not the only way. 

Study abroad and international opportunities available to CALS students include:

  • Semester or academic year abroad, including CALS-sponsored options awarding Cornell credit
  • Summer or winter study abroad
  • Internships, service-learning and volunteering
  • Study Tours led for Cornell faculty or third-party providers

Students interested in participating in a semester or academic year program abroad must attend a CALS Study Abroad 101 session, apply through the Cornell Abroad or CALS Exchange Office, and receive approval from their faculty advisor and the College.

Current study abroad policies and further details can be found at cals.cornell.edu/studentservices (click on “international opportunities”).

Ithaca College and Wells College Exchange Programs

The Cornell University–Ithaca College and Wells College Exchange Programs are reciprocal arrangement that allow matriculated full-time students, with prior approval and within stated stipulations, to cross-register at the other institution. A student must be enrolled in 12 academic credits at Cornell to remain in good academic standing. Ithaca College and Wells College credits will be treated as non-Cornell credits and reflected on the Cornell transcript as such. This arrangement is available during the fall and spring semesters and is contingent upon space availability. A maximum of 12 credits may be taken through this program.

For further information, contact the Cornell School of Continuing Education office, B20 Day Hall, 255-4987, or www.sce.cornell.edu/exmu.