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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Sep 23, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2015-2016 [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 fourth 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 submit an application online through DUST to update their degree plan with their intentions of enrolling in a dual degree program.

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 should submit an application online through DUST to update their degree plan with their intentions of enrolling in a dual degree program.

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers a professional degree curriculum in landscape architecture at both undergraduate (BSLA) and graduate levels (MLA). The curricula for both the undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board.

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 School’s website. 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: Michael Thonney, 114 Morrison Hall, mlt2@cornell.edu

Applied economics and management: David Just, 210C Warren Hall, drj3@cornell.edu

Atmospheric sciences: Natalie Mahowald, 2140 Snee Hall, mahowald@cornell.edu

Biochemistry, molecular, and cell biology: Scott Emr, 441 Weill Hall, sde26@cornell.edu, and William Brown, 359 Biotechnology Bldg., wjb5@cornell.edu

Biological and environmental engineering: John March, 202 Riley-Robb Hall, jcm224@cornell.edu

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

Communication: Susan Fussell, 332 Kennedy Hall, sfussell@cornell.edu

Computational Biology: Jason Mezey, 101D Biotechnology Bldg., jgm45@cornell.edu

Development sociology: Tom Hirschl, 260 Warren Hall, tah4@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: Bryan Danforth, 3124 Comstock Hall, bnd1@cornell.edu

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

Food science and technology: Martin Wiedmann, 347 Stocking Hall, mw16@cornell.edu

Genetics, genomics and development: Kelly Liu, 439 Biotechnology Bldg., jl53@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: Joe Peters, 175A Wing Hall, jep48@cornell.edu

Natural resources: Shorna Allred, 102 Fernow Hall, srb237@cornell.edu

Neurobiology and behavior: H. Kern Reeve, W309 Mudd Hall, hkr1@cornell.edu

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

Physiology: David Lin, T2-001 Vet Research Tower, dml45@cornell.edu, and Mark Roberson, T4-018 Vet Research Tower, msr14@cornell.edu

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

Plant breeding: Walter De Jong, 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/undergraduate-grants-proposal

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

Cornell University Office of Undergraduate Research:

www.undergraduateresearch.cornell.edu

Cornell Undergraduate Research Board:

courses2.cit.cornell.edu/CURB/default.htm (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, environmental and sustainability sciences, information science, landscape studies, nutritional sciences, physical sciences, plant science, and social sciences. Students in any CALS major may be eligible to participate in any of these program areas. 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

Honors Degree Requirements

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES

An undergraduate wishing to enroll in the honors program must have completed a minimum of 55 credits, at least 30 while at Cornell. Additionally, the student must have a cumulative Cornell GPA of 3.0 or higher at the time of entry, unless otherwise noted by a particular program.

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 and discuss research ideas with a faculty member during the second semester of their junior year. Students are required to submit applications and thesis proposals to the appropriate office in accordance with their program area procedures and deadlines. Knowing the deadlines and submission procedures for a particular program area is the student’s responsibility.

Applications

  • Applications for Biological Sciences students are available at 200 Stimson Hall
  • Applications for Biology and Society students are available at 306 Rockefeller Hall
  • Students of all other programs can find application forms at the CALS Registrar in 140 Roberts Hall or online.

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. Once the college registrar verifies each student’s GPA, the CALS Research Honors Program Committee gives final approval of all qualified applicants, officially enrolling them in the honors program. Additional requirements for application and completion of the honors program are specified by each program area.

HONORS DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Students enrolled in the honors program may earn credits for their research by enrolling in an independent research course (required by some program areas). Funding opportunities are also available.

Students are required to present their research in the form of an oral presentation or poster session. Some departments have a seminar series during which honors presentations may be given; the Cornell Undergraduate Research Board (CURB) Forum is another possible venue for presentations.  Students should discuss presentation options with their faculty mentors.

In addition to a presentation, successful completion of the honors program requires a research report, written in the style of a master’s thesis or scholarly journal article. Students may volunteer to publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair. Thesis examples are available on the web at ecommons.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/2936/simple-search; each program area chair may also be able to provide relevant examples.

Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

Unless otherwise indicated within individual program area descriptions, theses should be submitted to the research program committee no later than four weeks before the end of classes during 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.

The research honors committee for each program area then recommends to the college registrar those students who qualify for honors. Only those who maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 and complete all of their honor requirements will be graduated with “distinction in research.”

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.
  • Enroll in the Honors Program using the CALS application form within the first 6 weeks of the fall semester, senior year.
  • Register for ANSC 4990 - Undergraduate 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).
  • Students may volunteer to publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  • Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

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 mentors 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: Suman Seth, 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 another faculty member willing to serve as their advisor. At least one of these must be a member of the Biology & Society major. 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 honors program only by permission of the department. Students must enroll for both the fall and spring semesters. BSOC 4991 -BSOC 4992  is cross-listed with the College of Human Ecology as HE 4991 HE 4992 . Those wishing to receive Human Ecology credit must sign up for HE 4991 -HE 4992 . Students wishing to receive the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences credit must sign up for ALS 4990 . They must attend the honors seminar during the fall semester. 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 8: Thesis completed in a form satisfactory for evaluation and submitted to the three readers.
  • April 22: Thesis defense accomplished.
  • May 6: One bound copy of completed and defended thesis submitted to the Undergraduate Coordinator in 306 Rockefeller Hall.

Students may volunteer to publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.

Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

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 4970  - Individual Study in Entomology or ENTOM 4990  - Undergraduate Research in Entomology during any semester while working toward a research honors thesis. Credits and grade option for satisfying requirements of the course should be discussed with the thesis advisor (below).

Note: Enrolling in an independent study course, either ENTOM 4970  or ENTOM 4990 , 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 publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  10. Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

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

Environmental and Sustainability Sciences

Faculty director: T. J. Fahey, chair

The research honors program in environmental and sustainability sciences involves original, independent research that generates novel findings. Students learn how to design and carry out research under the direct supervision and guidance of a faculty member or research associate (thesis advisor). Most students in the program engage in research for multiple years to learn the iterative nature of research. Students should meet on a regular basis with their thesis advisor whose responsibility it is to guide and approve the thesis work. The research findings are presented in a written thesis. 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 will present the findings of their research, either orally or via a poster, in a special symposium in late May.

Students should adhere to the following schedule.

Junior Year

  1. Identify a thesis advisor and research topic.
  2. File an informal application with the faculty director. The application includes i) a short description of the research and ii) advisor information.

Senior Year

  1. NTRES 4990 - Undergraduate Research  can be added (in consultation with your research advisor) to receive credit for research work done in fall and/or spring. Registration is done using CALS Special Studies form available online.
  2. Sixth week of fall semester: Submit formal application to faculty director (G-16 Fernow Hall)
  3. April 15: Submit one copy of the thesis to the thesis advisor and the faculty director. The faculty director will arrange for a review of the thesis by a faculty reader.
  4. May 4: Pick up faculty reader comments from the faculty director.
  5. May 15: Submit two copies of the final thesis: one for the college, one for the program director.
  6. Friday before Graduation: Participate in and present the findings of their research, either orally or via a poster, in an event for parents, faculty, and peers.
  7. Students may volunteer to publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  8. Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

Information Science

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

Landscape Studies

Faculty committee: J.F. Cerra, 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:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Carry out an independent research effort that is original and separate from the work of others who may be investigating similar subjects.
  4. Submit an outline of the thesis to the chair of the committee by the end of January for a May graduation.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Send one bound copy of the completed and defended thesis to the honors committee chair by May 13.
  8. Students may volunteer to publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  9. Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

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 grade point average, equal or higher than 3.2, 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 pages 51-54 of the following website: http://www.human.cornell.edu/dns/academic/upload/Survival-Guide-2014-2015.pdf 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 “Honors Application Form” and “Advisor Agreement Form” along with 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 junior spring semester.

Students receive academic credit for work on their honors project under NS 4990 . The 6 required NS 4990  credits may be taken mostly during senior year (3 credits per semester). Any additional research credits can be obtained under NS 4010 . 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 publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.

Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

Physical Sciences

Faculty committee: M. W. Wysocki, 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 publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  9. Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

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 Science

Faculty committee: O. K. Vatamaniuk, chair; A. DiTommaso, J. T. Kao-Kniffin, T. E. Pawlowska, M. E. Smith-Einarson

The Research Honors Program in Plant Sciences is designed for students interested to obtain advanced training in laboratory and/or field research through completion of an original research project under the guidance of a faculty member from the School of Integrative Plant Sciences (SIPS). The breadth and diversity of research interests of SIPS faculty provide students a valuable opportunity to engage in basic and applied research to be well-positioned to pursue career goals. Students may also work with faculty in any department at Cornell as long as the research topic deals with Plant Sciences.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES

Students interested in enrolling into the Research Honors Program in Plant Sciences must identify a prospective honors project advisor and initiate an independent research project during their junior year.

For admission to the program, students must meet college requirements and submit electronically the specified below documents to the committee chair (Olena K. Vatamaniuk: okv2@cornell.edu) by the end of the third week of the senior year (September 18, 2015 for spring, 2016 graduates):

  • An application form (available at cals.cornell.edu/academics/student-research/honors/).
  • A project proposal (two to three pages) that includes a title, brief introduction (justification and literature review), a clear statement of objective(s) and hypotheses to be tested; methodology and experimental plan, list of references.
  • A project budget (within 2-3 page limit of the project proposal).
  • Research advisor must send a follow-up email 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 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 director of academic programs and to the college registrar that the student be accepted into the research honors program.

HONORS DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Honors candidates usually enroll for credit in PLSCI 4990 - Independent Undergraduate Research in Plant Science   under the direction of the faculty member acting as Honors supervisor, although the program does not require enrollment for credit.

Students accepted into the Plant Science Honors Program must complete the following in order to graduate with Distinction in Research:

  • Maintain Cornell GPA of at least 3.2
  • Participate in honors group meetings
  • Present research findings to peers and SIPS faculty in the last semester (through Senior Seminars, see Plant Science Major Requirements). It is recommended that Plant Science Honors graduates present their work at the Cornell Undergraduate Research Board Spring Forum [CURB] usually held in April (courses2.cit.cornell.edu/CURB/].
  • Submit honors thesis by the scheduled deadline (thesis should be submitted electronically to the committee chair (okv2@cornell.edu).
  • Students may volunteer to publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  • Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.
     
Time line for the Plant Science Area Honors Graduates
(January 2016 and May 2016 Graduates)
  January 2016 Graduates:  
  Project Report Due to: Research Supervisor November 2, 2015
  Midsemester presentation to the committee TBA
  Project Report Due to: Honors Committee November 16, 2015
  Committee Comments Due to: Student December 1, 2015
  Final Revised Report Due: December 8, 2015
  May 2016 Graduates:  
  Project Report Due to: Research Supervisor  April 4, 2016
  Midsemester presentation to the committee  TBA
  Thesis Due to: Honors Committee  April 18, 2016
  Committee Comments Due to: Student  May 2, 2016
  Final Revised Thesis Due:  May 9, 2016

Social Sciences

Social Sciences Program Area Faculty Committee: N. Chau, chair; N. Bazarova, P. M. Eloundou-Enyegue, and S. Fussell

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
May 2016 September 15, 2015
December 2016 February 15, 2016
May 2017 September 15, 2016
December 2017 February 15, 2017

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 may register for credit directed by the honors thesis faculty advisor (e.g., AEM 4990 , COMM 4990 , DSOC 4990 , EDUC 4990 ).

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 2015 November 16, 2015
May 2016 April 15, 2016
December 2016 November 15, 2016
May 2017 April 17, 2017

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 publish their original honors research at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.

Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

We also recommend students to consult the following resources as they prepare their thesis drafts:

 

Off-Campus Opportunities


There are three types of off campus study: (1) credit may be earned at another Study Abroad institution, with prior approval, 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 University 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.

Cornell in Washington

Cornell in Washington is a fall or spring semester, or summer, program in the heart of Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital.  This unique experience offers students in all colleges an opportunity to earn full academic credit for a semester or summer in Washington, D.C.  Students take part in small seminars led by Cornell faculty, and gain work experience through an internship of their choosing. In the fall and spring semesters, students also have the chance to carry out individual research projects. Learn more about the Cornell in Washington Program.

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, operated jointly by Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire, is a seasonal field station located on 95-acre Appledore Island, ME off the coast of Portsmouth, NH. SML provides a unique opportunity to study basic biology, marine biology, marine science and sustainability on an island noted for its biota, sustainability program, and place in New England history. Please refer to the Shoals Marine Laboratory  section under Biological Sciences for a list of courses (BIOSM) offered.

For more information, contact Shoals Marine Laboratory, 607-255-3717, email: shoals-lab@cornell.edu, or visit www.shoalsmarinelaboratory.org.

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. A Special Studies 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/about/leadership/oap/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 Special Studies Form, available in 140 Roberts Hall or in DUST (dust.cals.cornell.edu) under Special Studies Form.

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.

Students attending study abroad programs during the fall or spring are required to obtain pre-approval from their faculty advisor and the CALS Study Abroad Advisor. There are two approved channels for studying abroad during the fall or spring: CALS Exchange Program or Cornell Abroad.

  • Option 1: The CALS Exchange Program: Earn Cornell credit. Credits count as letter grades, but are not factored into GPA. Students may earn between 15 and 22 credits per semester.
  • Option 2: Cornell Abroad: Earn transfer credit. Grades are not factored into GPA. Students are capped at 15 credits per semester.

Please note: Students cannot petition retroactively for credit for study abroad undertaken while a Cornell student. All students who would like to study abroad must apply through the CALS Exchange Program or Cornell Abroad office prior to the study abroad experience.

Other opportunities:

  • Summer or winter study abroad
  • Internships, service-learning and volunteering abroad
  • Research abroad
  • Faculty-Led Study Tours

Current study abroad policies and further details can be found at cals.cornell.edu/academics/international/programs.

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. Students completing courses at Ithaca College for the Applied Exercise Science minor (www.human.cornell.edu/dns/academic/applied-exercise-minor.cfm) will be receiving Cornell credit for these courses (these courses will count towards the required 60 Cornell Credits, but the grades will not be factored into the Cornell GPA). 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.