Courses of Study 2018-2019 
    Nov 25, 2020  
Courses of Study 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Degree Programs

In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) offers programs leading to the degrees bachelor of science (B.S.), master of science (M.S.), and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.). Professional degrees include the master of professional studies and master of landscape architecture. Some registered professional licensing and certification programs are also available.

All curricula required for degrees in CALS are registered with the New York State Education Department.

Bachelor of Science Degree

Departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences foster study for the bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in over 20 major programs. To qualify for the degree, students must fulfill requirements established by the faculty of the College and administered through the Office of Academic Programs. Students are admitted into a single major and have the option during their academic career to pursue a second major within CALS as well as complete one or more minors offered by the University. Course requirements for double majors may overlap. Students interested in declaring a second major must contact the department of interest  to discuss requirements and identify a second faculty advisor.

The college learning outcomes expected for all students to earn a B.S. degree are listed below:

  • Explain, evaluate, and effectively interpret factual claims, theories, and assumptions in the student’s discipline(s) (especially in one or more of the college’s priority areas of land grant–agricultural sciences, applied social sciences, environmental sciences, and/or life sciences) and more broadly in the sciences and humanities
  • Find, access, critically evaluate, and ethically use information
  • Integrate quantitative and qualitative information to reach defensible and creative conclusions
  • Communicate effectively through writing, speech, and visual information
  • Articulate the views of people with diverse perspectives
  • Demonstrate the capability to work both independently and in cooperation with others
  • Apply methods of sustainability to the analysis of one or more major challenges facing humans and the Earth’s resources.

The following units offer major fields of study for undergraduates. A department advising coordinator is listed for each unit. Students should consult with the faculty or staff coordinator regarding requirements and opportunities for concentrations in the major.

Undergraduate Majors

Agricultural sciences: Kari Richards, 707 Bradfield Hall,

Animal science: Carol McEvoy, 149 Morrison Hall,

Applied economics and management: Nicole Heasley, B60B Warren Hall,

Atmospheric science: Mark Wysocki, 1114 Bradfield Hall,

Biological engineering: Brenda Marchewka, 207 Riley-Robb Hall,

Biological sciences: Amy Haner, 216 Stimson Hall,

Biology & society: Stacey Stone, 306 Rockefeller Hall,

Biometry and statistics: Beatrix Johnson, 1198 Comstock Hall,

Communication: Heather Crespin, 451 Mann Library Building,

Development sociology: Allison Barrett, 240D Warren Hall,

Earth and atmospheric sciences: Savannah Williams, 2124 Snee Hall,

Entomology: Stephanie Westmiller, 2134 Comstock Hall,

Environmental engineering: Brenda Marchewka, 207 Riley–Robb Hall,

Environmental and sustainability sciences: Suzanne Wapner, G15 Fernow,

Food science: Marin Cherry, M10C Stocking Hall,

Global & public health sciences: Terry Mingle, B21 Savage Hall,

Information science: Ani Mercincavage, 110H Gates Hall,

Interdisciplinary studies: Lisa Ryan, CALS Student Services Office, 140 Roberts Hall,

International agriculture and rural development: Diane Munn, 609 Bradfield Hall,

Landscape architecture: Jamie Vanucchi, 454 Kennedy Hall,

Nutritional sciences: Terry Mingle, B21 Savage Hall,

Plant sciences: Leah Cook, 135C Plant Science,

Viticulture and enology:  Marin Cherry, M10C Stocking Hall,

Undergraduate Minors

Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences may pursue one or more minor fields of study offered by any department within Cornell University, subject to limitations placed by the department offering the minor or by the student’s major. Minor fields of study do not require an academic advisor, but each minor field has a contact person who will provide information and verify on the Application to Graduate that the student will successfully complete the requirements of the minor by graduation. Students may complete as many minors as they wish; the requirements of minors may overlap. Minors offered by CALS are described along with the majors later in the CALS section of this catalog. Not all majors or departments offer minors. Minors available at the university can be found on Cornell University’s academics website (

Graduate and Professional Fields of Study

CALS offers research-centered (MS/PhD) advanced degrees in more than 30 fields of study and course-based professional master’s degrees in several key areas of specialization. While research-centered graduate degrees often lead to academic careers and scientific discovery, professional master’s degrees (MEng, MLA, and MPS) are designed to enhance careers in industry, government, and non-profit agencies. To learn more about graduate degree programs available, reference the listing below of current directors of graduate studies. General information on graduate study at Cornell University is available on the Graduate School’s website.

Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) 

The M.P.S. program is designed especially for those who are interested in the growing complexity and diversity of systems and issues in the agricultural, life, social, and environmental sciences and offers challenging opportunities for those with appropriate skills, experience, and educational backgrounds. People who have already embarked on professional careers and those who plan to continue education in their current fields or related ones often select this program.

The M.P.S. program is typically a one-year program that emphasizes breadth of training via course work rather than research experience. M.P.S. degree candidates take the same courses as other graduate students and complete a problem-solving project. CALS offers a variety of M.P.S. degree concentrations tailored to each student’s professional graduate development objectives.

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

The intention of this accredited, license qualifying curriculum is the teaching of the theoretical underpinnings of the field of landscape architecture while building the necessary skills for practicing this challenging profession.  The program consist of design studios, courses in technical and computer skills, and the development of a concentration focused on the student’s personal area of interest. Individuals holding an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture or architecture or having unique employment experience may also apply for the MLA degree.

Dual Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning

The dual degree in regional planning (M.R.P.) and landscape architecture (M.L.A.) prepares students for work in areas such as physical planning, environmental analysis, community development, and urban design — skills which are highly sought after in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Concurrent degree candidates may earn two distinct and independent graduate degrees from both colleges and must satisfy all requirements for both degrees. For further information about the Dual Master’s of Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture, visit the City and Regional Planning website.

Directors of Graduate Studies

Agriculture and life sciences [M.P.S. (agr.)]: Office of Professional Programs, 211 Kennedy Hall,

Animal science: Michael Thonney, 114 Morrison Hall,

Applied economics and management: PhD: Arnab Basu, 441 Warren Hall, MS: Calum Turvey, 450A Warren Hall, MPS: David Just, 210C Warren Hall,

Atmospheric sciences: Stephen Colucci, 1116 Bradfield Hall, 

Biochemistry, molecular, and cell biology: Marcus Smolka, 339 Weill Hall, and Chris Fromme, 457 Weill Hall,

Biological and environmental engineering: Peter Hess, 202 Riley-Robb Hall,

Biophysics: Gerald W. Feigenson, 201 Biotechnology Bldg.,

Communication: Susan Fussell, 484 Mann Library Building,

Computational Biology: Jason Mezey, 101B Biotechnology Bldg.,

Development sociology:  John Sipple, 261 Warren Hall,

Ecology and evolutionary biology: Monica Geber, E413 Corson Hall,

Entomology: Brian Nault, 525 Barton Lab,

Environmental toxicology: Andrew Yen, T4-008 Vet Research Tower,

Food science and technology: Martin Wiedmann, 341 Stocking Hall,

Genetics, genomics and development: Andrew Grimson, 445 Biotechnology Bldg.,

Horticulture: William Miller, 28 Plant Science Bldg.,

International agriculture and rural development [M.P.S. (agr.)]: James Lassoie, 201 Fernow Hall,

International development: James Lassoie, 201 Fernow Hall,

Landscape architecture [M.L.A.]: Josh Cerra, 444 Kennedy Hall,

Microbiology: Joseph Peters, 175A Wing Hall,

Natural resources: Joseph Yavitt, G21 Fernow Hall,

Neurobiology and behavior: Mike Webster, W361 Mudd Hall,

Nutritional sciences: Barbara Strupp, 217 Weill Hall & 102 Savage Hall,

Plant biology: Michael Scanlon, 140 Emerson Hall,

Plant breeding and genetics: Michael Mazourek, 248 Emerson Hall,

Plant pathology and plant-microbe biology: Adam Bogdanove, 360 Plant Science Bldg.,

Soil and crop sciences: Olena Vatamaniuk, 608 Bradfield Hall,

Statistics: James Booth, 1172 Comstock Hall,