Courses of Study 2019-2020 
    Mar 26, 2023  
Courses of Study 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cornell Botanic Gardens

Nevin Welcome Center

124 Comstock Knoll Drive
(607) 255-2400

Cornell Botanic Gardens is responsible for the natural beauty of the Cornell University campus. We oversee three distinct areas: cultivated gardens; arboretum; and natural areas. Together these comprise one-third of the Ithaca, New York, campus, and with off-campus natural areas, a total of 3,600 acres. 

Our mission is to inspire people - through cultivation, conservation, and education - to understand, appreciate, and nurture plants and the cultures they sustain. The world demands that we engage with communities and peoples to save plants and habitats. We are committed to raising awareness, motivating action, and sowing messages of hope.

Our natural and constructed landscapes and natural history collections are expertly tended by 40 staff members, and along with educational programs, support learning opportunities for all ages. 

  • The 35-acre cultivated gardens surrounding the Nevin Welcome Center include specialty gardens of herbs, flowers, vegetables, perennials, ornamental grasses, groundcovers, and rhododendrons, among others.
  • The 100-acre F.R. Newman Arboretum is home to collections of nut trees, crabapples, maples, urban trees, and shrubs. Its rolling hills and valleys were carved by Fall Creek following the retreat of the last glaciers more than 10,000 years ago. Today, the arboretum offers a pastoral setting and panoramic views, amidst a living museum of trees, shrubs, and woodland plants.

  • The most beloved natural areas on and around the Cornell campus are stewarded by the Cornell Botanic Gardens. These include the Cascadilla and Fall Creek Gorges, Beebe Lake, and an additional 30 miles of public trails. In addition to maintaining these treasures for the enjoyment of the public, the Botanic Gardens protects rare and endangered native plants and collaborates with scientists in many domains of research and conservancy.

Credit Courses

Cornell Botanic Gardens offers for-credit courses:

  • Cornell Botanic Gardens Fall Lecture Series, PLHRT 4800 , is a 1-credit S–U class offered each fall, featuring prominent speakers lecturing about the natural world.
  • Independent Studies, PLHRT 4970 , are available to students wishing to gain hands-on experience working and learning alongside botanic gardens staff.
  • “Take It Outside” (PLHRT 4970 )–this class offers students the chance to explore the campus landscape, visiting a new place each week to learn about its history, what makes it unique, and how it can help you succeed at Cornell. Offered through the Learning Where You Live program, the class is open to all students but preference is given to first-year students.

Noncredit classes and workshops such as botanical illustration, wellness programs, gardening techniques, and tours are also offered, visit the Learn page on our website, or call (607) 255-2400 for more information.


Since the 1990s, more than 160 Cornell University students have worked side by side with Cornell Botanic Gardens’ knowledgeable staff, learning and having fun as participants in our summer internship program. Positions in horticulture, natural areas stewardship, education and communications/marketing are available each year, beginning after finals in May. All positions build on classroom learning through hands-on work while encouraging students’ interests in horticulture, outreach and the natural world. Visit the Internship page on our website for details.

Master’s Program

Cornell Botanic Gardens offers a one-year Master of Professional Studies degree in Public Garden Leadership in partnership with the Section of Horticulture in the School of Integrated Plant Sciences. Visit the Graduate Study page on our website for program details.

Planning a Visit

To discover and explore Cornell Botanic Gardens, visit and stop by our Nevin Welcome Center located at 124 Comstock Knoll Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850.