Students who major in Plant Sciences must complete coursework for the college and program that includes approximately two years of “core” or foundational coursework plus the required coursework in at least one concentration; develop an ePortfolio; and engage in an out-of-classroom experience related to the major. Core coursework in biology, chemistry, statistics and plant biology should be completed as early as possible, and transfer students should complete most of these courses before matriculating to Cornell.
NOTE: All courses taken for the major, including concentration courses, must be taken for a letter grade.
Biology (6-8 credits):
PS majors must take at least one semester of introductory biology and one semester of an investigative lab in one of the following sequences:
- Students without AP Biology must take BIOG 1140: Foundations of Biology (4 credits) + PLSCI 1420: Functional Plant Biology (3 credits)
- Students who score 4-5 on the AP Biology exam may take BIOG 1140: Foundations of Biology (4 credits) or PLSCI 1115: The Nature of Plants (3 credits) or BIOEE 1610: Ecology and the Environment (3-4 credits) or BIOEE 1780: An Introduction to Evolutionary Biology & Diversity (4-5 credits) or BIOG 1440: Comparative Physiology (3 credits) or BIOMG 1350: Cell and Developmental Biology (3 credits) + PLSCI 1420: Functional Plant Biology (3 credits)
- Students on the pre-med track must take BIOG 1440: Comparative Physiology (3 credits) + BIOMG 1350: Cell and Developmental Biology (3 credits) + BIOG 1500: Investigative Biology Laboratory (2 credits)
Chemistry (7-15 credits):
PS majors must take general and organic chemistry in one of the sequences below. Students must obtain written permission from the Plant Sciences Director of Undergraduate Studies before beginning sequence #3 or #4 below. PS majors should NOT enroll in CHEM 2150: Honors General and Inorganic Chemistry (4 credits).
- AP Chemistry credit: score of 5 (4 credits) + CHEM 1570: Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (3 credits)
- CHEM 1560: Introduction to General Chemistry (4 credits) + CHEM 1570: Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (3 credits)
- CHEM 2070: General Chemistry I (4 credits) + CHEM 2080 (General Chemistry II (4 credits) + CHEM 1570: Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (3 credits)
- CHEM 2070: General Chemistry (4 credits) + CHEM 2080: General Chemistry II (4 credits) + CHEM 3530: Principles of Organic Chemistry (3 credits) or CHEM 3570: Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences (3 credits) and CHEM 3580: Organic Chemistry (3 credits)
Statistics (3-4 credits):
PS majors must take a course in introductory statistics from the list below. Other statistics courses must be approved by petition of the PSCC.
- AP Statistics credit: score of 5 (4 credits) may be used to satisfy the introductory statistics course requirement.
- BTRY 3010/STSCI 2200: Biological Statistics I (4 credits). Prereq: one semester of college-level calculus.
- ENTOM 3030: Applied Statistics: Biological Experiments in Practice (3 credits)
- STSCI 2150: Introductory Statistics for Biology (4 credits)
Core Coursework (36 credits):
PS majors must take all of the courses listed below:
- PLSCI 1101: Plant Science and Systems (4 credits)
- PLSCI 1110: Explorations in the Plant Sciences: Pathways to Success (2 credits)
This leadership course is required of all new PS students, including transfers.
- PLSCI 1420: Functional Plant Biology (3 credits)
- PLBRG 2250: Plant Genetics (4 credits) or BIOMG 2800: Genetics and Genomics Lectures (3 credits) + BIOMG 2801: Laboratory in Genetics & Genomics (2 credits)
- PLBIO 2410: Introductory Plant Diversity and Evolution (3 credits)
- PLBIO 2440: Evolutionary Plant Biology (3 credits)
- PLBIO 2480: Vascular Plant Systematics (4 credits)
- PLSCS 2600: Soil Science (4 credits)
- PLBIO 3420 + 3421: Plant Physiology, Lectures and Laboratory (5 credits)
- PLSCI 4460 + 4461: Plant Behavior and Biotic Interactions, Lecture and Laboratory (4 credits)
Experiential Learning Requirement (1 credit):
PLSCI 4900: Reflection on PS Experience (1 credit)
PS students must complete this course to satisfy the experiential learning requirement in the program. Students may also enroll in PLSCI 2990, PLSCI 4960, or PLSCI 4990, although not required to do so.
Plant Sciences Student Seminars (4 credits):
- PLSCI 4925: Plant Sciences Senior Portfolio (1 credit)
- PLSCI 4950: Senior Seminar in Plant Sciences (3 credits)
This course is required of all graduating PS students, including those who graduate early or in January/August.
PS students will create an ePortfolio to track and highlight their learning in the program. PS students are expected to update their ePortfolio every semester they are enrolled in courses and to present it to their advisor to complete PLSCI 4925 before graduating. Introduction to the ePortfolio will be done in PLSCI 1110.
Concentration Coursework (variable credit):
PS students must declare one of the concentrations below by the end of the first semester of their junior year.
- Ecology of Managed Landscapes (Ecology)
- Organic Agriculture (Organics)
- Plant Breeding & Genetics (Breeding)
- Plant Computational Biology (Big Data)
- Plant Evolution and Systematics (Evolution)
- Plant Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology (Physiology)
- Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology (Plant Diseases)
- Plants and Human Health (Medicinal Plants)
- Public Garden Management (PGM)
- Soil Science (Soils)
- Sustainable Plant Production (Sustainability)
- Design Your Own Concentration (DYOC)
Detailed information about the specific requirements for each concentration can be found here.