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Plant Breeding Minor

The Minor Program of Study in Plant Breeding provides a basic understanding of crop improvement, a historical perspective of the discipline, and a sense of how plant breeding contributes to modern society’s demands for food, fiber, fuel, and environmental sustainability.  A minor in plant breeding can complement most any major in the life sciences.

To satisfy the requirements for the Minor in Plant Breeding, the minor candidate must successfully complete the three courses listed below (10 credits) below and a minimum of five additional credits of Plant Breeding or related courses at the 2000-level and higher, for a minimum requirement of 15 credits in plant breeding related coursework. Courses that fulfill the Plant Science major concentration in Plant Genetics and Breeding qualify as plant breeding related courses.  Other courses would require the approval of the minor advisor.  Special topic courses, independent study, seminar courses, and courses without regular instruction cannot be counted toward the credit requirement without prior written approval of the program advisor.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade, and a grade of “C” or better must be received to count toward the minor. Any undergraduate student, except those majoring in Plant Sciences, may enroll in the minor.

How to Apply

  1. Submit a copy of the application form and contact minor advisor Mark Sorrells to discuss your interests in plant breeding and decide which courses you will take to satisfy the minor. 
  2. Complete the courses required for the plant breeding minor. 
  3. In your second-to-last semester, prior to pre-enrollment, meet with the minor advisor to determine if you have completed all requirements or if you need to take one or more classes your last semester. 
  4. After this meeting, email the Minor Coordinator, Leah Cook, with a copy to the minor advisor, listing any courses you need to complete in your final semester.
  5. A final grade audit will be completed a few weeks after graduation, and the minor will be added to your academic record at that time.

Requirements

Plant Breeding Core

The following three courses are required:


PLBRG 2010 Plants, Genes, and Global Food Production 3 cr Fall
PLBRG 2250 Plant Genetics 4 cr Spring
PLBRG 4030 Genetic Improvement of Crop Plants 3 cr Fall

Plant Breeding Minor Elective Courses 

5 credits minimum required from the list below

PLPPM 3010 Biology and Management of Plant Diseases 4 cr Fall
PLBIO 3430 Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering of Plants 2 cr Spring
PLBIO 4440 Plant Cell Biology 4 cr Fall (odd years)
PLBIO 4620 Plant Biochemistry 3 cr Spring
PLBRG 4060 Methods of Plant Breeding Laboratory 2 cr Fall
PLBRG 4070 Nutritional Quality Improvement of Food Crops 2 cr Fall
PLBRG 4110 High-Throughput Plant Phenotyping 2 cr Spring (odd years)

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Describe the cellular and organismal processes of plants and relate those processes to evolution, diversity and ecology.
  2. Convey to professional and lay audiences, orally and in writing, information about the breadth of issues in plant sciences.
  3. Work with plants in field and laboratory, and follow and use experimental protocols.
  4. Express scientific questions as testable hypotheses based on a synthesis of current understanding and resources.
  5. Debate the biological and ethical consequences of future advances in plant science - especially in the areas of genetic engineering, biofuels, and climate change.
  6. Describe the impact that plant sciences have on self, community, and global health and well-being.

Information for Transfer Students

Transfer students are encouraged to apply for a minor in plant breeding. An initial meeting with the minor advisor will help determine if a student is able to take the necessary credits or has equivalencies that can be applied to satisfy the program requirements.

Contact Us

Prof. Mark Sorrells
413 Bradfield Hall
mes12@cornell.edu
607-255-1665

Leah Cook
135C Plant Science Bldg.
lcc2@cornell.edu
607-255-1257