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Public Gardens

Public gardens include botanic gardens, arboreta, historic landscapes, conservatories, and display gardens. This program provides students with the training and skills necessary to become leaders in managing such institutions. The Cornell Botanic Gardens Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership is a specialization within the field of Horticulture.

Among these resources is Cornell Botanic Gardens itself, one of North America’s great repositories of horticultural and natural resources.  The richness of the gardens, collections, natural areas, programs, and history are truly extraordinary, as is the knowledge and talent of its faculty and staff.

The Masters of Professional Studies Degree

A Masters of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) degree program emphasizes a breadth of training via coursework rather than a research experience. M.P.S. degree candidates take the same courses as other graduate students and then complete a problem-solving or applied project.
The Public Garden Leadership MPS degree program is a joint program offered through Cornell Botanic Gardens and the Department of Horticulture. Fellows are considered graduate students in the Department of Horticulture and will earn a MPS in Horticulture.

History of the Program

As the number of public gardens in the U.S. and around the world increases, the need for trained professionals to lead these organizations is paramount. This was the rationale for developing the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership—a collaborative effort launched in 2000 by Cornell Botanic Gardens and the Department of Horticulture. Our goals were to provide a graduate program that balances academic training and practical experience, to prepare students to be leaders in the public garden field, and to be at the forefront of understanding and addressing emerging trends and issues. Since 2000, 20 graduate fellows have earned an MPS (Master of Professional Studies) degree in Public Garden Leadership, and the majority of these alumni now hold prominent positions at public gardens across the U.S. and abroad.