Given the tremendous breadth of courses offered at Cornell, the academic program in Public Garden Leadership can provide students with broad intellectual skills and a deep base of knowledge. Cornell University offers an array of courses that span many departments and colleges, which fellows may take to fulfill the requirements of the program. Coursework may include business and organizational management, landscape design and planning, horticulture, environmental and resource management, communications, human resource management, leadership training, education and more. Fellows are encouraged to develop personalized courses of study based upon their individual interests and career goals.
Fellows select a topic for their action project during the first semester of study. Projects may focus on any aspect of public garden management, including, but not limited to education and interpretation, public outreach and visitor services, collections management, landscape management, natural area management, fund raising, and administration. Program leaders work closely with Fellows to help students determine and carry out their project, which must be completed within the two year program.
Because the MPS in Public Garden Leadership emphasizes practical experience as well as academic training, all fellows must participate in a summer internship at a public garden between their first and second semesters. This may be done either at Cornell Plantations, or at another public garden in the United States, Canada, or abroad. Many public garden internships are listed on the American Public Garden Associations’ website
. Program coordinators will work with fellows to help them identify a suitable internship. Funding for the summer period is not provided, however most Fellows are able to secure paid internships.