Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the MPS program?

Please visit our Admissions page for detailed instructions on how to apply.

When is the application deadline?

Deadlines vary for internal and external applicants. Please see our Admissions page – specifically the Deadlines section – for details.

Is the application deadline a "hard deadline"?

Yes! All materials must be submitted by the posted deadline.  If an applicant is having technical difficulties with any part of the application they should email prior to the deadline for assistance. 

What items must be submitted by the application deadline?

  • statement of purpose (max 1000 words)
  • diversity statement (max 1000 words)
  • all transcripts
  • two reference letters
  • the online interview
  • official language tests

Is this a STEM program?

Yes, the Information Science M.P.S. and PhD program are considered STEM programs. For more information please visit Cornell International Services: Office of Global Learning.

Do I need coding experience to apply?

Coding experience is strongly recommended. We recommend you have working proficiency in Python, Java, C/C++, or R. 

Is an engineering undergraduate degree required?

No, we accept students from all undergraduate programs.

How long will it take for a full-time student to complete the MPS program?

The MPS degree is a two-semester program. Students are required to complete 30 credits.  Please see our curriculum page for detailed information about the course requirements.  

When does the Fall semester start?

The Fall semester typically begins around August 21, with classes starting on or around the third Monday of August. The spring semester begins on or around January 6, with classes starting on or around the third Monday of January. Please view the latest Academic Calendar for the exact dates of when classes start and end, and other important dates.

Is work experience required?

No, we do not require prior work experience in order to apply to the program. 

What are the minimum GRE requirements?

We do not require nor accept the GRE test for application consideration. 

What is the minimum GPA requirement?

The application is reviewed holistically, but most successful applicants have a minimum of a 3.2 GPA.  

What are the minimum English language test requirements?

The minimum required TOEFL scores in order to be considered for admission are:

  • Speaking: 24
  • Reading: 20
  • Listening: 15
  • Writing: 20

The IELTS score requirement is an overall band score of 7.0 or higher with a speaking section score of 8.0. Applicants who do not meet the minimum scores in either language test will not be considered. Applicants are encouraged to schedule a language test no later than October and to have test scores sent no later than October 31. This will ensure the test is received by our posted deadline.  

Are Cornell employees eligible for tuition benefits?

Yes, Cornell employees should contact the Employee Degree Office for details on this employee benefit.  Please note that applicants from EDP will typically complete the program in 4 semesters. 

Are work study, teaching assistant, or research assistant opportunities available?

Yes! MPS students are eligible for Graduate Teaching Research Specialist (GTRS) positions. These are a 7-10 hour per week teaching assistant type position. These positions pay a partial stipend for the semester. There is no tuition or health insurance premium compensation with these positions.  

Will courses be offered online?

No, all students must be in residence on the Ithaca campus to complete the program. 

Can MPS students pursue a dual degree?

No, the MPS program is not a dual degree program. 

Will CPT or OPT be offered for the MPS program to international students?

Information on who is eligible and how to apply for CPT and/or OPT can be found on the International Services, Office of Global Learning site.  Questions about immigration status should be directed to the GLO staff.  

May I transfer credits from my current school toward the MPS?

No, all courses must be taken while registered and enrolled in the MPS program. Transfer credits are not accepted. 

When are decisions typically sent to applicants?

We typically have all decisions out to applicants by April 1.

Are there in-person visit days or recruitment events held on campus?

No, we do not have in-person visit days, but people are welcome to visit the campus on their own.  We recruit students at various events, such as the Tapia and Grace Hopper conferences, throughout the year. 

May I request a deferral to my admission offer?

No, we will not defer an admission offer. Applicants are welcome to reapply by submitting a new application at a later time. 

I am currently a graduate student. Do you accept change of program petitions?

No, we do not accept change of program petitions. You are welcome to apply to our program once you have completed your current degree program.