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MPS Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the frequently asked questions below for more information about the MPS program in Information Science.

Do I have to be an Information Science major or minor in order to apply for the MPS?

For F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT), is the MPS considered a STEM program? 

Is work experience required?​ 

What does the MPS cost? 

Is there financial aid available? 

Do you offer an online degree? 

Can you look at my credentials and tell me how likely I am to be admitted? 

I've applied to the MPS program, but my GRE and TOEFL test scores are still listed as pending. Why?

Can I submit additional application materials, such as a portfolio? 

I've already submitted my application, but I have new grades on my transcript. Can I send you an update? 

Can I submit official GRE and/or TOEFL scores after the deadline has passed? 

Can I apply for two Cornell degrees at the same time? 

As a Cornell undergrad, I’ve taken a few MPS classes. Can I count them toward my bachelor’s and the MPS? 

Do I need to have official transcripts sent to Cornell? 

Are there minimum test scores required for admission? 

What are the average GRE scores for admitted MPS students? 

Can I submit GMAT, IELTS, or other standardized test scores in lieu of the GRE and/or TOEFL? 

Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

My undergraduate school does not use a 4.O GPA scale. What should I do? 

How are the PhD and MPS programs different from each other?

Do I have to be an Information Science major or minor in order to apply for the MPS?

We welcome applicants with diverse undergraduate majors. However, an ideal incoming student will have solid writing skills, computing experience with some proficiency in a high-level programming language and an understanding of web technologies, good analytical skills, an understanding of the human/cognitive facet of information systems, and a mathematical foundation that includes calculus, probability, statistics, and linear algebra. If you’re a Cornell student considering the MPS, the minor in information science is excellent preparation. Exceptional students from related backgrounds who do not meet these requirements may apply for a three-semester version of the program.

For F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT), is the MPS considered a STEM program?

Yes. For more information on OPT and STEM graduate degrees, see the Cornell ISSO page on the topic.

Is work experience required?

No, you are not required to have work experience in order to apply for the MPS program. Many of our students are recent graduates.

What does the MPS cost?

As of 2017-18, tuition for two semesters totals $52,612.

Is there financial aid available?

Unfortunately, we do not provide financial assistance for MPS students. All of our students are self-funded.

Do you offer an online degree?

The MPS is only offered as a full-time, on-campus program. We don't offer an online option.

Can you look at my credentials and tell me how likely I am to be admitted?

We are only able to evaluate formal applications to the program. Unfortunately, we can't provide any applicant with information about the likelihood they will be admitted.

I've applied to the MPS program, but my GRE and TOEFL test scores are still listed as pending. Why?

​​We appreciate your patience while official test scores are matched with applications. In most cases, test scores are still pending and will be for at least 5 business days. Since this is the case for all applicants, it will not affect the admissions process.

Can I submit additional application materials, such as a portfolio?

You may submit additional documents if you choose, but only in the online application. We are not able to accept additional materials via email.

I've already submitted my application, but I have new grades on my transcript. Can I send you an update?

Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are not able to accept updated application materials. 

Can I submit official GRE and/or TOEFL scores after the deadline has passed?

There's typically a brief delay between requesting official scores from ETS and their arrival in the Cornell application system. 

Can I apply for two Cornell degrees at the same time?

You must submit only one application, but you can indicate a second-choice degree.

As a Cornell undergrad, I’ve taken a few MPS classes. Can I count them toward my bachelor’s and the MPS?

Have a look at the Early Admit Option to see if you are eligible.

Do I need to have official transcripts sent to Cornell?

For the application, only unofficial transcripts are required. If you are admitted to the program, we will request official transcripts for the Graduate School's records.

Are there minimum test scores required for admission?

For the GRE, we do not have a minimum score requirement. All international applicants must adhere to the Cornell University Graduate School's English Language Proficiency Requirement.

In order to be considered for admissions our minimum TOEFL scores are as follows:

Speaking: 24

Reading: 10

Listening: 15

Writing: 20

IELTS minimum score is as follows: An overall band score of a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS.

What are the average GRE scores for admitted MPS students?

We don't publish this information, unfortunately. 

Can I submit standardized test scores other than GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS?

We can only accept GRE and TOEFL or IELTS scores. Other general proficiency and English language test scores will not be considered. This includes the GMAT.

Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

What we look for in the application process is your ability to successfully complete the academic program. We recommend that you request letters from faculty who can attest to your academic performance. Professional recommendations are also appropriate, particularly for those who have been working for an extended period of time. We require two letters, but you may submit an additional one if you choose.

My undergraduate school does not use a 4.O GPA scale. What should I do?

The application form will allow you to enter your GPA as well as the scale used by your school. Please do not convert your GPA to the 4.0 scale.

How are the PhD and MPS programs different from each other?

The MPS program is a one-year program designed for students interested in a professional career in Information Science. Alternatively, the PhD program is long term, typically 4-6 years, and prepares students for research and academic careers. Students generally don't continue to a PhD after earning an MPS degree.