- Computational Social Science
- Critical Data Studies
- Data Science
- Economics and Information
- Education Technology
- Ethics, Law and Policy
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Human-Robot Interaction
- Incentives and Computation
- Infrastructure Studies
- Interface Design and Ubiquitous Computing
- Natural Language Processing
- Network Science
- Social Computing and Computer-supported Cooperative Work
- Technology and Equity
This page details the entire application process, from what we look for in prospective students to how to go about accepting our offer for admission. Topics covered include:
- Program preparation and fit
- Application deadlines
- Application requirements
- Information for international applicants
- Optional application materials
- When to expect decision notifications
- Tuition costs, health insurance, and general living expenses
- Accepting admissions offer
Have further questions? Try the Admissions FAQs page first.
Preparation and Fit
The graduation requirements for the Masters program are based on the assumption that entering students have a foundation in technical, social science, and human-centered systems areas. 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.
Exceptional students from related backgrounds who do not meet the basic requirements for the program are encouraged to apply. To begin your application, visit the Cornell Graduate School's online application system.
Can't find an answer to your question? Try our FAQs page.
Please read carefully the instructions below and submit all required materials by the deadline. Once an application is submitted, it cannot be modified by the admissions committee.
The online application is open as of September 15.
- The deadline for Fall is January 5 for all applicants.
- The Information Science MPS application deadline for Spring is October 11. Only Cornell undergraduates who have an approved early credit petition may apply for the spring semester. All other applicants should apply for the Fall intake only.
- No pre-admission application is required.
- No submitted applications can be updated by the admissions committee.
- There are no rolling admissions.
- Please direct all inquiries to: CornellGRAD@infosci.cornell.edu.
To apply to the Information Science MPS program, you must complete the online application through the Graduate School. No preadmission application is required. To complete the online application, you will need the following materials - including letters of recommendation - submitted on or before January 5 for fall applicants and October 11 for spring applicants. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- All Transcripts from current and previous institutions.
- Two letters of recommendation, which must be received by the appropriate deadline.
- A Statement of Purpose (1000 word maximum)
- Personal Statement (400 word maximum)
- Resume or CV
- International applicants will need an official TOEFL or IELTS score (Please note our minimum scores required below. Applicants who do not meet the minimum scores will not be considered). Applicants should make arrangements to take their tests no later than October and have the scores sent to Cornell no later than October 31.
- Online Video Interview, which must be received by January 5 for Fall applicants or October 11 for Spring applicants.
- There is a $105 non-refundable application fee that must be submitted electronically with your application. The fee may be waived in cases of financial hardship or for qualified participants of certain special programs. For information about methods of payment or requesting a fee waiver, visit the Graduate School's Website.
Your application should include completed and scanned transcripts of all previous college and university work, including any work done at Cornell. If you are submitting unofficial transcripts, the Graduate School will require that you submit official transcripts should you be accepted into the program. In this case, please make sure your transcript has your name, birthdate, and the name of the attended university. We do not accept paper copies of transcripts.
Applicants should scan their transcripts and upload the documents into the online application system themselves as part of the submission process. For students who are subsequently admitted and accept the offer of admission, an official paper transcript will be required prior to matriculation. Students will be reminded of this requirement on the “response to offer of admission” form.
All transcripts or academic records must be official documents provided in the original language. If that language is not English, they must be accompanied by certified translations into English. If not issued by the college or university as original documents, they should be notarized, full-sized photocopies. They should include grades received in each subject each year, and the number of weeks and hours per week that each subject was studied. Courses must be described in detail. The general subject name (e.g., “mathematics”) is not sufficient. The particular subject (e.g., “differential equations,” “algebraic topology”) must be identified.
If you are admitted into the program and you accept our offer of admission, the Graduate School will require an official transcript. They will contact you directly about this requirement.
Grade Point Averages
If your school uses a GPA scale other than 0–4.0, just leave this field blank when submitting your application. If you feel you must, you may enter 0. We will review your transcript and will rate your performance on the grades you received, not the number you enter into this field.
Letters of Recommendation
Your application must include two letters of recommendation. The letters should be from professors or supervisors who are familiar with your academic or professional work and who can testify to your potential in Information Science. Once you have entered your recommenders information into your online application, a notification will be sent to your recommenders within 48 hours. These letters are a very important part of your application, and you should ensure that they are submitted into the electronic application system by the appropriate deadline. We will not accept paper copies of letters of recommendation.
A successful statement of purpose should address the following topics and should be limited to no more than 1,000 words:
- Identify areas of Information Science that are of particular interest and explain why.
- Explain why you are interested in the Information Science MPS program at Cornell University.
- Review what makes you qualified for our program.
- Discuss how the Information Science MPS program will help you meet your future goals.
Through the Personal Statement, students are asked to address how their personal background and experiences influenced their decision to pursue a graduate degree. Additionally, students are asked to provide insight on their potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect where scholars representing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and work productively and positively together.
Content in the Personal Statement should complement rather than duplicate the content contained within the Statement of Purpose. The statement should be limited to 400 words or less.
To be considered for the MPS Diversity and Excellence Scholarship, applicants must also include a diversity statement within their personal statement.
The video interview is accessed through the online application.
You will receive an email from CollegeNET containing the link to the interview session within 10 minutes after you submit the application. The video interview questions are not technical questions. They are a series of random questions that will give the admission committee more insight of your preparedness, knowledge, and what you hope to gain from obtaining an MPS degree from Information Science at Cornell. In the interview, you will receive 3 questions and have 1 minute to respond to each one immediately. Your responses to the interview questions should complement rather than duplicate the content of your Statement of Purpose. Successful interviews are conversational rather than scripted or memorized. Before beginning the video interview, be sure you are in a private place where you will be undisturbed for 20-30 minutes. You will be given the opportunity to test your video and audio connection prior to starting the video interview. If you experience any difficulty with the interview, please email Barbara Woske at firstname.lastname@example.org
The video interview must be received by January 5 for Fall applicants or October 11 for Spring applicants. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
For International Students
International applicants must demonstrate competency in the English language. You must have your official scores sent by Educational Testing Services to Cornell before our application deadline. Scores should be sent to Institutional Code 2098, the department code is not required.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
The Information Science MPS program requires a higher speaking TOEFL score (24) than the Cornell Graduate School minimum requirement. Applicants who do not meet the minimum scores will not be considered. In order to be considered for admissions our minimum TOEFL scores are as follows:
- Speaking: 24
- Reading: 20
- Listening: 15
- Writing: 20
IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)
- 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 will not be considered. It is advised to take the language test no later than October and have scores sent no later than the end of October to ensure they are received by our deadline.
When you register for the exam, you may select up to 5 institutions to which you would like to have your scores sent. Cornell University has multiple IELTS accounts so please be sure to select Cornell University Graduate Admissions when registering for your IELTS test date.
You may also submit a request to your test center to have additional score reports sent to institutions not originally listed on your test registration form. Scores must be sent electronically (e-delivery) to the Cornell University Graduate Admissions, Caldwell Hall e-download account. E-delivery may also be referred to as an e-TRF by your test center.
The IELTS score must be dated within two years of your program’s application deadline. Scores must be delivered electronically through the IELTS E-Delivery service to the Cornell University Graduate Admissions e-download account.
Scores must be sent electronically (e-delivery) to the Cornell University Graduate Admissions, Caldwell Hall e-download account. E-delivery may also be referred to as an e-TRF by your test center. We do not accept paper IELTS Academic test report forms.
The English language proficiency requirement may be waived if the applicant meets University exceptions as outlined on the graduate school's English Language Proficiency requirements page. There is no separate form needed for the waiver.
Diversity Statement (to include within the Personal Statement)
For consideration for nomination for the Information Science MPS Diversity and Excellence Scholarship, students must also use the Personal Statement to indicate how one or more of the following identities and/or experiences apply to them:
- First-generation college student (neither parent/guardian having completed a baccalaureate degree)
- Member of ethnic and/or racial groups historically excluded from and underrepresented in graduate education – Black, Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Native Pacific Islanders, other Indigenous peoples) and/or Latina/o/x
- McNair or Mellon Mays Undergraduate Scholar (the Graduate School will verify an applicant’s status as a McNair Scholar or Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow while pursuing a baccalaureate degree at a U.S. institution)
- Other identities and/or experiences historically underrepresented and/or marginalized within graduate education including but not limited to the following:
Content in the diversity statement should completement rather than duplicate the content contained within the Statement of Purpose. This should be limited to no more than 400 words.
Additional materials such as a portfolio are not required but may be submitted if you feel this will enhance your application. In the Supplemental Materials section of the application, you may upload a one-page attachment that includes a link to your online portfolio. DO NOT upload an entire portfolio to your application. The link must be submitted with your application. We cannot change or upload any material to your application once the application is submitted.
- Spring applicants - Prior to December 1, 2023
- Fall applicants - Prior to April 1, 2024
Tuition, Health Insurance, and Estimated Living Expenses
- Information Science MPS program tuition rate can be found at the graduate school's tuition rates page. See our Financial Aid page for information on the Diversity & Excellence scholarship and teaching assistant positions.
- All students are required to enroll in the mandatory Student Health Insurance. Students who have comparable coverage may request a waiver. Please see the Student Health Insurance website for more information.
- Please see an estimate of living expenses in the Ithaca area.
All students who are offered admission and accept the offer will be required to pay an $800 non-refundable acceptance deposit. For those students who matriculate into the program, this deposit will be credited towards your first semester tuition bill. Those that choose to withdraw after accepting will forfeit the non-refundable $800 application. Employee Degree Program acceptance deposit is waived.