- 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 for the Information Science MPS is available through the Graduate School starting September 1, 2021.
- The Information Science MPS application deadline for Spring 2022 is October 15, 2021. Only Cornell Undergraduates or Cornell Alumni may apply for spring admission.
- The deadline for Fall 2022 is January 5, 2022 for all applicants.
- No preadmission 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 October 15, 2021 for spring applicants or January 5, 2022 for fall 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).
- Online Video Interview, which must be received by the appropriate deadline.
- 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.
- Official GRE scores are not required nor accepted in the Department of Information Science.
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.
Statement of Purpose
A successful statement of purpose will address the following topics:
- 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.
The Statement of Purpose is limited to no more than 1,000 words.
Your Personal Statement should provide the admissions committee with a sense of who you are as a whole person, and you should use it to describe how your personal background and experiences influenced your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Additionally, your personal statement should provide insight on your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect where scholars representing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and innovate productively and positively together.
Your Personal Statement provides you with an opportunity to share experiences that provide insights on how your personal, academic, and/or professional experiences demonstrate your ability to be both persistent and resilient, especially when navigating challenging circumstances. It also gives you an opportunity to provide examples of how you engage with others and have facilitated and/or participated in productive collaborative endeavors. Additionally, it provides you with an opportunity to provide context around any perceived gaps or weaknesses in your academic record.
Resume or CV
For International Students
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
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.
The Information Science MPS program requires a higher speaking TOEFL score (24) than the 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)
The MPS program requires an overall band score of a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS Academic exam. Applicants who do not meet the minimum scores will not be considered.
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 is waived if the applicant meets at least one of the criteria below. There is no separate form needed for the waiver:
- is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or a citizen of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada (except Quebec). Applicants who are citizens of India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. are not exempt from the requirement.
- at the time you enroll at Cornell, you will have studied in full-time status for at least two academic years within the last five years in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, or with English language instruction in Canada or South Africa. Even if English was the language of instruction at your school, if you did not study in one of these countries you are not exempt from the requirement. You must submit a transcript that shows you attended college in one of the approved locations, and that your academic program was at least two years in length.
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. The video interview is due on or before the application deadline, therefore please submit your video interview on time. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
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 November 15, 2021.
- Fall applicants - Prior to March 30, 2022.
Tuition, Health Insurance, and Estimated Living Expenses
- Information Science MPS program tuition rate is $60,286 for the academic year 2021-2022. Students are billed per semester at the rate of $30,143 (each semester). 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.