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:

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 21 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:



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 21 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 (1000 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 21 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. Fee waiver requests are not accepted for the MPS program.


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.

International Credentials

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 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.

Personal Statement

Please describe within 1000 words how your background and experiences influenced your decision and ability to pursue a graduate degree. Additionally, provide insights into your potential to contribute to Cornell University’s core value to provide a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect where scholars representing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and work productively and positively together. Within your statement, you may also include relevant information on any of the following:

  • How your personal, academic, and/or professional experiences demonstrate your ability to be both persistent and resilient especially when navigating challenging circumstances.
  • How you engage with others and have facilitated and/or participated in productive teams.
  • How you have come to understand the barriers faced by others whose experiences and backgrounds may differ from your own.
  • If relevant, how your professional interests focus on issues related to diversity, inclusion, access, inequality, and/or equity.
  • Details on your service and/or leadership in efforts to advance diversity, inclusion, access, and equity especially for those from backgrounds historically underrepresented and/or marginalized.
  • Additional context on any significant barriers you have navigated to make graduate education accessible to you.
  • Contextual details on any perceived gaps or weaknesses in your academic record.
  • Within the personal statement, you may also provide details of lessons learned from any of your lived experiences including but not limited to
  • being a first-generation college student or graduate (no parent/guardian completed a baccalaureate degree)
  • racial, ethnic, and/or cultural background(s)
  • managing a disability or chronic health condition
  • experiencing housing, food, economic, and/or other forms of significant insecurity
  • being a solo parent
  • gender identity and/or sexual orientation
  • having served in the military
  • holding DACA, refugee, TPS, or asylee status

Resume or CV

  • All applicants are required to submit their most current Resume or CV with the application.

Video Interview

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

The video interview must be received by January 21 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. 



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.

Application Decision Notifications

  • Spring applicants - Prior to December 1, 2023
  • Fall applicants - Prior to April 1, 2024

Tuition, Health Insurance, and Estimated Living Expenses

Accepting Admission

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.