We understand that completing our program within two semesters limits the total amount of courses some students wish to take. We also recognize there may be a necessity for some to fulfill any missing course requirements needed to graduate. Therefore, during your second semester, you will have the opportunity to petition for a third semester. We recommend you take advantage of this extra semester to enroll in more HSS and IS courses or other CIS courses. Most successful petitions are approved to students who have already completed, or are on track to complete 24-27 credits of the MPS requirements by the end of their second semester. 

To petition for a third semester, follow these steps:

  1. Review the policy below
  2. Fill out this petition form
  3. Update your course enrollment checklist online
  4. Email the signed digital form to Olivia Howarth by the deadline
  5. Incomplete request forms and failure to update your checklist will result in the petition not being reviewed. Third semester extension requests submitted after the deadline will not be considered.


The deadline to apply for a 3rd semester extension is due during your 2nd semester. This extension petition will need to be submitted BEFORE the day after the spring drop deadline (in March).  Please refer to the University Registrar’s Key Academic Dates webpage for an exact date.


Students should be able to show that they have successfully completed or are on track to complete at least 24 MPS approved credits by the end of their second semester. 1000-4000 level courses and AUDIT courses cannot be counted toward these 24 credits. 

Students who apply and are approved to extend the MPS degree program for a third semester should plan to enroll in a minimum 12 MPS-approved credits or CIS-related courses For example, these courses are found on our approved course list and within:

  • Information Science (INFO)
  • Computer Science (CS)
  • Statistical Sciences (STSCI)
  • Operations Research (ORIE) 

Students should enroll in these additional courses during pre-enrollment period and take them during their third semester for a letter grade only. Beyond the mandatory minimum 12 credits, students may enroll in additional non-MPS related courses, i.e. PE, music/art courses, 1000-4000 level for S/U or AUDIT. These types of courses will not count toward the MPS credit requirements. 

All 5000 level or higher MPS related courses must be taken as letter grade.  With the exception of the Career Development course.  There will be no exceptions to this requirement.

Students who do not follow these requirements will be dropped out of the program without graduating. Students who will have completed 30 MPS credits by the end of their second semester are not eligible for a third semester petition. Students must register for three consecutive semesters. Students will not be considered for a third semester if a voluntary Leave of Absence (LOA) was previously approved and taken. This includes leaves for CPT reasons.

Costs for Third Semester

There are no prorated dollar amounts available for students who voluntarily request to extend their MPS degree program for a third semester.

If you opt and are approved to extend for a third semester, you must pay full-time tuition and fees for all three consecutive semesters.

Submitting a third semester extension request indicates that the student understands and agrees to pay full-time tuition rates and associated fees. Enrollment in three semesters must be consecutive. 

Next Steps Following Third Semester Extension Request

Once the third semester petition has been approved, a formal letter will be sent to the student via email and Graduate School, which will update the expected graduation date.

  • For example, the expected graduation date of a student who should be graduating after the standard 1-year / 2-semester program in May 2022, will be changed to a three-semester program with an expected graduation date of December 2022.

Students will then be able to and required to participate in pre-enroll for the next upcoming term.

U.S. Citizens

For U.S. Citizens, nothing additional will be required at this point.

International Students

International students will be required to follow the directions of the Office of Global Learning (ISSO) to extend their I-20. 

You'll be asked to provide your advisor information in the online form, please be sure to list Olivia Howarth (oah23@cornell.edu) as your advisor.

Students are solely responsible for making sure they apply for an extension of their I-20.

Please be aware that additional Financial Certification documents will be required in order to have the I-20 form extended.