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.  The link to the online application can be found here.


The online application for the Information Science MPS is available through the Graduate School starting September 1, 2020. 

  • The Information Science MPS application deadline for Spring 2021 is October 1, 2020. Only Cornell Undergraduates or Cornell Alumni may apply for spring admission.
  • The deadline for Fall 2021 is January 1, 2021 for all applicants.
  • No preadmission application is required.
  • No application materials will be accepted, and no submitted applications will be updated after the deadline. 
  • 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 October 1, 2020 for spring applicants or January 1,  2021 for fall applicants:

  • 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)
  • International applicants will need an official TOEFL or IELTS score.
  • Online Video Interview, which must be received by the appropriate deadline
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $105 is required at the time you submit the application unless you qualify or request a fee waiver. Information about fee waivers is located on the Graduate School’s website. You will also find a link to the fee waiver request form on the payment page of the online application. If you plan to request a fee waiver, be sure to plan ahead. Fee waiver requests are reviewed and approved within 1-3 business days by the Graduate School. 

Official GRE scores are not required in the department of Information Science.

Optional Materials

The following are optional and are not required for admission into the Information Science MPS program.



Your application should include complete 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.

Applicants should scan their transcripts and upload the documents into the on-line application 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 submitted your 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 discourage mailed letters of recommendation as this delays the processing of your application.

Statement of Purpose is required of all applicants 

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 1000 words.

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 than the Graduate School. 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. 

  • 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.
  • 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.

Video Interview

The video interview is accessed through the online application. You will receive an email containing the link to the interview session after you submit the application.

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 oppurtunity to test your video and audio connection prior to starting the video interview. If you experience any difficulty with the interview, please email The video interview is due on or before the application deadline. Therefore, you must submit your video interview in time to meet the application deadline.


Resume and Portfolio 

Additional materials such as resumes and portfilios are not required but may be submitted if you feel this will enhance your application. These must be submitted with your application, we cannot change or upload any material to  your application once the application is submitted.

General Information

Application Decision Notifications

  • Spring applicants - Prior to November 15, 2020.
  • Fall applicants - Prior to March 30, 2021.


  • Information Science MPS program tuition rate is $58,586 for the academic year 2020-2021. Students are billed per semester at the rate of $29,293 (each semester).
  • All students who are offered admission and accept the offer will be required to pay an $800 non-refundable acceptance deposit. This deposit will be credited towards your first semester tuition bill.
    • Employee Degree Program acceptance deposit is waived.