We understand that completing our program within two semesters may not be attainable for all and a third semester request is needed. Therefore, during your second semester, you may have the opportunity to request an additional semester. Students who will have completed the MPS degree requirements by the end of their second semester are not eligible for a third semester petitions. International students must demonstrate the need to stay by obtaining approval from the Office of Global Learning to extend their I-20. Each petition is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and all decisions are final.

To request a third semester, follow these steps:

  1. Review the policy below.
  2. Update your MPS Google Checklist, including your course plans for the third semester.
  3. Fill out this Third Semester Request Form
  4. Email the signed request form to Olivia Howarth, oah23@cornell.edu by the deadline stated below. Olivia will review and forward your request to the Graduate School and the Office of Global Learning for their approval. International students are responsible for following the directions of the Office of Global Learning to extend their I-20. 

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 request form will need to be submitted BEFORE 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 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 must be able to indicate one of the following reasons for the extension request.

  • Delays caused by lack of availability of required courses.
  • Delays caused by documented illness.


Once the third semester petition has been approved, the Graduate School will be notified, and the expected graduation date will be updated. Students who apply and are approved to extend the MPS degree program for a third semester should plan to enroll in a minimum of 12 MPS-approved credits. These courses are found on our approved course list. 

Students should enroll in these 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, e.g., PE, music/art courses, 1000-4000 level for S/U or AUDIT. These courses will not count toward the MPS credit requirements. 

Students who do not follow these requirements will be dropped out of the program without graduating. 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.


If you are approved to extend for a third semester, you must pay full-time tuition and fees for all three consecutive semesters. There are no prorated dollar amounts available for students who voluntarily request to extend their MPS degree program for a third semester.

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. 


International students will be required to follow the directions of the Office of Global Learning to extend their I-20.  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 to have the I-20 form extended.

When asked to provide your advisor information in the online form, you should list Olivia Howarth, oah23@cornell.edu, as your advisor.