We offer qualified Cornell undergraduates the opportunity to begin work toward the MPS degree in their final semester of undergraduate study. This Early Credit Option – formerly known as the Early Admit Option – is available for Cornell undergraduate students who have 8 credits or fewer left to complete their undergraduate degree. This is not an official offer of admission, this is a petition to take graduate level courses. These courses can potentially be counted as credits towards a future MPS degree if an offer of admission is given. Students may take 5000 or higher level courses during their Senior year, that may count toward the MPS degree (as long as those courses don't also fulfill a requirement for the undergraduate degree). Students who have an Early Credit Option petition approved, should plan to complete the MPS program within one semester immediately following their last undergraduate semester. Deferrals will not be granted. Students should keep this in mind when selecting their courses during their final semester as an undergrad and also when they are enrolling as a graduate student.  

Successful applicants are those who will have a bachelor’s degree in Information Science (B.A.) or Information Science, Systems and Technology (B.S.), a bachelor’s degree with a minor in Information Science, or who have taken a number of Information Science courses. Students who meet our written standards, or have similar preparation, and have demonstrated the skills needed to be successful in the program may also be considered. 

Students cannot count courses applied to the MPS in Information Science toward their undergraduate degree, or any other degree program, or vice versa. This is not a dual degree program. No courses taken prior to being admitted to the MPS program will count toward the MPS degree. 

Acceptance of the Early Credit Option petition does not guarantee acceptance to the MPS program. Students must apply officially by completing the Cornell Graduate School Online Application.

If you receive financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your plans and to learn about the rules regarding minimum undergraduate credits necessary to avoid triggering repayment of your loan.


You're eligible for the Early Credit Option if you:

  • are enrolled in your last semester as a Cornell undergraduate
  • have 1–8 credits left to complete your undergraduate degree
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2
  • you have the required preparation and fit


  1. Fill out the Early Credit Option petition and submit it to the Assistant Director of the MPS Program, Olivia Howarth.
  2. If the petition is approved by the MPS Director, you will receive a letter from the Graduate Program Coordinator. At that time, you will need to complete the Cornell Graduate School Online Application for admission to the MPS program and upload the completed and approved Early Credit Option petition as an attachment to your application.

If you are admitted, it will be contingent upon successful completion of your undergraduate degree.


Cornell Undergraduates wishing to apply to the MPS program as an Early Credit candidate should follow the timeline outlined below:

  • Early Credit Petition is due by May 1 for those graduating in December with their undergraduate degree.
  • Early Credit Petition is due by November 1 for those graduating in May or August with their undergraduate degree.

PLANNING FOR the Early Credit Option

Early Credit students will complete the MPS degree with one semester of additional study after their final undergraduate semester. Because most of the required courses for the MPS degree are taught only once per year, students planning on participating in the Early Credit program must plan carefully. Early Credit students will indicate which courses will meet requirements for their undergraduate degree and which will count toward the MPS. Each student's plan is confirmed by the undergraduate and graduate coordinators in order to be sure the requirements for each program are being met.

Interested in Applying?

After reading the above information, if you have more questions please contact Assistant Director of the MPS Program, Olivia Howarth, by email – oah23@cornell.edu or book an appointment through Bookings.