FAQs

If your questions are not answered below, please feel free to contact us:

mse-admissions@cornell.edu

FAQ

What is the application deadline?

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Applications are accepted on a rolling basis (except for the months of June-July when scheduled maintenance is being performed). Priority review deadlines are:

  • Spring Admission: October 15th
  • Fall Admissions: January 15th

Note: All application materials must be submitted prior to review. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed for admission and it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure they have a complete application package.

How can I obtain an application form?

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The application process is coordinated by the Cornell Graduate School. Please visit the Graduate School’s website related to applying to the M.Eng. program to learn more about the process.

What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) required?

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The College of Engineering sets a minimum grade point average of 2.7 for admission. However, admission is based on the entire application, not on a fixed grade point cutoff. An effort is made to interpret grades from schools other than Cornell on a comparable basis to Cornell undergraduate grades. The maximum GPA at Cornell is 4.3. Applicants from schools using other grading systems (for example, some schools outside of the United States) can report GPA scores on the Cornell basis, but should also report the original GPA, backed up by an official transcript.

Must I take a GRE?

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Yes, GRE scores must be submitted by applicants through the testing agency system, unless they have (or will have) an undergraduate degree from Cornell. Scores should be reported to code 2098, which is Cornell's code number. You may submit a photocopy as a temporary record, but the official scores must be reported to code 2098 as soon as possible afterwards.

Note: final admission decisions will not be released until official GRE scores are received.

What are the minimum required GRE Scores?

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MSE does not have a minimum required score; however, you must have taken the GRE within 5 years of applying. Typical GRE scores of qualified candidates are at least:

  • Quantitative: 165
  • Qualitative: 155
  • Analytical: 3.5

What is the minimum TOEFL score for non–native English speakers?

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International students who are non-native English speakers must meet one of the two below requirements. Information on exemptions can be found here.

  • TOEFL: minimum scores: Writing (20), Listening (15), Reading (20), Speaking (22); AND a total score of >100; or
  • IELTS: overall band score of 7.0 or higher

What academic records should I submit?

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Your undergraduate transcript and transcripts for any graduate work you have taken should be submitted in a sealed envelope from the registrar of the institution. If the transcript is not in English, provide an official translation. If the grading system is not based on letter grades corresponding to a 4 or 4.3 point scale, try to provide information that would facilitate a translation into that scale.

How do I list an alternative field of study?

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If you wish to be considered by another M.Eng. program at Cornell in the event that you are not admitted to the MS&E program, indicate that in your statement of purpose. This information is reviewed only if you are not admitted to your first choice program. In that case, you may request that your application be forwarded on to the alternative field of study to be considered with other applications. To do so, please send an email request to: gradadmissions@cornell.edu.

Note: your application will not be reviewed by your second-choice program unless YOU request it to be transferred by emailing the above address.

What if circumstances change after I accept admission and I will not be registering in the semester for which I applied?

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If you will not be able to attend, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible.

If you would like to defer admission to a later time, let us know as soon as possible by email to mse-admissions@cornell.edu. Deferral is normally granted and you will receive a response by email from the aforementioned address. Deferrals can be requested for one or two semesters in the future. 

If you do not come to Cornell in the original or following semester, the deposit paid with your acceptance of admission is forfeited.

If you have accepted any financial aid from Cornell, the rules of the Council of Graduate Schools to which Cornell belongs require that you cannot accept an offer of admission from another institution without obtaining a written release from us.

Where do students live?

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Campus Life provides up-to-date information about housing and residential programs and Ithaca area resources. Many students live in private apartments or rooms at various distances from the campus. Most of these apartments are rented in the spring, though a few may still be available in August. A housing packet with information about Cornell and private housing opportunities is sent to applicants who accept admission offers. If possible, consider a trip to Ithaca to arrange housing ahead of time. In considering housing alternatives, keep in mind that the Ithaca area has an excellent bus system, called TCAT, that parking on campus is expensive, and that the cost of housing tends to vary inversely with distance from campus and from the bus routes.

How long does the program take?

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Most students complete the program in two semesters. If entering from an undergraduate field other than MSE, completing the program may take an additional summer at the beginning or end, or an additional semester.

Can I begin the program in the Spring semester, or just the Fall?

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We have Spring and Fall admission cycles, with students starting in each term every year.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering to pursue the M.Eng. degree?

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No. Students with degrees in other technical disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply. Prospective students must have sufficient technical ability and background as reflected in transcripts and GRE scores. Students with undergraduate degrees in disciplines that overlap with MSE such as Chemistry, Physics, or Mechanical Engineering, can normally expect to complete the program in two semesters. If a student’s undergraduate degree is further from MSE, Biology for instance, additional background courses are likely needed and the program may take longer to complete.

What courses are prerequisites for the program?

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Applicants should have completed math and science courses appropriate to an undergraduate degree in their discipline. There are no other specific course prerequisites. However, MSE M.Eng. graduates should have a basic knowledge of all branches of the field. Students without a specific MSE (or similar) background may be admitted but may also require additional courses to complete the degree.

What is the difference between a Master of Science (M.S.) degree and a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree?

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The M.S. is a two-year research degree requiring a thesis. The M.Eng. is a one-year professional degree requiring a hands-on projected aimed at preparing students for engineering or engineering management careers in business, government, or industry.

How can I get a description of the courses included in the program?

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Because of the flexible nature of the M.Eng. program, there is no set course list. M.Eng. students are advised by the Associate Director of the M.Eng. program to tailor the coursework and design project to their individual interests and academic backgrounds. 

Should I contact Cornell faculty that I am interested in working with?

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Not at first. Once you are admitted, you will need to find an advisor who is willing to supervise your research project. During orientation, admitted students will learn about the available project opportunities and have the chance to interview with ones they are interested in. This is the point in which you will determine who will advise you for your research project. If you have questions about the project matching process, please contact the Associate Director of the MEng program, Professor Alexander Deyhim: akd9@cornell.edu.

Please note that Professor Deyhim will serve as your program advisor throughout the course of your MSE MEng program. The matching process described above is only for your project advisor.

How long before I have to find a project advisor?

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Within the first two weeks after orientation is ideal.

What salaries are earned by new graduates of the program?

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Salaries vary each year, but some information about them, based on surveys of graduating students, is offered through the College of Engineering’s Co-op and Career Services Office.

How much does the program cost?

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The current tuition rates and fees set by the Graduate School can be found here. The MSE MEng program is part of Tier 1.

How can I qualify for financial aid?

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While financial aid is limited, there are some options available to you (most by application):

  • The MSE Department has some scholarships that will be dispersed on a competitive basis.
  • The College of Engineering has some scholarship opportunities:
    • M.Eng Dean's Fellowship: merit-based scholarship. All M.Eng applicants will be automatically considered for the fellowship as part of the standard application process, with no extra application required.
    • Lester B. Knight Jr. Scholarship
  • External Fellowships (by application): Fellowships : Graduate School (cornell.edu)

Can I get a Teaching Assistantship in MS&E?

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MSE rarely has available teaching assistantships available. You may contact other departments in which you have a background to see if they have available TAships. You may also serve as a grader (as available) for MSE faculty taught courses. Your graduate student services coordinator will send you information as it becomes available for open grader positions.

Can I get a Teaching Assistantship elsewhere in the University?

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From time to time, other university departments are unable to meet their teaching needs and M.Eng. students may be able to fill the gap. MSE does not maintain a list of such openings nor does the department typically get involved with helping students secure those opportunities.

Can I get a Research Assistantship?

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There are no Research Assistantships for M.Eng. students.