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FAQs

Many of your questions are answered below. If not please contact our Graduate Coordinator.

What is the application deadline?

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Regular applications for the fall semester are due by January 15th for fall admission and October 15 for spring admission. If no financial aid is requested, the deadline for application is April 1st.

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.

What are the minimum required GRE Scores?

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There are no set minimum required scores. Applicants who have taken the GREs and are accepted into the program generally have a Quantitative score of 730 or better, have scored in a high percentile in the Analytical portion, and have above-average Verbal scores. To repeat, however, there are no minimum scores and other factors are very important in the application.

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

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Students with a native language other than English and who have not spent at least two years at a college or university in a country where the native language is English, the TOEFL examination is required. The minimum scores for admission are:

  • Reading: 20
  • Writing: 20
  • Listening: 15
  • Speaking: 22

Tests must be taken within two years of the application date. TOEFL requirements are set by the Graduate School. Current information on TOEFL requirements can be found on the Graduate School’s website by clicking here.

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, your application will be forwarded on to the alternative field of study to be considered with other applications.

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 or telephone. Then follow up with a letter by postal mail (so that we have your signature). Deferral is normally granted and you will receive a response by postal mail. Deferral for one or two semesters will not be a problem. Longer periods may be more difficult to accommodate.

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 – by request – to applicants who accept admission. If possible, consider a trip to Ithaca in the spring to arrange housing. 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.

When does the program start?

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The majority of students in the program start in the fall semester. Starting in the spring semester is also a common option. See the next question for more information.

Can I begin the program in the spring semester?

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It is common for Cornell MSE undergraduates to start the program in the spring semester under the early admit process. Other students can also start the program then but there may be some limitations; for example, group projects may have started in the fall and some course sequences that run fall-spring may not be available. Please contact Alexander K. Deyhim the  Associate Director of the MSE M.Eng. program, for more specific information.

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 research degree requiring a thesis. The M.Eng. is a professional degree, 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 work with the Director of the M.Eng. program to tailor the coursework and design project to their individual interests and academic backgrounds. 

There is a requirement of one course in Engineering Management for all students. Not all the sample course sequences shown here meet this requirement.

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. The best point of contact prior to acceptance is Professor Shefford Baker, Director of the MSE M.Eng. program.

How long before I have to find an 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 provided by the Graduate School for a Professional Degree is $48,900 per year.

How can I qualify for financial aid?

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A limited amount of financial aid is available. Most M.Eng. students pay full tuition.

The MSE Department has some scholarship funds that will be dispersed on a competitive basis.

The Cornell MSE MEng program is pleased to be able to offer two $10,000 scholarships for outstanding spring admission applicants. All qualified applicants who are able to start their MEng studies in January 2017 (including Cornell early admission candidates) are encouraged to apply.

Can I get a Teaching Assistantship in MS&E?

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Occasionally, but opportunities are limited.

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.