Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

Application Process

CALS Professional Master's Degree Program Application Process

Admissions decisions for all the CALS professional master's degree programs are made by CALS graduate field faculty committees. The Cornell University Graduate School administers the application process for graduate programs at Cornell. Application deadlines vary by field. To see a list of deadlines, please visit our FAQ page.

Steps for completing your application

  1. Complete Cornell’s Graduate School Application. Get started by setting up an ApplyWeb account. Once you have an account, you can go to the online application to begin the process.
  2. In the Academic Program section of the application, choose the graduate field of study related to your area of interest. Select the degree program of interest:
    • Agriculture and Life Sciences, M.P.S. (Biological and Environmental Engineering)
    • Animal Science, M.P.S.
    • Integrative Plant Science, M.P.S.
    • Master of Food Science, M.F.S.
    • Global Development, M.P.S.
    • Landscape Architecture, M.P.S.
    • Natural Resources, M.P.S.
  3. Once you confirm your program selection, follow the prompts to select your admit term and intended concentration or focus area, such as:
    • Food Chemistry and Product Development
    • Controlled Environment Agriculture
    • International Agriculture and Rural Development
  4. Submit unofficial copies of your college and university transcripts. An official paper transcript is required for all admitted students.
  5. Submit your résumé or CV and letters of recommendation. Most graduate fields require 2-3 letters of recommendation.
  6. All international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. International students demonstrate proficiency by submitting official test scores from TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System). Cornell does not accept PTE Academic scores or any other alternatives. An application cannot be considered complete until Cornell receives official scores from ETS or IELTS Academic.
  7. Submit a Statement of Purpose.
  8. Submit a Personal Statement. 

About the Statement of Purpose

Each applicant must submit a Statement of Purpose. The Statement of Purpose is your opportunity to help reviewers better understand your academic objectives and determine if you are a good match for the field to which you are applying. Your statement of purpose should:

  • Detail your reasons for applying to the program and explain your academic interests. Make sure to include subjects you're passionate about, faculty whose research interests you, or courses you would like to take.
  • Provide information on your undergraduate study and any research or professional experiences and how they fit with the program. If your undergraduate major is different or unrelated to the graduate field, explain why the field interests you and include any additional courses or professional experience that has prepared you for a transition into a new field.
  • Highlight skills you have learned from academic, lab, research or professional experiences.
  • Detail your professional goals.
  • Address any gaps or weaknesses in your academic record. Be honest, but brief. Turn your weakness into strengths and illustrate how you overcame obstacles, showed resilience and remained persistent in your goals.