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Frequently Asked Questions

The MPS degree program is a course-based, master’s graduate degree program. It is a fully accredited program, registered with New York State Education Department and SUNY.

  • Top-ranked institution with world-renowned faculty
  • Wide range of study areas
  • Completed in one year
  • Capstone project

While both the MPS and MS degree are graduate level, master’s degrees, there are specific differences:




Final ProjectCapstone projectThesis


1 yearTypically 2-3 years
FundingSelf-funded, usually with federal  and/or private loansFunded by the department with  stipends and teaching  assistantships
Ideal ForIndividuals who want to pursue careers in industry, government, or non-profit agencies; some continue in researchIndividuals who are interested in pursuing careers in research or academia


Through coursework, team projects, and workshops, the MPS program expands your versatility and career skills. You will work with your advisor and the Office of Professional Programs and Extended Learning to identify the courses that best suit your needs.

The Office of Professional Programs and Extended Learning host an engaged learning series that focuses on developing career skills including:

  • Developing resumes and personal narratives
  • Mock interviews
  • Team-building workshops
  • Business dining etiquette
  • Personality assessment tools

The MPS is intended for individuals who are seeking a course-based master's degree so as to go into business, industry, or government work.

At Cornell, if you want to go on for a PhD after the MPS you must apply as a new student to the PhD program; you would be considered as part of the pool of PhD applicants and, if admitted, you might be able to apply some of your MPS coursework but there is no guarantee. The target time for completion of the PhD program is between 3 and 5 years; the actual time to completion varies by student.

The 2023-2024 rate is $42,688 for the CALS MPS programs.

The Cornell University Graduate School administers admissions to the Master of Professional Studies Program at Cornell.

Fall Application Deadlines 
 Priority DeadlineGeneral Deadline 
Animal Science, MPSFebruary 1March 15*
BEE MEng and MPS March 1*
Food Science and Technology, MFS February 1
Global Development, MPSFebruary 1March 15*
Integrative Plant Science, MPS February 15*
Landscape Architecture, MLA January 8
Landscape Architecture, MPSFebruary 1March 15*
Natural Resources, MPSFebruary 1March 15*

*Applications received after the application deadline will be considered if space is available

Required TOEFL scores are assigned and reviewed by the Cornell Graduate School.  Currently the minimum TOEFL scores of the Internet-Based Test (iBT) version are:

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


Contact the Office of Professional Programs and Extended Learning

  • calsprofprograms [at] (By email)
  • By phone: 607-255-1572 (daytime)
  • In person: 212 Kennedy Hall