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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 premium faculty
  • Wide range of study areas, including business and other technical areas
  • Flexibility in customizing your own course of study
  • Typically completed in one year
  • Capstone project

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




Course-based Research-based
Final Project Capstone project Thesis


Typically one year Typically 2-3 years
Funding Self-funded, usually with federal  and/or private loans Funded by the department with  stipends and teaching  assistantships
Ideal For Individuals who want to pursue careers in industry, government, or non-profit agencies; some continue in research Individuals 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 2021-2022 rate is $39,466 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 Deadline General Deadline 
Animal Science, MPS February 1 March 15*
BEE MEng and MPS February 1 March 15*
Food Science and Technology, MFS   February 1
Global Development, MPS February 1 March 15*
Integrative Plant Science, MPS   February 15*
Landscape Architecture, MLA   January 8
Landscape Architecture, MPS February 1 March 15*
Natural Resources, MPS February 1 March 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