Graduate Education

It’s not too early to consider additional study beyond your bachelor’s degree. For students who wish to continue their graduate program at Cornell, there are several options, as described below, leading to a Master of Engineering, Master of Science, or a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Master of Engineering

B.S. degree holders in engineering from Cornell who have a minimum grade point average of 2.7 are generally eligible for admission to the three Master of Engineering programs outlined below. However, each application is evaluated individually, and BEE and CEE faculty reserve the right to make final admission decisions.

All MEng students must register for a minimum of one semester in the Graduate School.

1. Master of Engineering (Biological and Environmental Engineering) Program

The Master of Engineering (MEng) degree builds on the foundation of the engineering BS degree to prepare candidates for a professional career. The program integrates technical engineering with the biological and life sciences, enabling graduates to solve technical problems on a scale ranging from molecular to whole organism to eco system depending on their interests. Graduates assume positions in production companies, consulting firms, government and agencies, and in the public service sector. The degree may also be used as a pathway to advanced study in science and engineering or professional study in business, law and medicine.

2. Master of Engineering (Civil and Environmental Engineering) Program

A report prepared by a task force of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) recommended that baccalaureate students who plan to pursue careers in engineering practice be encouraged to complete, on a full-time basis, an advanced degree program focused upon engineering practice. Our School has long believed that the four-year B.S. program is limited in preparing young engineers for the rigors of engineering practice and to provide them with sufficiently meaningful and significant design experience. CEE’s solution to this problem has been the fifth-year Master of Engineering Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering or Engineering Management. Professionally-oriented, the Master of Engineering (Civil) degree programs are particularly popular graduate degrees for CEE seniors and represents the fifth year of an integrated five-year Civil Engineering program leading to a Master of Engineering degree.

The Master of Engineering degree is a course work and project-oriented program. It is normally completed in two semesters of (civil) intensive study. Thirty credit hours consisting of course work in major and supporting areas and a project are required. Master of Engineering students in Environmental Engineering may focus their studies in one of the following subject areas: environmental processes, environmental fluid mechanics and hydrology, and environmental and water resource systems engineering. For the M.Eng. program in Environmental Engineering, each program typically consists of course work in a subject area and supporting areas as well as a project.

3. Master of Engineering (Engineering Management) Program

The M.Eng. program in engineering management is aimed at engineers who want to stay in a technical environment, but focus on managerial roles. Students learn to identify problems, formulate and analyze models to understand these problems, and interpret the results of analyses for managerial action. Projects in the management area focus on integrating technical and economic analysis to create results that can support effective management decisions.

Each student’s program of study is designed individually in consultation with an academic adviser and then submitted to the Chair of the Engineering Management Program for approval. Graduates of this program are in demand by environmental engineering consulting firms, management consultants, industrial companies, and other organizations that focus on the efficient management of projects and technical systems.

Cooperative Programs with the Johnson Graduate School of Management

There are several special programs that allow a student to earn a degree from the Engineering College and the Johnson Graduate School of Management in less time than if the degrees were pursed sequentially. Here we describe two programs that start with a Cornell Engineering B.S. degree, and one than considers a joint MEng. Degree from the Engineering College with an M.B.A. from the Johnson School.

Joint B.S./M.Eng. (Environmental) /M.B.A. and Joint B.S./M.B.A.

Two special programs make it possible for students to earn degrees from both a bachelor’s degree from the College of Engineering and an M.B.A. from Johnson Graduate School of Management. One program, completed in five years, leads to a B.S. degree in engineering and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree. The other program, which takes six years, earns three degrees: the B.S. in engineering, the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), and the M.B.A.

Both programs require taking a specific set of courses at the undergraduate level; these curricula allow for a shortening of the combined programs by one academic year. Information about the specific requirements for each area is available from the appropriate undergraduate major coordinator and graduate program coordinator. The curriculum must include nine core courses required for the M.B.A. or allowed substitutes. See the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook.

Students who decide to pursue either of these programs should take the GMAT exam, which is required by the Johnson School of Management, in March of their junior year (or earlier).

The joint B.S./M.Eng. (Environmental) /M.B.A. program is very attractive in that both Masters degrees are received within two years after the B.S. This program must be initiated in the junior year. This special program requires early planning so those electives taken during the junior and senior year can be used to meet requirements of the M.B.A. degree. By March 1 of the sixth term of enrollment, a student must apply for admission to the M.B.A. program through the Johnson Graduate School of Management. Application to the M.Eng. program should take place by February 1 in the student’s senior year at Cornell. Students are encouraged to go to Engineering Advising and the Johnson School for more information.

Joint M.Eng./M.B.A. Program

For those interested in both the M.Eng. and M.B.A. degrees, but who do not participate in the six-year joint program described above, an alternative opportunity is the five-semester joint program. Application to this program can begin as late as the first few weeks of enrollment in the M.Eng. program. The five-semester program is open to students with B.S. degrees from Cornell or elsewhere.

Master of Science and Ph.D. Programs

Some students pursue a research-oriented Master of Science (M.S.) program either here or elsewhere. An increasing percentage of our students continue on to the Ph.D. for careers in research, teaching, or consulting. A Ph.D. degree can be pursued after earning a M.S. or an M.Eng. degree. Some students prefer to take a job immediately after receiving the B.S. and then return for graduate study a few years later. Ask your advisor, professors, or the BEE or CEE Director of Graduate Studies for information about graduate study.

Early Admission Program

Cornell undergraduates who have between one and eight credit hours to earn towards completion of their undergraduate degree in the last semester of their senior year may apply for "early admission" to the Master of Engineering program. If approved, the student may begin earning credits towards their Master of Engineering degree while completing their undergraduate degree. Double-counting of credits will not be allowed; credits used towards undergraduate requirements may not also be used towards M.Eng. requirements. Admitted applicants must spend a minimum of one semester registered with the Graduate School.

There are two advantages to starting the M.Eng. Program early:

  1. students may take a slightly heavier course load and complete the M.Eng. degree in one Graduate School semester after completion of the undergraduate degree; or
  2. students may either take a lighter course load over two Graduate School semesters upon completion of the undergraduate degree or take extra courses they are interested in that do not count towards the M.Eng. Degree.

Courses taken as part of a graduate program can also be transferred to other graduate programs. A special form and guidance are required before submitting the Graduate School application for Early Admission; therefore, you need to see the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Field to which you intend to apply for this form and instructions.