Graduate Admissions

Admission and eligibility requirements:

Each year the Field of Food Science and Technology attracts a pool of highly competitive applicants. While past academic achievements are a crucial part of the application, we are committed to a holistic review of potential students. We also value diversity and inclusion and are determined to instill these values in the students we educate.

Applicants must meet all specific Field of Food Science and Technology admission requirements in addition to requirements outlined on the Cornell Graduate School Admission's website.

Application deadlines for the M.S. and P.h.D. programs in Food Science are:

  • Fall (August) admission period: September 1 - December 1
  • Spring (January) admission period: July 15 - September 1

Application deadlines for the M.F.S. program in Food Science are:

  • Fall (August) admission period: September 1 - February 1
  • Spring (January) admission period: July 15 - September 1

Apply On-line:

Applications are administered through the Cornell Graduate School’s on-line application system.

All applicants must submit on-line:

  • Application form
  • Academic statement of purpose
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Two-three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable, see English Language Proficiency Requirements for details)
  • Students are NOT required to hold a M.S. degree prior to applying for the Ph.D. program (you can apply directly to the Ph.D. with a bachelor’s degree)

Admissions Process:

  • Applications are reviewed for admissibility by the Graduate Admissions Committee. This committee includes faculty, staff, and current graduate students in the FS&T program (early December)
  • Admissible applications are circulated to all field faculty members (mid December)
  • Field faculty members have the opportunity to invite potential students on-campus for an open-house in early February (early January)
  • Field faculty members indicate to Graduate Admissions Committee which student(s) they would like to make offers of admission to (late February)
  • All M.S. and Ph.D. applicants are notified of the decision - March 15
  • All M.F.S. applicants are notified of the decision - April 1

M.S. & P.h.D.

 

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall (August) admission period: September 1 - December 1
  • Spring (January) admission period: July 15 - September 1

M.F.S.

 

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall (August) admission period: September 1 - February 1
  • Spring (January) admission period: July 15 - September 1

Apply Online:

Applications are administered through the Cornell Graduate School’s on-line application system.

Application and Admissions Questions

Please review our Current Opportunities page to view faculty members actively seeking research students.

Yes!

While not required, prospective students are encouraged to reach out to faculty regarding research availability and interests.

No.

While not required, prospective students are encouraged to reach out to faculty regarding research availability and interests.

In addition to the online application form, you will need:

  • Academic Statement of Purpose
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (sent by ETS to institution code 2098). Applicants can choose any department code they wish as long as the institution code is correct. Scores must be sent electronically (e-delivery) to the Cornell University Graduate Admissions, Caldwell Hall e-download account. E-delivery may also be referred to as an e-TRF by your test center.
  • Unofficial copies of transcripts uploaded into the graduate school application.
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation (additional letters are accepted).

Hard copy materials do not need to be sent at the time of application. If admitted into the graduate program, applicants will receive correspondence indicating what items are required and by what dates they need to be submitted.

All admitted Ph.D. and M.S. students will have financial support, in the form of tuition, health insurance and living stipend. Financial support may be in the form of a teaching assistantship (TA), fellowship, graduate research assistantship (GRA), external funding or a combination of these. There is no separate application needed to apply for funding. M.F.S. students are not considered for financial support but are welcome to apply for external funding.

  • Fall Admission (August): December 1
  • Spring Admission (January): September 1

*Fall 2021 application decisions have already been made

Yes, financial support information should be included in the application.

We accept all bachelor’s degrees from regionally accredited institutions in the United States, even those that are completed in 3 years. For international degrees, we follow the guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers when considering which degrees are equivalent to a bachelor’s degree obtained in the United States. This usually means that 4 years of study are required, though some 3-year degrees can be accepted. International degree equivalencies are provided on the Graduate School website at https://www.gradschool.cornell.edu/admissions/applying/international-degree-equivalencies.

Although we no longer require the GRE, past students had scores in these ranges: 153-160 verbal, 155-166 quantitative, 3.5-4.5 analytical/writing.

We do not have a minimum GPA requirement but look for strong performance in science courses (mainly A’s and B’s).
Research (for MS and PhD applicants) and/or internship experience is also considered.

Most of all, it is crucial that applicants write a well-defined statement of purpose that clearly identifies their research interests and how their interests relate to current research being conducted by members of the graduate field faculty. We also look for letters of recommendation that indicate a clear knowledge of the applicant's skills, accomplishments, and character.

On average, 7-10 Ph.D., 5-7 M.S., and 14-20 M.F.S. students are accepted each year.

Fall: All applicants should be notified by March 15.

Spring: All applicants should be notified by October 15.

Fall: November 15.

Spring: April 15.

Degree Completion Questions

All new M.S. and Ph.D. students enter the program with their Committee Chair already identified. They need to identify the rest of their Special Committee by the end of the first semester.

    On average, most students finish the Ph.D. program in approximately 4 years.

      Form a Special Committee with one Chair and two minor members by the start of the second semester.

      Successful completion of three exams:

      • Q exam – completed before start of the second semester
      • A exam – completed after finishing two registration units but before the seventh semester
      • B exam – taken after completing all degree requirements, but not earlier than one month before competing six registration units

       

        Most students typically complete the M.S. degree in approximately 2 years.

          Form a Special Committee with one Chair and one minor member by the start of the second semester.

          Successful completion of two exams:

          • MS Q exam – completed before start of the second semester
          • MS exam – taken after completing all degree requirements

           

            M.F.S. students enter the program with an advisor already assigned; however, students have until the third week of classes to finalize their M.F.S. advisor.

              The M.F.S. program is typically completed in 2-3 semesters.

                • Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours related to the candidate's professional interest, as agreed upon with the advisor.
                • Satisfactory completion of a problem-solving project under the supervision of the advisor. This project may be an action program, the development of a plan of attack for a pertinent problem, the development of materials or methodology suited to the student's situation, or the development and execution of research appropriate to the profession. A formal project report must be submitted to and approved by the student’s advisor.
                • Completion of the degree within four years of admission

                Visit Stocking Hall

                Prospective Food Science & Technology graduate students visiting the Cornell campus should plan their visit thoughtfully. The Graduate Field Office of Food Science & Technology is happy to assist you in the coordination of your visit.

                Tour Cornell

                There are many opportunities to learn about Cornell's campus community beyond the Field of Food Science & Technology. Browse information sessions, tours, activities, attractions and other campus events, and add them to an itinerary as with an online shopping cart.

                Overnight Accommodations

                There are many options for overnight accommodations in Ithaca, including the Statler Hotel on Cornell's campus.

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