MPS Admissions and Academic Requirements


The Cornell University Graduate School administers admissions to the Master of Professional Studies Program at Cornell.  Please visit the Cornell University Graduate School website for details.

Academic Requirements

  • Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours related to the candidate's professional interest, as agreed upon with the faculty advisor.
    (a)   Twenty credit hours must be taken within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and at least 24 credits must be in courses numbered 4000 or higher.
    (b)   A maximum of 6 of the required 30 credit hours may be earned through the student's problem-solving project (see 3rd bullet).
    (c)   A maximum of 6 credit hours earned outside the program, at Cornell University or elsewhere, may be counted toward these requirements at the discretion of the student's faculty advisor. These credits must be appropriate to the subject of study and completed not more than five years before admission.
  • Completion of a minimum of 2 semesters. One semester must be earned by carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours. In certain circumstances, the second semester credit may be earned by accumulating the remaining credit hours in the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions at Cornell University or through transfer of credit (see item c above).
  • Satisfactory completion of a problem-solving project under the supervision of the faculty advisor. This project may be an action program, the development of a plan to address 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 candidate's faculty advisor. A copy is presented to the college MPS Committee and will be placed in Mann Library.
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.5 (minimum of 18 credit hours with letter grades at Cornell).
  • Completion of the degree within four years of admission. Some fields of study may have special requirements, so students should check with the field's Director of Graduate Studies for specific details.

Applying to Graduate

It is the responsibility of the graduating MPS student to complete an Application to Graduate. Completing the Application to Graduate notifies the CALS Registrar to: order your diploma, place your name in the commencement program and initiate a review of your remaining degree requirements. 

Complete the first and second section and send it to Professional Programs Office, 212 Kennedy Hall, or send a pdf of the application by email to with the subject line, "ATTN: Student Services Coordinator".

The deadline for the Application to Graduate is:

  • December candidates –early October
  • May candidates – ** last week of March
  • August candidates – July 28, 2017

** If you miss this deadline you will risk your name being omitted from the commencement program and important information concerning commencement.


Degrees are conferred annually in January, May and August.  Cornell Commencement takes place in May and January.  Every candidate, regardless of graduation date, is invited to participate in the May Commencement ceremony.  Please see the Cornell University Commencement website for more information.

Diplomas will be printed with your name exactly as it appears on your official records and sent via postal mail.  It is the student’s responsibility to verify that their name and home address are correct in Student Essentials.  This will ensure mailing to the correct address.  The diploma mailing schedule can be found here.  

Cornell University transcripts with your official grades can be ordered through the Office of the University Registrar two weeks after graduation.