Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree program?

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.  

  1. What are the main advantages of the CALS MPS degree program?

  • 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
  1. How does an MPS degree compare to a master of science (MS) degree?

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







 Final project

Capstone project



Typically one year

Typically 2-3 years


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

  1. How can the MPS help me develop my career skills?

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
  1. Can I apply my MPS degree towards a PhD?

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.

  1. What is the current tuition rate?

The 2019-2020 rate is $37,022 for the CALS MPS programs.

Read more about loans and funding for graduate school

  1. What are the admissions and academic requirements?

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

Read more about MPS admissions and academic requirements

 Fall 2020 Application Deadlines

 Animal Science, MPS

 February 15, 2020

 BEE MEng and MPS

 March 1, 2020            

 Food Science and Technology, MPS 

 February 1, 2020
 Global Development, MPS  March 15, 2020*
 Horticulture, MPS  February 15, 2020
 Landscape Architecture, MLA  January 4, 2020
 Landscape Architecture, MPS  February 15, 2020
 Natural Resources, MPS  February 28, 2020*
 Plant Biology, MPS  February 15, 2020
 Soil and Crop Sciences, MPS  February 15, 2020

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

  1. What are the required TOEFL scores?

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

Read more about TOEFL score requirements

  1. How can I find out more?

Contact the Office of Professional Programs and Extended Learning

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