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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 what 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 2018-2019 rate is $35,736 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 2018 Application Deadlines

 Animal Science, MPS

 February 15, 2018

 Biological and Environmental   Engineering, MEng and MPS

 March 1, 2018                                                                              

 Food Science and Technology,   MPS  February 1, 2018
 Global Development, MPS  April 15, 2018
 Horticulture, MPS  February 15, 2018
 Landscape Architecture, MLA  December 31, 2017
 Landscape Architecture, MPS  February 15, 2018
 Natural Resources, MPS  February 28, 2018
 Plant Pathology, MPS  February 15, 2018
 Soil and Crop Sciences, MPS  February 15, 2018
  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