Cornell University

Graduate Degree Programs

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Looking for more information about the M.S. Degree Track for B.S. Program?
View the Policy Handbook.

M.S. Degree Track for B.S. ILR Students

Undergraduates in ILR can pursue a track to earn the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Science degrees in ILR in five years.

The M.S. degree is a research and thesis oriented program. As such, it is substantially different from undergraduate study. B.S. candidates register for courses in their senior year which will prepare them to do research and prepare the thesis in a 5th year of study, as an M.S. student. As with all Cornell graduate degrees, the M.S. candidate's Special Committee sets degree requirements and verifies their completion.

The Committee consists of two members of the Faculty whose research interests are related to those of the candidate. The Committee Chairperson works with the candidate closely, and a minor member represents a secondary concentration. The committee directs the research and conducts the thesis examination/defense, which is the final stage of the program.

Applicants must submit a complete (on-line) Cornell Graduate Application (and application fee), a statement of purpose, full transcripts from all institutions attended, GRE or GMAT Test scores and a minimum of 2 academic letters of recommendation. Inclusion of a resume or CV detailing work experience, if applicable, is strongly encouraged.

A student in the BS ILR program may apply for the MS ILR during the fall of the 4th year of undergraduate study. If accepted, he or she earns the BS at the end of the 4th year, and is enrolled as a graduate student in the 5th year. The 5th year features the thesis research, writing, and defense of the thesis. (In some cases the research, etc. will require more than one year to complete.) Other considerations include the following:

  • Students must maintain a strong academic average (GPA of 3.5) as evidence of ability to work at the Masters level.
  • Applicants must take the GRE or GMAT no later than December of their senior year to have scores available for inclusion in the graduate application. (Deadline January 1st)
  • Applicants should have a research topic in mind and initiate contact with ILR Faculty members who might serve on the Special Graduate Committee and support the application.