Cornell University

Graduate Degree Programs

Brad Bell, program director, Executive Master of Human Resource Management

How to apply

Admission to Cornell University's School of Industrial & Labor Relations is competitive. The graduate admissions committee, composed of faculty members from all concentrations, carefully reviews applications and considers many factors when discussing admissions decisions.

Admissions requirements

You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, or an equivalent international degree. (See our list of equivalent international degrees.) Standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT) are not required for admission to this program.

Cornell University expects you to complete your application without using paid agents, credential services, or other paid professional assistance. Use of such services violates university policy, and may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admission offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the university.

Because the Executive Master of Human Resource Management program is delivered online, we must be legally authorized to provide post-secondary educational instruction by certain states (or be exempt or otherwise not subject to such authorization in a state) before offering the EMHRM program to students in that state. To date, we are permitted to offer the EMHRM to students in the following states:

Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas*, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington

* The ILR School is not regulated in Texas under Chapter 132 of the Texas Education Code. Cornell University's authority to grant degrees is bestowed by the New York State Board of Regents. The Board of Regents mandates that all degree-granting academic programs must be registered with the New York State Education Department. Information on filing student complaints is located at:

We encourage you to check your eligibility for the program even if your state is not listed above, as we are in the process of pursuing authorization in several additional states and the District of Columbia by the beginning of the program's inaugural class in May 2015. This list will be updated regularly.

Successful applicants must also provide the following necessary application materials:

Résumé – Include work history and experience, skills and areas of expertise, personal achievements, and any information that is pertinent to your application review.

Transcripts – Submit transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended.

Recommendations – Submit two professional recommendations. One must be from a direct supervisor who supports your enrollment, knows your abilities and can speak to your potential for advancement in HR, and confirms that you can obtain access and resources to complete your case project.

Statement of purpose – Discusses your past achievements, future career goals, and how the EMHRM program will help you reach your career objectives.

Statement of project – If admitted, you will be required to develop and implement an HR project in your organization. Describe the project you might implement, the likelihood of support for the project, and how you will gain support from your current management team to complete it.

Application fee – Submit a nonrefundable application fee of $95 with your application.

International Students

TOEFL is required for all international students who do not qualify for at least one of the exceptions listed here. Applicants must meet set minimum category scores in order to be admitted to Cornell University under the Cornell Graduate School policy. According to Cornell Graduate School requirements, applicants with TOEFL scores below the following minimums in any of the four categories cannot be admitted to Cornell University:

  • Listening: 15
  • Reading: 20
  • Speaking: 22
  • Writing: 20

ILR recommends applicants have a minimum total score of 100 on the TOEFL with recommended sectional scores of 25 in each category.

Application process

Applications to the EMHRM program will be accepted only through our online application system using the link below. The application deadline is December 15, 2014.

Applications will be reviewed by the graduate admission committee, comprised of faculty and staff members from all departments. You’ll receive notification of our decision by January 15, 2015.

Visiting the Ithaca campus

Campus visits are encouraged and welcomed. To schedule a visit, complete the campus visit request form at least two weeks in advance. The graduate student visit coordinator will contact you to determine which activities can be arranged while you’re here. Possibilities include

  • meeting with faculty members
  • having a guided tour
  • attending a graduate class
  • dining with a graduate student