Cornell University

Graduate Degree Programs

218 Ives Hall, 607-255-1522

For more information about admissions requirements for the ILR Graduate Degree Programs, view the ILR Graduate Policy Handbook.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to ILR is competitive, but each application is considered in its entirety and in comparison with other applications for the same class. The admissions committee, composed of faculty members from all concentrations, review the applications carefully and consider many factors in admissions decisions.

Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents, credential services, or other paid professional assistance. The 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.

Please note the application process is entirely online. Do not mail any unsolicited original or paper materials to us. This includes paper transcripts.

  • Areas of Study - Successful applicants have undergraduate (and graduate) degrees from a wide variety of majors including: the social sciences, humanities, psychology, business, history, law and others.
  • Work Experience - Work experience is not required, but a majority of applicants for the professional masters programs (MILR and MPS Ithaca and New York City) have spent a few years in the workplace. The MILR program is intended for students with 1-4 years of work experience, but we also admit a small group of outstanding students directly from strong undergraduate programs for fall admission only.
  • Transcripts - From all colleges or universities you've attended must be submitted. There is no specific minimum grade point average used as a cut-off, although undergraduate coursework and grades are a factor in the admission decisions.
  • Recommendations - 2 academic recommendations are required. Some applicants may want to submit professional recommendations instead of academic ones, which is permitted, but bear in mind that the admissions committee will want to know how you are likely to function in an academic setting. We prefer that letters of recommendation be submitted via the applicant's online application.
  • Interviews - After your MILR or EMHRM application has been submitted you will be invited to record an online video interview. For your convenience, our interview questions have been pre-recorded so that you can complete your responses at any time. The video interview is part of a holistic assessment that will be considered alongside your completed application. Detailed information about the video interviews will be provided by email after you submit your application.
  • Resume - All applicants are required to submit a resume with their application.
  • Statement of Purpose - MILR and EMHRM applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose with their application.
  • Writing Sample - MS/PhD applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a writing sample. Applicants who have already completed a Master's degree must submit a copy of their Master's thesis.
  • Statement of Project - EMHRM applicants are required to submit a statement of project. If admitted, you will be required to develop and implement an HR project in your organization. The statement of project should 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.
  • Required tests - Applicants to all programs except the EMHRM are required to submit test scores. Applicants may take either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). The LSAT is not accepted in place of the GRE or GMAT. The graduate committee considers applications as a whole and test scores are only one of the criteria considered in making admissions decisions. There is no "cut off" score for admission to the program or awarding funding. You can view our mean GRE and GMAT scores below.
  • Application Fee - The fee to submit your application is $95.00.
  • 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. Applicants who score below 25 in any TOEFL category may be asked to complete Cornell's summer English for International Students and Scholars (EISS) program prior to enrolling in ILR classes in order to assure admitted students of the best chance of success in the program.


Current MILR Class Profile


Average Class size: 65 students
Average age: 27
Average years of work experience: 3.9 years
Mean GRE: 158 Verbal; 155 Quantitative; 4.3 Analytical
Mean GMAT: 32 Verbal; 45 Quantitative; 4.6 AWA
Mean TOEFL: 105
International Population: 32%
Updated: 24 October 2014

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If you still have questions, make sure you read our Frequently Asked Questions or get in touch with our office. When you're ready, take the next step and start your online application.



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