Cornell Employee Degree Applicants to ILR Graduate Programs
Cornell employees are welcome to apply to any ILR degree program for which they are qualified. Employee degree applicants must submit the same materials and meet the same criteria as external applicants. Admission to ILR is competitive — about one-third of all applicants are accepted across all graduate degree programs — but please don't let that keep you from applying. Our selection committee will look at your application carefully to get a clear picture of your background, your interests, and your potential for succeeding at ILR. Similar to applying for a job, your application will be compared to those of others in the applicant pool, and the committee will make its selection on that basis.
Admissions Decision Factors
Majors and Areas of Study
Often entering students have an undergraduate major in the social sciences; the field of psychology is frequently well-represented in an MILR class. However, it is not unusual to have fellow classmates who have been nurses, engineers or school teachers. All fields are considered in the admissions process.
Once admitted to the MILR program you'll complete six required core courses and six courses from one of four concentrations: Human Resources and Organizations, Labor Market Policy, Collective Representation, and Dispute Resolution. Major and minor subject areas for the MS and PhD are: Collective Bargaining, Labor Law, and Labor History; Human Resource Studies; International and Comparative Labor; Organizational Behavior. MPS students will also choose their area of concentration from these areas.
We don't require it, but often nearly half of the incoming professional masters classes have spent a few years in the workplace, including the Cornell workplace. The mix of student experiences makes class discussion lively.
GRE or GMAT
You'll need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and have your scores forwarded to us. While it is important to do well on those tests, test scores are only one of many items considered in the admissions process, along with undergraduate coursework, recommendations, and the other materials contained in the application.
We need transcripts from every college or university where you've ever taken courses. We don't compute grade point averages (GPAs) or use them as part of any formula. We prefer to look closely at the courses you've taken and the grades you've received.
You'll need to arrange for two letters of recommendation from faculty members acquainted with your academic work. You may approach faculty members at Cornell, if you have taken courses extramurally, for your academic recommendations. You may also supplement the required two academic recommendations with one or two professional recommendations.
We don't require an interview, although we're certainly happy to meet with you. Contact the ILR Graduate Programs Office at 255-1522.
Special Considerations for Employee Degree Applicants
Admission to the ILR graduate degree programs is based on a competitive selection process, and is not automatic or guaranteed for Cornell University Employee Degree candidates. Therefore, for Cornell employees who are planning to apply to the MILR and are taking ILR courses on an extramural basis for the purpose of applying those courses towards their degree, it is strongly recommended that applicants apply to the degree program before taking many relevant courses. Applicants must apply for admission to the degree program at least two semesters before the degree would be conferred. Simply completing all of the required coursework prior to admission to the program will not automatically grant the candidate admission nor the desired degree.
Upon admission to the degree program, the Cornell employee will be allowed to study on a part-time basis (except in the case of the on campus MPS program) under the terms of the University Employee Degree Program but will otherwise be held to the same standards and requirements as all other candidates. Employee degree candidates must follow all University and Graduate School policies regarding employment and study while in the employee degree program.
Unlike external candidates, Cornell employees who have successfully completed graduate level courses extramurally at Cornell prior to matriculating in the M.I.L.R. or M.S./Ph.D. degree program may petition the Graduate Committee (in the M.I.L.R. case) or the Special Committee (in the M.S./Ph.D. case) to transfer up to two registration units from their extramural studies toward their degree requirements. Employees matriculating in the M.P.S. program may petition the Graduate Committee to transfer one registration unit. (A full registration unit is the equivalent of one semester of full time study in a graduate program.) If the Graduate Committee approves, the student must then submit a General Petition to the Graduate School to be awarded those registration units. The Committee has the option of accepting some of the course work, but may disallow some courses based on performance or academic relevance to the degree program. The Graduate School also has this option. (External candidates do not have the option of transferring credits for coursework done elsewhere.)