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MPS Requirements

To matriculate in the Graduate School, you must have received a baccalaureate degree or, for students with foreign credentials, the equivalent from a college or university of recognized standing. An official certification of each degree earned is required.

A complete application must include:

International applicants have additional requirements.

The application form itself, is submitted online. All supplemental materials should be sent directly to the MPS Program office in New York City:

MPS Program
Cornell University—ILR
16 E. 34th St., 4th floor
New York, NY 10016

More information about the application requirements is available on the Graduate School website. Keep in mind that requirements and deadlines vary among the many different programs at Cornell, so please follow the instructions outlined on this page. It is recommended that all applicants contact the MPS Program office (212-340-2808) after the application form has been submitted.



Statement of purpose

A detailed (1-2 page) statement is submitted with the application form and should include your reasons for wanting to undertake graduate work. If appropriate, you may want to include an explanation of your research interests and their relation to your professional experiences and goals. A copy of the statement should be emailed to the MPS program.



Transcripts from each college or university previously attended should be scanned and uploaded as part of the online application. Applicants who are admitted and accept the offer of admission will be required to provide official paper transcripts prior to matriculation. It is recommended that applicants order two copies of each transcript so that one can be left in the original, sealed envelope for later submission, if an admission offer is made.


Letters of recommendation (including forms)

At least two letters of recommendation must be submitted, though more are acceptable. It is preferred that at least one recommendation come from a faculty member acquainted with your academic work, though if that work occurred some time ago, recommendations from those familiar with your professional performance are acceptable.

Recommendations can be submitted online through the Embark application system or mailed to the MPS program office.

If hard copies are sent, ask each recommender to staple the recommendation letter to a cover form, seal them in an envelope, sign his or her name across the seal, and return it to you. You should mail your letters of recommendation, along with your transcript(s), to the MPS program office. If the recommender prefers, he or she can send the letter directly to the MPS program office. There is space on the recommendation form to indicate the address for your recommender.


Resume or CV

Please submit a current resume or CV with your application. This should be emailed to the MPS program.


Two Essays

  1. In 3-4 pages, describe your career trajectory, both in terms of what has brought you to your current position and what you hope to realize in the future. What was it that first brought you into this field? Tell us about your work experience, particularly about the workplace issues you have grappled with over the course of your professional life. How have your experiences influenced your decision to apply to the MPS program? What do you hope to gain from this course of study? What kinds of insight and perspective do you think you would contribute to class discussions, based on your work and life experiences?
  2. Please write a 3-4 page essay on a substantive issue related to the workplace. You may draw on outside sources, or you may draw on your own insights and experiences.

The essays should be emailed to the MPS program.


GRE/GMAT score

For applicants with more than five years of relevant work experience, the GRE/GMAT is encouraged but not required. The GRE/GMAT is required of applicants with less than five years of work experience. If you do not intend to submit test scores with your application, please be sure your work history is clearly outlined in your resume or CV. Please inform the MPS program office at the time of application whether you will be submitting test scores, and do not hesitate to call us if you are unsure whether you meet the criteria for waiving the testing requirement.

Scores alone do not determine admissibility; the university and the graduate admissions commitee make decisions based on a variety of criteria. Scores must be received by the Graduate School before the application will be considered, but you may submit a copy of the student score report to speed up the process as long as the official score report has been ordered. If you are able to produce a copy of your score, scores from a test taken more than five years ago may be used.

  • Institution code for the GRE: 2098
  • Institution code for the GMAT: 2144

For more information on the GRE/GMAT, please refer to


$95 application fee

A non-refundable application fee of $95 must be paid online when the application is submitted. Payment may be in the form of: 1) a Visa or MasterCard credit-card authorization, or 2) an electronic check payment. The credit-card transaction is completed instantaneously; electronic checks take 5-7 days to clear. Your application will be processed once payment has been received. You should not send an additional payment in any form (i.e., do not return a completed credit-card authorization form); indication of credit-card number on the electronic form is sufficient.



If your name has changed, or if your records indicate that you use more than one name, include a statement showing all names used and identify, if possible, what names are used on what documents.

Application materials are kept on file for one year. Rather than submit a new application, you should request in writing to have your application reactivated. Another $95 application fee must accompany that request.


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