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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. All materials must be submitted and/or uploaded through the online application system. Please review the frequently asked questions for more information.

Application Requirements

Application Deadlines for a May 2023 start:

December 15, 2022
January 15, 2023
March 15, 2023

Successful applicants must provide the following application materials:

Note: Standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, etc.) are NOT required for admission to this program.

You may submit your online application with only Statement of Purpose; Statement of Project; Resume; Unofficial Transcripts; and Application Fee. You will be able to upload the remaining required materials to your application through your ApplyWeb account anytime prior to the missing materials deadline (10 days after each application deadline).

  1. Bachelor's Degree –You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, or an equivalent international degree. (See Cornell's list ofInternational Degree Equivalencies)
  2. Resume – Include work history and experience, skills and areas of expertise, personal achievements, and any information that is pertinent to your application.
  3. Transcripts – Please submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended. If you are admitted into the program you will be required to submit official transcripts to the Cornell University Graduate School.
  4. Letters of Recommendation – Submit two professional letters of recommendation. One must be from a direct supervisor who supports your enrollment, knows your abilities, can speak to your potential for advancement in HR, and confirms that you can obtain access and resources to complete your case project.
  5. Academic Statement of Purpose – Please use the Academic Statement of Purpose to describe, within 1000 words: (1) your academic interests, (2) your academic background, preparation, and training, including any relevant professional experiences, (3) your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this specific program, and (4) your professional goals.
  6. 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. Read more below.
  7. Application Fee – Submit a non-refundable application fee of $105 with your application.
  8. Online Video Interview – After submitting your application you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to record your online video at your convenience.
  9. TOEFL or IELTS scores – Required for all international students, unless you meet the criteria for an exception.

Statement of Project

If admitted, you will be required to develop and implement an HR project in your organization. Your project must focus on HR actions designed to address an identified, strategic business challenge or opportunity. Examples might include growth, globalization, innovation, competitive pressures, total quality, tapping new markets. The business challenge/opportunity should have implications for the workforce and for HR processes/practices for which you can develop an intervention.

We recognize that your project selection may change before or even shortly after you begin the program, but please provide a summary of a project that you could realistically undertake. In about 100 words, describe the business challenge or opportunity, then provide another 150 words on potential HR implications that you could explore and work to address.

International Students

TOEFL or IELTS are required for all international students who do not qualify for at least one of the exceptions listed here.


Applicants must meet minimum category scores in order to be admitted to Cornell University under the Cornell Graduate School policy.

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

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


Applicants with IELTS scores must have a band score of 7.0 or higher.

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