The MPS Application Process

Students are accepted into the MPS program by application through the Cornell Graduate School. Admission is competitive. While there are no specific requirements as to previous areas of study or areas or years of work experience, the admissions committee looks for applicants with a strong academic background as well as a proven record of relevant work and life experience. Admissions decisions are made by informed judgment, not formulas.

The application deadline is June 1, and new students begin the program in late August. Please be sure to follow the guidelines below, as some requirements (e.g., deadlines, GRE/GMAT waivers, supplemental essays) differ from the general form instructions.


A complete application must include:

International applicants have additional requirements.

Applications are submitted online.

Additional instructions and technical help are available on the Graduate School website. Keep in mind that requirements and deadlines vary among the many different programs at Cornell, so please refer to the instructions outlined on this page. 

Please contact the MPS program offices directly (212-340-2808 or with any application or program-related questions. 

  • Name of field: Industrial and Labor Relations
  • Proposed degree program: MPS/NYC


Statement of purpose

A detailed (1-2 pages) statement should be submitted with the application form and should include your reasons for wanting to undertake graduate study. If appropriate, you may want to include an explanation of your research interests and their relation to your professional experiences and goals. Include your full name and MPS/NYC at the top of each page. Please use a standard font and font size for ease of reading.



Successful applicants will have received a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing. For students with foreign credentials, an equivalent international degree is required. 

Transcripts from each previously attended college or university are required. Please inform the MPS program office if the name on any credential will be different from that on your application.

To submit transcripts:

  • Redact, cross out, or cover your social security number (SSN) on paper transcripts prior to scanning. Please do not upload transcripts that include your SSN.
  • Scan each transcript (and English translation, if required) as a PDF, TIFF, JPEG or GIF file. The file size must be less than 10mb. 
  • Ensure the scanned image is clear and easy to read.
  • Upload the scanned transcript(s) into the online application as part of the submissions process.

Additional information for international applicants

Please note: Admitted students are required to submit official transcripts directly to the Graduate School prior to matriculation. If paper transcripts must be ordered for scanning for the application, it is recommended to order two copies so that one can be left in the original, sealed envelope for later submission, if an admission offer is made.


Letters of recommendation

Two letters of recommendation must be submitted, though up to four will be accepted if this will better reflect a varied professional history or academic background. Where appropriate, one letter should come from a faculty member acquainted with your academic work; if academic work occurred some time ago, all recommendations may be from those familiar with your professional performance.

Applicants should submit the names and contact information for their recommenders on the online application. Each recommender will receive an email with a link to an online form to complete the recommendation, which can be uploaded or typed directly into the text box provided.


Resume or CV

A current resume or CV should be submitted with the application form.


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 brought you into your 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 insights and perspectives would you contribute to class discussions, based on your work and life experiences?
  2. Write a 3-4 page essay on a substantive issue related to the workplace. You may draw on outside sources or on your own insights and experiences.


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, and do not hesitate to contact us if you are unsure whether you meet the criteria for waiving the testing requirement.

Scores alone do not determine admissibility; admissions decisions are based on a variety of criteria. Where required, scores must be received from ETS before an application will be reviewed.

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

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


$105 application fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $105 must be submitted with the online application. Payment must be made using either an e-check in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank, or a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit card.



Applying to more than one field:
You may submit one application for a given term; multiple applications will not be processed. If you are not offered admission, you may contact one different graduate field and ask to have your application reviewed. If the new field’s deadline has not passed and that field is willing to review your application, you should contact your original field and request that they forward your materials.

Credentialing services or other forms of paid professional assistance: 
Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents, credentialing 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 admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.

Unsolicited application materials:
Publications, award certificates, theses, and similar materials should not be sent without first requesting permission from the MPS program offices.

Deferring an admission offer:
Admission offers are made for a particular semester. In cases of unanticipated changes in personal or work circumstances, requests to defer admission will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you are refused admission or declined a previous offer, you may reapply using the regular online application.


Additional requirements for international applicants:

In addition to the materials required of all applicants, international applicants must meet the following requirements. Please note that students enrolled in the part-time MPS/NYC program are not eligible for F-1 visa support, which is limited to full-time study.

English language proficiency requirement

International degree equivalencies

Requirements for international credentials

Financial requirements for international students:
Prior to matriculation, admitted international students must provide proof of full financial support for the duration of their graduate studies. The amount of funding required and forms for financial certification will be provided if an admission offer is made.