Application Guide

The application components listed on this page are required by all M.Eng. Programs. Applicants are encouraged to review the individual program pages for program-specific requirements.


  • Academic Statement of Purpose
    • This short essay should have a forward-looking focus. Tell us about your professional goals and how your academic background prepared you for the M.Eng. program. We are particularly interested in how your chosen M.Eng. program is a good fit for you.
  • Personal Statement
    • This short essay complements your academic statement of purpose and should be reflective, describing your personal motivations and sharing insights into your potential contributions to the Cornell M.Eng. community. Explain how your background has influenced your decision to pursue a professional degree.
  • Transcripts
    • Provide unofficial transcripts from each university you attended.
    • International students: if applicable, transcripts must be translated into English and GPAs must be converted to a 4.0 scale.
    • The minimum GPA to be eligible for admission is 2.7/4.0. Please note that individual programs may have higher limits.
    • Official transcripts will only be requested upon your admission to an M.Eng. program.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • The number of letters required varies by program.
    • The most helpful letters are those submitted by faculty members or professional references who are familiar with your capabilities and can comment on your past performance.
  • Application Fee
    • Payment of $105 must be made online at the time you submit your application.
    • Credit cards or debit cards are acceptable methods of payment.
    • Application fee waivers are generally not available for M.Eng. applicants.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    • Varies by program; check with individual programs for GRE requirements.
    • If required, you should self-report your scores where indicated on the application and arrange for ETS to send Cornell your official scores.
  • English Language Proficiency
    • Acceptable exams: IELTS Academic and TOEFL iBT
    • Follow the Graduate School’s instructions for submitting your official scores to Cornell.
    • IELTS Minimum Requirements*
      • Overall band score of at least 7.0
    • TOEFL iBT Minimum Requirements*
      • Speaking: 22 or above
      • Reading: 20 or above
      • Listening: 15 or above
      • Writing: 20 or above

* Listed are College of Engineering minima. Individual programs may have higher limits.

Standing Exemptions

For admissions purposes, Cornell University Master of Engineering Programs do not require IELTS or TOEFL scores from applicants who meet exemption criteria. On your application for admission, you may indicate if you meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Speak English as a first language and are a citizen or permanent resident of a country where English is an official language.
  2. At the time of enrollment at Cornell, will have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university located in the U.S. (Please note that you must have been physically present in the U.S. for the majority of your enrollment.)
  3. At the time of enrollment at Cornell, will have earned the international equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university located in a country where English is an official language, and where English is the language of instruction. The medium of instruction must be indicated on the transcript or easily verified on the institution’s website. (Please note that you must have been physically present in the exempt country for the majority of your enrollment.)
  4. At the time of enrollment at Cornell, will have studied and/or worked full-time for at least 2 consecutive years* within the last 10 years in a country where English is an official and widely spoken language. This experience must be noted on a transcript and/or described on a resume or CV.

Special Exemptions

Applicants who speak English as a first language, but do not otherwise qualify for a standing exemption, may be considered for a special exemption under the following circumstances: 

  • Speak English as a first or native language, but citizenship does not meet the Standing Exemption criteria.
  • Full-time study or work in a primary English country was for less than 2 years, was not consecutive, or occurred more than 10 years ago.

Contact the M.Eng. Programs Support Office if you think you may qualify for a special exemption.

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Ask a Student Ambassador

M.Eng. Ambassadors are available to answer non-application questions about why they chose Cornell, what classes they are taking, their M.Eng. project, their job search process, how they like Cornell and Ithaca, and related non-application questions. Admissions-related questions (such as acceptance criteria, application, etc.) should be directed to the appropriate staff of each M.Eng. program. Student Ambassadors are only available for email correspondence between September 1 and May 20 each year.

M.Eng. Student Ambassador Contact Form