Graduate Degree Application Information

Admission criteria for the Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences and International Development programs include at least two years of relevant professional experience in a developing country, possession of an undergraduate degree granted by an institution of recognized standing, relevant academic preparation for graduate study in this program and clear professional objectives within the field of International Development, expressed in the statement of purpose.


Application Requirements

  • A statement of purpose explaining why the applicant wishes to undertake graduate studies in their chosen field. (This is given considerable weight in admission decisions.)
  • 2 letters of recommendation. (Most weight is given to recommendations by teachers who can assess ability to perform at a high academic level.)
  • Complete transcripts from all educational institutions previously attended.
  • For international applicants, an official TOEFL score is required before the application will be reviewed by the field. Detailed TOEFL requirements and instructions are available through the Graduate School website.
  • GRE scores are not required, but useful for evaluation.
  • A current CV or resume.
  • The application fee or a letter requesting a fee waiver and the reasons, if appropriate.

Financial Requirements

A nonrefundable fee is required at the time of application. Current tuition and estimated living expenses for graduate study is available through the Graduate School website.

Applicants need to obtain their own funding, at least for the required two semesters of coursework. International Students are required to show proof of funding before the Graduate School will admit them to the program. For those who wish to study for additional (non-required) semesters there are some limited possibilities for financial support, such as teaching assistantships that may become available in appropriate departments or fields, and through the International Agriculture Program. These are competitive. There are also several Cornell sources of financial support for research and special project expenses that are awarded competitively. For instance, the Graduate School offers summer grants to students needing research travel support.


Peace Corp option admission requirements:

  • Students must apply and be accepted into both the MPS program at Cornell and the Peace Corps.
  • Graduate School admission requirements are dependent on chosen field of study.
  • Your statement of purpose (Cornell Graduate School admission requirement) must contain your chosen field of study and indicate Peace Corps option.
  • A copy of the Graduate School's offer of admission must be sent to the Peace Corps.
  • International Programs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (IP/CALS) must be notified of your application to the program.