If the topic is not covered here, we are happy to respond to e-mail inquiries sent to meng-admissions@cs.cornell.edu and to engage in a dialogue where clarification is needed.

Q: I have taken the GREs and would like to submit them with my application. Will the admissions committee still consider them even though they are not required?

We do not consider the GRE scores of any applicant. It is not necessary to submit GRE scores as they will not have any impact on our decision. 

Q: What are the criteria for acceptance into the program?

Basically, we evaluate your application on all of the material you submit,(i.e letters, transcripts, test scores, work experience, etc.,) Applicants should have a solid background in Object-oriented programming, functional programming, discrete structures, data structures, and architecture either through courses or documented real-life experience.

Q: I have submitted my application and all supporting documents, however, my application still reads "In Progress." Why?

Once the application submission deadline has passed, we will start to process the applications and make sure we have received all required documents. Once your application has been processed and confirmed to be complete, we will change the status to "Complete."

The status of "In Progress" simply means we have not yet processed your application for completeness.

Q: I would like to submit more than two letters of recommendation, is this allowed and will be application be deemed "incomplete" if additional letters are not received?

Once we have received the required application materials, we will consider your application complete. If you requested three letters of recommendation and only two are received at the time of processing, we will consider that the letter of recommendation requirement has been met.

Q: When I requested that my test scores be sent to Cornell, I used Institution Code 2098, however, I did not enter a Department code for CS. Will my scores be matched to my application or should I have them re-sent?

Once your scores are received by Cornell, they will be automatically matched to your application. No Department code is required.

Q: I requested that my test scores be sent to Cornell months ago and have received confirmation that they were sent. When I look at my record in College Net, it is showing that my scores are "pending." How do I know if Cornell has received my scores?

Often an applicant will register for their tests using a different iteration of their name, (i.e. not including a middle name,) than used to apply for admission to Cornell. When this happens, the system cannot match scores to the appropriate application and scores must be manually matched by the Graduate Admissions Office. If you suspect this is the case for you, send an e-mail to meng-admissions@cs.cornell.edu which includes, your name as you applied, name as you registered for the test as well as the date you sat for the test and date you received confirmation your scores were sent to Cornell.

Q: I have already submitted my application and I would like to add additional information, (resume, updated transcript, new letter of recommendation,) how can I do this?

You will need to send the additional materials to meng-admissions@cs.cornell.edu and request that they be uploaded to your application. We will be happy to add a resume or letter of recommendation, however, applicants are responsible for uploading updated transcripts using the transcript update tool through their ApplyWeb account. Additional upload requests will be taken into consideration.

Q: I have been admitted to the program, but I would like to defer my admission. Is this possible?

We only allow deferrals under certain circumstances. If you need a deferral, you should contact the CS M.Eng Admissions Office. Each deferral request is decided on a case-by-case basis. 

Q: Does the Department of Computer Science provide any financial aid to the M.Eng. students?

The Department of Computer Science does not provide Financial Aid to students in the Masters of Engineering Program. Students are responsible for securing funding for the program.

Q: Can I work as a Teaching Assistant or grader for a course?

Every semester there are a limited number of course staff positions titled GTRS (Graduate Teaching and Research Specialist) offered to M.Eng. students. These positions do not cover any tuition but do provide a stipend paid twice a month. An application will be sent out to all eligible students late in the semester prior.  You will be notified by our office if you are awarded a TA position. Please be advised that it is rare for an M.Eng. student to be awarded an MEng-level course staff position in their first semester at Cornell.

Q: Are there any Research Assistant positions available for qualified M.Eng students?

It is not often that our faculty members have research positions available for students and even more rare for them to hire someone before having met them and established a working relationship with them, (i.e. have had them as a student in their course.) When such positions do become available, the faculty generally identify candidates and contact them directly. It is not useful for students or prospective students to contact faculty members inquiring about such positions.

Q: My application to your program was rejected. I suspect this was due to my low TOEFL score. Can I retake the test and apply again next time?

You may reapply after re-taking the TOEFL test. You will be required to complete an entirely new application and supply all new materials at the time of your new application. However, an applicant is rarely denied an offer of admission based solely on TOEFL scores. A decision to reject an applicant is more likely the result of several criteria not being met. If you have not scored the minimum in every section of the TOEFL test, however, we will not even consider your application due to the University rule that prevents us from offering admission to anyone who does not meet the minimum. Please find more information on the TOEFL requirement on the Graduate School website.

Q: I earned my undergraduate Degree in a country where it only takes three years to earn a Bachelor's degree. Can I still apply for the CS MEng Program?
The Cornell University Graduate School website has a list of International degree equivalencies which are accepted. Please visit the International Degree Equivalencies page for additional information.
Q: My application to the CS M.Eng program was rejected and I want to know why so I can strengthen my application and apply again. Should I call or e-mail the admissions committee to inquire about why I was not offered admission?

Please do NOT contact the admissions committee or M.Eng Office to inquire about why you were not offered admission. We receive over 1500 applications each year and it is not practical to respond to the hundreds of applicants who were not offered admission. Be assured that your application was reviewed and assessed with care by a highly qualified and experienced admissions team.

Q: I am currently enrolled in a Master's Program in CS at another University. Will I be able to transfer credit toward my M.Eng. degree at Cornell?

The Master of Engineering Program does not accept transfer credit from other Graduate Programs. Only courses which are taken after matriculation at Cornell and pre-approved will be counted towards the CS M.Eng. Degree.

Q: My undergraduate degree was in physics (or math or mechanical engineering etc.,) but I've taken some CS courses and I think I'm ready for your program. Can I apply?

Yes, we are happy to consider your application, however, admission will only be offered to students who are prepared for the courses required for the CS MEng degree. We expect to see from your transcripts that you have taken courses that are equivalent to:

  • CS 2110 - Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures
  • CS 3110 - Data Structures and Functional Programming
  • CS 2800 - Discrete Structures
  • CS 3410 - Computer System Organization and Programming

You can see a list of these and other courses offered by the Department of Computer Science along with descriptions on our List of CS Courses page.

Q: If I only have the courses listed as "prerequisites" is that enough to be a competitive applicant?

The majority of our applicants have a much stronger background in CS. Along with the courses listed, they have additional CS coursework as well as practical experience through internships of employment. 

Q: How will I be notified of the admissions committee's decision? Should I phone the M.Eng. Office and inquire?

Please do not call us. It is the policy of the CS M.Eng. Office not to provide decision information over the telephone. You will be notified via e-mail as soon as a decision is made.

Q: Can a relative or friend call on my behalf to inquire about my application or admission status?

We are not permitted to discuss any aspect of an applicant or student with a person other than the student/applicant. We also do not answer questions regarding decisions over the phone (please see the question above.)

Q: How will I find a job when I'm done?

Our M.Eng. graduates are in very high demand! Many well-known companies recruit on campus throughout the term. We have found it common for M.Eng. grads to have several excellent offers from which to choose. The College of Engineering Career Center, offers many services which assist our graduates in finding employment, including advisors dedicated to assisting M.Eng students in their job search.

Q: May I apply to the PhD program after I'm done?

You are welcome to apply to our Ph.D. Program. The M.Eng. program is a professional degree program, aimed at enhancing your practical skills in computer science. The Ph.D. program is an academic degree program in which highly qualified students pursue research goals. While the goals of these programs are certainly not disjoint, the M.Eng. program is not usually considered a path to entry into our Ph.D. program. However, each year we see a few of our graduates continue on in Ph.D. programs at many of the top Universities in the country.

Q: Is the degree from Cornell Tech the same as the degree earned in Ithaca?

At the end of one academic year, graduates from both programs will earn a Master of Engineering degree, but the focus and requirements of the programs are different:

  • Technical Content. Equally deep. The menu of possible courses is much greater in Ithaca. Courses at Cornell Tech are smaller, less structured, and resonate with the entrepreneurial theme.
  • Business Courses. Cornell Tech has specially designed courses offered by the Johnson School. Ithaca students have access to more general courses offered by the Johnson School and other units such as the Department of Economics and the Department of Science, Technology, and Society.
  • Project. At Cornell Tech there are team projects associated with local organizations and industry. On the main Cornell University Campus there is a greater number of project formats, e.g., 1:1 with a CS faculty member, 1:1 with a non-CS faculty member, group projects with research and project teams, IT work in a science laboratory.
  • Please contact tech@cornell.edu for more information on their programs.
Q: Can I apply to both the Ithaca-based Cornell University CS M.Eng and NYC-based Cornell Tech CS M.Eng programs at the same time?

Cornell Tech uses a different application system (SalesForce) and that makes it possible for you to apply to each program independently if you so desire. Please visit the Cornell Tech website for more information.

Q: I am an MEng student in another field at Cornell. Can I transfer to the CS MEng Program?

There are no mid-term transfers from one MEng program to another. Should you currently be enrolled in an M.Eng Program in a field other than CS and wish to apply to the CS MEng Program you are welcome to do so, but not until the next admissions cycle. You will need to request a change of program by asking your Graduate Field Advisor to share your original application materials with the CS MEng Admissions Office. You will need to also send a separate statement of purpose, updated transcripts, and any additional LORs prior to the deadline for applications. Your application will be reviewed along with the others in the application pool. If granted admission, you will be approved for a change of program. There is no guarantee that any of the credits completed prior to your program change will be accepted toward CS M.Eng degree credits.

If you will have completed all of your MEng degree requirements for your current program prior to the semester for which you are applying, you will need to start a new application and submit all new supporting documents.

Q: My background is not in Computer Science and I have not completed the courses listed on the pre-requisite page. Can I be admitted on the condition that I complete the prerequisites?

The CS MEng Program is an intensive two-semester program and in order to complete the degree requirements in the two semesters, students need to be adequately prepared prior to starting. The admissions committee will not admit students who are not prepared for the required courses.

Q: I do not have a formal background in Computer Science, but I feel I am prepared for the CS MEng program based on self-study, MOOCs, and work experience. How do I "prove" I am capable of being successful in the courses required for the program?

It is difficult to evaluate credentials that are not in the form of college transcripts, but we recognize that some people have been able to successfully work as programmers, etc. through self-teaching and MOOCs. In order to include these non-documented skills in your application, we recommend that you consider taking the following steps;

  • Review the pre-requisite courses and their course content to determine if you can complete the work required for those courses. If you are not able to confidently say that you would be able to complete these courses successfully, you should take equivalent courses before you apply.
  • Take a course or two which is similar to caliber and content as one of our Master's level courses and do well. Submit the transcript as an indication that you are capable of the work required in our program.
  • Include a detailed description of your self-study, MOOC completion, and work experience and how it prepares you for the courses you will need to complete in the CS MEng Program.
  • Provide letters of recommendation from professionals who are aware of and can attest to your skills, knowledge, and background as it is relevant to being prepared for our Master's level courses.
Q: Are there other Masters programs at Cornell of potential interest?

Yes. The programs in Operations Research, Information Science, Engineering Management, and Electrical and Computer Engineering have features that are attractive to students with CS inclinations. Visit the Cornell College of Engineering M.Eng Program page for links to all M.Eng Programs.