Application and Admissions Questions
Which faculty members are accepting research students?
Please review our Current Opportunities page to view faculty members actively seeking research students.
Is it acceptable to contact faculty members to inquire about research positions?
Is it required to contact faculty members to inquire about research positions before submitting an application?
What items are needed to be considered for admission into the graduate field of Food Science and Technology?
- Official GRE scores (sent by ETS to institution code 2098). Applicants can choose any department code they wish as long as the institution code is correct.
- Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (sent by ETS to institution code 2098). Applicants can choose any department code they wish as long as the institution code is correct. The TOEFL or IELTS is required for applicants whose native language is not English. Exceptions to this requirement are described on the Graduate School webpage at https://gradschool.cornell.edu/admissions/prepare/english-language-proficiency-requirement/#Exceptions.
- Unofficial copies of transcripts uploaded into the graduate school application.
- 2-3 letters of recommendation (additional letters are accepted).
What materials do I need to send by mail?
Hard copy materials do not need to be sent at the time of application. If admitted into the graduate program, applicants will receive correspondence indicating what items are required and by what dates they need to be submitted.
Will I be considered for financial support?
All admitted Ph.D. and M.S. students will have financial support, in the form of tuition, health insurance and living stipend. Financial support may be in the form of a teaching assistantship (TA), fellowship, graduate research assistantship (GRA), external funding or a combination of these. There is no separate application needed to apply for funding. M.P.S. students are not considered for financial support but are welcome to apply for external funding.
What is the final deadline to be considered for admission into the program?
Fall 2020 Admission (August): December 1, 2019
Spring 2020 Admission (January): September 1, 2019
*Fall 2019 application decisions have already been made
If I have obtained a full scholarship for graduate studies, should I upload this information into the application?
Yes, financial support information should be included in the application.
May I apply with a 3-year bachelor’s degree?
We accept all bachelor’s degrees from regionally accredited institutions in the United States, even those that are completed in 3 years. For international degrees, we follow the guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers when considering which degrees are equivalent to a bachelor’s degree obtained in the United States. This usually means that 4 years of study are required, though some 3-year degrees can be accepted. International degree equivalencies are provided on the Graduate School website at https://www.gradschool.cornell.edu/admissions/applying/international-degree-equivalencies.
What scores are needed to be considered for admission into your program?
Admitted students generally score in the following ranges, GRE scores: 153-160 verbal, 155-166 quantitative, 3.5-4.5 analytical/writing. We do not have a minimum GPA requirement but look for strong performance in science courses (mainly A’s and B’s). Research (for MS and PhD applicants) and/or internship experience. It is crucial that applicants write a well-defined statement of purpose that clearly identifies their research interests and how their interests relate to current research being conducted by members of the graduate field faculty. We also look for letters of recommendatin that indicate a clear knowldge of the applicant's skills, accomplishments, and character.
How many students are accepted each year?
On average, 7-10 Ph.D., 5-7 M.S., and 14-20 M.P.S. students are accepted each year.
When will I receive the admission decision?
Fall: All applicants should be notified by March 15. Spring: All applicants should be notified by October 15.
When do I need to notify you of my decision to attend this program?
Fall: November 15. Spring: April 15.
Degree Completion Questions
If accepted into the program, when do I identify my Special Committee?
All new M.S. and Ph.D. students enter the program with their Committee Chair already identified. They need to identify the rest of their Special Committee by the end of the first semester.
What is the length of time to complete the Ph.D. program?
On average, most students finish the Ph.D. program in approximately 4 years.
What degree milestones are expected of Ph.D. students?
Form a Special Committee with one Chair and two minor members by the start of the second semester.
Successful completion of three exams:
- Q exam – completed before start of the second semester
- A exam – completed after finishing two registration units but before the seventh semester
- B exam – taken after completing all degree requirements, but not earlier than one month before competing six registration units
What is the length of time to complete the M.S. program?
Most students typically complete the M.S. degree in approximately 2 years.
What degree milestones are expected of M.S. students?
Form a Special Committee with one Chair and one minor member by the start of the second semester.
Successful completion of two exams:
- MS Q exam – completed before start of the second semester
- MS exam – taken after completing all degree requirements
If accepted into the M.P.S. program, when do I identify my advisor?
MPS students enter the program with an advisor already assigned; however, students have until the third week of classes to finalize their MPS advisor.
What is the length of time to complete the M.P.S. program?
The M.P.S. program is typically completed in 2-3 semesters.
What degree milestons are expected of M.P.S. students?
- Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours related to the candidate's professional interest, as agreed upon with the advisor.
- Satisfactory completion of a problem-solving project under the supervision of the advisor. This project may be an action program, the development of a plan of attack for a pertinent problem, the development of materials or methodology suited to the student's situation, or the development and execution of research appropriate to the profession. A formal project report must be submitted to and approved by the student’s advisor.
- Completion of the degree within four years of admission