Cornell University, NEW YORK, ITHACA - ADMISSION

    Ithaca, New YorkLocation
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    Cornell University 2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

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    Anam Shams

    Content Curator

    Being a part of the prestigious Ivy League, Cornell University continues to impart quality education through varied academic offerings in over 100 disciplines. Moreover, Cornell is one of the most diverse institutions in US housing students from over 116 countries in the world.

    Cornell University attracts a galore of applications every academic year and getting through its rigorous admissions process can be a tough nut to crack. In order to assess the difficulty of getting accepted to Cornell University, let’s get a sneak peek into Class of 2021 UG admission statistics:

    Students Early Decision Regular Decision Total
    No. of Applicants 6,158 42,956 49,114
    Admits 1,397 3,933 5,330
    Enrollment 1,369 1,849 3,218
    Acceptance Rate 22% 9% 10%

    We can clearly see from the admission statistics that out of a total of 49,114, merely 5,330 applications got selected for admission,i.e., only 10% students could fulfil their dream of making to one of the top-notch institutions like Cornell.

    Also, one must note that students who applied through Early decision (acceptance rate: 22%) were preferred over the ones who applied through the regular decision (acceptance rate: 9%) and had a better chance of admission. Thus, it’s imperative that students with only Cornell on their mind should go for the Early decision without any second thoughts.

    Top Programs at Cornell University

    Programs Tuition Fee (Per Annum in USD) Deadlines Basic Academic Requirements
    M.Eng Computer Science 56,550 Fall: February 1; Spring: October 1 GPA: 3.6; GRE: Verbal- 153, Quantitative- 165; IELTS: 100/ TOEFL: 7.0
    MBA 69,440 Round 1: October 10, Round 2: January 5, Round 3: April 8 GMAT: 700; GPA: 3.34; IELTS: 100/ TOEFL: 7.0
    M.Eng Mechanical Engineering 56,550 Fall: February 1; Spring: October 1 GPA: 3.6; GRE: Verbal-157, Quantitative-164; Analytic- 3.0; IELTS: 100/ TOEFL: 7.0
    M.Eng./MBA 69,440 Round 1: November 5; Round 2: January 8; Round 3: April 4 GMAT: 700/ GRE: Verbal-157, Quantitative-164; Analytic- 3.0; IELTS: 100/ TOEFL: 7.0
    M.Eng Materials Science and Engineering 29,404 Fall: December 1; Spring: October 3 GRE: Verbal- 153; Quantitative- 165; IELTS: 100; TOEFL: 7.0
    M.Sc. Applied Economics and Management 20,800 Fall: December 15 GRE: Verbal- 153; Quantitative- 165; IELTS: 100; TOEFL: 7.0
    B.Sc Computer Science 60,350 Fall: November 1; Spring: October 3 85% in Class 12 with knowledge of Object-Oriented Programming & Data Structures, Discrete Structures, Math or Calculus;
    IELTS: 100/TOEFL: 7.0
    B.Sc Mechanical Engineering 52,323 Fall: November 1; Spring: October 3 85% in Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry & Maths
    IELTS: 100/ TOEFL: 7.0
    B.Sc Chemical Engineering 52,323 Fall: November 1; Spring: October 3 85% in Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry & Maths
    IELTS: 100/ TOEFL: 7.0
    Bachelor of Global and Public Health Sciences 52,424 Fall: November 1; Spring: October 3 85% in Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths & English
    IELTS: 100/TOEFL: 7.0
    B.Sc Operations Research and Engineering 52,323 Fall: November 1; Spring: October 3 85% in Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry & Maths
    IELTS: 100/ TOEFL: 7.0

    What is a good score to get accepted at Cornell University?

    Standardized test scores form a major component of an application. To get an edge over the others and sustain the existing competition, it’s important to fetch scores par above the minimum requirements for admission at Cornell.

    Cornell University Class Profile (Graduate Students)

    Class Profile of Popular Graduate Programs at Cornell (Class of 2020) are tabulated below:

    Subject/School Total Applicants Admitted Students Acceptance Rate Median UG GPA Standardized Test Scores Average Work Experience
    2-year MBA Program 1,653 280 17% 3.41 Median GMAT Score: 700 5 years
    Cornell Law School – Juris Doctor Program 3,826 198 5.2% 3.77 Median LSAT Score: 167 Not required
    Cornell Medical School 6,000 106 1.8% 3.87 Average MCAT Score: 519 Not required
    Cornell Masters of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering - - - 3.50+ Average GRE Verbal Score: 153+;
    Average GRE Quantitative Score: 160+
    Not required
    Cornell Master of Industrial and Labor Relations - - 35% – 40% 3.50+ GRE Score: Average GRE Verbal Score: 157, Average GRE Quantitative Score: 155, Average GRE Analytical Score: 4.3 Or
    GMAT Score: Average GMAT Verbal Score: 35 Average GMAT Quantitative Score: 45 Average GMAT AWA Score: 5.2
    4 years

    Undergraduate Students

    The scores obtained by the students accepted in UG courses at Cornell are tabulated below:

    Standardized Test 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
    SAT ERW 680 760
    SAT Math 720 800
    SAT Composite 1400 1560
    ACT Composite 32 35

    While seeking admission in an undergraduate degree, you will be required to qualify either SAT or ACT to prove your eligibility. To ensure your acceptance, you must know that:

    • A composite score of 1500 or above in SAT is considered an excellent score, however, there is no need to complete the SAT essay in order to be eligible.
    • While on the ACT, you must obtain a composite score of at least 32 or above to make it to Cornell.

    Cornell University Undergraduate Admissions

    Out of 15 different schools and colleges, Cornell has eight undergraduate units offering courses across various fields. At present, there are over 80 undergraduate majors at Cornell University, and over 120 minors. Cornell’s undergraduate courses attract many students from different countries.

    Cornell University Deadlines for UG Programs

    Cornell has a different application timeline for its international applications. Most deadlines coincide with the final date of submitting financial aid request along with it. Applicants can also seek monetary help from external sources of financial help and scholarships available in the US.

    Applicant Type Deadline Date
    Undergraduate Early Decision (Financial Aid) November 1
    Undergraduate Regular Decision (Financial Aid) January 2
    Undergraduate Transfer Fall (Financial Aid) March 15

    Graduate programs at Cornell University have varying deadlines. International applicants should check with their program of choice and apply accordingly.

    Cornell University Undergraduate Admission Requirements

    Application Portal: Common Application Portal or Universal College Application

    Application Fee: 80 USD

    Application Requirements: In view of COVID-19 pandemic, Cornell University has eased down its application process by waiving off ACTor SAT requirement temporarily for students who are planning to take admission in the upcoming session of 2021.

    Furthermore, TOEFL score requirement has been waived off for international students who have previously take SAT or ACT and have scored a minimum of 35 on the SAT Reading Test or, 30 or higher on both the ACT Reading and English Sections. English language requirements have also been waived off for international students with formal education taught in the English language in the last 4 years.

    Hence for completing the application process for undergraduate admissions at Cornell University, international students need to provide:

    • Official transcripts translated in English (secondary/ high school); students who are about to take final high school examination need to approach their school authority to include the predicted marks
    • Cornell University Writing Supplement and Questions
    • School Report
    • A recommendation letter from a counsellor
    • Two evaluations from teachers
    • Mid-year Report, whenever available
    • Cornell University Questions and Writing Supplement (CA) or Cornell Supplement (UCA)
    • Interviews, portfolios, design submissions (if specified)

    Cornell expects at least three years of secondary school records along with marks/grades in each subject.


    • B.Arch. program applicants are not required to submit Subject Tests.
    • The high schools of the applicants have to send the transcripts online or through mail to Cornell University. Only then their applications will stand valid for assessment.

    Cornell University Graduate Admissions

    Cornell University has over 100 academic departments that grant several graduate and professional degrees to students from all over the world.

    Research programs are awarded MS, MA, MA/PhD or MS/PhD. degrees and professional programs are awarded D.M.A., J.S.D., M.Arch., M.Eng, MFA, etc. Following are the application requirements for different graduate programs offered at Cornell University.

    Application Portal: College Net ApplyWeb

    Application Fee: 105 USD, may vary for some programs

    • Official transcripts/ degrees from a recognized university
    • Test scores of required standardized exams
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Statement of Purpose
    • English language requirements

    Note: The university doesn’t accept the PTE score for admission for any program.

    Popular Graduate Programs at Cornell University

    Program Deadline Degree Requirement GPA Additional Requirements Work Experience Test Score Requirements Application Portal & Fee
    MBA Round 1: Oct 8
    Round 2: Nov 5
    Round 3: January 8
    Round 4: Apr 8
    UG degree from any recognized university     3.41 Resume, List of activities, goal statement, 2 essays, 1 LOR Not mandatory; average work ex.: 2-5 years GMAT (640 – 740) or GRE: 161 (Verbal), 159 (Quant); TOEFL/IELTS SC Johnson College of Business: 200 USD
    M. Eng. Electrical and Computer Engineering Round 1: December 3
    Round 2: January 24
    A 4-year bachelor’s in a relevant field 3.5 Resume, Personal statement, 2 LORs, Not required GRE: Optional; TOEFL/IELTS Cornell Tech; 95 USD
    LLM Early Decision Round I: November 1;
    Early Decision Round II: January 8;
    Regular Decision: March 1
    A 4-year bachelor’s in a relevant field 3.5 Statement of interest, resume, addendum(fitness, character,etc), LOR Not required LSAT (160); TOEFL/IELTS LSAC; 80 USD
    Agriculture and Life Sciences Fall: March 1;
    Spring: October 1
    A 4-year bachelor’s in a relevant field 3.4 Resume, 2 LORs, SOP Not required GRE Not Required; TOEFL/IELTS Cornell CALS; 105 USD

    In case of MBA program, after the application form is reviewed, the students will be called for an interview session. This interview session will help the Admission Committee in understanding the student better.

    Work experience is not mandatory while applying for the full-time MBA program. However, the university gives value to those applications which have relevant work experience of 2-5 years.Only a limited number of outstanding students are accepted with less than one year of work experience.


    1. Documents are required to be submitted in their original language, along with their English translated copy.
    2. No supporting documents should be sent unless told otherwise. Items like financial statements, resume, etc unless specified by the program.
    3. Cornell discourages any application material sent via paid agents, credentialing services or any kind of paid professional assistance. Applicants should complete their applications without assistance.
    4. The students are not required to submit TOEFL and IELTS score if they belong to Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada (except Quebec).
    5. The students have to send their application form by December 15 to get considered for the scholarship award. Application received after the due date will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

    English Langauge Requirements at Cornell University

    English language understanding is required to study at Cornell University. All international applicants must demonstrate these basic scores in various tests.

    English Proficiency Test Minimum Required Score

    UG courses: 100

    PG courses: 24 in Speaking, 20 in Reading, 15 in Listening, 20 in Writing

    TOEFL PBT 600
    IELTS 7.0

    These are general English language test requirements for most Cornell programs, however, different courses may require a higher score.

    English language requirement can be waived for those undergraduate international applicants who score at least 35 on the SAT Reading test or 30 in ACT Reading and English Sections.

    To get ELP waived, they need to request a TOEFL/IELTS waiver.

    Cornell University Visa Process

    International students need an F-1 or J-1 visa in order to study any program at Cornell University. Admitted students will receive their I-20 or DS-2019 forms once they have provided proof of financial support. After this students must pay the SEVIS fee and proceed with the visa interview at the local US Embassy/Consulate.

    Cornell University Transfer Student Admissions

    Around 80 international transfer students are enrolled every year to the university in addition to native American and other America-related nationality students.


    Entry Requirements: Transcripts

    Standardized Test Scores (academic): SAT/ACT

    English Proficiency Test: TOEFL or IELTS score

    Application Requirements: Registrar report; mid-term report; Cornell Questions and Writing Supplement (CA) or Transfer Supplement (UCA); interviews (for College of Architecture Art and Planning and School of Hotel Administration); required portfolio; design submission

    When to Apply: Application Deadline: October 15 (Spring session) and March 15 (Fall session)

    Application Fee: 80 USD

    How to Apply: The students have to use either of the 2 forms to apply for their chosen program – Common Application and Universal College Application

    Note: The students can send the supporting documents via the online way or by mail.

    Factors Affecting Acceptance at Cornell University

    • Cornell looks for students who have a little bit of everything- intellect, not just academic-oriented.
    • Cornell admissions office looks at a candidate’s involvement in their community, workplace, and college.
    • They also scrutinize an applicant's reason for picking Cornell as their prospective choice, so candidates must pay special attention to their reasons for applying there.

    Brushing up some popular facts about Cornell might help your application!

    Additionally, you must know that:

    • The admission process at Cornell are need-aware, the admissions office considers a student’s financial ability to fund or not.
    • To receive financial aid, students must apply for aid while applying for admission at Cornell University.
    • IELTS and TOEFL tests must be taken prior to December.


    Ques. Is a writing supplement required for admission at Cornell University?

    Ans. Yes, all first-years and transfer applicants must provide a writing supplement. These can be found under 'Questions' in the 'My colleges' tab on Common Application.

    Ques. Where can I find the Admission Supplement International Students form?

    Ans. The supplemental ApplyWeb form is provided via a link once a candidate receives heir admission offer. This form will inlude important information from the copy of your passport, financial statements and so on. Only after submitting this form will the university issue them the Certificate of Eligibility.

    Ques. Is there any fee required for submitting the supplemental International Students form?

    Ans. After submitting the admission supplement, the applicant might be asked to pay a 30 USD fee to cover the expenses of shipping their I-20 or DS-2019 form.

    Ques. How much amount do I need to have for a Financial Certification?

    Ans. US law states that all international students must provide proof of adequate financial resources. The students must have enough resources to cover their cost of attendance, living expenses and extra expenses for atleast the first year of program.

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