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Cornell University Admission Guide 2024

cornell university admission

Cornell University has been a benchmark for a lot of other educational institutes with its exceptional quality and overall student development. The private Ivy League research university was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White. The main intention was to be a sanctuary of knowledge in every discipline while contributing to research and teaching. Besides the main campus located in Ithaca, New York, there is Weill Cornell and Cornell Tech located in New York and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.

There are seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate schools each with its distinct admission standards. Cornell is also known for its research and innovation, with the research conducted by faculty and students resulting in numerous inventions and discoveries, including the invention of the electric telegraph, the development of the polio vaccine, and the discovery of the structure of DNA. As a result, Cornell has a research budget of over $1 billion with which it constantly births innovations and ideas.

The university is home to more than 23,000 students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries, as well as nearly 2,000 faculty members. Therefore students are furnished with a range of resources and support services, including financial aid, counselling, and health services. Cornell is also committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship, with initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, promote renewable energy, and increase biodiversity on campus. 

When a student obtains a Cornell University admission they become an integral part of the institute even after graduation. The alumni system has numerous benefits for the alumnus and not to mention the network of noteworthy people in it. The university offers placement support to all of its graduates and 95% of the graduates are placed within three months of graduation with an average salary of $115,891.

Admission Deadlines 2024

Cornell University has intakes during Fall and Spring, with Early Action and Regular Decision intakes. International students are recommended to opt for the Early Action intake since the decision is released in December providing sufficient time for Cornell University admission. It is also best to keep in mind that the Early Action is a binding commitment and the student will have to drop any other offers/applications. The deadlines for graduate entries vary based on the department.

The below table mentions the undergraduate deadlines –

Intakes Application DeadlinesFinancial aid DeadlineAdmission/Aid Decision
Early ActionNovember 1st November 1st Mid-December 
Regular DecisionJanuary 2ndJanuary 2ndEarly April

Eligibility Criteria For Cornell University Admission

A student applying to Cornell will need to have an excellent overall portfolio since the university does not focus solely on a single factor. Cornell considers each applicant’s unique qualities and achievements when making admission decisions. It is also important to note that meeting these requirements does not guarantee Cornell University admission.

Undergraduate Entry Requirements

  • An application fee of $80 or a fee waiver form
  • Completed application
  • Official academic transcripts/School reports (Needs to be submitted by a counsellor or school official)
  • English proficiency tests (IELTS, TOEFL, Duolingo, PTE, iTEP)
  • Standardized test scores: SAT/ACT (Optional and department specific)
  • The Cornell Questions and Writing Supplement (CA)
  • Three letters of recommendation (From teachers and one from a counsellor)
  • Interview (Required for architecture program, optional for others)
  • Portfolio/Design indexes (Mostly for design, and architecture courses)

Graduate Entry Requirements

  • An application fee of $105 or a fee waiver
  • Fully furnished application
  • Unofficial transcripts submitted online (Official transcripts to be submitted after admission)
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent international degree
  • English proficiency test scores (IELTS, TOEFL)
  • Standardized test scores: GMAT/GRE (As per the department requirements)
  • Three letters of recommendation (From faculty members from current or prior establishment)
  • An academic statement of purpose (ASOP)

MBA Entry Requirements

  • An application fee of $200
  • Fee waiver form (If applicable)
  • Unofficial transcripts from preceding institutes (Grading system to be as the university intends, no conversions)
  • English proficiency test scores (IELTS, TOEFL)
  • Standardized test scores: GMAT (Minimum score 660-770, not official)
  • One letter of recommendation from a reputable source
  • Goal statement (Displaying long-term and short-term goals)
  • Impact essay (Showcasing impact on community and organization)
  • Work experience is not mandatory (Minimum of one year)

English Proficiency Test Scores

The medium of teaching at Cornell is English and hence it is important for the student to have a strong command of it. As part of the Cornell University admission process applicants will have to submit an English proficiency test. The applicant has the liberty to choose any type of testing among the ones accepted by the university. If a student comes from an English-speaking country or has studied four years in a college/school prior to admission with English as the official language they are exempted from submitting test scores.

English Proficiency Test Minimum Test Scores
TOEFL iBT100Speaking: 27 Reading: 20 Listening: 15
Writing: 20 
IELTS (7.0 in speaking and writing)

Application Process

The application process for Cornell University admission varies depending on whether you are applying as an undergraduate or graduate student. Here is a general overview of the application process for each category:

Undergraduate Application Process:

  1. Submit an application through the ‘Common Application Portal’ or ‘Coalition Application Portal’.
  2. Either create a new account or log in to an existing one.
  3. Fill in the details and submit the required documents (high school transcripts, standardised test scores, LORs, Cornell Writing Supplement).
  4. Pay the application fee or apply for a fee waiver and submit the application.

Graduate Application Process:

  1. After determining the course submit an online application through the Graduate School website.
  2. Log into an existing account or create a new one with a username and password.
  3. Documents like transcripts, LORs, SOPs etc need to be submitted and the necessary details have to be filled in.
  4. An application fee needs to be paid or a fee waiver has to be submitted.
  5. Submit the application.

MBA Application Process:

  1. Applicants have to create an application through the ‘Johnson Application Portal’.
  2. Create a new account or log in to an existing account.
  3. Fill in the necessary details accurately and submit all the required documents. (GMAT code is 5DD-3C-18 and the GRE code is 2098)
  4. Pay the application or submit the fee waiver if applicable.
  5. Submit the application.

Courses Offered

Cornell University offers courses in various disciplines in its various schools. The education includes flexible curricula, research opportunities, cross-disciplinary courses, hands-on learning, etc. Along with this, Cornell also offers online courses that students can even acquire degrees for. Cornell University admission not only promises an education in one of the top 20 universities in the world but also indulges in courses that are top-ranking worldwide. Some of the most popular courses that the university offers are –

  • Master of Business Administration [M.B.A]
  • Master of Science [M.S] Computer Science
  • Master of Science [M.S] Applied Economics and Management
  • Master of Engineering [M.Eng] Engineering Management
  • Master of Architecture [M.Arch]
  • Master of Arts [M.A] Design
  • Bachelor of Science [B.S] Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Arts [B.A] Fashion Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts [B.F.A]
  • Bachelor of Arts [B.A] Anthropology
  • Doctor of Philosophy [Ph.D] Pharmacology
  • Doctor of Philosophy [Ph.D] Applied Physics

Most of the university courses are highly valued and are also ranked by some prestigious ranking boards and publications:

Courses 2024
US News & World ReportTHE (Times Higher Education)
Engineering#8 (Mechanical Engineering PG)#24 (Engineering)
ScienceNA#19 (Life Sciences)
HumanitiesNA#25 (Arts & Humanities)
Medicine#45 (Graduate Medical School)NA
Business#8 (UG Business)#21 (PG Business and Economics)
Computers#8 (Computer Engineering PG)#16 (PG Computer Science)
Law#12 (Graduate Law)#27 (Law)

University Admission Decision

Cornell University admission rate is 11% making it a highly competitive university to get into. However, students with a great application and an overall promising academic and extracurricular history have a good chance of admission. The university abides by a holistic review of the application, which includes factors such as extracurricular activities, community service, leadership roles, and demonstrated interest in the university. After reviewing all of the application materials, the admission committee will make one of three decisions: acceptance, denial, or waitlist.

For undergraduate applicants, admission decisions are primarily based on academic performance, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation. Additionally, Cornell considers other factors such as diversity, potential contributions to the community, and demonstrated interest in the university.

For graduate applicants, admission decisions are based on academic records, standardized test scores, work experience, letters of recommendation, and essays. Along with these, factors such as research experience, potential for success in the programme, and fit with the programme are measured. 


1. Is Cornell University an Ivy League?

Yes, Cornell is part of the Ivy League institutes in the USA.

2. What is the easiest school to get into at Cornell?

The Hotel School in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business with an acceptance rate of 30%.

3. What is the minimum GPA for Cornell University admission?

There is no official cut-off but previous applicants had an average of 4.0 or higher.

4. Is the Cornell University admission process difficult?

The acceptance rate is 11% and hence the admission process will be challenging.

Thank you for reading this blog. If you’d like to read more blogs, here are some recommendations that may interest you – 

1 thought on “Top PGDM Courses In Canada: Universities, Specialisations & Eligibility”

  1. I have done Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts from India and completed my graduation in the year 2022 .I am 22 years old. After graduation, I have done 1 year paid internship from USA .Now, I would like to take occupational experience and learn culinary skills and also do masters in Culinary arts.How can I find the college n best course / country where I can persue studying further

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Cornell University Admission Guide 2024

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