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Applicant Help and FAQs

Thank you for your interest in the Cornell M.Eng. in Civil and Environmental Engineering Program. We are currently accepting applications. To help you prepare your online application, please review the guidelines and tips below.

We also have a number of FAQs at the bottom of the page that address the most common questions we receive. We hope this information is helpful and we look forward to receiving your application!

Our Programs

Our Program is a full-time, residential Master of Engineering degree program in Ithaca, NY. Applicants do not need work experience to apply.

When you apply, you will find us listed under “Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)” in the application. There are three Fields of Study in our Program: Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering, and Transportation Systems Engineering. Please select the appropriate option in your application.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Application Portal Opens September 1, 2023
  • Spring 2024 Deadline: October 15, 2023
  • Fall 2024 Deadline: January 5, 2024

Cornell Early Admit Applicants

Before submitting an online application, please complete the following steps:

Application Materials

A complete application includes:

  • An Academic Statement of Purpose
  • A Personal Statement
  • Transcripts from each college or university previously attended (unofficial transcripts, official transcripts are needed prior to matriculation).
  • A combination of three letters of recommendation, professional and academic.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores from international applicants. We do not accept the Duolingo test.
  • Undergraduate degree in engineering, mathematics, or science, conferred by an accredited college or university.
  • Application fee of $105. The program does not provide fee waivers.

Academic Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement

We recommend reviewing the guidelines on the M.Eng. Programs Application Guide page.

Letters of Recommendation

References are a required part of the M.Eng. application. Students must submit the names and contact information for their references directly on the application. References can be professional or academic. Those listed in the application receive an email with a link to an online form to complete the reference. Referees can upload or type directly into the text box provided.

We recommend contacting your references early. Letters of recommendation can be received up to 2 weeks after the application deadline, but a lack of letters in an otherwise complete application delays our admissions decision. We prefer letters on employer letterhead, but if that is not possible, your recommenders can submit a standard letter.

Current Cornell students who are applying for the Early Admit program need only two letters of recommendation. Where the application asks for contact information for a third person, Early Admit students should add the contact information for the program coordinator.


The online application requires you to upload an unofficial copy of each official transcript. Official transcripts are required for admitted students who have accepted an offer of admission from Cornell.

Missing Materials

If we receive an incomplete application, we will follow up with you about any missing materials and give you an opportunity to send missing files to us via email. These will be added to your application by our admissions staff.


You ask, we answer! Here are our most common questions as the application deadline approaches. We have additional FAQs available on our website. The Graduate School addresses even more common questions on their searchable FAQ page.  

Do you offer application waivers?

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Because the M.Eng program is a self-funded program, we do not offer application fee waivers.

Do I qualify for the program?

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Please review our admissions pages for the program you are applying for. We often receive this question from people with non-engineering or non-technical backgrounds. Our strength as a program is broadening and deepening technical skills and you must have a STEM background that includes coursework in Calc 1, Calc 2, Calc 3, Differential Equations, and a physics-based probability and statistics course. We do not accept candidates with 3-year Bachelor’s degrees.

My test scores will not be sent before the application deadline. What should I do?

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We will accept official scores up to 15 days after the application deadline. However, please note that the application itself must be submitted by the deadline date. Scores should be sent to Cornell’s Institution code 2098.

My recommender(s) will not be able to submit letters by the application deadline. What should I do?

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We can accept letters after the deadline, but please encourage them to submit as soon as possible.We will accept letters up to 15 days after the application deadline.

My recommender(s) did not get an email from Cornell to submit a letter. What should I do?

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The email to your recommenders should come from the email address If it is not in their spam folder, please have your letter writers email a letter directly to with the subject line “Recommendation Letter for YOUR NAME.” Once your application is in the system as submitted, we will be able to upload a letter on our side. Be sure to submit the rest of your application by the deadline.

Are there funding opportunities for international students?

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International students are eligible for the College of Engineering merit-based fellowships, the Knight Scholarship and merit-based Graduate Teaching/Research Specialist (GTRS) appointments. We are a professional program with a limited number or partial scholarships. Most students are self-funded.

How do I apply for the Knight Scholarship?

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A supplemental essay is required for the Knight Scholarship and can be included in your application as long as it’s uploaded prior to submitting the application. Anyone wishing to be considered after submitting their application but prior to the February 1st deadline, can email their essay directly to with the subject line “Fellowship Essay for YOUR NAME.”

I need to make a change or upload a document to my submitted application. What should I do?

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Email the change or attachment to with the subject line “Change to Application for YOUR NAME.”

Do my scores/GPA qualify me for the program?

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We cannot evaluate your candidacy before you officially apply. If you meet the College of Engineering minimum GPA of 2.7 out of 4.0 and have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, you are eligible to apply.

More information about minimum English language proficiency scores

What is the admissions team looking for?

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We evaluate candidates on multiple measures and applications are reviewed by several members of the admissions team (including faculty). Select candidates are interviewed prior to a final decision. Students will be invited to interview by email.

When can I expect a decision?

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In general, decisions will be made within 6 weeks of the application deadline once all application materials (including test scores and letters of recommendation) are received. We will begin interviewing candidates who meet minimum requirements in mid-January over the web-conferencing platform, Zoom. If you are selected for an interview, more details will follow.

When I log in to the application system, my application says “pending” or “in progress,” but I already submitted all of my materials.

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As test scores are matched up between systems it can take up to 2 weeks for scores to be added to your application. If an application is incomplete when it becomes available to us for review, we will reach out to you.