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 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
- Fall 2023 Deadline: February 1, 2023
- Decisions for Fall 2023: Rolling and typically 6 weeks after submitting a complete application. All decisions are made by mid-March.
A complete application includes:
- A Statement of Purpose
- 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 (home tests are acceptable for 2022 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. However, you may be eligible for an application fee waiver through the Graduate School. More information on application fee waivers can be found here.
Statement of Purpose
We recommend reviewing the statement of purpose guidelines from the Graduate School: https://gradschool.cornell.edu/admissions/prepare/statements-of-purpose/
Letters of Recommendation
References are a required part of the Graduate School 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 contact 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.
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?Click to Open
We do not, but the Graduate School offers waivers for financial hardship and through the Graduate School Pathways Program. You can request a fee waiver within the application itself. More information is available here.
Do I qualify for the program?Click to Open
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 February 1, 2023 deadline. What should I do?Click to Open
We will accept official scores until February 30. However, please note that the application itself must be submitted by the February 1st deadline date. Scores should be sent to Cornell’s Institution code 2098.
Do you accept Duolingo or the TOEFL/IELTS home test?Click to Open
COVID-19 has disrupted the ability of applicants in countries worldwide to take in-person English language proficiency exams. Both IELTS and ETS are providing at-home testing solutions in most countries. If a safe in-person option is not available for you, you may submit results from the IELTS Indicator, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, or the TOEFL ITP Plus for China. We are not accepting any other English Language Proficiency exams at this time (e.g. Pearson, Duolingo DET, etc.).
Am I exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS?Click to Open
Please review exemption criteria here.
My recommender(s) will not be able to submit letters by February 1. What should I do?Click to Open
We can accept letters after the deadline, but please encourage them to submit as soon as possible. We will begin to review applications on a rolling basis in early January.
My recommender(s) did not get an email from Cornell to submit a letter. What should I do?Click to Open
The email to your recommenders should come from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. If it is not in their spam folder, please have your letter writers email a letter directly to email@example.com 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 February 1 deadline.
Can I have all of my letters come from all professional references (or all academic references)?Click to Open
Yes. Please choose recommenders who know you best.
Are there funding opportunities for international students?Click to Open
International students are eligible for the Knight Fellowship and merit-based graderships. 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?Click to Open
A supplemental essay is required for the Knight Scholarship (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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?Click to Open
Email the change or attachment to email@example.com with the subject line “Change to Application for YOUR NAME.”
Do my scores/GPA qualify me for the program?Click to Open
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 is available here.
What is the admissions team looking for?Click to Open
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.
I am a current Cornell student and I have questions about Early Admit. Who should I talk to?Click to Open
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting. We also have resources about the Early Admit program here.
I have questions about OPT/CPT and Visas, who should I contact?Click to Open
Please visit the Global Learning website: https://globallearning.cornell.edu/
When can I expect a decision?Click to Open
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.Click to Open
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.