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Master of Engineering Admissions in ORIE


PLEASE NOTEAdmission decisions for the fall semester are processed from December 15 through April 15, and will be sent via electronic mail as the decisions are made.  Decisions are not processed all at one time.

Deadline for fall admission to the Master of Engineering (M.Eng) program is December 1 of the previous year. Deadline for spring admission to the M.Eng Program is September 15 of the previous year. Please consult the School before applying for spring admission to the M.Eng program, as admission restrictions apply.

Students interested in pursuing the Master of Engineering in Operations Research and Information Engineering apply through the Cornell University Graduate School. Admission is then determined by faculty members in the applicant’s chosen field. A completed online application includes: statement of purpose, transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, official GRE scores, official TOEFL scores (if applicable), resume, and the prerequisites. Additional information may be submitted within the supplementary information section of the application.  We do not require a writing sample for the M.Eng. application, and prefer not to have research papers submitted.  This is not a research program.  


Graduate School Application

The Cornell University Graduate School application must be submitted online. The application fee is $105; in cases of extreme financial need, the Graduate School will consider a request for a fee waiver. A letter of request for a waiver and documentation of need must be requested through the Cornell Graduate School.

Please note that when you are filling out the application, the Proposed Field of Study and Program Name is Operations Research and Information Engineering, M.Eng, and the Concentration and Specialty should match. The choices are: Applied OR, Information Technology, Financial Engineering, Data Analytics, Manufacturing, Semester in Strategic Operations, and the Systems Engineering minor.

Statement of Purpose

This should describe your objectives in pursuing the Master of Engineering (M.Eng) degree program in ORIE. If you are interested in pursuing a specific concentration within the M.Eng program, i.e., financial engineering, manufacturing, etc., please state specific reasons why you wish to be considered for that concentration.


Please include an up-to-date resume where requested in the on-line application.


Please upload within the on-line application a copy of a transcript from each college or university you have attended. Please do not send transcripts through the postal mail. Hard copies of official transcripts will be requested for admitted students only.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required for application to the ORIE M.Eng program, but three are preferred. At least two letters from academic contacts are preferred. Any letters from professional references should specifically describe your accomplishments. Electronic recommendation requests are generated in the process of submitting the online application.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GREs are required. We do not accept GMAT results. Official scores from the testing service must be reported, and admission cannot be finalized until received. Students who have received (or will have received) a Bachelor degree from Cornell University are exempt from the GRE requirement for application to the MEng program. University Code is 2098 for score reporting.


Applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL or the IELTS and (for the TOEFL) have the official score reported to Cornell from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  The TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived if the applicant meets at least one of these criteria:  1) is a native citizen of the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada (except Quebec).  (NOTE:  Applicants who are citizens of India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, or Singapore are NOT exempt from the TOEFL requirement).  2) studied in full-time status for at least two academic years within the last five years in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, or with English language instruction in Canada or South Africa.  You must submit a transcript that shows you have attended college in one of these approved locations.

TOEFL NOTE:  Admission to Cornell is not possible without having at least the minimum score in each category as set by the Cornell University Graduate School, and there are no exceptions to this rule.  Minimum scores allowable for admission:  Writing 20, Listening 15, Reading 20, Speaking 22.  In addition, the School of OR&IE requires a minimum total TOEFL score of 100.  TOEFL University code is 2098; department/school code is 67 or 69, but is not needed.

IELTS NOTE:  The Graduate School requires an overall band score of a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS. Please e mail for information about how to send your scores. At this time, ORIE does not have a department specific minimum requirement different from the one set by the Graduate School. 


Prerequisites Page

In order to confirm that an applicant has fulfilled the necessary prerequisites for the program, as listed below, specific information is requested within the application.

M.Eng. Program Prerequisites (must be satisfied prior to matriculation):

  • Standard engineering calculus sequence, including linear algebra (with eigenvalues and eigenvectors) and vector calculus.
  • Basic Engineering Probability and Statistics. At Cornell, the appropriate course is (ENGRD 2700). ENGRD 2700 requires a first year calculus course as a prerequisite. This course should give students a working knowledge of basic probability and statistics as they apply to engineering work. Computer analysis, data and simulation are emphasized. Topics include random variables, probability distributions, expectation, testing, experimental design, quality control and regression.
  • Intermediate-level computer programming course in a language
    such as C, C++, Java, or MATLAB, that includes the following topics:
    program organization, user interfaces, abstract data structures, functional
    recursion (functions or procedures that call themselves recursively), algorithm analysis and implementation.

    The appropriate course at Cornell is:
    Object Oriented Programming and Data Structures (ENGRD 2110 /
    CS 2110.)  Prerequisite: CS 1110 or equivalent programming experience.
    Intermediate programming in a high-level language and introduction to
    computer science. Topics include program structure and organization, object-oriented programming (classes, objects, types, sub-typing), graphical user interfaces, algorithm analysis (asymptotic complexity, big "O" notation), recursion, data structures (lists, trees, stacks, queues, heaps, search trees, hash tables, graphs), simple graph algorihtms.  Java is the principal programming language.

Financial Engineering Concentration additional prerequisites (must be satisfied prior to matriculation):


  • ORIE 5500 Engineering Probability and Statistics II (or equivalent) is required: Fall. 4 credits. (Prerequisite for ORIE5500: ENGRD 2700 or equivalent.) A rigorous foundation in theory combined with the methods for modeling, analyzing, and controlling randomness in engineering problems. Probabilistic ideas are used to construct models for engineering problems, and statistical methods are used to test and estimate parameters for these models. Specific topics include random variables, probability distributions, density functions, expectation and variance, multidimensional random variables, and important distributions including normal, Poisson, exponential, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, and point estimation using maximum likelihood and the method of moments.
  • ORIE 5510 Introductory Engineering Stochastic Processes I (or equivalent) is recommended: Spring. 4 credits. (Prerequisite for ORIE5510: ORIE 3500 or equivalent.) Uses basic concepts and techniques of random processes to construct models for a variety of problems of practical interest. Topics include the Poisson process, Markov chains, renewal theory, models for queuing, and reliability.
  • Basic Finance course (online course or self study): Courses offered by the Johnson Graduate School of Management require familiarity with core financial topics at the level of NCC 5560 (Managerial Finance—see description below). If you have not had such a course and are unable to schedule it at Cornell, you can develop this familiarity by reviewing a text such as “Investments” by Bodie, Kane and Marcus (Chapters 1-3, 6-9, 12, 14-16, 18 and 20).
    • NCC 5560 Managerial Finance: Fall, spring. 3 credits. Prerequisite: non–Johnson School students. Similar in content to MBA core course NCC 5060. Letter grades only. Staff. Introduces business finance through theory and case studies. Topics include stock and bond valuation, the capital budgeting decision, portfolio theory, the asset-pricing models, raising capital, capital structure, mergers and acquisitions, costs of capital, option pricing, and risk management. International applications are considered within each topic area. Grading is based on an exam, group case reports, homework, and class participation.

Financial Aid and Tuition

Generally, two forms of financial assistance are available to Master of Engineering students: merit-based aid and need-based aid.

Merit-based financial aid for this program comes primarily from donors. The amount available is limited and the competition is intense, and consists of both fellowships and half-time teaching assistantships. There are no research assistantships open to M.Eng’s, since this is a professional program, not a research degree. The College of Engineering also awards a small number of full-tuition fellowships each academic year.

Cornell Engineering undergraduates and alumni are eligible to apply for the Lester Knight Scholarship Program which, along with the knowledge of an engineer and exposure to the cutting-edge techniques of an MBA, enables employers to hire applicants with the training and experience.

Except for the Knight Scholarship, submitting your completed Graduate School application and all accompanying materials for the Master of Engineering degree program by the application deadline (and answering “Yes” to the fellowships or assistantships question) automatically serves as your application for merit-based financial aid.

Information on need-based financial aid and loan information is offered through our Cornell Graduate School Financial Aid office. They also maintain a Fellowship Notebook Website listing grants and fellowships awarded by various government agencies, foundations, corporations, and private sponsors.

Tuition and fees for the M.Eng program are those of the Graduate School endowed division for a professional program. Tuition for 2015-156is currently $24,450 per semester, or $48,900 for the academic year.