Master of Engineering Admissions in ORIE
The ORIE Master of Engineering degree offers specializations that are in demand in today's data-focused job market. To learn more, view our recent information session from November 8th, 2023.
The deadline for fall admission to the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program is December 1 of the previous year. The deadline for spring admission to the M.Eng. program is September 15 of the previous year. Do not apply for Spring admission without confirming your eligibility with the M.Eng Director.
Admission decisions for the fall semester are processed from December through April, and will be sent via electronic mail as the decisions are made. Decisions are not processed all at one time.
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 an academic statement of purpose, personal statement, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, official TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable), résumé, video interview (released after the application deadline), 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, as this is not a research program.
Follow the link to Cornell's online Graduate School Application.
The Cornell University Graduate School application must be submitted online. Information regarding current application fees, payment options, and need-based fee waivers can be found on the Graduate School's Application Fees page. A letter of request for a waiver and documentation of need must be requested through the Cornell Graduate School.
When you are filling out the application, under Academic Program Selection, select Operations Research and Information Engineering, M.Eng (Ithaca). Your first choice of concentration is what will be evaluated - e.g., if you intend to apply as a Financial Engineering student, select "Financial Engineering" as your first choice. Concentration choices are: Data Analytics, Applied Operations Research, Financial Engineering, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering, Semester in Strategic Operations, and the Systems Engineering minor.
Academic Statement of Purpose (≤1000 words)
This should describe your objectives in pursuing the Master of Engineering (M.Eng) degree program in ORIE. Please state specific reasons why you wish to be considered for your first-choice concentration. Please highlight any unique contributions you would make to the intellectual diversity of the class, including approaches to problem solving, points of view, skill sets, regional knowledge, understanding of professional work cultures, and/or lessons learned.
This statement should be forward-looking.
Personal Statement (≤1000 words)
This should describe your personal journey and the influence it has had on your decision to pursue an M.Eng degree in ORIE, and how it has prepared you to contribute to Cornell's collaborative problem-solving environment. It is an opportunity to highlight any lived experiences or interactions - including successes, failures, conflicts, injustices, or journeys of self-discovery - that have significantly shaped or serve to demonstrate your problem solving, communication, collaboration and teamwork, leadership, maturity and self awareness, endurance, and/or resilience.
This statement should be reflective.
Please include an up-to-date résumé where requested in the online application.
- Upload a digital copy of your Unofficial Transcript with your application.
- If you attended multiple institutions, you may need to merge files into a single document.
- Early in January, we will request updated transcripts showing the outcome of your Fall classes (if relevant).
- Official transcripts are not requested until the completion of your graduating semester.
- NOTE: Certain institutions only offer Unofficial Transcripts in the form of a protected .PDF file that may return an error from the ApplyWeb system. If this happens, please submit a screenshot of your unofficial transcript.
(At Least Two) 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.
- The September 15th (for Spring)/December 1st (for Fall) deadline refers to the application itself. Your recommenders will be able to submit letters for an indefinite amount of time afterwards, but we will not begin to review your application until we have received at least two.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)/Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
- The GRE and/or GMAT will be optional for the Fall 2024 application season, reversing a prior decision to require them.
- You are welcome to send your scores via ETS or mba.com - they will be matched to your application upon receipt.
- In particular, applicants who have completed or are completing an undergraduate program at Cornell University are not required to submit test scores.
- While we accept both, we prefer the GRE.
- Have scores delivered electronically to Cornell University Graduate School, Institution code 2098.
- Department codes are not needed
- If ETS or mba.com require you to select a Department code, you may choose code 99 “undecided.”
For admissions purposes, Cornell University Graduate School does not require IELTS or TOEFL scores from applicants who meet one of the following standing exemptions:
Speak English as a first language and are a citizen or permanent resident of a country where English is an official language. Applicants who meet this exemption are automatically approved to serve as a TA without an individual English Language Assessment.
At the time of enrollment at Cornell, will have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. Applicants who meet this exemption will need to complete the English Language Assessment and may be offered an individual support plan.
At the time of enrollment at Cornell, will have earned the international equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university in a country where English is an official language, and where English is the language of instruction. (The medium of instruction must be indicated on the transcript or easily verified on the institution’s website.) Applicants who meet this exemption will need to complete the English Language Assessment and may be offered an individual support plan.
At the time of enrollment at Cornell, will have studied and/or worked full-time for at least 2 consecutive years within the last 10 years in a country where English is an official and widely spoken language. (This experience must be noted on a transcript and/or described on a resume or CV. We will accept a combination of study and work—e.g., an applicant who completed a 1-year master’s degree in the U.S. followed by 1 year of OPT. If you are or were a student, English must be the language of instruction for your studies.) Applicants who meet this exemption will need to complete the English Language Assessment and may be offered an individual support plan.
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.
- ORIE specifically requires a minimum total TOEFL score of 100 for any applicant who doesn't receive an exemption.
- If an admissions decision is made based on your unofficial scores and we are unable to locate a matching official record, we will contact you to confirm that you have correctly sent the official scores. Please do not email the office about this.
When you register for the exam, you may select up to 5 institutions to which you would like to have your scores sent. Cornell University has multiple IELTS accounts so please be sure to select Cornell University Graduate Admissions when registering for your IELTS test date.
You may also ask your test center to send additional score reports to institutions not originally listed on your test registration form. Scores must be sent electronically (e-delivery) to the Cornell University Graduate Admissions, Caldwell Hall e-download account. E-delivery may also be referred to as an e-TRF by your test center. Paper TRFs (Test Report Form) are not accepted.
Your IELTS Academic scores must be valid as of your program’s application deadline (scores are valid for 2 years after your test date).
For TOEFL iBT:
Have scores delivered electronically to Cornell University Graduate School, Institution code 2098. Department codes are not needed; if ETS requires you to select a department code, you may choose code 99 “undecided.”
Your TOEFL scores must be valid as of your program’s application deadline (scores are valid for 2 years after your test date).
If you have taken the TOEFL iBT more than once within the last 2 years, have ETS send us your most recent score report. ETS will automatically include your MyBest scores along with the traditional scores from your selected test date. If your most recent scores do not meet the Graduate School’s minimum sub-score requirements, but your MyBest scores do, let the Graduate School and your proposed field of study know that you would like us to consider your MyBest scores. Please note: while the Graduate School accepts MyBest scores, individual graduate fields may not accept them.
Shortly after the application deadline (December 1st for Fall, September 15th for Spring), you will receive a link to complete a pre-recorded video interview. This interview should not take more than half an hour. Please be sure to either whitelist all emails containing references to Cornell University, or frequently check your Spam/Junk folders, as these invitations tend to be flagged by most filters.
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):
- A standard engineering calculus sequence, including linear algebra (with eigenvalues and eigenvectors), and vector calculus, similar in content and rigor to Cornell courses MATH 1910, MATH 1920, and MATH 2940.
- An introductory engineering probability and statistics course similar in content and rigor to Cornell course ENGRD 2700.
- An intermediate-level computer programming course in a general programming language such as C, C++, Java, or Python, similar in content and rigor to Cornell course ENGRD 2110. Courses that entail programming applications, but where programming is not the primary focus are not acceptable substitutes. Courses in statistical modeling languages, such as R and SAS, are not acceptable substitutes.
Additional prerequisites for the Financial Engineering concentration (must be satisfied prior to matriculation):
- Two semesters of calculus-based probability, statistics, and/or stochastic processes, similar in content and rigor to Cornell courses ENGRD 2700, ORIE 3500 and/or ORIE 3510. Courses in which probability and statistical methods are used, but where theory is not the primary focus are not acceptable substitutes, nor are professional exam credentials (e.g., CFA, FRM).
- An introductory finance course. Courses in economics and accounting are not acceptable substitutes.
- Strongly recommended: A course in differential equations, similar in content and rigor to Cornell course MATH 2930.
- Strongly recommended: Proficiency with R and/or Python.
Note: Courses completed to satisfy the prerequisites for the Financial Engineering concentration (at Cornell or elsewhere) do not count towards fulfilling any of the general requirements for the MEng degree.
Additional prerequisites for the Data Analytics concentration (must be satisfied prior to matriculation):
- A two-semester sequence of calculus-based probability and statistics theory, similar in content and rigor to Cornell courses ENGRD 2700 and ORIE 3500. Courses in which probability and statistical methods are used, but where theory is not the primary focus are not acceptable substitutes, nor are professional exam credentials (e.g., CFA, FRM).
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. students, 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 the Cornell University Graduate School. They also maintain a Fellowship Database, which lists 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. Current tuition rates and fees can be found Office of the Bursar's Tuition Rates and Fees page, in the row for "Professional Degree Tier 1" programs.