MPS-AEM Admissions Information

If an MPS in Applied Economics and Management (AEM) interests you and you’re considering taking the next step, we invite you to learn more about what we look for, the application and admission process, and what costs and local housing options to expect once you get here.

If you have questions, please contact

Who Should Apply to the MPS in AEM Program?

Whether you want to complement your professional skills or are looking to make a career change, the MPS in Applied Economics and Management may be a fit for you. While many of our MPS students have existing professional experience, we consider all applicants, regardless of experience level.

MPS program applicants need not have majored in economics-related fields as undergraduates to be considered, although any deficiencies in preparation may lengthen the graduate program.

All MPS in AEM students select one of six specialized, industry-focused concentrations:

  • Behavioral Finance
  • Behavioral Marketing
  • Business of Food
  • International and Development Economics
  • Sustainable Business and Economic Policy
  • Technology Management

MPS in Applied Economics and Management-Application Guide

Application Deadlines

Round Application Deadline
Round 1 December 1
Round 2* January 15
Round 3 March 1
Round 4 April 15

*International applicants are encouraged to apply for the round 1 and 2 application deadlines.

What we Value

Members of the admissions committee conduct a holistic review of each application. Strong applications to our program will showcase their ability to:

  • flourish in a quantitative and rigorous curriculum,
  • communicate effectively in written and verbal contexts,
  • present a well-considered career plan,
  • approach challenges with creativity and ingenuity,
  • work effectively in groups and
  • make positive contributes to our community and society.

How to Apply

The application will be available September 15 via the Cornell Graduate School’s online application system.

Select “Applied Economics & Management” then follow the instructions for applying to the MPS-AEM program.

All required materials must be received in order for your application to be reviewed and considered for admission. You may track the status of your application materials through your account.

Admission notifications are typically released 6-8 weeks after each deadline. Applicants may be admitted, denied, or postponed to later in the admission cycle.

Application Checklist:

  • Statement of purpose explaining academic interest and relation to professional goals
  • Personal Statement: Please describe (within 300-500 words) how your background and experiences influenced your decision and ability to pursue a graduate degree. Additionally, provide insights into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect where scholars representing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and work productively and positively together.
  • Video Interview: After you submit your application, you will be sent an email invitation to complete a video interview, where you will be asked to give short verbal responses to pre-recorded questions. Note, an invitation to the video interview will be sent automatically after submitting your application. Please monitor your inbox carefully as your application will not be considered complete until the video interview is submitted. The video interview is designed to assess your fit for the program and your communication skills. We advise that you use the most up-to-date version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge to complete the video interview.
  • Academic Transcripts: Successful applicants will have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Please submit transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended. You may submit unofficial transcripts with your application; however, should you be admitted into the AEM program, we will request an official copy for verification.Transcripts should indicate:
    • All courses you have taken
    • Grades received in each course
    • Degree and the date it was conferred

You will be required to upload transcripts as part of your application. Be sure to redact, cross out, or cover your Social Security Number if it is displayed on your transcript.

  • For applicants with international credentials: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or an equivalent international degree is required. Candidates who have earned or are on track to earn a degree that does not match the information found on the equivalency list in title or duration should strongly consider providing a credential evaluation with their application. World Education Services (WES) a third-party verification agency, can provide this service.
    • Submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended. If your transcript is not in English, please submit an official and certified English translation in addition to an original copy. World Education Services (WES), can provide this service. Transcripts should indicate all courses you have taken, grades received in each course, degree name, and date the degree was conferred. Candidates who are admitted and enrolled are required to provide the corresponding official transcripts before matriculation.
  • Two letters of recommendation: We require two letters of recommendation. One recommendation should be from a former or current instructor able to speak to your academic promise, while the other should be from an advisor, mentor, coach or supervisor able to speak to your professional promise. Official recommendations are a vital part of the final evaluation process.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $105. The application fee will be waived for all current or former United States military members and for all Cornell students and recent alumni (graduates within two years of application date). In either of these cases, please contact for a fee waiver code prior to submitting your application. Please indicate in your message if you are a current or former United States military member or a current or former Cornell student. Further information on Application Fees can be found on the Cornell University Graduate School website.
  • Results of the GRE/GMAT examination: A GMAT or GRE test score is a required component of the MPS AEM program application.  The GMAT or GRE is one way to demonstrate quantitative competency and English language proficiency to the admissions committee in our holistic review process.
    • There is no minimum score requirement to apply to the MPS AEM program. If you completed the GMAT or GRE more than once, we will use the exam with the highest total score.
    • The MPS AEM program will accept the GRE General Test at Home, the GMAT Online Exam, and the GMAT Focus for the fall 2024 cycle.
    • GMAT or GRE scores are valid for five years. The MPS AEM program requires that scores be valid on the deadline of the application round in which you apply.
    • GMAT scores should be sent electronically using Use code 5811 when filling out the GMAT registration.
    • GRE scores should be delivered by ETS All official test scores should be reported directly to Cornell University’s institution code 2098. Department codes are not needed for matching scores to applications. If ETS requires you to select a department code, you may choose “0000 undecided.”

You may submit an unofficial score report for your application review; however, if you are accepted and intend to enroll, your official score report must be received by your enrollment deposit deadline.  It is an applicant’s responsibility to contact the testing service directly and authorize the release of the official score report.  Offers of admission are not binding until we verify your official academic records and test scores.

Waiver Request

Candidates who demonstrate analytical and quantitative abilities through academics or work experience may request a waiver from the GMAT or GRE test requirement. The waiver request option is in the application.

  • An academic waiver request must refer to specific completed courses on the submitted college transcript (e.g. microeconomics, finance, accounting, calculus, and statistics with regression).
  • Work experience waiver requests must include a description of the nature of work, and one of the two required letters of recommendation must come from a current supervisor who specifically addresses the quantitative/analytical nature of your work.
  • Waiver requests based on other personal circumstances are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If you plan to request a waiver, we encourage you to submit your application in advance of the application deadline.  You can expect a response to your waiver request within 7 business days via email. If your test waiver is not approved, your application will remain incomplete until a test score is submitted.

Applicants granted a waiver will not be disadvantaged in the application review process.

Additional application details for international applicants

All international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting official TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores. Test scores must be sent directly by the testing center. International students may also be required to pass a writing benchmark. All MPS AEM classes are delivered in English and require participation in class discussions, involvement in group projects, and intensive writing and reading. Successful candidates will have a full command of both spoken and written English.

The MPS AEM program does not accept My Best Score reports for the TOEFL examination and requires applicants to meet the minimum sub-scores in speaking, reading, listening and writing set by the Cornell Graduate School

TOEFL or IELTS tests must have been taken within two years of the application deadline.

In some cases, these testing requirements can be waived. For more information on TOEFL and IELTS test score minimums, how to submit TOEFL or IELTS test scores, and the criteria for waiving the requirement, please visit the Graduate School’s website.

IELTS and TOEFL Arrangements for COVID-19

If a safe in-person option is not available for you, you may submit results from one of the following at-home options.

MPS Program Costs, Tuition, and Housing

Most MPS students rely on a combination of federal and private loans to finance their educational and living expenses. For information on tuition and the costs of attendance for the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Applied Economics and Management (AEM), please see the Graduate School page on costs and funding.

Thanks to the generosity of Dyson School alumni and friends, Cornell can offer a limited number of merit-based scholarships each year. Award amounts vary by available funding and the number of admitted students but typically range from $5,000-$10,000 per year. No additional application is required for consideration. Given funding limits, most scholarship aid is awarded in the earlier admission rounds.

University housing for single graduate students and those with families is available in residence halls and university-maintained apartments. Private, off-campus housing is also available. Information on university and non-university housing is automatically mailed to all applicants when they are accepted for admission to the Graduate School.