Cornell PhD Acceptance Rate

Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

Do you know that Cornell is one of the most competitive schools in the world to get into,it boasting an admissions rate just under 11%. Cornell admission statistics indicate that Cornell accepts about 11 out of every 100 students that apply.

Right here on Collegelearners, you can rest assured to obtain all the relevant information on Cornell University graduate admission requirements for international students, Cornell University acceptance rate for international students, Cornell acceptance rate, Cornell graduate admission, Princeton PhD acceptance rate, and so much more. Be sure to surf through our catalog for up-to-date information on related topics.

Ph.D. Program | Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering

Cornell Graduate Admissions

Being a part of the prestigious Ivy League, Cornell University continues to impart quality education through varied academic offerings in over 100 disciplines. Moreover, Cornell is one of the most diverse institutions in US housing students from over 116 countries in the world.

Cornell University attracts a galore of applications every academic year and getting through its rigorous admissions process can be a tough nut to crack. In order to assess the difficulty of getting accepted to Cornell University, let’s get a sneak peek into the Fall 2018 UG admission statistics:

StudentsEarly DecisionRegular DecisionTotal
No. of Applicants6,15842,95649,114
Acceptance Rate22%9%10%

We can clearly see from the admission statistics of Fall 2018 that out of a total of 49,114, merely 5,330 applications got selected for admission,i.e., only 10% students could fulfil their dream of making to one of the top-notch institutions like Cornell.

Also, one must note that students who applied through Early decision (22%) were preferred over the ones who applied through the regular decision (9%) and had a better chance of admission. Thus, it’s imperative that students with only Cornell on their mind should go for the Early decision without any second thoughts.

Cornell PhD Acceptance Rate

What is a good score to get acceptance at Cornell University

Standardized test scores form a major component of an application. To get an edge over the others and sustain the existing competition, it’s important to fetch scores par above the minimum requirements for admission at Cornell. 

Undergraduate Students

The scores obtained by the students accepted in UG courses at Cornell are tabulated below:

Standardized Test25th Percentile75th Percentile
SAT ERW680760
SAT Math720800
SAT Composite14001560
ACT Composite3235

While seeking admission in an undergraduate degree, you will be required to qualify either SAT or ACT in order to prove your eligibility. To ensure your acceptance, you must know that:

  • composite score of 1500 or above in SAT is considered an excellent score, however, there is no need to complete the SAT essay in order to be eligible.
  • While on the ACT, you must obtain a composite score of at least 32 or above to make it to Cornell.

Graduate Students

Class Profile of Popular Graduate Programs at Cornell (Class of 2020) are tabulated below:

Subject/SchoolTotal ApplicantsAdmitted StudentsAcceptance RateMedian UG GPAStandardized Test ScoresAverage Work Experience
2-year MBA Program1,65328017%3.41Median GMAT Score: 6995 years
Cornell Law School – Juris Doctor Program3,8261985.2%3.77Median LSAT Score: 167Not required
Cornell Medical School6,0001061.8%3.87Average MCAT Score: 519Not required
Cornell Masters of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering3.50+Average GRE Verbal Score: 153+;
Average GRE Quantitative Score: 160+
Not required
Cornell Master of Industrial and Labor Relations35% – 40%3.50+GRE Score: Average GRE Verbal Score: 157, Average GRE Quantitative Score: 155, Average GRE Analytical Score: 4.3 Or
GMAT Score: Average GMAT Verbal Score: 35 Average GMAT Quantitative Score: 45 Average GMAT AWA Score: 5.2
4 years
Ph.D. Student Handbook | Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering

Factors Affecting Acceptance at Cornell University

  • Cornell looks for students who have a little bit of everything- intellect, not just academic-oriented.
  • Cornell admissions office looks at a candidate’s involvement in their community, workplace, and college.
  • They also scrutinize an applicant’s reason for picking Cornell as their prospective choice, so candidates must pay special attention to their reasons for applying there.

Brushing up some popular facts about Cornell might help your application!

Additionally, you must know that:

  • The admission process at Cornell are need-aware, the admissions office considers a student’s financial ability to fund or not.
  • To receive financial aid, students must apply for aid while applying for admission at Cornell University.
  • IELTS and TOEFL tests must be taken prior to December.


Test ScoresUG: ACT/SAT score
PG: GMAT/GRE score
Application PortalUG: College Application/ Universal College Application
PG: Individual University Application Forms
Application FeeUG: 80 USD
PG: 80 – 200 USD
Admit Rate12.7%
SAT ERW (75th percentile)760
SAT Math (75th percentile)800
ACT composite (75th percentile)35
Average Retention Rate97%
Intake SessionsFall, Spring, Summer
Financial AidAvailable
International AdmissionsCornell Admissions

Cornell University Important Dates and Deadlines

Cornell has a different application timeline for its international applications. Most deadlines coincide with the final date of submitting financial aid request along with it. Applicants can also seek monetary help from external sources of financial help and scholarships available in the US.

Applicant TypeDeadlineDate
UndergraduateEarly Decision (Financial Aid)November 1
UndergraduateRegular Decision (Financial Aid)January 2
Undergraduate TransferFall (Financial Aid)March 15

Graduate programs at Cornell University have varying deadlines. International applicants should check with their program of choice and apply accordingly.

International Admission Requirements for Cornell University

The application process differs for international applicants, depending on the type of degree they are interested in applying. Cornell University has specific guidelines for various programs but these are some following general requirements for all programs:

  • Official transcripts and certificates (from school or higher education institute)
  • English language proficiency skills
  • Different standardized tests requirement
  • Recommendations (where specified)
  • Statement of purpose

Please note that no supporting documents should be sent unless told otherwise. Items like financial statements, resume, etc unless specified by the program.

Cornell discourages any application material sent via paid agents, credentialing services or any kind of paid professional assistance. Applicants should complete their applications without assistance.

Cornell University English Langauge Testing Requirements

English language understanding is required to study at Cornell University. All international applicants must demonstrate these basic scores in various tests.

English Proficiency TestMinimum Required Score
TOEFL iBT100; PG courses require minimum:
24 in Speaking,
20 in Reading,
15 in Listening,
20 in Writing

These are general English language test requirements for most Cornell programs, however, different courses may require a higher score.

English language requirement can be waived for those undergraduate international applicants who score at least 35 on the SAT Reading test or 30 in ACT Reading and English Sections.

To get ELP waived, they need to request a TOEFL/IELTS waiver.

MFA Program in Creative Writing | Department of Literatures in English  Cornell Arts & Sciences

Cornell University Visa Process

International students need an F-1 or J-1 visa in order to study any program at Cornell University. Admitted students will receive their I-20 or DS-2019 forms once they have provided proof of financial support. After this students must pay the SEVIS fee and proceed with the visa interview at the local US Embassy/Consulate.

Cornell University Undergraduate Admissions

Out of 15 different schools and colleges, Cornell has eight undergraduate units offering courses across various fields. At present, there are over 80 undergraduate majors at Cornell University, and over 120 minors. The university’s undergraduate courses attract many students from different countries.

Application Portal: Common Application Portal or Universal College Application

Application Fee: 80 USD

Application Requirements

  • Official transcripts( secondary/ high school)
  • Cornell University Writing Supplement and Questions
  • School Report
  • Counselor Recommendation
  • Two evaluations from teachers
  • Mid-year Report, whenever available
  • Required test scores, must be sent directly from the testing agency
  • Interviews, portfolios, design submissions (if specified)

Cornell expects at least three years of secondary school records along with marks/grades in each subject.


  • B.Arch. program applicants are not required to submit Subject Tests.
  • The high schools of the applicants have to send the transcripts online or through mail to Cornell University. Only then their applications will stand valid for assessment.

Cornell University Graduate Admissions

Cornell University has over 100 academic departments that grant several graduate and professional degrees to students from all over the world.

Research programs are awarded MS, MA, MA/Ph.D. or MS/Ph.D. degrees and professional programs are awarded D.M.A., J.S.D., M.Arch., M.Eng, MFA, etc. Following are the application requirements for different graduate programs offered at Cornell University.

Application Portal: College Net ApplyWeb

Application Fee: 105 USD, may vary for some programs

  • Official transcripts/ degrees from a recognized university
  • Test scores of required standardized exams
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • English langauge requirements

Note: The university doesn’t accept the PTE score for admission for any program.

Popular Graduate Programs at Cornell University

ProgramDeadlineAdditional RequirementsTest Score RequirementsApplication Portal & Fee
MBARound 1: Oct 8
Round 2: Nov 5
Round 3: January 8
Round 4: Apr 8
Resume, List of activities, goal statement, 2 essays, 1 LORGMAT/GRE;TOEFL/IELTSSC Johnson College of Business: 200 USD
LLMEarly Decision Round I: November 1;
Early Decision Round II: January 8;
Regular Decision: March 1
Statement of interest, resume, addendum(fitness, character,etc), LORGMAT/ GRE/ LSAT; TOEFL/IELTSLSAC; 80 USD
Electrical and Computer EngineeringRound 1: December 3
Round 2: January 24
Resume, Personal statement, 2 LORs,GRE; TOEFL/IELTSCornell Tech; 95 USD
Agriculture and Life SciencesFall: March 1;
Spring: October 1
Resume, 2 LORs, SOPGRE Not Required; TOEFL/IELTSCornell CALS; 105 USD

In case of MBA program, after the application form is reviewed, the students will be called for an interview session. This interview session will help the Admission Committee in understanding the student better.

Work experience is not mandatory while applying for the full-time MBA program. However, the university gives value to those applications which have relevant work experience of 2-5 years.Only a limited number of outstanding students are accepted with less than one year of work experience.


  1. Documents are required to be submitted in their original language, along with their english translated copy.
  2. The students are not required to submit TOEFL and IELTS score if they belong to Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada (except Quebec).
  3. The students have to send their application form by December 15 to get considered for the scholarship award. Application received after the due date will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Cornell University Transfer Students

Around 80 international transfer students are enrolled every year to the university in addition to native American and other America-related nationality students.


Entry Requirements: Transcripts

Standardized Test Scores (academic): SAT/ACT

English Proficiency Test: TOEFL or IELTS score

Application Requirements: Registrar report; mid-term report; Cornell Questions and Writing Supplement (CA) or Transfer Supplement (UCA); interviews (for College of Architecture Art and Planning and School of Hotel Administration); required portfolio; design submission

When to Apply: Application Deadline: October 15 (Spring session) and March 15 (Fall session)

Application Fee: 80 USD

How to Apply: The students have to use either of the 2 forms to apply for their chosen program – Common Application and Universal College Application

Note: The students can send the supporting documents via the online way or by mail.

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