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International Students

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As an international student, you will benefit not only from a Master of Engineering degree but also from Cornell University's strong reputation in your country. Around the world, Cornell is one of the best known and most highly regarded of all American universities. Moreover, when you spend a year at Cornell, you will use and improve your English language skills-an advantage in global businesses.

Visual Communications GroupHere on campus, you will find a highly diverse culture that welcomes students from all over the world. Nearly 12 percent - more than 3200 - of Cornell University students come from 122 countries outside the U.S.A. The university's International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) provides many services to international students. The small city of Ithaca is multi-cultural, with many nations represented in cultural activities, and restaurants that feature foods of many countries. ISSO provides abundant information on living in Ithaca. Take a virtual tour and explore the campus and the community. Most people agree it is a wonderful place to live!

English Language Proficiency Requirement

All international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. International students demonstrate proficiency by submitting official test scores from either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and the IELTS.

Cornell's official minimum sub-score requirements for each element of the TOEFL are:

TOEFL IBT Version:

  • Writing: 20/30
  • Listening: 15/30
  • Reading: 20/30
  • Speaking: 22/30
Additional info regarding the TOEFL:
  • The TOEFL score must be dated within two (2) years of the time the application is reviewed by Cornell. (Photocopies of TOEFL score reports will not be accepted; official scores must be submitted to Cornell from ETS)
  • If you receive your test results and any sub-score does not meet the requirement, you should make arrangements to retake the test as you will not be considered for admission to Cornell University unless you are able to meet or exceed each of the four individual scores.
  • Students should submit all required tests well in advance of the application. Please note that we cannot confirm receipt of test scores until the student has submitted an online application.


  • Applicants must receive an Overall Band Score of 7.0 or higher


The English Language Proficiency requirement may be waived if the applicant meets at least one of these criteria:

  • Is a native citizen of the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada (except Quebec). Applicants who are citizens of India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, or Singapore, are not exempt from the TOEFL requirement.
  • Have studied in full-time status for at least two (2) academic years within the last five (5) 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.

The above polices are determined by the Cornell Graduate School and may be viewed here. All graduate fields at Cornell University are required to adhere to them.