Application and Admissions Process
Please note: Consideration of COVID-19 Disruptions
The deadline to apply for admission into the CAM PhD program is January 7. Applications are only accepted for the fall semester. Begin the application process by creating an account on the Graduate School's application page. The online application is secure and can be immediately viewed by the CAM admissions committee upon submission. You can learn more about the application process and review additional guidelines on the Graduate School website.
Materials needed for application process:
- You will be asked to enter typical application information such as nationality, GPA, schools attended, etc.
- You will be required to upload an accurate unofficial transcript for each school you have attended. Please do not send official copies to the CAM office. Please note that there are only up to three fields for listing schools attended. If you attended more than three, you must upload those transcripts in the writing sample portion of the application.
- If you have appropriate supplemental documents such as an undergraduate research paper, awards, etc., upload them in the writing sample portion of the application.
- A statement of purpose is required and can be uploaded directly into the application.
- At least three letters of recommendation are required. Additional letters are allowed. Recommenders may submit their letters online. Once an application is submitted, recommenders receive an automated email soliciting their letter (you will be prompted to provide their contact information before you submit your application).
- Neither GRE General nor GRE subject scores are accepted.
- The Graduate School requires an application fee of $105. A fee waiver request will be considered if this fee presents a financial hardship. See Application Fees for instructions on how to submit a waiver request.
- Applicants who are non-US citizens may be contacted via email 1-3 weeks after the application submission deadline to participate in a brief, conversational English video interview (no specialized knowledge necessary). Though not all non-US-citizen applicants will be required to participate in this interview, definite exceptions include citizens of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
- Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents, credentials services, or other paid professional assistance. The use of such services violates University policy and may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.
TOEFL & IELTS Scores
- The Graduate School recently updated its policy regarding English language proficiency for international students. Students admitted to our PhD program and are funded through teaching assistantships must demonstrate a higher level of English proficiency. These students are supported through Cornell's International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) in the Center for Teaching Innovation. There are three ways to meet the requirements:
- Submit official TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic scores that meet or exceed Cornell's minimum requirements
- Request a standing Exemption by attesting that you meet one of the standing exemptions outlined below. Provide documentation if required.
- Request a Special Examination (see guidelines below)
|IELTS Academic||TOEFL iBT|
|Score Tier A –|
Admissible with no additional language assessment needed to be a TA
|8 or above||Speaking: 27 or above|
Reading: 20 or above
Listening: 15 or above
Writing: 20 or above
|Score Tier B –|
Admissible with an English Language Assessment and support plan required before being appointed as a TA
|7.0 – 7.5||Speaking: 22 - 26|
Reading: 20 or above
Listening: 15 or above
Writing: 20 or above
How to Send Your Scores to Cornell
- 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).
- 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.
For admissions purposes, Cornell University Graduate School does not require IELTS or TOEFL scores from applicants who meet one of the following standing exemptions. However, applicants admitted to research degrees may still need to complete the English Language Assessment before being a TA.
- 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.
Applicants who speak English as a first language, but do not otherwise qualify for a standing exemption, may be considered for a special exemption under the following circumstances:
- Speak English as a first or native language, but citizenship does not meet the Standing Exemption criteria.
- Full-time study or work in a primary English country was for less than 2 years, was not consecutive, or occurred more than 10 years ago.
Contact the Graduate Admissions Office if you think you qualify for a special exemption. Note: Applicants with special exemptions admitted to research degrees may still need to complete the English Language Assessment prior to being a TA.
CAM does not admit students for the spring semester. The admissions committee begins reviewing applications in mid-January and continues throughout February. Decisions are communicated to applicants until the end of March. CAM typically receives roughly 200 applications per year and has a 10-15% acceptance rate. All applicants are notified of the decision by email. Applicants offered admission will receive an admissions letter and a deadline for when they need to inform CAM about their enrollment decisions (usually April 15). When students respond that they will enroll at Cornell, they are sent an I-20 form, if applicable (international students).
Any questions, material, or correspondence may to be sent to email@example.com.
Center for Applied Mathematics
657 Frank H.T. Rhodes Hall
Ithaca, NY 14583 USA