Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    May 27, 2024  
Courses of Study 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Degree Programs

In the Graduate School 

Students interested in professional and research master’s and doctoral degrees at Cornell pursue their graduate studies through the Graduate School, which administers nearly 100 graduate fields, ranging from aerospace engineering to zoology.

Research Degrees

Master’s degree programs are designed for those who wish to obtain further education in a selected field and to develop their ability for critical inquiry, independent scholarship, and teaching.

Doctoral programs are designed for individuals who demonstrate the potential to perform original research under guidance, with a view to various careers, including those in research and teaching. 

  • M.S. (Master of Science)
  • M.A. (Master of Arts)
  • M.A./Ph.D. or M.S./Ph.D. (joint Master’s/Doctor of Philosophy)
  • M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts), typically 2 years
    • Art
    • Creative Writing
  • Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Fields of Study

At Cornell, graduate study is organized using a field structure. Fields are composed of faculty members from a number of departments who come together around a shared intellectual interest, and may draw from different campuses or colleges. Graduate students are admitted to fields of study. Within each field, they select major and minor subjects, which are research interests or concentrations.

Fields span departments and even disciplines. It’s possible for a student in the field of economics to include faculty on his or special committee from industrial and labor relations, civil and environmental engineering, and sociology, along with the more traditional economics and management.

See our fields of study web page or download a PDF of the fields of study  for more information on the degree programs we offer.  See the College Graduation Requirements page  for requirements that span all of the research degrees. 

Professional Degrees

Professional degrees prepare students to practice their profession at an advanced level, to teach the subject matter of their profession, or to pursue original investigations into its functions, administration, history, and progress. The professional degrees below link to specific degree requirements:

Note: The following delegated degrees are administered outside of the Graduate School:

  • M.Arch  degree administered by the College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • M.Eng   degree administered by the College of Engineering
  • M.M.H.   degree administered by the College of Business
  • M.P.S.  degree administered by the College of Business