Courses of Study 2023-2024 
    May 18, 2024  
Courses of Study 2023-2024

Graduation Requirements for Engineering Masters Degree (M.Eng) Programs

In the College of Engineering.

Master of Engineering Degrees

The following 30-credit professional master of engineering (M.Eng.) degrees are offered:


The purpose of the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree program in the College of Engineering is to prepare professional engineers for an accelerated career track as applied engineers or as engineering managers by offering practical project experience, advanced technical training, and professional development training.

Requirements for admission vary by program. In general, the standard M.Eng. application requirements include

  • Statement of purpose
  • Complete transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores—varies by program and not required for Cornell undergraduates

Admission requirements and dates vary by program. Check with the appropriate program for specific program requirements. A list of links and general admission information is posted on the M.Eng. website.

Superior Cornell students who will have between 1 and 8 credits remaining in their last undergraduate semester may petition for early admission to the M.Eng. program. They spend the last semester finishing up their B.S. degree and taking courses that count toward their M.Eng. degree. This semester counts as the first semester of their M.Eng program.

Master of Engineering Academic Procedures and Policies

Academic Standing

Full-time M.Eng. students are expected to remain in good academic standing.  A candidate not in good standing is subject to program action. A candidate may appeal in writing to the M.Eng Academic Committee any decision or action relating to academic standards taken within or by a program.

  • A grade-point average of 2.50 or above is required for all Cornell courses which count for credit towards the degree.
  • Credit towards the M.Eng. degree will not be awarded for any course in which the student receives a grade below C-.
  • Additional criteria for good standing may be established by the program.
  • The program is responsible for determining if a candidate is in good standing.

Academic Progress and Course Enrollment

  • M.Eng. students shall not register for more than 20 credit-equivalent hours per semester.
  • To be considered registered as full-time during a regular term, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits.
  • No more than four calendar years (five years for distance-learning students) may intervene between the time of enrollment and completion of all degree requirements. This limit may be extended by petition to the M.Eng. Committee to a maximum of seven years.
  • All students shall register for and pay full tuition for a minimum of one semester or equivalent in the M.Eng. program (the early admit term does not fulfill this requirement). Cornell University employees and candidates in Employee Degree Program or Industrial Partnership Program (IPP) are exempt from this rule.  A student may not meet the one-semester requirement through summer or winter registration.
  • A maximum of two credit hours graded on a S/U basis may be applied to degree requirements. This is to allow students to participate in seminars and colloquia or other professional development related activities.
  • Credit will not be allowed for any course counted towards another degree at Cornell or elsewhere.
  • All Cornell credits must be under the supervision of a Cornell faculty member.
  • Any student transferring from another graduate program at Cornell into the M.Eng. program may be admitted, but must register for and complete a minimum of 12 of the 30 required credit hours after application to the program.


Grades are granted under the authority of each course instructor. Please refer to the Cornell University Faculty Handbook for additional information.

The choice of grading option for any course is made initially during the pre-enrollment period and may be changed until the end of the 57th calendar day of the term. After this deadline, the grading option may not be changed, nor will a student be permitted to add a course in which he or she was were previously enrolled (in the current semester) under a different grade option. (Grading options may be changed online for most courses. A properly completed add/drop form must be used to change a grade option for a permission-only course.)

Incomplete Grades: Incomplete grades are granted entirely at the discretion of the course instructor. If a student believes an incomplete is appropriate they must discuss it with the instructor and make specific arrangements under which the missing work is to be completed within a defined time frame. Generally deadlines are one-year, but instructors may require shorter deadlines, and may, at their own discretion extend the deadline.  However, once an M.Eng. student has graduated any remaining incompletes are permanently frozen on the transcript and no additional coursework can be completed.

To receive an incomplete, students must:

  • Have an extenuating reason that prevents them from completing the course in the time allotted
  • Have passing equity in the course at the time of the request. (This is generally defined as completion of at least half the course work at a passing level.)

Evidence of an incomplete remains permanently on the transcript. When the course has been completed, a grade is entered with an asterisk, indicating that it was not completed during the regular semester.

Grade Changes: Each semester’s work is an entity, and grades are assigned for work completed during the official semester period. Grade changes after the end of the final exam period may be made only in the event of a calculation error on the part of the instructor. Grades changes based on additional work submitted by a student will not be accepted.  Upon graduation all courses and grades on a student’s transcript are frozen and cannot be altered.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence may be voluntary, health-related, or required. A description of each follows:

Voluntary leave: Students sometimes find it necessary to suspend their studies. To do this, they must petition for a leave of absence for a specified period of time and receive written approval.

M.Eng. students request leaves through their program office. The first step is an interview to establish conditions for the leave and subsequent return. A leave of absence is granted for at least six months and not more than one year.  Students must obtain written approval to extend their leave before it has expired or they will be considered withdrawn from the program and will be required to reapply for admission. 

A leave of absence granted during a semester goes into effect on the day a written request is received by the M.Eng. program office. If a leave is requested after the 57th day of a semester, the courses in which the student was registered at the time of the request are treated as having been dropped (i.e., a “W” will appear on the transcript for each course). Students are responsible for any outstanding tuition or other university charges owed through that date. On-campus housing and dining charges may accrue until the student no longer utilizes the services.  Leaves requested for an upcoming term will be effective on the day after the end of the last term attended.

Health leave: Health leaves are granted by the college only upon recommendation by a physician or therapist from Cornell Health. Students must also contact their M.Eng. program office for final approval of a health leave. Although circumstances may vary, such leaves are generally granted for at least one full academic year with the understanding that the student may return at the beginning of any semester after the medical condition in question has been corrected. Students must satisfy Cornell Health that the condition has been corrected before they may return. The student’s academic standing will also be subject to review both at the time the leave is granted and upon the student’s return. A health leave of absence will be effective on the date stated in the letter from Cornell Health.

Required leave: A required leave of absence is imposed by the program in cases in which the academic progress of a student is so poor that continuing into the next semester does not appear prudent. An example of this might be failure in key courses in a semester. Leaves are given when the probability of success is increased substantially by deferring the student’s return by one semester (or, in unusual circumstances, one year). Required leaves take precedence over voluntary leaves and are effective on the day after the end of the last term attended.

Rejoining the College

Students wishing to rejoin the college should notify their M.Eng. program office in writing at least six weeks before the beginning of the semester in which they wish to return. Any conditions established when the leave was granted must be satisfied, and students may be asked to describe their activities while away from Cornell.

Withdrawal from the College

A withdrawal from the College of Engineering may be voluntary or required. Following is a description of each:

Voluntary withdrawal:

Students who voluntarily withdraw from their M.Eng. program sever all connection with the University. M.Eng. students who wish to withdraw should do so through their program office.

A withdrawal granted during a semester goes into effect on the day it is requested. If a withdrawal is requested after the date set by the University (see Policies), the courses in which the student was registered at the time of the request are treated as having been dropped (i.e., a “W” will appear on the transcript for each course). Students are responsible for any outstanding tuition or other university charges owed through that date.

Required withdrawal: A program may require a students to withdraw from the M.Eng. program only when their overall record indicates that they are either incapable of completing the program or not sufficiently motivated to do so. This action severs all connections with the program. This action withdraws them only from the M.Eng. program and does not, in and of itself, adversely affect their ability to transfer and complete a degree in another program at Cornell. Required withdrawals take precedence over voluntary withdrawals.

Cooperative Program with the Johnson Graduate School of Management

Undergraduates may be interested in a cooperative program at Cornell that leads to both master of engineering and master of business administration (M.B.A.) degrees. With appropriate curriculum planning, such a combined B.S./M.Eng./M.B.A. program can be completed in six years at Cornell, with time out for work experience.

Because 95 percent of the students in the JGSM have work experience, there will typically be a gap for work experience between the M.Eng. and M.B.A. portions of the program for students who do not already have it when beginning the M.Eng. portion.

For further details, visit Engineering Advising (180 Rhodes Hall), the RGS office (223 Carpenter Hall), or the JGSM office in Sage Hall.

Lester B. Knight Scholarship Program

The Lester B. Knight Scholarship Program is designed to assist and encourage top students to pursue graduate studies in engineering and business at Cornell. Knight scholarships may provide as much as $60,000 of tuition support toward M.Eng. and M.B.A. degrees.

Participation in the program requires admission by each respective academic program (M.Eng. or M.B.A.) as well as an application to participate in the Knight Scholarship Program.

Refer to the Knight Scholarship Program website for program specifics.