Graduate Degrees

The Graduate School offers research and professional degrees in nearly 100 fields of study, with opportunities for further exploration in 18 minor (non-degree granting) fields.

Research Degrees:

The M.A. and M.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 research, and teaching.

Ph.D. 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)
  • Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

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.

  • D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts), typically 3 or more years
  • J.S.D. (Doctor of Science of Law)
  • M.Arch. I in Architecture (Master of Architecture), 3 ½ years
  • M.Arch. II (research-oriented Master of Architecture)
  • M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching), 1-2 years
  • M.Eng. (Master of Engineering), typically 1 year
  • M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts), typically 2 years
  • M.H.A. (Master of Health Administration), 2 years
  • M.I.L.R. (Master of Industrial and Labor Relations), 2 years
  • M.L.A. (Master of Landscape Architecture), 3 years
  • M.M.H. (Master of Management in Hospitality), 12 months
  • M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration), 2 years
  • M.P.S. (Master of Professional Studies), typically 1 year
  • M.R.P. (Master of Regional Planning), 2 years

Graduate research at Cornell, regardless of field, is bound by a common philosophy of academic freedom and flexibility. Therefore, (with the exception of some professional master's degree programs) the Graduate School imposes no requirements for credits or courses, requiring “registration units”. Instead, students have the freedom to shape a course of study that cuts across interrelated field offerings, while working within an academic framework developed with a Special Committee of faculty advisors chosen by the student. For this reason, Cornell is especially well suited to those with cross-disciplinary interests.