The Graduate School considers the following to be professional degrees:
- 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
- Two-year M.L.A. (Master of Landscape Architecture)
- 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
Two D.M.A.s are offered by the graduate field of Music: one in Composition and the other in Performance Practice. The D.M.A. blends scholarship with artistic work. As part of the D.M.A. thesis in Composition, students are required to complete a single composition or a portfolio of totaling at least twenty minutes’ duration. The D.M.A. in Performance Practice is a specialized advanced degree designed for professional caliber performers who wish to combine the performance of specific repertories with research, teaching, and writing about those repertories. At present the D.M.A. in performance practice is offered in keyboard music of the 17th-21st centuries and in choral conducting. For the D.M.A. in Performance Practice, students must appear in at least one formal concert each semester in residence.
M.Arch. (3 ½-year M.Arch. I degree in Architecture)
The professional Master of Architecture program (M.Arch. I) is a three-and-a-half-year course of study dedicated to preparing graduate students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds for careers in architecture. The curriculum comprises a rich offering of courses in visual representation, history and theory of architecture, technology, and professional practice, complemented by six semesters of design studios. The design studio is the core of the curriculum, with the design project serving as a negotiating platform between diverse practices, technologies and fields of knowledge. The intensive course of study encourages the development of individual research trajectories at the upper levels, and culminates in a one-semester design thesis. Making full use of Cornell University’s excellent resources across all disciplines, the M.Arch. I situates itself globally, drawing upon distinguished national and international visitors, Cornell Architecture’s New York City studio, and traveling studio locations worldwide. The M.Arch. I program is open to applicants possessing a four-year bachelor’s degree in any area.
Depending on prior coursework, the M.A.T. is a 1-2 year program including a student teaching semester. The MAT in teacher education leads to certification of middle and high school teachers of mathematics and the agricultural, biological, and physical sciences.
The Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program, a professional degree usually completed in one year, offers advanced training in fifteen engineering fields. The curriculum is practice-oriented, designed to assist engineers in development of their professional careers and to provide the technical expertise needed in business, government, and industry. Cornell’s undergraduate engineering curriculum emphasizes basic math and science. The Master of Engineering curriculum builds on those skills but focuses more intently on practice and design. The M.Eng. degree typically requires a design project rather than thesis research. The M.Eng. is offered in the following fields:
- Aerospace Engineering
- Biological & Environmental Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil & Environmental Engineering (Engineering Management)
- Computer Science
- Electrical & Computer Engineering
- Engineering Management
- Engineering Mechanics
- Engineering Physics
- Geological Sciences
- Materials Science & Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Operations Research and Information Engineering
- Systems Engineering
Cornell offers M.F.A. degrees in Art and in English both of which are two-year degrees.
- M.F.A.s in Art prepare a written thesis, present a thesis exhibition of the studio work completed during residency, and give an oral defense of the written thesis and exhibition. During the final spring semester gallery space is provided for a solo thesis exhibition in Ithaca as well as a group exhibition at the AAP NYC center in Chelsea. The curriculum is flexible to accommodate the needs of individual students and enable students to take advantage of Cornell’s vast opportunities. Students may enroll in introductory or advanced courses in any field of study offered at the university. Students complete a minimum of 15 credits each term, including 9 credits in required studio work and 3 credits in a required graduate art seminar. All students work independently with a committee comprised of art faculty with an option to include faculty from non-art disciplines. At least 12 credits must be earned outside the Department of Art during the four-term residency. In addition, students must complete 18 credits in the history of art during the course of their graduate and/or undergraduate study.
- The M.F.A. in English offers concentrations in either poetry or fiction. Students participate in a graduate writing workshop each semester and take 6 additional one-semester courses for credit, at least four of them in English or American literature, Comparative Literature, literature in the modern or classical languages, or cultural studies (typically two per semester during the first year and one per semester during the second year). First year students receive practical training by working as Editorial Assistants for Epoch, a periodical of prose and poetry published by the Creative Writing staff of the department. The most significant requirement of the M.F.A. degree is the completion of a book-length manuscript: a collection of poems, short stories, or a novel.
The M.P.S. is typically a one-year coursework based degree that prepares students for leadership in their chosen professional field. The M.P.S. typically culminates in a student project. Cornell offers a variety of M.P.S. degrees in the following fields:
- Africana Studies
- Animal Science
- Apparel Design
- Applied Economics (Agricultural Economics, Resource Economics)
- Applied Statistics
- Food Science & technology
- Horticulture (Horticultural Biology, Horticultural Crop & Landscape Management)
- Information Science
- International Agriculture & Rural Development
- International Development
- Natural Resources
- Real Estate
- Soil & Crop Sciences
M.H.A. (Health Administration)
The M.H.A. offered through the Sloan Program in Policy Analysis & Management is a two-year degree that prepares future leaders in health management with the knowledge and skills in management, health care organization, policy and public health to manage health care organizations and promote quality, access, efficiency and innovation in health care delivery and financing. The program curriculum combines rigorous coursework with a robust practical training component which includes a required summer internship, colloquia bringing industry experts to campus, an annual off-campus intersession program field trip to meet industry leaders, and a second-year capstone project.
M.P.A. (Public Administration)
The M.P.A. offered through CIPA is a two-year program. The M.P.A. program presents a basic structure for graduate study, but CIPA Fellows are the primary designers of their educational and career trajectories while at Cornell. When entering the program, each Fellow is provided a core faculty advisor based on the student’s area of interest. Fellows work closely with their respective advisors to design individualized courses of study. After deciding upon a concentration, Fellows will choose a thesis or professional project advisor, whose role it is to guide them in the development of their final paper.
M.M.H. (Hospitality Management)
The Master of Management in Hospitality (M.M.H.) degree is an intensive 12-month, three-semester program beginning in May each year. Like an M.B.A.., the M.M.H. prepares students to be theory-based, action-oriented leaders of executive management teams and entrepreneurial ventures. M.M.H. graduates are entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, developers, analysts, consultants, corporate directors, and managers of hotels, resorts, and spas.
M.I.L.R. (Industrial & Labor Relations)
The two-year Master of Industrial and Labor Relations (M.I.L.R.) degree program provides a broad-based foundation with a specific, intense focus on the interaction between people and organizations in the workplace. The M.I.L.R. is the top degree program in the area of human resources and labor relations. There's a strong general business component to courses, but the emphasis is on the interrelationship between people and the workplace, whether that's a small service business, a not-for-profit museum, a large and influential labor union, or a Fortune 200 corporation.
M.L.A. (3-year degree in Landscape Architecture)
Landscape Architecture offers two M.L.A. degrees. The three-year degree is the professional degree for the field. Central to the graduate curriculum is the design studio which focuses on conceptual and applied design. The studio format entails lecture, demonstration, one-on-one instruction, and group discourse. Rather than espousing a single design philosophy, the department presents numerous perspectives on design, imparted through the studio course sequence. Small class sizes allow for discussion among faculty and students. The graduate curriculum culminates with a thesis or capstone studio. Thesis students, with the guidance of the Thesis Committee, may choose from a variety of options for their research, including a special project, design or aspect of theory applied to a project. The capstone studio option features a comprehensive design project. A studio book, submitted to the department is required for this option.
M.R.P. (City & Regional Planning)
The M.R.P. is a two-year degree featuring a core curriculum that provides each student with a foundation in planning and spatial theory, economics, and the tools of planning analysis — both qualitative and quantitative. The core devotes particular consideration to voice, participation, and politics. It includes subjects in law and international institutions, as well as workshops in that test theory in practice. MRP students participate in intensive collaborative workshops; summer internships with government agencies, research institutions, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the U.S. and abroad; and internships in Europe with international institutions affiliated with the Cornell in Rome program. Students can further tailor their course of study through the second-year independent exit project.