Requirements

We aim to craft a dynamic class of action-oriented hospitality leaders from diverse backgrounds that reflects the depth and breadth of the world in which we live, and to ensure our students are exposed to the widest range of life experience, knowledge, creative expression, and original thinking. 

Our students include industry veterans wanting to advance their careers and professionals in pursuit of an exhilarating and rewarding career change. We seek candidates with a strong commitment to a career in the hospitality industry, but our students come from a wide range of majors, including accounting, business, economics, engineering, finance, history, law, medicine, philosophy, and real estate.

Application Requirements

In order to ensure the highest-quality and most diverse class possible, our application process is intensive and multi-faceted, including multiple essays, recommendations, and a video interview. A complete MMH application will consist of the following components:

MMH applicants must submit all application components by the application deadline listed for each round in order to have their applications considered. Please see the admissions timetable for round deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Statement of Purpose (One to two pages)

All applicants to the Cornell University Graduate School must submit a Statement of Purpose essay. This is an opportunity for you to explain your reasons for undertaking graduate work and your academic interests, including their relation to your undergraduate study and professional goals.

MMH Career Essay (600-word limit)

What are your post-MMH career aspirations, both short-term and long-term? How do your professional experiences support these goals? How will your experiences—combined with the MMH degree from SHA—help you achieve these specific career goals?

MMH Character Essay (400-word limit)

Choose one topic:

  1. Describe a failure you have experienced. What role did you play, and what did you learn about yourself? How did this experience help you develop a more refined definition of failure?
  2. What does diversity mean to you and how will you contribute to the diversity of our community at SHA?

Transcripts

Successful applicants will have received a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. For students with foreign credentials, an equivalent international degree is required. If your transcript is not in English, please submit an official and certified English translation in addition to an original copy. World Education Services (WES), a third-party verification agency, can provide this service. Transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended should be submitted.

Transcripts should indicate:

  • All courses you have taken
  • Grades received in each course
  • Degree
  • Date the degree was conferred

To submit a transcript, applicants must:

  • Redact, cross out, or cover your Social Security Number (SSN) on paper transcripts prior to scanning. Please do not upload transcripts that include your SSN.
  • Scan each transcript (and English translation, if required) as a PDF, TIFF, JPEG, or GIF file. The file size must be less than 10 MB.
  • Ensure the scanned image is clear and easy to read.
  • Upload the scanned transcript(s) into the online application as part of the submissions process.

Requirements for international credentials:

  • All transcripts, diplomas, or academic records must be official documents issued by the college or university and provided in the original language. 
    • If not issued by the college or university as original documents, they should be notarized, full-size photocopies.
    • A certified English translation must accompany the transcript or diploma if the original language is not English.
  • Transcripts should include grades received in each subject each year, and the number of weeks and hours per week each subject was studied.
  • Courses must be described in detail. The general subject name (e.g., "mathematics") is not sufficient; the particular subject (e.g., "differential equations," "algebraic topology") must be identified.
  • Transcripts should be scanned and uploaded at the time of application. Admitted applicants will be required to send an official paper transcript prior to registration.
  • "Unofficial" transcripts may be submitted with your application; however, should you be admitted into the MMH program, we will request an official copy for verification.

Standardized Tests

While prior study in business or hospitality is not a requirement for admission to the MMH program, much of the coursework in the MMH curriculum requires advanced quantitative skills. We expect candidates to demonstrate their potential to perform well in a graduate business curriculum with a competitive score on the GMAT or GRE test. All applicants to the MMH program must take the GMAT or the GRE. While there is no minimum GMAT or GRE score requirement, admitted candidates typically perform well.

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

GMAT scores are valid for five years. The MMH program requires that test scores be valid on the deadline date of the application round in which you apply.

Use GMAT code 5811 when filling out the GMAT registration to have your scores sent to us.

GRE (General Revised Test)

GRE scores are valid for five years. The MMH program requires that test scores be valid on the deadline of the application round in which you apply.

Use institutional code 2098 & Department & Major Field Code 4208-Hospitality Administration/Management when filling out the GRE registration to have your scores sent to us.

Recommendations

Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one should be from a current or recent employer or supervisor who can attest to your work-related skills. The second may be from either an academic or additional professional source. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure all recommendations are submitted online by the deadline for the round in which the applicant is applying.

You will need the email or street address of your recommenders to complete this portion of the application.

Interview: Video Essay

After your MMH application has been submitted you will be invited to record an online video essay. For your convenience, our questions have been pre-recorded so that you can complete your responses at any time. The video essays are part of a holistic assessment that will be considered alongside your completed application. Detailed information about the video essays will be provided by email after you submit your application.

Resume

Candidates who apply to the MMH program are seeking to accelerate their careers, and our industry partners are looking for those who have a demonstrated commitment to hospitality, so relevant work experience prior to enrolling will have a direct impact on job placement opportunities. While not required, hospitality-related work experience is strongly preferred.

Your resume can be submitted electronically with your application. Please follow instructions for submission on the application.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $105 must be submitted with the online application. Applicants who submit their complete application prior to the Round One deadline may be eligible for an application fee waiver.

Payment must be made through the online application using either an e-check in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank, or a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit card.

English Language Proficiency Requirement (International applicants only) 

All international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. International students demonstrate proficiency by submitting official test scores from TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Cornell does not accept PTE Academic scores or any other alternative to TOEFL or IELTS scores.

  • Cornell must receive official TOEFL or IELTS scores before the university can process your application.
  • TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid only if dated within two years of your program's application deadline.

TOEFL

For applicants in regions where the TOEFL iBT is not available, Cornell will continue to accept scores for the paper-based test (PBT). Applicants with TOEFL scores below the following minimums in any of the four categories cannot be admitted to Cornell University:

IBT Version PBT Version
Writing 20 Minimum Score 550
Listening 15  
Reading 20  
Speaking 22  

MMH recommends applicants have a minimum total score of 100 on the TOEFL with recommended sectional scores of 25 in each category.

  • Please request TOEFL scores to be sent to: Cornell University Graduate School, Code #2098. If you are required to take the TOEFL, please note the following:
  • Your TOEFL score must be dated within two years of your program's application deadline
  • Photocopies of TOEFL score reports will not be accepted.
  • Take the TOEFL early enough to have the results submitted at the time of your application. Please note that we cannot confirm receipt of test scores until the student has submitted an online application. Exam dates are posted on the TOEFL website.
  • If you receive your test results and any sub-score does not meet the requirement, you should make arrangements to retake the test. If your TOEFL score does not meet the requirement, we cannot issue a visa document, and you will not be able to enter the country.
  • An application cannot be considered complete until Cornell receives official scores from ETS. An offer of admissions cannot be made, nor can a visa document be issued, if an application is incomplete.

IELTS

The Graduate School requires an overall band score of a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS. Please email gradadmissions@cornell.edu for information about how to send your scores.

Exceptions

The English language proficiency requirement may be waived if the applicant meets at least one of these criteria:

  • Is a native citizen of the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada (except Quebec). Applicants who are citizens of India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, or Singapore are not exempt from the TOEFL requirement.
  • Studied in full-time status for at least two academic years within the last five years in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, or with English-language instruction in Canada or South Africa. You must submit a transcript that shows you have attended college in one of these approved locations.

International students may also be required to pass a writing benchmark. All of our classes are in English and require participation in class discussions, as well as intensive writing, reading, and involvement in group projects. Successful candidates will have a full command of both spoken and written English. Even if your TOEFL score exceeds the minimum requirement, you may still be required to enroll in an intensive English course, preferably in the United States, before you begin the program.

Financial Responsibility Form (admitted international applicants only) 

International students who are admitted to the MMH program will be required to complete a Financial Responsibility Form (FRF) that certifies you can cover the cost of the program for the full year.

International students who have been admitted will be contacted by the MMH office with further instructions on completing the FRF. Submission of this form is required before an I-20 form (needed to obtain a visa to study in the United States) can be released. International students are strongly encouraged to apply to Rounds One or Two in order to ensure completion of this process before our program start date in May.

For additional information about immigration requirements, please contact Cornell's International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). This office can help with a variety of issues, including travel information, immigration status, and campus orientation.