Baker Program in Real Estate Application Guide

Application Deadlines

Plan to apply early. International applicants are encouraged to apply during one of the first three rounds.

Round Deadline
Round 1 — application fee waived* December 1
Round 2 January 15
Round 3 March 1
Round 4 April 15

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How to Apply

The application will be available September 15 through the Cornell Graduate School’s online application system. The application can be completed in one session, or can be saved and returned to in subsequent sessions. All required materials must be received in order for your application to be reviewed and considered for admission. You may track the status of your application materials through your application portal. A nonrefundable application fee* of $105 must be submitted with your online application. Payment must be made with either an e-check in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank, or a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit card.

*An application fee waiver may be requested if you meet the following criteria:

  • You submit your complete application prior to the round one deadline
  • You are a current or former United States military member
  • You are a current Cornell student or a recent Cornell alum and have graduated within two years of your application date

*In order to have your application fee waived, please email us at when your application is complete and ready to submit. Please include: 1) Your name; 2) What above eligibility requirement you meet. We will respond with an email that includes a unique fee waiver code that has been assigned to your application. Note, this must be done prior to submitting your application. 

What You Need to Apply

In addition to the requirements outlined by the Graduate School, the Baker Program has the following requirements:

Academic Statement of Purpose

Please use the Academic Statement of Purpose to describe, within 500 words: (1) your academic interests, (2) your academic background, preparation, and training, including any relevant professional experiences, (3) your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this specific program, and (4) your professional goals.

Personal Statement

Please describe (within 300-500 words) how your background and experiences influenced your decision and ability to pursue a graduate degree. Additionally, provide insights into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect where scholars representing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and work productively and positively together.

Video Interview

After you submit your application, you will be sent an email invitation to complete a video interview, where you will be asked to give short verbal responses to pre-recorded questions. Note, an invitation to the video interview will be sent automatically after submitting your application. Please monitor your inbox carefully as your application will not be considered complete until the video interview is submitted. The video interview is designed to assess your fit for the program and your communication skills. We advise that you use the most up-to-date version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge to complete the video interview.


Please provide your most current resume or CV.

Academic Transcripts

Successful applicants will have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Please submit transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended. Be sure to redact, cross out, or cover your Social Security Number if it is displayed on your transcript. You may submit unofficial transcripts with your application; however, should you be admitted into the program, we will request an official copy for verification.

  • Transcripts should indicate:
    • All courses you have taken
    • Grades received in each course
    • Degree and the date it was conferred

Competitive applicants to the Baker Program in Real Estate will have completed coursework in the following subjects prior to enrollment:

  • Microeconomics
  • Financial Accounting

For students who have not taken a microeconomics or financial accounting class, the prerequisites can be satisfied before matriculation (before the first day of the program). If you have questions about your credentials, please feel free to email the Office of Admissions.

  • For applicants with international credentials: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or an equivalent international degree is required. Candidates who have earned or are on track to earn a degree that does not match the information found on the equivalency list in title or duration should strongly consider providing a credential evaluation with their application. World Education Services (WES) a third-party verification agency, can provide this service.
    • Submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended. 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), can provide this service. Transcripts should indicate all courses you have taken, grades received in each course, degree name, and date the degree was conferred. Candidates who are admitted and enrolled are required to provide the corresponding official transcripts before matriculation.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required for your application. At least one should be from a current or recent supervisor who can attest to your work-related skills. The second may be from either an academic or professional source. In the application, select the “online” option for your recommenders to receive an emailed invitation to submit their letters. You will be required to enter the email or street address of your recommenders as you complete this portion of your application.

You are encouraged to request recommendations from people who are well acquainted with you and your professional capabilities. It is your responsibility to ensure that all recommendations are submitted online by the deadline for the round in which you are applying.

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Records Examination (GRE)

A GMAT or GRE test score is a required component of the Baker program application.  The GMAT or GRE is one way to demonstrate quantitative competency and English language proficiency to the admissions committee in our holistic review process.

There is no minimum score requirement to apply to the Baker program. If you completed the GMAT or GRE more than once, we will use the exam with the highest total score.

The Baker program will accept the GRE General Test at Home, the GMAT Online Exam, and the GMAT Focus for the fall 2024 cycle.

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

Submitting a Score

GMAT scores should be sent electronically using Use code 5811 when filling out the GMAT registration.

GRE scores should be delivered by ETS ( All official test scores should be reported directly to Cornell University’s institution code 2098. Department codes are not needed for matching scores to applications. If ETS requires you to select a department code, you may choose “0000 undecided.”

You may submit an unofficial score report for your application review; however, if you are accepted and intend to enroll, your official score report must be received by your enrollment deposit deadline.  It is an applicant’s responsibility to contact the testing service directly and authorize the release of the official score report.  Offers of admission are not binding until we verify your official academic records and test scores.

Waiver Request

Candidates who demonstrate analytical and quantitative abilities through academics or work experience may request a waiver from the GMAT or GRE test requirement. The waiver request option is in the application.

  • An academic waiver request must refer to specific completed courses on the submitted college transcript (e.g. microeconomics, finance, accounting, calculus, and statistics with regression).
  • Work experience waiver requests must include a description of the nature of work, and one of the two required letters of recommendation must come from a current supervisor who specifically addresses the quantitative/analytical nature of your work.
  • Waiver requests based on other personal circumstances are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If you plan to request a waiver, we encourage you to submit your application in advance of the application deadline.  You can expect a response to your waiver request within 7 business days via email. If your test waiver is not approved, your application will remain incomplete until a test score is submitted.

Applicants granted a waiver will not be disadvantaged in the application review process.


Information for International Students

All international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting official TOEFL or IELTS scores. The Baker Program in Real Estate does not accept My Best Score reports for the TOEFL examination and requires applicants to meet the minimum sub-scores in speaking, reading, listening and writing set by the Cornell Graduate School.

In some cases, these testing requirements can be waived. For more information on score minimums, how to submit test scores, and the criteria for waiving the requirement, please visit the Graduate School’s website.

  • 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.


For applicants in regions where the TOEFL iBT is not available, Cornell will continue to accept scores for the paper-based test (PBT).

  • 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:
  • 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.


The Graduate School requires an overall band score of a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS.

  • When you register for the exam, you may select up to 5 institutions to which you would like to have your scores sent. Cornell University has multiple IELTS accounts so please be sure to select Cornell University Graduate Admissions when registering for your IELTS test date.
  • You may also submit a request to your test center to have additional score reports sent to institutions not originally listed on your test registration form. Scores must be sent electronically (e-delivery) to the Cornell University Graduate Admissions, Caldwell Hall e-download account. E-delivery may also be referred to as an e-TRF by your test center.
  • The IELTS score must be dated within two years of your program’s application deadline. Scores must be delivered electronically through the IELTS E-Delivery service.
  • 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.

International students can find detailed information on specific application requirements on the Graduate School’s website.

IELTS and TOEFL Arrangements for COVID-19

If a safe in-person option is not available for you, you may submit results from one of the following at-home options.

Dual Real Estate Degree Candidates

Applicants to the dual-degree program must apply separately to both the Baker Program for the MPS-RE and the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP) for the MRP.

Each college or school makes its admissions decisions independently. The Baker Program is not responsible for other college’s requirements and does not have access to information pertaining to those application files.

To be accepted and enrolled in a dual-degree program, students must:

  • Meet each program’s application deadline and fulfill all admissions requirements (admissions decisions are made independently by each program)
  • Accept admittance to both programs, and submit any required tuition deposits
  • Submit GMAT score reports, transcripts, and TOEFL, if needed, to each program

Requests to enroll as a dual-degree student must be declared on the initial application to the Baker Program. Students not admitted to a dual-degree program upon initial enrollment in the Baker Program must complete the MPS-RE degree requirements before enrolling in any other degree program at Cornell.

Students already enrolled in the MRP program may still apply to the Baker Program and, upon admission, be formally admitted to the dual-degree program.

Join the Baker Program in Real Estate