Students are expected to acquire a thorough knowledge of the discipline, including substantial theoretical, conceptual, and substantive competence in a major subject; to provide a clear demonstration of the methodological, linguistic, and other skills needed to conduct original scholarly research; and to acquire at least one semester's experience as a teaching assistant. Students who have not had equivalent course work are expected to take three of the four field seminars in the major subjects.
Numerous interdisciplinary programs are available, and include the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research, the Peace Studies Program, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and various area programs.
Early in their first semester, doctoral students meet with the director of graduate studies and several faculty members to discuss the first year's program. At the end of the first year, students form their Special Committee, which guides and supervises subsequent academic preparation and dissertation research.
By the end of the third year of residence, or sooner if possible, students are expected to have taken the Admission to Candidacy examination. The exam is given in three parts: a written exam in the student's major and minor subjects; an extended research paper in the student's specialized field of interest; and an oral exam conducted by the Special Committee. The written exam is normally taken before the end of the second year; the oral exam, at the beginning of the third. At the oral exam, the student presents a thesis proposal outlining the hypothesis, data, methods, and resources needed to carry out the dissertation research.
Please consult John S. Knight Institute for additional information.
Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100.
After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department.
Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.