Academic Advising

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Whether your interests are focused or varied, our faculty and advising deans support your intellectual inquisitiveness and initiative. They will help you put together an academic plan to make the most of your four years here and put you on the path to a bright future.

They are also here to help you grow as a person and navigate the sometimes confusing terrain of college. Everybody needs a little help sometimes and, when those times arise, our advising deans are here to listen. They can connect you with a vast array of resources and campus staff who are experts in handling academic challenges or health care concerns and can offer care, information or counseling.

  • Faculty advisors are your go-to source for information about major requirements. You can find your faculty advisor in Student Center under "program advisor."

  • Advising deans can help you explore your interests, whether they be in the humanities, social sciences, life sciences or physical sciences, and help you eventually decide on a major. They can introduce you to the rich possibilities of a Cornell education, from study abroad to undergraduate research, from special pre-professional programs to independent study and scholar programs. Find your advising dean here.

  • Peer advisors are assigned to all first-year students and can answer questions from a student perspective to ease the transition from high school to college.

Fall 2016 Important Dates:

September 6: 

  •  Last day to add a course (including FWS) 

October 18:

  • Last day to drop 
  • Last day to change grade option 

October 19- November 18:

  • Withdrawal from courses by petition only. Withdrawal from all courses during this time will appear on the official transcript with the notation of "W." To see the policy on dropping courses, go to:

Seven-Week Classes: 

  • 7 Week 1 - Add ends 8/30/2016, drop ends 9/20/2016
  • 7 Week 2 - Add ends 10/17/2016, drop ends 11/7/2016 

Please note that add/drop dates for PE classes often vary and will be noted with the class information. 

Note: You can go up or down one credit hour in a variable credit course without a petition all semester. Complete and turn in an add/drop form to change credit hours. 

Advising tips about “Important Dates” 

  • If you are on a waitlist for a course and find out you’ve been accepted into it, then please note that you will still need to add the course officially. Instructors cannot add or drop courses on your schedule. 
  • If you wish to add a course, you should do so as early in the semester as possible. Even though you have 15 days, it will be difficult to catch up in a course that you have not been attending all along. 
  • Drops: allowed through the end of the day on October 18th. There will be no indication of a drop on your transcript. You might find it helpful to discuss any changes to your schedule with your instructor, faculty advisor, and advising dean. 
  • Withdrawals: You can petition until the end of the 12th week (November 18), but absolutely not after that date. See your advising dean to get the petition. All petitions require the signatures of your faculty advisor and the course instructor, so be sure to begin this process early enough that you can submit your petition by the deadline. Paperwork must be submitted to the advising office in Klarman Hall, KG 17, by the end of the business day on the last day to withdraw. (If you withdraw from a class after October 18th, you will receive a W even if you never attended the class.) 
  • S/U option (“Student option” in PeopleSoft): Keep in mind that S/U is not same as pass/fail. You must earn at least a C- to receive an S, a grade of D+ or lower will result in a U.) 

Health care questions? Visit the Gannett Health Center website.

Check out your personal Student Essentials page for information related to your finances, academics and community.

"When I met Dean Chad Coates, I knew that he was going to play a critical role in my academic development here at Cornell. Not only did he recommend me for the McNair Scholars program, but he also created a very warm and supportive presence. He believed in me in moments when I didn't believe in myself. And while that may be one of the most cliché things to say, it does not make it any less true." — Kemar Prussien '15