Choosing Courses

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As you prepare for your journey through the College of Arts & Sciences, many tools are available to help you navigate the 2,000 courses offered by the College, as well as 2,000 additional courses in the six professional and applied colleges at Cornell.

There are two main tools you'll use as you enroll in classes:

  • Courses of Study can help you plan your four years of study. It represents Cornell’s full catalog of courses and is published annually.
  • Class Roster offers a robust search engine that allows you to explore classes by subject, class year, college, time offered, instructor, credits and other categories.

Since 2/3 of your coursework will be outside your major, the College encourages you to explore topics that interest you — whether that be the study of Japanese or JavaScript. If you take advantage of the incredible academic diversity and dynamic mix of theoretical and applied studies offered at Cornell, you'll enrich your life in ways you might not be able to imagine.

Choosing Your Courses

To help you choose your courses, we've created the following "cheat sheet" of important information. Be sure to have it handy as you put together your schedule.

  • To receive an Arts & Sciences degree, you will need to fulfill all of the degree requirements listed in the Courses of Study. This worksheet can help you keep track of the courses you need to take. The Courses of Study helps you know what you need to do to fulfill your degree, while classes.cornell.edu is the tool you'll use to sign up for classes.
  • Some important abbreviations to know when using both tools: Physical and Biological Sciences (PBS); Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (MQR); Cultural Analysis (CA-AS), Historical Analysis (HA-AS), Knowledge Cognition and Moral Reasoning (KCM-AS), Literature and the Arts (LA-AS), and Social and Behavioral Analysis (SBA-AS). Remember, if the designation doesn’t include “-AS” then the course will not fulfill a humanities/social sciences distribution requirement for the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • Not all courses offered at Cornell count for credit within the College of Arts & Sciences. Be sure to check this list of courses that won't count toward your degree.
  • Because some courses have overlapping content, they cannot both be counted toward your degree. Check this list of overlapping courses before you enroll in courses.
  • To help you round out your schedule, you can search for one- and two-credit courses in the class roster.
  • You can monitor your progress toward degree completion by checking your DUST (Distributed Undergraduate Student Tracking) report here. The DUST report is updated after each semester to reflect your progress toward completing college requirements.
  • To see a sample of courses that students say are particularly memorable, check out this page.

Pathways to Your Degree

Your academic journey through Cornell won't be the same as anyone else's, so it's important to take some time to think about your interests as you select courses.

Schedule a meeting with your Advising dean to make your plans.

Tracking Your Degree Requirements

You can also monitor your progress by checking your DUST (Distributed Undergraduate Student Tracking) reports. The DUST report is updated after each semester to reflect your progress in college requirements.

Courses of Study

To plan your classes over your four years at Cornell, use the Courses of Study. It represents Cornell’s full catalog of courses and is published annually, providing information on Cornell degree programs, requirements, policies and procedures.

Class Roster

To choose your courses for a semester, use the Class Roster. It shows the schedule of all classes offered in a particular term, along with class enrollment information and course details. The Class Roster is updated daily.