Course Guidance for Major Exploration

This guide lists advice from departments in the College of Arts & Sciences to help students choose courses to explore their major/s of choice. 


Africana Studies 

“I’d like to explore Africana Studies as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

ASRC 1500 - Introduction to Africana Studies 

“I’d like to take a course in Africana Studies. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

Any ASRC course at the 1000, 2000, and 3000 level 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Courses in Africana studies prepare students for a broad range of academic and professional careers in both the public and private sectors. Africana studies has a history of shaping students' intellectual discipline, creativity, and social and political awareness. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Renee Milligan, 607-255-4625, ram25@cornell.edu 


American Studies 

“I’d like to explore American Studies as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

AMST 1101, Intro to American Studies, is a great place to start. It is typically offered every year, in either the fall or the spring. 

“I’d like to take a course in American Studies. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

Any AMST course at the 1000 or 2000 level, especially those taught by our affiliated faculty. (See website for faculty list.) 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Students may find courses relevant to American experience that they wish to take but that are not on the American Studies course list. With their advisor’s approval, students may count two such courses towards fulfilling the American Studies major. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

The Director of Undergraduate Studies and/or the Undergraduate Coordinator. Contact info can be found on our website.


Anthropology 

“I’d like to explore Anthropology as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

You're welcome to enroll in any 1000 or 2000 level course. All Anthropology courses, except for freshmen writing seminars, satisfy the Anthropology major requirements. The following courses offered in 2021-2022 satisfy the entry-level subfield requirements:

  • In Sociocultural Anthropology:
    • 1400: Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology
    • 2400: Cultural Diversity and Contemporary Issues
    • 2468: Medicine, Culture, and Society
  • In Archaeological Anthropology:
    • 1200: Ancient Peoples and Places
    • 2245 Health and Disease in the Ancient World
    • 2201: Early Agriculture
  • In Biological Anthropology:
    • 1300: Human Evolution: Genes, Behavior, & Fossil Record

For more information about the Anthropology major and minor, please see https://anthropology.cornell.edu/.

“I’d like to take a course in Anthropology. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

We welcome first-semester students without any background in Anthropology in any course at the 1000 or 2000 level. Some of our most popular entry level courses offered this year include:

  • In Sociocultural Anthropology:
    • 1400: Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology
    • 1700: Introduction to American Indian Studies I: Indigenous North America
    • 1900: Global Engagements: Living and Working in a Diverse World
    • 2420: Nature-Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human-Environment Relations
    • 2424: Culture and Mental Health: Anthropological Perspectives
    • 2400: Cultural Diversity and Contemporary Issues
    • 2437: Economy, Power, and Inequality
    • 2440: The Social Life of Money
    • 2468: Medicine, Culture, and Society
    • 2721: Anthropological Representation: Ethnographies on Latino Culture
    • 2482: Anthropology of Climate Change
  • In Archaeological Anthropology:
    • 1200: Ancient Peoples and Places
    • 2245: Health and Disease in the Ancient World
    • 2201: Early Agriculture
    • 2465: Global Heritage
  • In Biological Anthropology:
    • 1300: Human Evolution: Genes, Behavior, & Fossil Record

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Anthropology courses welcome students from all Cornell colleges. Our course offerings are often interdisciplinary and offer uniquely valuable perspectives on different topics. We look forward to seeing you in class!

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

For a copy of the syllabus from a prior year, contact the undergraduate coordinator Megan Olivares (mf676@cornell.edu). She will also be able to put you in touch with the course instructor if the information is not available online. Megan can assist you with any enrollment-related and logistical questions. For any general academic questions about Anthropology, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Sofia Villenas (anthropology_dus@cornell.edu).  


Archaeology 

“I’d like to explore Archaeology as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

There are many routes into a major in archaeology. Some of our majors start with our introductory 1000 level courses that provide a broad survey of archaeological sites, materials, and methods, like Arkeo 1200 “Ancient Peoples and Places” or Arkeo 1702 “Great Discoveries in Greek and Roman Archaeology”. Other students start their study of archaeology by enrolling in one of our thematic “gateway” courses at the 2000 level that explore topics such as “Early Agriculture” (Arkeo 2201), “Health and Disease in the Ancient World” (Arkeo 2245), “The Rise and Fall of Civilization” (Arkeo 2430), or “Drinking Through the Ages” (Arkeo 2522). All of these courses provide an orientation to the discipline as well as the exploration of critical themes in relation to key sites and discoveries.

“I’d like to take a course in Archaeology. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Any course at the 1000 or 2000 level would be an appropriate place to start your explorations in archaeology. Archaeology is an interdisciplinary program with faculty drawn from the departments of Anthropology, Art History, Classics, Near Eastern Studies, and Landscape Architecture. All of our allied departments have courses that are cross-listed as well as additional courses that can supplement an archaeology major. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Archaeology is the study of humanity through the lens of the objects and places we create. Our interests span the globe from the earliest hominid tool users to the analysis of industrial ruins. As a practice-oriented discipline, archaeology involves learning not only in the classroom but also at archaeological sites, in museums, at lab benches, in archives, and amidst collections. We encourage all of our majors to take advantage of archaeological experiences outside of the classroom as well as inside. The program has funds available to help make it possible for our students to gain practical experience in field schools, museum and lab internships, or other program that can immerse you in the experience of archaeological discovery and analysis. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

For more information, you can find resources on the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS) website: https://archaeology.cornell.edu. You can also contact our director of undergraduate studies; until July 1, 2021, the DUS will be Prof. Caitlin Barrett at ceb329@cornell.edu, and after July 1, 2021, the DUS will be Prof. Matthew Velasco at mcv47@cornell.edu.


Asian Studies 

“I’d like to explore Asian Studies as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

We recommend (but do not require!) that you start as early as possible with an Asian language -- if you're starting a new language, a few years of experience early on will give you the richest options (and richest experiences) when you go abroad. If you've already started studying a language, then choosing it in your first semester will ensure you build on the skills you brought with you to college. We also offer several Asian-themed FWS courses -- a great way to meet faculty in the department in a small-group setting. 

“I’d like to take a course in Asian Studies. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Some of our introductory classes are offered in the fall, and some in the spring. This fall, we recommend “Introduction to Southeast Asia,” “Introduction to Japan,” “ Buddhism in the Indian Ocean World,” and “Buddhism”. In the Spring, we'll “offer Introduction to China,” “Introduction to Korea,” “Meditation in Indian Culture,” “Intro to Japanese Film,” and “Intro to Asian Religions.”  

“How do I know what Asian language course to enroll in?” 

All language students with prior experience (whether studied in school or acquired at home) should take language placement tests, which are available during orientation. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

First of all, Majors in Asian Studies do not have to concentrate in one nation or region; our research and teaching crosses many boundaries, so you can experiment with coursework that you might not have considered before you came. Second, to get the best experience, we strongly encourage students to reach out to faculty they have enjoyed working with to establish an advising relationship sooner rather than later!

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

You can contact the staff and faculty of the department at asianstudiesdus@cornell.edu


Astronomy 

“I’d like to explore Astronomy as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

Astronomy is a math and physics intensive science. If you intend to pursue a career in astronomy, it is very important to get a sound foundation in math a physics. So, the top priority would be to take the 1000, or for more advanced students, the 2000 level math course and physics courses that are appropriate given your high school background. It is not necessary that you take an astronomy course during your first semester, but if you do, and have knowledge in introductory calculus and mechanics, I would recommend either ASTRO 2211, ASTRO 2212, or ASTRO 2290. 1000 level astronomy courses do not count towards an Astronomy major. 

“I’d like to take a course in Astronomy. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

All courses at the 1000 level are appropriate, and the choice depends on your interest. See the on-line course descriptions for the differences between these courses. Courses at the 2000 level are also in general appropriate for all students, but ASTRO 2211 and ASTRO 2212 require knowledge of introductory calculus and mechanics, and ASTRO 2290 has a prerequisite of freshman level physics and calculus. 

“I have AP credit for Mathematics and/or Physics. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?” 

Our majors are required to take certain math and physics courses. It is recommended that you choice the level of introductory course in these disciplines that is appropriate for your background. However, it is important to not overreach, so it is wise to consult the math and physics departments for help in selecting the course level that is appropriate for you. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

We have two concentrations in our major listed below. For more details, see https://astro.cornell.edu/undergraduate 1) Astrophysics Concentration is designed for those who intend to go on to graduate school in the physical sciences such as Astronomy, Physics, or Engineering. 2) General Astronomy Concentration is intended for students who do not plan on research careers in astronomy, but may have more broad intellectual interests, and are interested in related career paths, such as education or public outreach. The flexibility offered by the General Astronomy Concentration make it suitable to be elected as second major by broad group of students. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), Professor Gordon Stacey at gjs12@cornell.edu


Biological Sciences 

“I’d like to explore Biological Sciences as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

Most first-year Biological Sciences students take some combination of the following courses during the first semester. The curriculum is flexible! Don’t be concerned if an introductory biology course doesn’t fit in your schedule for the fall. It will be offered again in the spring semester. - One of the Introductory Biology courses (BIOMG 1350, BIOG 1440 or 1445, BIOEE 1610) OR BIOEE 1780 - BIOG 1500 - CHEM 2080 

“I’d like to take a course in Biological Sciences. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Most first-year Biological Sciences students take some combination of the following courses during the first semester. The curriculum is flexible! Don’t be concerned if an introductory biology course doesn’t fit in your schedule for the fall. It will be offered again in the spring semester. - One of the Introductory Biology courses (BIOMG 1350, BIOG 1440 or 1445, BIOEE 1610) OR BIOEE 1780 - BIOG 1500 - CHEM 2080 - Physical Education course (PE) - Freshman Writing Seminar (FWS) 

“I have AP credit for one or more of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. Do you recommend I use the credit(s) and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class(es)?” 

Biological Sciences majors may not use Biology AP, IB or GCE credit to place out of any requirements for the major. Additionally, beginning in fall 2019, biological science majors must earn a score of 5 on the AP Statistics exam in order to apply the credit toward the major. Biological Sciences majors may, however, apply earned biology AP, IB or GCE credit (see below) and AP Statistics credit for a score of 4 toward the 120 credits required for graduation in accordance with the policies of their respective college. Additionally, students majoring in biological sciences may apply advanced placement credit from other subjects toward major requirements (e.g., Chemistry, Physics, Math, CS, etc.) as per their respective college policies. Students are not required to accept any advanced placement credit. They have complete control over whether or not to use advanced placement. If you are thinking about using AP credit for a course, we recommend you speak with a professional advisor in the OUB. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

The Office of Undergraduate Biology publishes a First-Year Planning Guide every year for students majoring in Biological Sciences. We encourage our students to visit our guide as it will answer the majority of the questions you have related to advising resources, major requirements, enrolling in courses, videos on introductory biology courses, and answers to frequently asked questions. https://biology.cornell.edu/advising/first-year-advising/ 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email bioadvising@cornell.edu. Our professional advising staff also has online appointments available all summer. Feel free to make an appointment with us at the following link: https://cornell1.force.com/cu/s/appointments The OUB will be sending weekly summer emails to you towards the middle of June. Please check your email for those messages. You will also be assigned a student advisor who will be reaching out to you at some point this summer. Please check your email for a welcome message from that person. 


Biology and Society 

“I’d like to explore Biology and Society as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

Introductory biology and chemistry classes that are at least 3 credits. 

“I’d like to take a course in Biology and Society. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Plan on taking two of the following courses to complete the introductory biology requirement: BioEE 1610 or BioSM 1610; BioEE 1780 or BioSM 1780; BioG 1440 or BioG 1445; or BioMG 1350. 

“I have AP credit for Mathematics and/or Statistics. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?” 

You can use AP credit for the calculus and statistic requirements for the Biology and Society major. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Please check the courses of study page for the major as the classes offered change dramatically semester to semester: http://sts.cornell.edu/courses 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Matthew Morgan, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, at mcm365@cornell.edu.


China and Asia-Pacific Studies (CAPS) 

“I’d like to explore China and Asia-Pacific Studies as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

We recommend that you enroll in CHIN 1101 or CHIN 1109 (for a Chinese heritage student) or any Chinese language course appropriate to your Chinese level in your first semester. 

“I’d like to take a course in China and Asia-Pacific Studies. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

You may enroll any of the following courses: China and the World, China's Next Economy, What Is China, or Introduction to China. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

To have an overview of the CAPS program would be helpful. Visit our website: https://caps.cornell.edu/academics

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Please reach out to Dr. Xu Xin, CAPS executive manager, about any questions you have about CAPS at xx12@cornell.edu.


Chemistry 

“I’d like to explore Chemistry as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

For students interested in pursuing the Chemistry major, we recommend that you take one of two possible Chemistry classes your first semester, depending on your background. Many students take Chem 2070 – General Chemistry I in the Fall semester. You would then take Chem 2080 – General Chemistry II in the Spring semester. If you took AP Chemistry and received a grade of 5 on the AP exam, you will receive credit equivalent to Chem 2070. Students who have a 5 on the AP exam are encouraged to take Chem 2150 – Honors General and Inorganic Chemistry in the Fall semester. Students who take Chem 2150 do not have to take Chem 2080. Instead, they may either take Chem 3590 – Honors Organic Chemistry I in the Spring semester or choose to take no Chemistry in the Spring semester and then take Chem 3570 – Organic Chemistry I in the Fall semester of their second year. Students with a 5 on the AP exam may also choose to take no Chemistry in their first semester and then take Chem 2080 in the Spring semester. Historically, approximately half of all Chemistry majors take Chem 2150 and the other half take Chem 2070/Chem 2080. We also recommend that you take Calculus I (Math 1110) during your first semester, unless you have AP credit for it. Please note that students in the College of Arts and Sciences should not take Chem 2090 – Engineering General Chemistry, which is intended for students in the College of Engineering. 

“I’d like to take a course in Chemistry. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

All students who are interested in Chemistry are welcome to take Chem 2070 or Chem 2150, as appropriate. Indeed, many majors have a General Chemistry requirement. However, if your intended major does not require that you take Chem 2070/2080 or Chem 2150, there are two other courses for students who are interested in exploring the world of chemistry. Students who are interested in the topic of chemistry but who do not need a laboratory experience may take Chem 1150 – The Language of Chemistry in the Fall semester. Students should note that Chem 1150 is a general survey course that satisfies distribution requirements, and it cannot be used as a substitute for any other required Chemistry course (e.g. Chem 2070 or Chem 2150). Students who are interested in the topic of chemistry and who would like a laboratory experience may take Chem 1560 – Introduction to General Chemistry in the Fall semester. Students should note that Chem 1560 should not be used as a substitute for Chem 2070. 

“I have AP credit for Chemistry. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?” 

We recommend that students with AP credit for Chemistry use the credit (equivalent to Chem 2070) and take Chem 2150 – Honors General and Inorganic Chemistry in the Fall semester. The combination of AP credit for Chemistry and Chem 2150 completes the requirement for one year of General Chemistry for majors that require it. Students who take Chem 2150 do not take Chem 2080 – General Chemistry II. For students interested in becoming a Chemistry major, a student who takes Chem 2150 may then follow the Accelerated Honors Curriculum, which enables students to complete the core course requirements for the Chemistry major by the end of their junior year. After completing Chem 2150, students would then take Chem 3590 – Honors Organic Chemistry I in the Spring semester. Students who take Chem 2150 who need to take Organic Chemistry but who do not want to take Chem 3590 in the Spring may then take no Chemistry course in the Spring semester of their first year. They will then take Chem 3570 – Organic Chemistry I in the Fall semester of their second year. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

When planning which Chemistry courses you may want to take, please keep in mind that almost all of the courses in Chemistry are offered either in the Fall only or in the Spring only. For classes typically taken by students in their first year, Chem 2070 is offered in the Fall and Summer, Chem 2080 is offered in the Spring and Summer, Chem 2150 is offered in the Fall only, and Chem 3590 (for potential majors following the Accelerated Honors Curriculum) is offered in the Spring only. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

If you have more questions, please contact the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology’s Office of Undergraduate Studies at chemundergrad@cornell.edu More information about courses in Chemistry, including a discussion of selecting the right Chemistry course for your first semester, and the Chemistry major can be found on the Chemistry Department website at https://chemistry.cornell.edu/undergraduate.


Classics 

“I’d like to explore Classics as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

Most of our majors select the tracks involving Greek or Latin - if that's you, you should jump right in to the courses your placement test recommends. You can take Greek, Latin, or both - including Conversational Latin! For other courses about the ancient world, you have a lot of freedom and flexibility in our major. Interested in history? Try "Introduction to Ancient Rome" or "Ancient Greece from Helen to Alexander." We've also got courses in "Magic and Witchcraft" and "The Birth of Science." 

“I’d like to take a course in Classics. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

We recommend Greek Mythology, Great Discoveries in Classical Archaeology, and Introduction to Ancient Rome. But few of our courses (outside the Greek and Latin sequence) have prerequisites, so you can follow your interests to courses on ancient philosophy, art, science, literature, and culture. Anything at the 1000- or 2000-level will be appropriate. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Our courses are relatively small and offer lots of opportunities for discussion and engaging closely with your professors. We encourage majors and other interested students to experience a range of classes: Classics is EVERYTHING about the ancient Mediterranean (ancient philosophy, art, science, literature, culture, etc.) and we hope you'll enjoy learning about a wide range of subjects. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Check with our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Astrid Van Oyen (av475@cornell.edu), for any questions about courses. 


College Scholar Program 

“I’d like to explore the College Scholar Program as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

In the College Scholar Program, you create your own interdisciplinary major, with courses and independent research organized around a question or topic of interest. Students apply during the fall of their sophomore year. Before that time, if you think you might be interested in the program, it's a good idea to take the introductory, foundational courses in your areas of interest, so you can 1) start exploring your ideas in academically rigorous ways, and 2) have prerequisites out of the way once you join the program so your schedule is more free to take advanced classes. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

When you are admitted into the College Scholar Program, you'll take COLLS 2001, the College Scholar Seminar, which is an interdisciplinary research methods course. Beyond that, you'll work with your College Scholar faculty advisor to design an individualized curriculum of courses. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Please contact the program director Michael Goldstein (mhg26@cornell.edu) or the program coordinator Jim Finlay (jmf13@cornell.edu). also see our website for more information: https://as.cornell.edu/college_scholar.


Comparative Literature 

“I’d like to explore Comparative Literature as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

Our majors should complete 10 courses, half of which must be devoted to the study of works in languages other than English in their original language. At Cornell, you have the choice of multiple languages, including Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, French, Portuguese, and Russian and you should take those at the 2000 level and above. Note that you can also minor in those departments. In your first semester, we encourage you to take at least one of your 5 language courses. For instance, FREN 2090: French Intermediate Composition and Conversation I, FREN 2310: Introduction to French and Francophone Literature and Culture, ITAL 2110: Italian Intermediate Composition and Conversation I in Rome ITAL 2203: Languages/Literatures/Identities The other five courses must be taken in the department and must include the following two courses: a course in Theory, and the Core Course, usually taken in the junior or senior year. Some of our designated Theory and Core Courses include: COML 3021 - Literary Theory on the Edge COML 4996 - Critical Theory and Climate Change COML 4221 - Modern Primitives, COML 3115 - Video and New Media: Art, Theory, Politics Note that Comparative Literature also offers a wide array of courses in visual and media studies and enables the study of literature in relation to the history and theory of film, video, media, and other arts. In your first semester, consider any courses at the 2000 level and beyond, such as COML 2020 Great Books: The Great Short Works COML 2241 Game of Thrones: Multi-Media Fantasies COML 2700 Race and Sex: Arabian Nights COML 2035 Science Fiction COML 2235 New Visions in African Cinema 

“I’d like to take a course in Comparative Literature. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

None of our courses have prerequisites, any 2000 class, and most 3000 level, is appropriate for first year students. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

We encourage you to acquaint yourself with our major and minor requirements and contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies to fine tune your understanding of what our major can offer you. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Lorenz (pal37@cornell.edu), is available to answer fully and swiftly your questions. In sum, our markedly collegial professors are always happy to inform, enrich, and see our students thrive. 


Computer Science 

“I’d like to explore Computer Science as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

Please refer to the following page: https://www.cs.cornell.edu/undergrad/firstcscourse Please note: Although the first section on this page talks about Engineering requirements, most of the material in this document is equally relevant as recommendations to Arts & Sciences students. 

“I’d like to take a course in Computer Science. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Please refer to the following page: https://www.cs.cornell.edu/undergrad/firstcscourse Please note: Although the first section on this page talks about Engineering requirements, most of the material in this document is equally relevant as recommendations to Arts & Sciences students. 

“I have AP credit for Computer Science. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?” 

Please refer to the following page: https://www.cs.cornell.edu/undergrad/firstcscourse Please note: Although the first section on this page talks about Engineering requirements, most of the material in this document is equally relevant as recommendations to Arts & Sciences students. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

This page contains helpful information regarding enrolling in specific CS courses: https://www.cs.cornell.edu/courseinfo/enrollment/cs-1000-3000-level-courses 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Please refer to this page to contact the CS department with additional questions.


Earth and Atmospheric Sciences 

“I’d like to explore Earth and Atmospheric Sciences as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

Our Department offers an Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Major that spans the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Science, and Engineering Colleges. While most components of the EAS majors remain relatively constant across the colleges, there may be specific requirements depending on the college that you have or will eventually matriculate. Be conscious of these differences. Please take a look at the EAS Undergraduate Program Page (https://www.eas.cornell.edu/eas/programs/undergraduate-programs) to find a list of required courses. Regardless of where you might be in your career progression, it is wise to make sure that you are fulfilling core Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physical Sciences, requirements needed for completing the EAS Major. In addition to fulfilling these courses, it is highly recommended to take EAS 2250 “The Earth System” early in your Cornell Career. This introductory course is the first step in exploring the EAS program. 

“I’d like to take a course in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

We suggest that you take EAS 2500 as well as other EAS 1000 or 2000 level courses. Some courses that we are offer in the upcoming Fall semester are: • EAS 1101: Climate and Energy: a 21st Century Earth Science Perspective • EAS 1310: Basic Principles of Meteorology • EAS 1330: Basic Meteorology Lab • EAS 1540: Introductory Oceanography/EAS 1560: Introductory Oceanography with Laboratory • EAS 1600: Environmental Physics • EAS 2250: The Earth System  

“I have AP credit for Mathematics and/or Physics. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?” 

Our department will accept AP credit for use in the EAS Major.  

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Some EAS courses that have laboratory and field components may be affected by COVID-19 over the next few semesters. Our department is actively working on alternate opportunities that we can offer to fulfill these requirements. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

For further information about this major, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Bruce Monger at bcm3@cornell.edu, or the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator, Carl Cornell at cec232@cornell.edu


Economics 

“I’d like to explore Economics as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?”  

ECON 1110 Intro to Microeconomics or ECON 1120 Intro to Macroeconomics. These can be taken concurrently or in either order. MATH 1110 Calculus I is also required for admission to the major. 

“I’d like to take a course in Economics. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”

ECON 1110 Intro to Microeconomics or ECON 1120 Intro to Macroeconomics. These can be taken concurrently or in either order. The department offers courses at the 2000-level for general instruction. These courses do not count toward the requirements for the Economics major. 

“I have AP credit for Economics. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?” 

We recommend that you forfeit the AP credit and take the class at Cornell. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

We have extensive information available on our webpage https://economics.cornell.edu. Click the "undergraduate" tab. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

You can contact econdus@cornell.edu and a member of the Director of Undergraduate Studies team will get back to you. 


English 

“I’d like to explore English as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

(1) Aside from FWS's, students interested in the major usually begin by taking classes at the 2000-level. 

(2) Taking a First Year Writing Seminar in your first semester is a great way to further strengthen your writing skills, skills you’ll be using a lot in the English major. For a wide-ranging introductory course, choose from ENGL 2000: Introduction to Criticism and Theory and ENGL 2010: Literatures in English I: From Old English to the New World. Additionally, you might pick any 2000 level course that sparks your interest. 

“I’d like to take a course in English. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

(1) We usually recommend any course at the 2000-level. Sometimes, however, students may elect to take a 3000-level class if a course is not offered very often. Students should check with the professor directly. 

(2) All 2000 level courses are centered on broad topics and are appropriate for first-year students. 3000 level courses are more focused studies, and may occasionally be appropriate for a first-year student. 

“I have AP credit for English. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?” 

English AP credits may be applied only to First Year Writing Seminars.

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

(1) 1. Some of our courses are taught every year, but others will rotate in and out of the curriculum. If a class comes up that you desperately want to take at the 3xxx, it is best to contact the professor (of the course) directly. 2. We have a few important requisites for fulfilling the major. Students must be aware of these when planning future coursework. 

(2) The English major does not have a specific sequence of classes required for the major. Instead, students are required to take 40 credits of English courses, including two 4000 level seminars and three courses that focus on literature written pre-1800. We do recommend, though, that students progress through the sequence of courses from 2000 to 3000 to 4000 level courses. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Students may address general questions to Corrine Bruno at cb624, or schedule an appointment with Director of Undergraduate Studies, Kate McCullough (mkm23@cornell.edu). 


Environment and Sustainability 

“I’d like to explore Environment and Sustainability as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

The foundation E&S courses provide a multidisciplinary perspective on environment and sustainability issues. In fall semester, consider NTRES 1101: Understanding Environment and Sustainability (F) or a course in the environmental humanities such as ANTHR 2420: Nature-Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human Environment Relations (F).

In spring semester, explore water consumption and conservation on local and global scales in NTRES 1201: Global Water Sustainability (S) or try BEE 2000: Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge (S, 1 or BEE 2010: 3 credits) to hear about climate change issues from diverse perspectives (Spring 21 series). Spring environmental humanities choices include BSOC 2061: Ethics and the Environment (S), ENGL 3795: Communicating Climate Change (S), HIST 2581: Environmental History (S), and NTRES 2320: Nature and Culture (S).

“I’d like to take a course in Environment and Sustainability. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Let your interests drive your course selection. In addition to the above courses, consider BIOEE 1610: Ecology and the Environment or BIOEE 1780: Evolutionary Biology and Diversity if you enjoy biology. Both of these courses have a special writing section which allows you to go deeper into the course material. You can apply for the writing section on the first day of class. If you want a quantitative approach to understanding environment and sustainability issues, consider STSCI 2150: Introductory Statistics for Biology (F, S) or STSCI 2100: Introductory Statistics (F, S) to fulfill the E&S Statistics core requirement.

“I have AP credit for one or more of the following: Biology, Mathematics, and Statistics. Do you recommend I use the credit(s) and go to the next level or forfeit the credit(s) and take the corresponding class(es)?” 

AP credits in Chemistry, Math, Physics, and Statistics are accepted to meet E&S requirements. AP Biology is not accepted but you can use it towards the required 120 credits to graduate. Students interested to complete advanced Statistics or Calculus courses should consult with their advisor about whether the AP credit is sufficient preparation for upper-level coursework.

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

There is no set first-semester schedule. Follow your curiosity. You have many course options. If you are closed out of a course now, a spot may open during Add/Drop in the fall. Stay positive. If you have computer issues or problems enrolling, we are here to help. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

If you have questions prior to your arrival – and throughout your time at Cornell -- E&S staff welcome your comments and questions by email or phone (607.255.1269/607.254.8629). You do not need to have every detail arranged before you arrive. Know we are here to assist you. We love questions! Email environment@cornell.edu to reach both Colleen (program manager) and Suzanne (coordinator of advising and communications). If you have interest to be added to the E&S listserv to receive notifications about environmentally related events, activities and coursework email us with the subject line: Subscribe. For an overview of the major and to learn more about courses, concentrations, research opportunities and the student experience, visit the E&S major website.


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 

“I’d like to explore Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

FGSS 2010 Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers students the opportunity to study a wide range of fields from the perspectives of feminist and LGBT critical analysis, in a global context and with the purpose of promoting social justice. Students will learn how gender and sexuality are socially constructed, what these terms mean in various contexts, and how these concepts are used to shape social and political institutions. They will also learn how critical analysis and creative questioning of these concepts can help to reshape those institutions. Students may either major or minor in FGSS. 

“I’d like to take a course in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

FGSS 2010 Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

You can Major or Minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies! FGSS Major: Requires a minimum of 36 credits in FGSS courses (9 courses). Students may register through FGSS or the cross-listing department. REQUIRED COURSES: 1. FGSS 2010 Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 2. FGSS 3000 Feminist Theory (formerly FGSS 2020 Intro to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Theories) 3. FGSS 4000 Senior Seminar One course in each of the following three categories: 4. Global Perspectives: Africa, Asia, Latin America, or Middle East (GLO) A course must focus on some aspect of women or gender from a global perspective and context. This might mean a focus on women/gender in a non-US context, or locating U.S. women/gender issues within a global comparative context. The course will move beyond a western feminist (often isolationist) perspective to help students understand that definitions of gender and women and the issues arising from them vary across cultures and nations. 5. Intersecting Structures of Oppression: Race, Ethnicity, and/ or Class (ISO) A course must contain a significant focus on intersecting structures of oppression. Specifically, it should address the intersections of race, class, or ethnicity with gender, contesting the notion of “woman” as a homogonous singular category, and challenging earlier feminist uses of “woman” to mean a universalized white, middle-class, heterosexual woman. 6. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Studies (LGBT) A course must contain a significant focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender persons, texts, phenomena, and/or politics. The course should articulate sexuality in relation to specific LGBT communities, authors, identities, and concepts: it might address particular LGBT literary figures; anthropologies and sociologies of LGBT and other non-normatively sexed and gendered persons; art, cinema, or other visual cultures with marked LGBT content and/or audiences; and histories and theories of sexuality, especially queer theories.  

FGSS Minor: Undergraduate students in any college at Cornell may minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in conjunction with a major defined elsewhere in the university. The FGSS minor requires a minimum of five FGSS courses, none of which may be counted toward the student’s non-­‐FGSS major. Students may register for classes through FGSS or the cross-­‐listing department. Required Courses: 1. FGSS 2010: Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 2. FGSS 3000: Feminist Theory (formerly FGSS 2020 Intro to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Theories) 3. One course in one of the following three categories: Global Perspectives: Africa, Asia, Latin America, or Middle East (GLO) A course must focus on some aspect of women or gender from a global perspective and context. This might mean a focus on women/gender in a non-­‐US context, or locating U.S. women/gender issues within a global comparative context. The course will move beyond a western feminist (often isolationist) perspective to help students understand that definitions of gender and women and the issues arising from them vary across cultures and nations. Intersecting Structures of Oppression: Race, Ethnicity, and/ or Class (ISO) A course must contain a significant focus on intersecting structures of oppression. Specifically, it should address the intersections of race, class, or ethnicity with gender, contesting the notion of “woman” as a homogonous singular category, and challenging earlier feminist uses of “woman” to mean a universalized white, middle-­‐class, heterosexual woman. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Studies (LGBT) A course must contain a significant focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender persons, texts, phenomena, and/or politics. The course should articulate sexuality in relation to specific LGBT communities, authors, identities, and concepts: it might address particular LGBT literary figures; anthropologies and sociologies of LGBT and other non-­‐normatively sexed and gendered persons; art, cinema, or other visual cultures with marked LGBT content and/or audiences; and histories and theories of sexuality, especially queer theories. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

We welcome you to contact us with your questions.
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Email: fgss@cornell.edu
Maria Montesano, Program Manager mem66@cornell.edu
Aidan Kelly, Program Assistant aidankelly@cornell.edu
Jane Juffer, Director jaj93@cornell.edu
FGSS Website


French 

“I’d like to explore French as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

An incoming student would be recommended to take (after the placement exam) courses at the 1000, 2000 level.  If they are a native speaker of French they would be recommended to take a course at the 2000 level, and in consultation with the DUS Cecelia Lawless cbl6, at a higher level. 

For students interested in a major in French please take the LPF, an online language placement exam found at: https://collt.lrc.cornell.edu/ 

This test will indicate by its score what class you will place into at Cornell or if you have achieved a more advanced level in which case you take the next placement exam in person, the CASE, offered twice at the beginning of each semester.   

In French, in a typical semester, an incoming student with AP4 or 5 will automatically be placed in FREN2090 and has the option of taking the LPF and then the CASE.  AP scores must not be less than two years old.  

In all languages, if a student has less than two years of a language, they would enroll in the first semester language course of their choice (and they are recommended to take the language placement exam online (see link above) to verify this.  

In all languages, any student with more than two years should take the language placement exam online (see above for link).  With a score of 65 or above the student will then take the next placement exam in person, the CASE offered twice each semester.  

Please visit this website for more information on placement, testing, and credits: http://romancestudies.cornell.edu/placement-testing-and-transfer-credit#french 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

French language classes are based on lively, communicative methods of teaching with a class size of maximum 16 students that ensures a deep and thoughtful learning of the language.   Courses at the intermediate and advanced levels cover a variety of topics such as literature, film, architecture, history, culture and so on.  Classes are truly dynamic at all levels and usually employ a seminar-style of active dialogue and engagement amongst students  

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Any and all questions should be directed towards the Director of Undergraduate Studies Cecelia Lawless (cbl6@cornell.edu) or the Administrative Administrator Cal Hile (clh2@cornell.edu). 


German Studies 

“I’d like to explore German Studies as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

To explore German Studies for a possible major, you should start studying the German language immediately in your first semester if you have not studied German in High School. To get a sense of the breadth and depth of topics covered in German Studies, consider “Introduction to German Culture and Thought” (GERST 2700) (see question 4), or any courses offered in English on the 3000 level. 

“I’d like to take a course in German Studies. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

If you’re interested in exploring German Studies in your first semester, we recommend that you consider applying to be admitted into the seminar “Introduction to German Culture and Thought” (GERST 2700). Contact either the course instructor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Otherwise, courses on the 3000 level would be appropriate. 

“I have AP credit for German. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?” 

With an AP score of 4-5 you are eligible to take the CASE placement test in German. The test result will determine your course placement. If you place in GERST 2020/2040/2060 or higher you will receive three credits. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

If you would like to get more information about individual classes you are welcome to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), Elke Siegel (elke.siegel@cornell.edu); or the Language Program Director, Gunhild Lischke (gl15@cornell.edu). 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Please contact the DUS, Elke Siegel, or the Language Program Director, Gunhild Lischke. In the academic year 2020/21, Gunhild Lischke will serve as the DUS, too. You might also contact the Department of German Studies’ Undergraduate Coordinator, Anne Chen (aac262@cornell.edu). 


Government 

“I’d like to explore Government as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

We recommend students to begin with our introductory courses, two of which are required to complete the major. Which of the two will depend on your interests: the introductory course on American Politics is suitable for students whose interests lie in the domestic politics of the United States. Students whose interests are more internationally focused may take Introduction to Comparative Politics and Introduction to International Relations, while those drawn to questions of political philosophy might begin with Introduction to Political Theory. 

“I’d like to take a course in Government. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

We recommend any course at the 1000 or 2000 level. If there are courses that interest you at the 3000 level, we also encourage you to reach out to the instructors of those courses to inquire about whether they would be appropriate for a first semester student. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

There are a variety of ways that any student can navigate the Government major, all of which begin by taking at least two of the four introductory courses. In your first semesters, we encourage you to explore by taking courses that spark your interest, regardless of who closely they fit with your current plans for a major. The Government department is proud to offer a very diverse set of courses. If you are interested in pursuing a major in Government, please see our requirements and procedures (https://government.cornell.edu/undergraduate#requirements-and-procedures). 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

For general questions, please feel free to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, David Bateman (dab465@cornell.edu). For questions specific to a given course, please contact the instructor listed in the course roster. 


History 

“I’d like to explore History as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

The department of history offers a full spectrum of introductory courses with different geographic and thematic emphases. While our geographically focused courses introduce you to the histories of different world regions, our thematic 1000-level courses span space and time to give you an in-depth introduction to particular historical and contemporary issues. This fall history is offering a wide range of 1000-level courses covering many different world regions and issues in history that first-year and transfer students may take. 

“I’d like to take a course in History. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

Please consider any of our 1000-level introductory courses: HIST 1561 Introduction to the Ottoman Empire; HIST 1595 African American History From 1865; HIST 1622 The World of Modern Japan; HIST 1640 U.S. History since the Great Depression; HIST 1650 Myths of Monarchy in Europe, Medieval Times to the Present; HIST 1660 The Vikings and their World; HIST 1920 Modern China; and/or HIST 1986 Disasters!: A History of Colonial Failures in the Atlantic World, 1450-1750.

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

The department of history offers a large selection of courses in all world areas and on a wide range of subjects. Because of this, no two semesters course offerings are the same. If you see something that interests you, we encourage you to go ahead and enroll. It might be two or three years before that course is offered again. If you have any questions about a specific course, you are welcome to reach out to the instructor or undergraduate coordinator for more information. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

You may contact the current DUS at: history_dus@cornell.edu; and the Undergraduate Coordinator, Judy Yonkin, at jly5@cornell.edu, or by stopping by 450 McGraw Hall. 


History of Art  

“I’d like to explore History of Art  as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

We recommend ARTH 1100 - Art Histories: An Introduction or any 2000-level classes that are offered this coming fall semester. 

“I’d like to take a course in History of Art. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

Again we recommend ARTH 1100 -Art Histories, or the Introduction to Visual Studies. Again any of the 2000 level courses would also qualify. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

For admission into the major, students are required to have completed the 1000-level gateway class, ARTH 1100 - Art Histories: An Introduction, and to have received at least a grade of B. If declaring the major at the end of the sophomore year students who have not attended the gateway class will have to complete a 4000-level tutorial. Also, our introductory Art 1100 ( is a team taught course. Each year it will be developed by a different professor with unique expertise who will organize a series of lectures to be given by colleagues in the department. Lectures will introduce new students to different approaches, and related museum objects. Each year, there will be a new theme. This fall 2020, it will be "Ornament." We encourage students also to explore all 2000-level introductory classes offered. These focus on periods and regions and give an overview of developments. More advanced classes are not recommended for freshmen unless they have significant background. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Please contact History of Art and Visual Studies Department Undergraduate Coordinator Sarah Blitz (slb343) and Director of Undergraduate Studies Prof. Kaja McGowan (kmm22). 


Information Science 

“I’d like to explore Information Science as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

CS 1110 MATH 1110 or Statistics MATH 1710 (more courses available on our website) and a core core course: INFO 2450, INFO 1200, INFO 2950, INFO 2040, INFO 1300 

“I’d like to take a course in Information Science. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Any INFO/SCI course at the 1000 or 2000 level. 

“I have AP credit for Computer Science and/or Mathematics. Do you recommend I use the credit(s) and go to the next level or forfeit the credit(s) and take the corresponding class(es)?” 

You can count AP credit for CS 1110 and MATH 1110. If you need feel like you need a refresher then you can take CS 1110, or MATH 1110. CS 1110 is a prerequisite for INFO 2950. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

If classes fill up during pre-enroll, please try again during add/drop. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Ani Mercincavage (am2643@cornell.edu) or call 607-255-9837.


Italian 

“I’d like to explore Italian as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

An incoming student would be recommended to take (after the placement exam) courses at the 1000, 2000 level.  If they are a native speaker of Italian they would be recommended to take a course at the 2000 level, and in consultation with the DUS Cecelia Lawless cbl6, at a higher level. 

For students interested in a major in Italian please take the LPI, an online language placement exam found at: https://collt.lrc.cornell.edu/ 

This test will indicate by its score what class you will place into at Cornell or if you have achieved a more advanced level in which case you take the next placement exam in person, the CASE, offered twice at the beginning of each semester.   

In Italian, in a typical semester an incoming student with AP4 or 5 would take the CASE. AP scores must not be less than two years old.  

In all languages, if a student has less than two years of a language, they would enroll in the first semester language course of their choice (and they are recommended to take the language placement exam online (see link above) to verify this.  

In all languages, any student with more than two years should take the language placement exam online (see above for link).  With a score of 65 or above the student will then take the next placement exam in person, the CASE offered twice each semester.   

Please visit this website for more information on placement, testing, and credits: http://romancestudies.cornell.edu/placement-testing-and-transfer-credit#italian-placement 

 “What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Italian language classes are based on lively, communicative methods of teaching with a class size of maximum 16 students that ensures a deep and thoughtful learning of the language.   Courses at the intermediate and advanced levels cover a variety of topics such as literature, film, architecture, history, culture and so on.  Classes are truly dynamic at all levels and usually employ a seminar-style of active dialogue and engagement amongst students   

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Any and all questions should be directed towards the Director of Undergraduate Studies Cecelia Lawless (cbl6@cornell.edu) or the Administrative Administrator Cal Hile (clh2@cornell.edu). 


Linguistics 

“I’d like to explore Linguistics as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

A great way to start studying linguistics is to take LING 1101 – Introduction to Linguistics. Ling 1101 is general introduction that covers all the main subfields.  This is an excellent way to really jump in and learn what linguistics is about. 

“I’d like to take a course in Linguistics. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Most courses at the 1000 or 2000-level are open to first-semester students. A fun course being offer this fall without any prerequisites is  LING 1109 – English Words: Histories and Mysteries.

We also offer a number of First Year Writing Seminars on a range of linguistics topics. The options for this semester include:

  • First-Year Writing Seminars – all LING 1100
  • Sem 101 - Indigenous Relationships with the Earth
  • Sem 102 - Language and Nationalism
  • Sem 103 - Language, Myth, and Reality
  • Sem 104 - The First Sentence
  • Sem 105 - How to Build a Language
  • Sem 106 - Ethics in Artificial Intelligence

You might also consider starting a new language.  Cornell offers over 50!  Two very special language offerings through linguistics are

  • ASL 1101 – American Sign Language
  • LING 3324 – Cayuga Language and Culture

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

To learn more about the department and major, please visit: https://linguistics.cornell.edu

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Please contact Abby Cohn, Director of Undergraduate Studies, acc4@cornell.edu


Mathematics 

Calculus, Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus.

Calculus, Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus.

This will depend on how comfortable students feels about their knowledge, they shall check with their advisors or a professor in our department.

Everyone has different background in mathematics, they shall check with their advisors or a professor in our department.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies (https://math.cornell.edu/timothy-j-healey


Music 

“I’d like to explore Music as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

MUSIC 1101 – Elements of Music in the Fall semester of your first year and MUSIC 2201 – Introduction to Music Studies in the Spring. This will maximize flexibility in scheduling the remaining Core Curriculum courses and electives. 

“I’d like to take a course in Music. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Courses in the Department of Music are open to all students enrolled at Cornell, regardless of college. Some of the courses are intended primarily for music majors, but many are open to students with varying degrees of background in music or to those studying music for the first time. We recommend students start with courses at the 1000 or 2000 level before taking 3000 or higher-level courses. 

"What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Please visit our website: http://music.cornell.edu/ 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Please send questions to Fumi Nagasaki-Pracel, Undergraduate Coordinator, at fn32@cornell.edu


Near Eastern Studies 

“I’d like to explore Near Eastern Studies as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

We would recommend identifying the time period and subfield that interest you most and then going from there. Are you interested in contemporary politics? Try "History of the Modern Middle East." Are you interested in the world of antiquity? Try "Ancient Egyptian Civilization." Would you like to learn more about Islam? "Introduction to Islamic Civilization" is our introductory course for Islamic studies. 

“I’d like to take a course in Near Eastern Studies. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

Any course at the 1000 or 2000 level course is definitely appropriate for a first semester student. These courses require zero prior knowledge and are designed with the novice in mind. If you are very interested in a 3000 or 4000 level course, however, you are welcome to e-mail the instructor and ask if it would be appropriate for a first year student. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Many students don't have the opportunity to study the Middle East in high school (with the curious exception of ancient Mesopotamia/"Fertile Crescent" as a popular topic of inquiry for public schools) Even though the region often dominates news headlines, it is frequently misunderstood. Our department hopes to rectify this problem by offering many ways of understanding and learning about the region through an interdisciplinary perspective. This means we have history classes, literature classes, anthropology classes, political theory classes, etc. There are so many ways to learn about the region - come find the one that most interest you! 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

You are welcome to contact any of our faculty, but if you have more general questions feel free to contact Prof. Seema Golestaneh (sg2327@cornell.edu), our Director of Undergraduate Studies. You can stop by her office hours, or just e-mail her to set up an appointment.


Performing and Media Arts 

“I’d like to explore Performing and Media Arts as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

The Department of Performing and Media Arts leads students from all disciplines through artistic and scholarly explorations of live performance forms, such as theatre and dance, and mediated forms, such as cinema and television. Students are challenged to think creatively, critically and historically about the world around them as they identify and interpret the power of image, sound, gesture and movement and cultivate their own artistic and academic voices. We encourage prospective majors to dive in! Our website (pma.cornell.edu) has lots of information about classes required for the major. Depending on your area(s) of interest, we encourage you to develop a foundation through our Global Studies classes, or Introduction to Acting, or Beginning Dance Composition (PMA 2300), or in a class like Screen and Story (PMA 3533) or Introduction to Film Analysis (PMA 2540) that prepare you for work in filmmaking. Please contact PMA-DUS@cornell.edu for more suggestions. 

“I’d like to take a course in Performing and Media Arts. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”

While you may hear that first-year students should focus on classes at the 1000- and 2000- level, that is not necessarily true in PMA. We encourage students to explore the range of our offerings to see what is of interest. Most PMA classes in artistic practice require students to begin at the introductory level (e.g., Introduction to Acting, PMA 2800), and some are open primarily to declared PMA majors and minors. Classes in history/theory/criticism, even at the 3000-level, such as our Global Studies courses, welcome first-year students. 2000-level courses such as Television (PMA 2660) also serve as great introductions to work in PMA. Please contact PMA-DUS@cornell.edu for more suggestions. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Some of our classes, especially in the filmmaking area, have limited enrollments, and priority goes to our declared PMA majors and minors. Students considering a major or minor in PMA should consult with the DUS as early in their time at Cornell as feasible to discuss their interests and a recommended sequence of classes in order to maximize their enrollment options. Please contact PMA-DUS@cornell.edu for further information. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

For lots of details about our major and minors, our courses, our events, and special opportunities for PMA students, please see our website. Then feel free to contact PMA-DUS@cornell.edu for more information. 


Philosophy 

“I’d like to explore Philosophy as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

Any philosophy course (PHIL) numbered in the 1000s or 2000s is suitable for beginning study in the field. Sections of PHIL 1110, 1111, and 1112 are part of the first-year writing seminar (FWS) program; they are taught by various members of the staff on a variety of philosophical topics. Students who want a broad introduction to philosophy may take PHIL 1100, but many students may find that the best introduction to philosophy is a 2000-level course in some particular area of philosophy; such courses have no prerequisites and are usually open to first-year students. Philosophy courses numbered 3000 and above presuppose previous work in philosophy and, for that reason, are inappropriate for students beginning their study in the field.

(Students considering majoring in Philosophy should bear in mind that in a PHIL course-number of the form 1XXX or 2XXX, a 9 in the second digit (19XX, 29XX) indicates that the the course will not count as one of the 8 courses required to complete the Philosophy major.)

“I’d like to take a course in Philosophy. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Whether you’re considering studying philosophy in depth or just want to see what philosophy is like, begin with a philosophy course (PHIL) numbered in the 1000s or 2000s. PHIL 1100 (Introduction to Philosophy) offers a broad introduction by sampling important issues from several of philosophy’s main subfields such as ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and mind. 1000-level courses numbered 1200 and above and 2000-level courses provide introductions to specific historical periods — for example, Ancient or Modern Philosophy — or specific areas — for example, “Minds and Machines,” “Social and Political Philosophy,” “Introduction to Deductive Logic,” or “Ethics.” First-year Writing Seminars in philosophy (PHIL 1110, 1111, and 1112) focus on engaging philosophy topics or texts. Classes at the 1000- or 2000-level have no prerequisites.

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Consult the department website or contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Scott MacDonald) for more information.

For classes for Fall 2021: Fall 2021 Philosophy Classes

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Scott MacDonald, or the Undergraduate Coordinator, Pam Hanna.


Physics 

“I’d like to explore Physics as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?”  

PHYS 1112, an introduction to mechanics, is the starting point for the major. Students with strong preparation in calculus-based physics, equivalent to scoring 5 on the AP Mathematics BC and the AP Physics C-Mechanics exams, should consider instead PHYS 1116, an honors-level treatment of mechanics and special relativity. When taking either PHYS 1112 or PHYS 1116, students must take the laboratory course PHYS 1110.

“I’d like to take a course in Physics. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Courses at the 1000 level are appropriate. 

“I have AP credit for Physics. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?”  

For aspiring physics majors, we emphatically advise forfeiting AP credit, and taking PHYS 1116. Students using physics for other disciplines --- e.g., engineers --- do often use AP credit, but should be sure to enroll in the non-honors track for the remainder of the sequence. For example, on placing out of mechanics one should take electromagnetism via PHYS 2213 rather than via the honors-level version PHYS 2217. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

 Further information about the major can be found at https://physics.cornell.edu/prospective-students#freshman-brochure 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Questions can be directed to Prof. Liam McAllister at physicsdus@cornell.edu


Psychology

Introduction to Psychology is a great way to get an overview of the diverse subdisciplines within psychology. But it is not a prerequisite for other courses, so you should feel free to choose among any of our introductory (1000-2000 level) courses, based on your interests.

Any of the 1000-2000 level courses are good gateways into the field.

AP credits do not count towards the major requirements, so make your decision based on your interest. If you feel that you have a solid overview of the field from your AP course, then take a different or more in-depth course.

Majoring in Psychology involves only a few requirements. The department has three areas: Social and personality (S&P), Behavior, evolution, and neuroscience (BEN), and Perception, cognition, and development (PCD). So look at the course catalog and choose the courses that look particularly interesting to you.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies for the 2021-2022 year will be Dr. Vivian Zayas. But you can also contact Lisa Proper (lap5@cornell.edu) in the Psychology Department main office.


Religious Studies

“I’d like to explore Religious Studies as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?”

We recommend looking at the 2000-level courses offered in your first semester and choosing the one that looks most interesting to you! The best way to see if this major suits you is to follow your interests. That said, you might consider in particular Sensational Religion in Fall 2021, one of our core courses for the major.

“I’d like to take a course in Religious Studies. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

The vast majority of RELST courses have no pre-requisites, so if a course at the 3000- or 4000- level looks most interesting to you and you are prepared for reading, writing, and discussion around the topics of the course, we recommend you give it a try! Most of our students begin with a 2000-level survey course, but we have had first year students take advanced surveys and do extremely well. If you find you have questions about courses and what is appropriate, please feel free to reach out to the Director of the Religious Studies Program, Professor Kim Haines-Eitzen--she is more than happy to work with you on course selections!

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?”

Our course offerings change every semester, because we are drawing upon nearly 40 faculty across the College of Arts and Sciences who offer courses in the area of Religious Studies. This makes it exciting, but also sometimes confusing. So, a key recommendation: if you see a course that is right up your alley, don't wait! Register for it and give it a try! Sometimes, it's hard to know whether that particular course will be offered again, so seize the day!

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?”

Yes, by all means, reach out to us! Contact the Director, Kim Haines-Eitzen. She is available throughout the summer for a phone or Zoom consultation/conversation. You can also reach out to our Administrative Coordinator, Ayla Cline. We look forward to discussing courses and the major with you and to welcoming you to Cornell!


Science and Technology Studies  

“I’d like to explore Science and Technology Studies  as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

First and second year S&TS classes: http://sts.cornell.edu/science-technology-studies-suggested-curriculum 

“I’d like to take a course in Science and Technology Studies. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”

Science & Technology in the Public Arena S&TS 1101 or Histories of the Future (S&TS 1102). These courses are meant as an introduction to policy issues involving science and technology and may be used as prerequisites to the Major, or as an additional course also take What is Science? S&TS 2011. This is a required core class for the major. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Please check the courses of study page for the major as the classes offered change dramatically semester to semester: http://sts.cornell.edu/courses 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Please contact Matthew Morgan, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, at mcm365@cornell.edu.


Sociology 

“I’d like to explore Sociology as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

SOC 1101, “Introduction to Sociology,” is a great place to start (this is *not* the same course as DSOC 1101). Introduction to Sociology is the foundational course for the major and it provides a broad overview of the field. This course will orient you to the sociological perspective, the “big questions” in sociology, and the research methods that we use. However, you could also begin with one of our larger, lower-level courses that are focused around sub-areas within sociology. Rather than providing a broad overview of the whole discipline of sociology, these courses would familiarize you with sociological perspectives and approaches to research within a particular area or topic. For example, you might try: SOC 1104: Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. SOC 2190: Introduction to Economic Sociology SOC 2208: Social Inequality SOC 2220: Controversies about Inequality SOC 2480: Politics and Culture SOC 2650: Latinos in the USA 

“I’d like to take a course in Sociology. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?”  

Any course at the 1000- or 2000-level would be appropriate for a first-semester student. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

The sociology department offers classes of all sizes. Our largest 1000- and 2000-level courses include discussion sections to provide opportunities for smaller-group discussions. Our 3000- and 4000-level courses are smaller in size, including a good number of seminar-style classes. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Kendra Bischoff (kbischoff@cornell.edu) Undergraduate Coordinator: Susan Meyer (ss30@cornell.edu).


Spanish 

“I’d like to explore Spanish as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

An incoming student would be recommended to take (after the placement exam) courses at the 1000, 2000 level.  If they are a native speaker of Spanish they would be recommended to take a course at the 2000 level, and in consultation with the DUS Cecelia Lawless cbl6, at a higher level. 

For students interested in a major in Spanish please take the LPS, an online language placement exam found at: https://collt.lrc.cornell.edu/ 

This test will indicate by its score what class you will place into at Cornell or if you have achieved a more advanced level in which case you take the next placement exam in person, the CASE, offered twice at the beginning of each semester.   

In Spanish, in a typical semester an incoming student with AP4 or 5 will receive three undistributed credits for this work, but will have to take the LPS and if they have a high score then they will take in person the CASE. 

In all languages, if a student has less than two years of a language they would enroll in the first semester language course of their choice (and they are recommended to take the language placement exam online (see link above) to verify this.  

In all languages, any student with more than two years should take the language placement exam online (see above for link).  With a score of 65 or above the student will then take the next placement exam in person, the CASE offered twice each semester.   

Please visit this website for more information on placement, testing, and credits: http://romancestudies.cornell.edu/placement-testing-and-transfer-credit#spanish-placement  

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

Spanish language classes are based on lively, communicative methods of teaching with a class size of maximum 16 students that ensures a deep and thoughtful learning of the language.   Courses at the intermediate and advanced levels cover a variety of topics such as literature, film, architecture, history, culture and so on.  Classes are truly dynamic at all levels and usually employ a seminar-style of active dialogue and engagement amongst students   


“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Any and all questions should be directed towards the Director of Undergraduate Studies Cecelia Lawless (cbl6@cornell.edu) or the Administrative Administrator Cal Hile (clh2@cornell.edu). 


Statistical Science 

“I’d like to explore Statistical Science as a possible major. What course(s) do you recommend I enroll in my first semester?” 

The courses necessary to affiliate with the Statistical Science major are Calculus I, Calculus II, and an introductory course in Statistics. If you have Cornell credit for these courses by AP or by taking courses elsewhere, then we want you to have taken at least one Statistics course at Cornell that counts towards the Statistical Science major before affiliation. If you haven't taken introductory Statistics yet, then consider taking STSCI 2200 or STSCI 2150 in your fall semester; however, if you plan on being a double major in Economics and Statistical Science, consider taking ECON 3110 or ECON 3130 in your fall semester. The Statistical Science major requires that you take courses in Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus (Calculus III). Taking one of these subjects in your first semester is advisable. Taking a course in Computer Science is also beneficial. Consider taking CS 1110 or CS 1120. 

“I’d like to take a course in Statistical Science. What courses are appropriate for a first-semester student?” 

If you haven't taken any course in Statistics before, there are many introductory courses on campus that are available: BTRY 3010, AEM 2100, ENGRD 2700, HADM 2010, ILRST 2100, MATH 1710, PAM 2100/2101, PSYCH 3500, SOC 3010, STSCI 2150, STSCI 1380, ECON 3110, ECON 3130. You can choose among these offerings depending the subject-area of application in which you are interested. 

“I have AP credit for Statistics. Do you recommend I use the credit and go to the next level or forfeit the credit and take the corresponding class?” 

The particular introductory statistics courses that are recommended for prospective Statistical Science majors are STSCI 2200 and STSCI 2150. These courses have the advantage that they introduce the statistical software package R, which is used extensively in subsequent Statistics courses; however, it is not a problem if you want to use your AP credit for introductory statistics or if you have taken a different course in introductory statistics that does not introduce R. There are many excellent online resources for learning R, and you can easily, by self study, gain the level of expertise in R that is offered by STSCI 2200 and STSCI 2150. 

“What other information should I know about your department course offerings prior to the time I pre-enroll in classes?” 

The Statistical Science major requires three external applications electives, so the major is especially amenable to a double major. In your first year of study, it is especially advantageous to take introductory statistics (if you haven't taken it before) in your fall semester, or ECON 3110 or ECON 3130 if you intend to be a double major with Economics; then, in you spring semester, take STSCI 3200, and ECON 3120 or ECON 3140 if you intend to be a double major with Economics. If you already have credit for Calculus I and Calculus II when you come to Cornell, then try to take a course in Linear Algebra and a course in Multivariable Calculus during your first year of study. It is advisable to take an introductory course in Computer Science in your first year of study if you haven't already done so; take CS 1110 or CS 1120 or a more advance course if you already have credit for an introductory course in CS. It is advisable to take a course in Probability as soon as you can. The accepted courses in Probability for the Statistical Science major are STSCI 3080, MATH 4710, ECON 3130, and ORIE 3500; ECON 3110 is also accepted for students who are double majors with Economics. Courses in Probability (with the exception of ECON 3110) require Multivariable Calculus. It is possible to take STSCI 3080 if Multivariable Calculus is being taken concurrently. 

“If I have more questions, who should I ask and how should I contact the department?” 

Please contact Beatrix Johnson (bj11@cornell.edu), who is the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator in the Department of Statistics and Data Science, or contact Tom DiCiccio (tjd9@cornell.edu), who is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Statistical Science major. 

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