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College of Arts and Sciences

COVID-19 & Reactivation Planning

Visit Cornell University's COVID-19 and Reactivation Planning site for the latest information.

The College of Arts & Sciences is working in concert with University leadership to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and provide guidance and resources for students, faculty and staff within the College. The health, safety and well-being of our community is our highest priority. Important resources and news for our College community are included below for quick reference as well as an FAQ section for Arts & Sciences students.

Latest News: Cornell plans to reactivate Ithaca campus for fall semester; classes set to begin Sept. 2

Last updated: July 6, 2020

For Everyone

Recent Statements & Updates



For Students

For Faculty & Staff

Frequently asked questions for A&S students

How have the University and A&S academic calendars changed for spring 2020?

Updates to the University Spring 2020 Academic Calendar at

  • New university drop deadline has been extended to 5/12
  • New last day of classes has been extended one week to 5/12
  • New final exam period is 5/16-5/23
  • Pre-enrollment dates for Fall 2020 have been moved to later in the semester
    • Rising Senior pre-enrollment: 4/27-4/29
    • Rising Junior pre-enrollment: 4/29-5/1
    • Rising Sophomore/continuing Freshmen pre-enrollment: 5/4-5/6

Update to the A&S College Academic Calendar

  • New class withdrawal deadline will be the last day of exams on 5/23 by petition.
What are my S/U grading options for spring 2020?
  • The University Registrar plans to change all classes in the enrollment system to allow the S/U option by the first day of online instruction on 4/6/20.  All students will be able to make changes to their class grading options via Student Center beginning at that time, up until the deadline on 5/12/20.
  • Individual S/U grades this semester will be permitted to meet individual course requirements for entering and meeting major and minor requirements and satisfying college distribution requirements. Some majors, such as Computer Science, have updated their general GPA requirements in light of the grade options this semester. Please check with your major to identify specific changes.
What will happen to the Dean's List for the spring 2020 semester?

The A&S College, along with all the undergraduate colleges, has suspended the Dean’s List for this spring term in light of the university decision to have the S/U grading option available for all classes. Across the university, the intent is that students should not have to factor in Dean’s List eligibility when making their decisions to take a course for S/U or letter.

Are you still awarding Summer Experience Grants for Summer 2020?

Yes! The priority application deadline is April 19, 2020, and applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted. If you have questions, please schedule a Summer Funding appointment.

Can I still have my resume or cover letter reviewed?

Students may have resumes or cover letters reviewed by scheduling an appointment or via email. Through scheduling an appointment, you will work through your application materials via phone or Zoom. 

To get your application materials reviewed via email:

  1. Send an email to with your documents attached. NOTE: We can ONLY review documents that are in .doc or .docx format.
  2. In your email, include information about for what you are applying and if there are any deadlines associated. If you send a cover letter, please also include your resume.
  3. A staff member will review your document(s) and respond with comments and suggestions within 1-3 business days.
What career-related options do I have for this summer?

We recommend scheduling an appointment to speak with a Career Development staff member. There are lots of options available to you, including internships (both remote and in person), volunteer opportunities, and professional development. You can develop a customized strategy for your specific situation. Appointments are available via phone or Zoom.

I'm planning to apply to study abroad for the spring 2021 semester. What do I need to know now?

Please proceed as usual with your applications to study abroad.  Most applications to study abroad in the spring 2021 semester are due between June 1st and September 15th. For specific information about programs and the application process, please consult Cornell Education Abroad and A&S Study Abroad.  If you have questions, please contact Peggy Parmenter or set up an appointment with her after April 15th.

I've already received Cornell approval to study abroad for the fall 2020 semester. Will I still be able to do so?

At this time, we believe that study abroad programs will be running as usual in the fall 2020 semester, so please proceed with your study abroad plans.  However, just as a precaution, we are asking all Arts & Sciences students planning to study abroad in the fall 2020 semester to also pre-enroll in classes here on the Ithaca campus for fall 2020.

When does the fall 2020 roster come out and pre-enrollment begin?

The fall 2020 roster of courses will become available on April 15. Pre-enrollment begins in late April. The Office of the University Registrar Key Academic Dates provides the complete listing of pre-enrollment periods by class year.

I’m concerned about the consequences of changing a course to S/U when applying for graduate school or jobs. Should I be concerned? If I need help making a decision on whether or not to change a course to S/U, who should I reach out to?

Graduate programs and employers are sensitive to the potential impact of COVID-19 on undergraduates.  Remember, this is a world-wide pandemic that is impacting everyone – Cornell is not unique.  To discuss your specific circumstance and concerns, start by talking with your A&S advising dean or a career counselor in A&S Career Development.

Since my summer internship plans have changed, are there any online courses I can take at Cornell?

Yes!  The School of Continuing Education is offering many courses online and additional courses will be added to the roster throughout the spring.

Am I allowed to take summer courses at another institution?

Yes.  For details about how credits taken elsewhere can apply to your degree in A&S and how to seek transfer credit approval, go here.