A guide for parents and families of A&S students

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Welcome to Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences! We hope this site can provide you with the inside scoop about what’s going on in the college and also offer suggestions about the best ways you can support your student.

Read the latest news from the college. Check out other Cornell news from the Cornell Chronicle or the Cornell Daily Sun, the student newspaper.

Find out about key academic dates and interesting events coming up for your student.

First-year family? We hope you can join us for First-year family weekend. Details are here.

Cornell’s Family Guide offers a host of important information. Check out this year’s guide.


  • Course catalog: With 40 majors, 55 minors and more than 40 foreign languages. The course catalog (“Courses of Study”) describes all of the A&S courses available to your student.
  • Degree requirements: Find out what classes and credits are required for graduation.
  • Academic advising services: Your student has a faculty advisor, a college advisor and peer advisors who will help them develop their academic plan and maximize their Cornell experience. The Office of Academic Advising is an excellent resource for answering questions and guiding students to appropriate campus resources. Parents are welcome to call the advising office at any time with questions, 607-255-5004.
  • Student timeline: A guide to planning your student’s four years here and beyond.

Food and Housing

Paying the Bills


  • Cornell Police officers are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be reached by dialing 911 in an emergency or 607-255-1111 at other times.
  • Blue Light Escort teams are available to walk students home seven days a week, from dusk to dawn.

Advice, Mentorship, Counsel

  • The Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives provides individual and group support for academic pursuits and organizations.
  • The Arts & Sciences Career Development Center offers advice on careers, internships or graduate school and helps our liberal arts and sciences students determine career objectives and market their skills to employers.
  • Cornell’s Caring Community page is a list of consultation and support services available to meet the emotional, physical, social, and spiritual needs of the university community.
  • Student Disability Services facilitates equitable access to Cornell’s educational programs and services.
  • Cornell Health provides medical care, counseling, and pharmacy services for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
  • The Learning Strategies Center offers study groups, supplemental instruction, tutoring and other services.
  • Cornell Minds Matter works to promotes the overall mental and emotional health of all Cornell students.
  • The Tatkon Center provides support for first-year students.
  • The Knight Institute offers one-on-one consultation and other writing support.

Visiting and Keeping in Touch

Visiting Ithaca

Staying connected with your student

  • Phone Calls: Because students and family members are often on very different schedules, consider setting a time each week for phone calls; that way, the student is more likely to have time to talk when you call.
  • Text or Video Chat: If you have multiple family members at different locations, you can have a conversation with all of them at the same time via texting or by video through services such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Skype, and others.
  • Email: Email is a fast way to drop your child a note to let him or her know about what’s going on at home and that you are thinking of them. Send an electronic card from a favorite website or attach photos to your message.
  • Mail Something: In the technology-based world we live in, sometimes it’s nice to receive a card or a letter. Send the occasional care package. Each resident is assigned a mailbox and mailrooms accept packages from the postal service, UPS, Federal Express, florists, and other shipping services.
  • Visit Campus: Consider attending First-Year Parents’ Weekend (Oct. 21–Oct. 23) or visiting on another mutually convenient weekend. Remember that it’s a good idea to give your student ample adjustment time in the beginning of the first year before you visit.

Keep in touch with the college

Sign up for the A&S newsletter by emailing as_communications@cornell.edu and for the Cornell parent newsletter by emailing parents@cornell.edu. Include your student’s name, class year, your name and preferred email address.