Applying to Graduate

Students apply to graduate during their penultimate semester of study. So if you are on a typical schedule and graduating in the spring, your application deadline will be during the previous fall semester.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Fill out and submit Part I: College Requirements. This includes your DUST (Distributed Undergraduate Student Tracking) report and a chart of all of the courses and credits you have taken, term by term and in total. You need to answer a series of questions about the fulfillment of other college requirements. After you submit this form, you'll receive an email confirmation and be asked to make an appointment with your advisor to fill out Part II, Major Requirements. To prepare for that appointment, put together a list of courses you have taken for the major.
  • Work with your faculty advisor to fill out Part II: Major Requirements. If you have more than one major, you must meet with each major advisor to fill out a Part II for each major. If you are a Concurrent Degree student, you must meet with the advisor who administers the Concurrent Degree Program as well as with your faculty advisors. External transfer students and students who have studied abroad should take transcripts of their non-Cornell courses to their advisor meeting(s). Your advisor will have a link to the Part II application, which contains a series of questions about courses you have taken for the major. 
  • For more information, or if you have problems completing your Application to Graduate, contact A&S Student Services at or 607-255-5004.

After a prolonged time away:

If you've taken a break from your education, but want to finish your degree, student services can help you explore your options.

To begin the process, please email us at

Graduating Early

You may elect to graduate early if you are able to complete all graduation requirements in fewer than eight semesters.

You must still satisfy the college’s residency requirement as part of the graduation requirements. To request an early graduation, you must notify the A&S Registrar’s Office at

The earliest you can request to graduate early and officially change your graduation date is immediately following the pre-enrollment period for your anticipated final semester. You should have pre-enrolled in the classes required to meet the graduation requirements by the requested graduation date.

Once your graduation date has been updated, you must then complete Part I of the Application to Graduate in data.arts and have Part II completed by your major advisor.

Graduating Late

The Bachelor of Arts degree is expected to be completed in eight terms. If degree requirements cannot be completed in eight terms, students may seek permission to continue their studies. Requests will only be granted for students who have found themselves in emergent circumstances beyond their control which have prevented them from completing the degree in eight terms. Study beyond the eighth term is not automatically granted for the purposes of changing a major. Such requests should be discussed with a college academic advisor and require registrar approval. Requests to add an additional major or minor will not be approved for study beyond the eighth term.

To request a 9th term, students must first have their faculty advisor update Part II detailing any remaining major requirements. Next they will need to submit a study plan to their college advisor listing the specific courses that will meet degree requirements for one major. Finally, students must email A&S Student Services to officially request a 9th term.

If approved, students in the 9th and 10th term will be in a conditional status and will have restrictions placed on their enrollment to ensure successful completion of their degree. Students may elect to prorate credits if enrolling in 9 or fewer credits or take a full-time load if they desire. However, enrollment will be limited to 18 credits for the term so students can focus on their remaining required courses. Students needing to enroll in a 10th term to complete their degree will be required to prorate tuition and their enrollment will be limited to only the courses/credits needed for successful completion of one major. Additional enrollments will not be allowed.


Bachelor of Arts with Honors

Almost all departments offer honors programs for students who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishment in the major and succeeded in research. The conferring of honors, and the requirements for conferral (cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude) are set by the departments for each major, the Independent Major Program, or the College Scholar Program. Minors do not offer honors programs. Students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies with questions about honors in the respective program.

Bachelor of Arts with Distinction

The degree of Bachelor of Arts with distinction in all subjects will be conferred on students who have completed the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, if they have met the following requirements by the end of their final semester:

  1. completed at least 60 credits while registered in regular sessions at Cornell;
  2. achieved a GPA in the upper 30 percent of their class at the end of the seventh semester, or next-to-last semester for transfers and accelerants;
  3. received a grade below C– in no more than one course;
  4. received no failing grade (excluding PE);
  5. have no frozen Incompletes on their records; and
  6. maintained good academic standing, including completing a full schedule of at least 12 academic credits, in each of their last four semesters. (Students who have been approved to have prorated tuition for their final semester are considered to be in good academic standing).


Information regarding diplomas is available on the Cornell University Registrar Diploma Information page. 

Tracking Your Degree Requirements

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

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

You can also monitor your progress toward meeting your college degree requirements by checking your DUST (Distributed Undergraduate Student Tracking) report. The DUST report is updated soon after the end of each semester. To monitor your progress toward meeting your major requirements, please contact your major department.