Transferring Credits

Along with the classes you take at Cornell, you can transfer acceptable credits from studies at another university or count some AP and IB tests toward Cornell's requirements.

See the information below to find out how to apply for credit for these courses.

Credit for Exams Taken

To find out about earning credit for AP, IB, French Baccalaureat and GCE A-level exams, consult the Courses of Study or the credit and placement tables on this page.

External Transfer Student Credit Evaluations

An external transfer student who is offered admission to the College of Arts and Sciences will receive a tentative credit evaluation after they have accepted their offer of admission and made a deposit reserving their place in the incoming class. The credit evaluation provides a summary of how many credits from their prior institution(s) will transfer to the college and identifies the courses that will fulfill college requirements (including the FWS and foreign language requirements). The following guidelines describe how credits from other institutions are evaluated:

  • To be eligible for Cornell credit, a course must be substantially equivalent to a comparable Cornell course in terms of content and rigor. This will be determined using criteria such as content hours, assessments, and textbooks.
  • A letter grade of “C” or higher is required for a course to transfer.
  • Credit is awarded on the basis of full-time semesters spent elsewhere, up to a maximum of 60 credits.
  • Credits earned in liberal arts courses while enrolled as a full-time student can be used to fulfill college requirements (including the FWS and foreign language requirements) and can be counted towards the 100 Arts and Sciences credits required for graduation.
  • Quarter-system credit is equivalent to 2/3 semester credit. Only 4-credit or higher quarter-system courses can be used to fulfill a college requirement. 
  • Any college-level courses taken in high school, as a part-time or non-matriculated student, or after receipt of the offer of admission to Cornell must be assessed using the guidelines for current students. Such credits cannot be used toward college requirements and cannot be used toward the 100 Arts and Sciences credits required for graduation.
  • Academic departments will determine how transfer courses may be used to fulfill major or minor requirements.
  • Arts & Sciences does not accept CLEP credit.

Guidelines for Current A&S Students

  • The College will accept transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions upon recommendation of the relevant academic department.
  • A letter grade of “C” or higher is required for a course to transfer, but some departments insist on a higher grade for some courses.
  • Students will not be granted more transfer credit than they were awarded for the course at the offering institution. 
  • College courses taken during high school may be available for transfer credit if: 
    • The course was a standard course available to all students registered at the college/university.

    • The course is taken on a college/university campus with matriculated degree students.
    • The course instructor is a faculty member (includes adjunct) at the college offering the course.
    • The course is not listed on the high school transcript as a course counting towards the high school diploma or Arts & Sciences' admission requirements.
  • Credits transferred from other institutions count as part of the 120 academic credits required for graduation; they do not count toward the 100 Arts and Sciences credits and do not factor into the Cornell grade point average.
  • Courses taken at other institutions while on leave of absence may not be used to reduce the terms of residence.
  • Study abroad credit while on leave is not allowed (see Enrollment Restrictions While on a Leave of Absence).
  • The Knight Writing Institute determines whether a transfer course can be applied toward the College’s FWS requirement.
  • Students may not apply transfer credit to the College's foreign language, distribution or breadth requirements.
  • Transferred courses, with the approval of the department, may count toward the major. (It is strongly recommended that students obtain departmental approval before enrolling in a course for which they are seeking transfer credit.)
  • During the regular fall and spring semesters, continuing students cannot simultaneously be enrolled in Cornell courses and in courses at an external institution, unless part of an official exchange program. These courses are ineligible for transfer credit.

Requesting a Credit Transfer

  • For each course for which you are requesting transfer credit, please complete the
  • Check with the appropriate department for instructions on how to have your transfer credit request reviewed and obtain their approval on the Application for Credit from Other Institutions. Many departments include those instructions on their website.
  • If you are requesting to have your transfer credit applied to major requirements, also obtain your major advisor’s approval on the form.
  • Submit the completed Application for Credit from Other Institutions to Robin Perry via email to or in person to KG17 Klarman Hall.
  • Upon completion of the course, have the offering institution send an official transcript to Robin Perry via email to or via mail to Robin Perry, Cornell University, Arts & Sciences Admissions, KG17 Klarman Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. 

Summer Session Credits

Summer sessions at Cornell or elsewhere do not count toward the residence requirement, but students are permitted to earn up to 12 credits in one summer.

Cornell summer session credits earned in Arts & Sciences courses can be used to fulfill college requirements (including the FWS and foreign language requirements).