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
Summer Session Credits
Summer sessions at Cornell or elsewhere do not count toward the eight-semester residence requirement, but students are permitted to earn up to 12 credits in one summer.
Summer session credits earned in Arts & Sciences courses can be used to fulfill college requirements.
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 with their offer of admission. The credit evaluation provides a summary of how many credits/courses from their prior institution(s) will transfer to the college and identifies the courses that will fulfill college 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.
- Credit is awarded on the basis of full-time semesters spent elsewhere, up to a maximum of 30 credits per academic year (that is, two semesters or three quarters).
- Credits earned in liberal arts courses while enrolled as a full-time student can be used to fulfill college distribution 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 5-credit or higher quarter-system courses can be used to fulfill a Cornell requirement (which are fulfilled only by 3- or 4-credit semester-courses). We sometimes combine two similar quarter-system courses (for example, two 4-credit history courses) to fulfill a college requirement.
- A grade of “C” or higher is required for a course to transfer.
- 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 distribution 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.
Current Cornell Students
Credit transfer guidelines for current Cornell Arts & Sciences students are:
- The College will accept transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions upon recommendation of the relevant academic department.
- College courses taken during high school may be available for transfer credit if you attended the course on a college or university campus and the course was not used to fulfill high school requirements or Cornell admission requirements.
- A “C” or better is required for a course to transfer, but some departments insist on a higher grade for some courses.
- The Knight Writing Institute determines whether transfer course work can be applied toward the College’s writing requirement.
- Credits and courses transferred from other institutions count as part of the 120 credits and 34 courses required for graduation; they do not count toward the 100 credits required in Arts & Sciences and do not factor into the Cornell grade point average.
- Courses taken at other institutions during the summer may be applied to meeting the criteria for accelerated graduation.
- Courses taken at other institutions while on leave of absence may not be used to reduce the terms of residence. In other words, students planning on accelerating their graduations to fewer than eight semesters must be able to complete all graduation requirements and meet the criteria for acceleration without credits earned while on leave of absence.
- Students may not apply transfer credit to any distribution 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 have equivalent transfer credits.)
Requesting Credit Transfer
To request a credit transfer:
- Download and print the "Application for Credit from Other Institutions" here.
- Submit a written form (along with a syllabus) for each course to the appropriate department to approve.
- Once the department approves the course, submit the completed form to Robin Perry at KG17 Klarman Hall for processing.
- Have the institution offering the course send an official transcript via mail directly to Robin Perry, Cornell University, Arts & Sciences Admissions, KG17 Klarman Hall, Ithaca, N.Y., 14853 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please note: for students looking to transfer Mathematics credits, please refer to math.cornell.edu/transfer-credit prior to completing the "Application for Credit from Other Institutions" form.