Skip to main content

Applying for Major Affiliation

in this section

In This Section:

See Also:

Enter content here

Students apply for affiliation with a Major during the first semester of their second year, although earlier affiliation may be granted at the discretion of the Major. To apply for affiliation, students visit the office of the undergraduate Major consultant in the Major of their choice and complete an Application for Major Affiliation. To affiliate, students must:

  1. have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) >2.0; and 
  2. have satisfied the Major’s course and grade requirements (see list below).

Occasionally, a student falls just short of meeting standard affiliation requirements but demonstrates potential in the Major. In such cases, a Major may offer “conditional affiliation”. Conditional affiliation involves a written agreement signed by both the Major and the student. Students must meet the requirements specified in the conditional affiliation agreement to continue in the Major.

Students who are not affiliated or conditionally affiliated with a Major by the end of the fourth semester will be withdrawn from the College of Engineering. Continued enrollment in the college is dependent on affiliation or participation in a terminal semester.

Major Descriptions, Flow Charts, and Check Lists

Each Major program is described in detail in Courses of Study. The descriptions of these programs begin on page 28. Because it is difficult to depict the flexibility that makes it possible to take some courses in semesters other than those indicated, these charts are meant only to suggest the structure of the program, and do not include the requirements for liberal studies and physical education classes. The sequence of courses may also be influenced by advanced placement or transfer credit.

Requirements for graduation differ from Major to Major. In addition to completing the requirements of the Common Curriculum, students must take courses that constitute the Major; they must earn grades that are adequate to remain in good standing (see page 126 for specific Major requirements for good standing); and they must accumulate sufficient credits for graduation. Each of these three parameters differs by Major, and students are responsible for knowing and meeting the requirements of their Major. Specific Major requirements are set forth later in this handbook and in Courses of Study. Students should consult their undergraduate Major consultants (listed on pages 10-11) and their faculty advisors if they have questions regarding the requirements.

Requirements for Major Affiliation

Biological Engineering (BE)

  • Minimum GPA of ≥ 2.5 and at most one grade below C–in math, science, and engineering courses.
  • Completion of BEE/ENGRD 2600 or 2510 with at least C-, and one year of Introductory Biology with grades of at least C-. 
  • Completion of all College of Engineering core requirements by the end of the sophomore year (also applies to transfer students).

Chemical Engineering (ChemE)

  • At most one grade below C–in chemistry, math, physics, and chemical engineering courses
  • GPA ≥ 2.2 in math, science, and chemical engineering courses.

Civil Engineering (CE)

  • GPA ≥ 2.0 for all engineering and science courses.
  • At least C in ENGRD 2020.

Computer Science (CS)

  • At least C in all completed CS and math courses.
  • GPA ≥ 2.5 in CS 2110 (or CS 2112) and 2800.
  • GPA ≥ 2.5 in MATH 1920 and CS 2800.
  • Visit the CS undergraduate web site to learn about alternative criteria for affiliation.

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)

  • At least C+ in
    • MATH 2930, PHYS 2213,
    • and one of ECE/ENGRD 2100, ECE 2200, and ECE/ENGRD 2300.
  • GPA ≥ 2.5 in the following courses if completed:
    • MATH 1920, 2930, 2940
    • PHYS 2213
    • ECE/ENGRD 2100
    • ECE 2200
    • ENGRD/CS 2110
    • ECE/ENGRD 2300

Engineering Physics (EP)

  • At least B–in all required math and physics courses
    • MATH 1910
    • MATH 1920
    • MATH 2930
    • MATH 2940
    • PHYS 1112/1116
    • PHYS 2213/2217
    • PHYS 2214/2218

Environmental Engineering (EnvE)

  • GPA ≥ 2.0 for all engineering and science courses.
  • At least C–in BEE/ENGRD 2510.

Independent Major (IM)

  • Cumulative GPA ≥ 2.0

Information Science, Systems, Technology (ISST)

  • At least C in two of MATH 2940, CS 2110, and ENGRD 2700.
  • GPA ≥ 2.3 in completed math, ENGRD, and ISST Major courses.
  • Qualifying courses must be taken at Cornell, and for a letter grade. For a repeated course, the most recent grade is used.

Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)

  • Cumulative GPA ≥ 2.0 in the required math, physics, and chemistry courses and at least C in ENGRD 2610 or 2620.
  • Alternatively, at least B- in the following: MATH 2930, PHYS 2213, CHEM 2090, and ENGRD 2610 or 2620.

Mechanical Engineering (ME)

  • At least C–in ENGRD 2020, ENGRD 2210 (if taken), and all completed required math, science, and computer science courses.
  • GPA ≥ 2.5 in these courses:
    • MATH 2930
    • PHYS 2213
    • ENGRD 2020
    • ENGRD 2210 (if taken)

Operations Research and Engineering (ORE)

  • At least C in ENGRD 2700 and MATH 2940. GPA ≥ 2.2 in math, science, and engineering courses (both overall and in the term immediately before affiliation).
  • At least C–in all completed ORIE courses.
  • Good academic standing in the college.

Science of Earth Systems (SES)

  • At least C- in all completed Major required courses.
  • GPA ≥ 2.0 in all math, science, and engineering courses.
  • Good academic standing in the college.