Admitted Students

You did it! Applause and accolades are due, as you are set to become a Cornell Engineer! The high caliber of your application secured a place for you at one of the world's most prestigious engineering programs. We truly believe you have the academic talent and personal disposition to thrive at Cornell. We can’t wait to welcome you in person next fall.

Finding the right fit is incredibly important and given the COVID-19 outbreak and the need for social distancing we realize this will be challenging for you. We are working to create opportunities for you to interact with current students and get your questions answered. We encourage you to take some time to explore the Cornell Engineering website. There will be lots happening on CUontheHill, so make sure you check out our private social network.


At Cornell Engineering, intellectually rebellious students and faculty challenge established paradigms and prevailing conventions. Discovery stretches across disciplines in pursuit of unique solutions to complex problems in fields such as nanoscience, biomedical engineering, molecular biology, and information science. While it is difficult to encapsulate the many dimensions of Cornell Engineering, there are four hallmarks at the heart of this remarkable institution:

  • We have one of the deepest and broadest engineering curriculums in the world.
  • We are embedded within a world-class university.
  • We genuinely care about our students and invest in their success.
  • Our exceptional community of students, faculty, and staff is our greatest asset.

We encourage you to review the frequently asked questions below. If you still have questions, please contact the Engineering Admissions Office at engr_admissions@cornell.edu. Due to COVID-19, we are working remotely. Please email us any questions as we are not able to answer our office phone. Our staff can answer your questions or direct you to the appropriate place to get your answers. Beginning May 4, you will start receiving regular emails from the engineering advising office to guide you through the next steps.

If you have applied for financial aid and have submitted all of the required documents, you should receive your package within a week. If you have questions about your financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@cornell.edu.

If you have made your decision to come to Cornell and are wondering what you should do next, check out the New Students Website for your checklist.

Keep up the excellent work! Please remember we do check final grades!

Frequently Asked Questions

Academic-Related Questions

When will I start to receive information from the College about how to register for classes?

As an admitted student, is it possible to switch colleges before arriving on campus? 

What classes will I take my first semester?

Do I need my own computer and if so what kind?

Does the College of Engineering offer credit for AP, IB, and A-level scores?

Am I able to receive credit from dual enrollment classes or from classes taken at a local college?

Are there other ways to earn credit or does Cornell offer placement exams?

When do I declare my major?

How interdisciplinary is the engineering curriculum?

Will I have the opportunity to study abroad?

How do I get experience outside of the classroom?

How will I be supported as a student by the College of Engineering and Cornell?

Financial Aid and Making My Deposit

If I'm still waiting to hear from the Office of Financial Aid, when do I need to notify Cornell about whether I will accept an offer of admission?

What happens if I receive an outside scholarship? 

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am unable to get my deposit in by the deadline. What should I do?

Final Grades

Do I need to submit my final grades to Cornell?  

Can an offer of admission be rescinded if my senior-year grades go down? 

Academic-Related Questions

When will I start to receive information from the College about how to register for classes?

The Advising Office will begin to send weekly emails out on May 4, 2020. The emails will guide you through the next steps for the academic side of life. Make sure you are reading these emails as they will contain vital information.

As an admitted student, is it possible to switch colleges before arriving on campus? 

No. However, once you have matriculated you can work with the head of advising within your college to plan and navigate a change to another college within Cornell University. Your advisor will be able to help you manage the internal transfer process, but, in the meantime, it may be useful for you to review the Office of Internal Transfer's (ITD) website. The ITD works directly with students interested in transferring from one college to another at Cornell and they will likely become an important resource for you if you decide to apply for internal transfer once you arrive on campus.

Do I need my own computer and if so what kind?

No. You don't need to have your own computer, but many students feel that owning one is convenient. If you do not bring your own computer, having a 4GB or larger USB key, cloud drive, or portable external hard drive can be very helpful in storing and carrying necessary files along with you. If you do bring your own computer, you can do homework, access the Internet, use email or make recreational use of the computer in the comfort of your own dorm or apartment. While it is clearly more convenient to do individual work in the comfort of your own room, engineering students at Cornell participate in many team assignments and projects. Meeting at a computer facility on campus will often be expedient, especially since the computing facilities have access to a vast array of (expensive)engineering software running on fast computers connected by high-speed networking. We do have some recommendations and other information about computers available for our students.

What classes will I take my first semester?

All first-year engineering students will begin their academic career at Cornell Engineering as "unaffiliated" students. Even if students listed a particular major on their admission application, you begin as a general engineering student, taking our core courses. Affiliation or major declaration occurs in the sophomore year (see below).

Many first-year engineering students will pre-enroll in the following courses (totaling 16-17 credits) for the fall semester:
•    Engineering Math (4 credits)
•    Science (Chemistry or Physics) (4 credits)
•    Intro to Computing (4 credits) OR Intro to Engineering (3 credits)
•    First-Year Engineering Seminar (1 credit)
•    First-Year Writing Seminar (3 credits)
•    Physical Education (1 credit)
•    Academic Excellence Workshops (optional, 1 credit each)

Students will work closely with their advisor when selecting courses for their first semester. Students receiving a significant amount of transfer credit for Advanced Placement coursework may see variations to their first semester courses.

Does the College of Engineering offer credit for AP, IB, and A-level scores?

Yes. The College of Engineering routinely offers credit for appropriately high scores on Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IB), and General Certificate of Education (A-level) examinations. Our Engineering Advising Office counsels enrolling engineering students throughout the summer prior to their arrival on campus about what the available options are if they are interested in attaining credit using test scores.

Am I able to receive credit from dual enrollment classes or from classes taken at a local college?

The answer to this question is a bit complicated and there are several scenarios. The answers to a couple of scenarios are below. Although this will not cover all the various ways students obtain credit it will give you some guidance for now. Once you are assigned an advisor, that individual will help you determine what credits will be accepted. In addition, the next question is relevant as well.

  • Scenario 1: If your class was taken at your high school and taught by a high school teacher but a local college gave you credit, the answer is no. In order for the class to qualify, it needs to be taken on a college campus with other college students. Additionally, in this scenario, it is likely that you used the credit towards you high school graduation requirements. We consider this as having "used" the credits.
  • Scenario 2: If you took your class on a college campus with other college students (not elusively other high school students) and did not use the credit toward your high school graduation requirements, and it is a class that is required for your major at Cornell, the answer is yes.

Are there other ways to earn credit or does Cornell offer placement exams?

Students may also earn credit by taking Cornell Advanced Standing Exam(s) (CASE) during the fall orientation period. CASE exam performance will demonstrate understanding of key subject areas (i.e. calculus, physics, chemistry, and biology) within the framework of the Cornell Engineering curriculum. While these exams are voluntary, they help place students in the appropriate coursework level.

When do I declare my major?

Most students apply for affiliation during the first semester of their sophomore year after having taken our core curriculum. During a student's first-year he/she will learn about our different majors and explore the ones of interest. Once a student has determined their major, students apply directly to the major with which they wish to affiliate. In order to be accepted into their major, students must have a cumulative grade point average of >2.0 (this varies by major) and have satisfied the major's specific course and grade requirements. Assuming you meet the minimum GPA requirement and satisfy major's specific course requirements, you will be accepted into the major.

For additional information regarding the affiliation process, please review the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook (Please note this is the Fall 2019 version. You will be given access to the Fall 2020 version this summer.)

How interdisciplinary is the engineering curriculum?

The College of Engineering is fundamentally interdisciplinary, as is, Cornell University as a whole. As a University and as a College, we are making our most interesting and revolutionary discoveries at the intersections of multiple fields, rather than within disciplinary silos. As a Cornell engineering undergraduate student, your education will have a disciplinary focus (you will have a major and that major will be within a specific department), but you will also draw coursework, possibly research experience, and possibly project team experience from multiple other academic disciplines – and some of those will likely be from other colleges and schools at Cornell.

Will I have the opportunity to study abroad?

There are a variety of options available for engineering students interested in studying abroad. The College of Engineering supports five exchange programs- University of Cantabria, University of Comillas-ICAI, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

In addition, the Office of Global Learning manages hundreds of programs for Cornell students and can assist you in finding an experience that meets your needs and interests. Start planning as early as possible—your first year is not too early to put your plans into motion!

There are also less traditional ways to get experience abroad through project teams and other clubs and organizations.

Engineering Advising will help you think through the process, answer questions about policies and procedures, and along with your faculty advisor, assist you in planning your curriculum.

How do I get experience outside of the classroom?

Cornell Engineering recognizes that students want to begin applying what they are learning immediately. We have many different ways to get real-world experience. Just some of the opportunities are listed below:

How will I be supported as a student by the College of Engineering?

A variety of resources for academic advising and support are available to undergraduate students in the College of Engineering. Some of the key offices that support students are listed below. In addition, the University offers support services as well, including, academic support through the Learning Strategies Center and health and wellness services through Cornell Health.

Throughout their undergraduate career, students can access supplemental advising and support through Engineering Advising. The professional academic advisors provide a variety of advising services and programs to assist students in achieving their undergraduate academic and personal goals.

Peer Advisors are senior, junior, and sophomore engineering students who volunteer to assist new students with the academic transition from high school to college.

The Engineering Learning Initiatives enhances the learning environment in the College of Engineering by providing opportunities for students to engage in collaborative learning, undergraduate research, and peer tutoring.

The Engineering Career Center assists students in exploring careers, internships, co-ops and full-time jobs; preparing forinterviews, evaluating and negotiating job offers, and more.

Financial Aid and Making My Deposit

If I'm still waiting to hear from the Office of Financial Aid, when do I need to notify Cornell about whether I will accept an offer of admission?

If your financial aid application is complete, your financial aid award should be sent to you within a few days after you receive your acceptance letter (packages will begin to be released by Tuesday, March 31). If your package does not arrive within a week of receiving your acceptance letter, call the Office of Financial Aid at 607-255-5145. The deposit deadline for regular decision is May 1, 2020. All deposit extensions for financial aid reasons are granted by the Office of Financial Aid.

What happens if I receive an outside scholarship? 

As the Office of Financial Aid is notified of outside sources of assistance, they adjust your need-based financial aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information on how outside scholarships typically affect financial aid packages.  

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am unable to get my deposit in by the deadline. What should I do? 

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@cornell.edu or 607-255-5145. All deposit extensions for financial aid reasons are granted by the Office of Financial Aid.

Final Grades

Do I need to submit my final grades to Cornell?  

Yes. Final grades for all admitted students must be reviewed. Your guidance counselor should email your final grade report to: undergradapp@cornell.edu for processing.  

Can an offer of admissions be rescinded if my senior-year grades go down? 

Cornell's offer of admission includes the following statement: "Our offer of admission is also contingent upon your satisfactorily completing any school work now in progress, and on your continuing to uphold high standards of character in activities outside the classroom." All enrolling students are required to submit a final high school transcript once they complete their senior year. Each transcript is reviewed to ensure that our enrolling students continued to succeed academically once they received their offers of admission. Students whose performance declined are asked to respond, in writing, with an explanation for the decline in academic performance. Responses are evaluated and a determination is made whether a student will be allowed to enroll, or if his/her offer of admission will be rescinded. The decisions we make in these cases are done thoughtfully, thoroughly, and bearing in mind their impact. This process usually occurs in June and we try to reach decisions as quickly as the process will allow so that students are definitively aware of their status and can plan accordingly.  

Engineering student Alex '20

Jumping into freshman year seemed like a huge leap into the unknown, but looking back, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I think the most important thing is to concentrate on being willing to talk to and befriend everyone who you meet. Everyone is in the same situation as you and wants to make friends. Everyone belongs: it’s up to you to embrace it!!

— Alex '20

Enrollment Deferrals

Admitted first-year Cornell Engineering students may be able to apply for a one- or two-year deferred entry. Requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Engineering Admissions Office and have been granted in previous years for a variety of reasons.

Deadlines

  • Early Decision Candidates: The deadline to request an enrollment deferral for the 2019-2020 academic year is March 1, 2020.
  • Regular Decision Candidates: The deadline to request an enrollment deferral for the 2019-2020 academic year is June 1, 2020.

Guidelines

If you are granted an enrollment deferral, the following conditions apply:

  1. You must officially accept your offer of admission from Cornell University.
  2. You must submit a $400 deposit reserving your place in a future class of Cornell Engineers. (Note: An $800 deposit is required for two-year deferrals). 
  3. You must formally withdraw your application(s) from any college/university to which you have applied.
  4. You must formally decline your offer(s) of admission from any college/university to which you have been admitted.
  5. You must NOT apply to, or enroll at, another college/university during your deferral period.

Please note: If you are granted a deferral of admission, you will begin to receive information in the spring prior to enrolling at Cornell to help you prepare for your arrival. It is your responsibility to apprise the university of any changes in your mailing address and/or email address.

Students admitted from the waitlist are expected to enroll for the upcoming fall semester and are rarely granted deferrals.

Choose which type of deferral you wish to request:

Enrollment Deferral   Military Enrollment Deferral