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Internal Transfer to Engineering

Students who hope to transfer into the College of Engineering from another undergraduate college at Cornell are advised to first consult with their advisors in their current college and then with Engineering Advising.

Virtual Information Session During August Orientation

Date: Friday, August 23rd, 2024

Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual via Zoom. Zoom link will be posted soon!

Learn about the process of internally transferring into the College of Engineering.  This session is for icoming or returning non-Engineering students.

Schedule an Internal Transfer Advising Appointment

It is highly recommended that students interested in internally transferring into the College of Engineering schedule a 30-minute appointment with Benjamin Martin in Engineering Advising, to discuss the engineering application requirements and create a possible course plan.  Set up an appointment via Chatter or click the direct booking link below.  Please note: all appointments will be virtual via Zoom.

Book with Benjamin Martin


Admission to the College of Engineering is based on curricular compatibility, cumulative grade point average, and acceptance to a major. The more courses a student has taken in the engineering curriculum, and the better the performance in these classes, the greater the chances are for admission. Due to prerequisites for affiliation courses, it typically takes 1-3 semesters to complete the affiliation criteria, depending on advanced placement credit and the intended major. Students are highly encouraged to apply during the semester in which they will complete the courses required for affiliation by their intended major. Students must meet the published affiliation criteria for their intended major.

The major department may accept students directly into the major or offer conditional transfer. Students are considered for both direct and conditional transfer. Typically, students from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences can complete the affiliation courses while staying in good standing within their home college. However, they should always communicate their academic plans with their home college. Students from other colleges should speak with both Engineering Advising and their home college to verify good academic standing and whether an offer of conditional transfer is possible.

Major Affiliation Requirements

For complete curriculum and major affiliation requirements, as well as contact information for individual department offices, students should see the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook for the year that they matriculated to Cornell.

To be considered for internal transfer, there must be an indication that affiliating with a major is feasible and successful completion of courses in mathematics, chemistry, computer science, physics, and engineering that conform to the requirements of the Engineering Common Curriculum. The College of Engineering does not accept internal transfer students who are "undeclared" or unaffiliated in their major intentions. Students should meet with Engineering Advising and review the affiliation criteria for their intended major in the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook Prior to their meetings, students should review the Frequently Asked Questions. Students should communicate with their current college about requirements for good academic standing.


All candidates for an undergraduate degree in engineering must meet residency requirements, which are 1) to spend at least four semesters or an equivalent period of instruction as full-time students at Cornell, and 2) to spend at least three semesters of this time affiliated with an engineering major.  Additional eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Freshmen may first apply during their second semester if they fulfill requirements for major affiliation; Applications submitted after a single semester will be denied.
  • External transfers to Cornell can apply during their second semester at Cornell if they fulfill requirements for major affiliation;
  • Engineering will accept applications from students through their first term of junior year status, as long as they meet the residency requirements noted above. Second term juniors and seniors are not eligible to transfer to Engineering, regardless of if they could eventually meet the residency requirements;
  • Students on a Leave of Absence may apply for transfer after meeting their leave requirements without needing to go back to their home college/school (i.e., can apply while on a leave).


  • Review our Frequently Asked Questions;
  • Complete the online Internal Transfer application once you have all of the information you need and meet affiliation criteria.  
    • Fall Transfer: Application to open March 1
    • Spring Transfer: Application to open September 29
  • Personal Statement (650 words max): A good personal statement is a crucial component of your application. We recommend you prepare it in advance, writing it on a word file and then copying and pasting onto the online application. You could include in your essay:
    • How your interest in a given major and college has developed, and how you have explored it.
    • Explain clearly and in a well-thought-out manner how your intended major and college could provide you with the tools and instruction you desire to achieve at Cornell, and why other options (double major, minors, etc.) are not useful.
    • Describe the professional goals/interests you are considering.  How will your target college help you to attain your goals?
    • If you do not satisfy all the requirements for transfer to your intended college, state the reasons for this, and how you intend to fulfill those requirements.
    • You can also talk about the activities that you have been involved in at Cornell and the community (work/volunteer experiences, clubs, research) and how they have shaped you.
    • Is there anything else your target college should know about you (e.g. personal /family situations, independent study‚Ķ) that you consider could further clarify your interest.
  • Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered for the following term. An admissions decision will not be made until grades are reviewed from the current semester.  For example, if a student submits an application during the spring term and is applying for fall admission, the application will not be reviewed until spring semester grades are available.
    • Deadlines for submission of application:
      • Fall Transfer: May 1 (application to open March 1)
      • Spring Transfer: December 1 (application to open September 29).