Transfer students are admitted to the college in Terms One or Five. The Registrar evaluates the student’s transcripts and is responsible for awarding transfer credit. Transfer courses that meet Cornell College requirements will be noted. The Coordinator for Academic Support and Advising will register transfer students who are transferring 7 or more total credits and then assign the student to an appropriate departmental advisor.  Cornell holds a special orientation session for new transfer students before the start of Terms One and Five.

Topics for advising:

  • Cornell transcripts that include a notation that the student has received an AA or AS degree have met their general education requirements.  They will be awarded 15 credits and their transcript will designate which course prerequisites they’ve fulfilled (also indicating the courses they should not repeat).  If there is a course prerequisite they think they’ve fulfilled, they should contact the Registrar.

  • Check transfer credits that have been approved. If there is a question on which courses received credit and which did not contact the appropriate department chair and/or the Registrar.

    • Many introductory courses are granted credit as equivalent to our introductory course.  Topic courses or upper level courses within departments will need to be approved by the department for approval to be counted within the major.  If a student thinks a course should fulfill a specific major requirement, a syllabus should be provided to the department for that approval.

      • Advisors will want to reference the Registrar’s transfer codes website to know how coursework has transferred. 

    • Students need to have a final transcript sent to Cornell College from every postsecondary institution they’ve attended.  Many times we have a partial transcript but are waiting on a final transcript, so check to see if the transcript in their advising file includes every term from their previous institution, especially for students starting in January.

    • Check to make sure the student has not registered for a course that they’ve been granted credit for from their previous institution or AP/IB scores.  Students who receive credit for a course taken at another school will lose that credit if they take either the same course, one with similar content, or a course in the same department that is a prerequisite for it.  In certain cases, with the permission of the department, the student may petition the Registrar to receive credit for both courses.

    • Grades from another institution do not transfer to Cornell.  

  • Review the all-college requirements; review the advisee's schedule and discuss any changes you see necessary. Identify courses which meet prerequisites for advanced work in the department and enroll the student in these courses as soon as possible.

  • Discuss campus resources such as the Berry Career Institute, the Writing Studio, the Quantitative Reasoning Studio, and Dimensions Pre-professional program. 

  • Discuss their reasons for transferring and help guide them to resources to ensure their success at Cornell, such as being engaged in student groups/committees, meeting with their faculty mentors, and improving their studying skills.

  • Make sure the student understands our drop/add system, how WH and 15 day drop works, our Incomplete grading option, and the deadlines for declaring degree programs and majors.

Graduation Requirements

  • Transfer students who enter Cornell with Junior standing should declare their major by December 1 of their first year.

  • Transfer students with more than 16 credits need to immediately meet with the Registrar to outline their course needs to graduate on time if they plan to attempt to graduate in one year. Once they meet with the Registrar, please meet with them again and help them register for the courses they need.

  • Transfer students who will graduate with fewer than 16 term credits earned at Cornell for grade point credit (i.e., grades that are calculated into the GPA) are ineligible, regardless of their GPA, to receive all-college honors (summamagna, or cum laude) or for election to Phi Beta Kappa. Advisors should inform such students of this regulation before registering them for courses that are graded only credit/no credit (e.g., independent studies, internships, and most off-campus programs),  for courses in which the student has the option of a regular grade or credit/no credit (e.g., Individual Projects), or if students are considering a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading option.

  • Transfer students may not transfer credits to fulfill the requirement of 31-course credits unless they have already earned at least 16 term credits at Cornell College.  Students who will not have earned 16 term credits at Cornell by the end of their senior year must return to Cornell to complete their degree or arrange for independent studies with Cornell professors that may be done off-campus but for which they will pay the College the regular tuition and fees.  A "term credit" is earned for the successful completion of a Cornell course taken in a given term and excludes adjunct credits, music lessons and ensembles (if the student is not a music major), transfer credit, and credits by examination.

  • Students who have received an approved AA or AS will be required to earn 16 credits at Cornell and will need to fulfill the requirements of their chosen major(s) and minor(s).