For an explanation of transfer credit codes found on Cornell College transcripts, click here.

If I want to take a course during the summer and have it count toward my degree at Cornell, what do I need to do?

  1. File a Transfer Credit petition, available online or from the Registrar's Office, and approved by the chair of the department concerned (e.g. for an art course, the chair of the Art Department).
  2. When you've completed the course, have an official academic transcript sent directly to the Registrar at Cornell.

How do I know if a course will transfer to Cornell?

File the petition. Generally speaking, the College will accept liberal arts courses equivalent or similar to those offered by Cornell, provided they are completed through regionally-accredited colleges or universities, don't represent a repetition of coursework you've already completed, and are passed with grades of C (not C-) or higher.

What do you mean by "liberal arts" courses?

You should be looking for broad-based courses in the humanities, fine arts, natural or social sciences similar to those offered at Cornell. Overly specialized or technical courses, or those in disciplines beyond Cornell's curriculum should be avoided. A course in the maintenance and repair of farm machinery may be valuable to you, but we won't accept it as part of your Cornell degree.

How will transfer credit affect my GPA?

It won't. Only Cornell courses are computed into your GPA. But, remember, you don't earn any credit at all for a transfer course unless you earn a grade of C or higher.

What about Pass/Fail, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, or Credit/No Credit grades?

Unless the school where you complete the courses defines that grade as C or higher, the course won't transfer.

What if I forgot to petition before completing the course?

Petition now. No guarantees, but if it's an acceptable course with an acceptable grade, you can still receive credit for it.

What about a college course I took while in high school, or the summer between high school and Cornell?

If it seems like a transferable course with an acceptable grade, arrange to have an official transcript sent to the Registrar. We'll let you know if it's accepted.

How do I figure out the amount of Cornell course credit I'll receive?

Divide semester hours by four, quarter hours by six. For example, a course carrying three semester hours would transfer to Cornell as 0.75 course credits. Results not divisible by .25 are rounded down (e.g. four quarter hours = .50 course credits).

But if the transfer course I take is equivalent to a course offered at Cornell for a full course credit, shouldn't I receive a full course credit in transfer?

Not a chance. The amount of transfer credit awarded for a course completed at another college or university is determined by the amount of credit granted by the institution where the work was completed. This is one of the universal tenets of transfer articulation.

Is there a limit to the total number of transfer credits I can apply to my degree?

There are several limits. A maximum of 16 Cornell course credits (64 semester or 96 quarter hours) will be accepted in transfer from a junior or community college. No more than 1.5 course credits (four semester or six quarter hours) may transfer from correspondence or extension courses. If you entered the College as a transfer student and have completed fewer that 16 term credits at Cornell, you must complete your final eight credits in residence and may not transfer credit back to complete your degree.

Who determines if a transfer course will fulfill a requirement in my major?

Your major department. It should be so indicated on your Transfer Credit petition.

What about a general education requirement for the B.A. or B.Mus.?

The relevant Cornell department. Again, it should be indicated on your petition. Note that in order to satisfy a general education requirement, a transfer course must carry at least three semester or four quarter hours of credit.

Can I repeat at another school a course I've already completed at Cornell?

If you received a grade of F for the course at Cornell, you may repeat it for credit elsewhere, but it won't raise your gpa or remove the original grade from your transcript. If you've passed the course (or an equivalent course) at Cornell, we won't give you additional credit for taking it again.

May I take a course through another school during the academic year, concurrent with my courses at Cornell?

No. There are a few circumstances in which you might petition. Consult the current Cornell Course Catalogue or the Registrar for details.

Can I complete my Cornell degree by transferring credits from another institution?

Yes, to a maximum of two course credits, provided your petitions are approved. Transfer students with fewer than 16 term credits at Cornell may not complete their degrees in this way.

Will approved transfer courses and grades appear on my Cornell transcript?

The courses, yes; the grades, no.

What about semester abroad or other off-campus study?

Whole 'nother ballgame. See the International and Off-campus Studies Web site.