Incoming International Exchange Program

Thank you for your interest in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Exchange Program at Cornell University.  International undergraduate exchange students come to study with us through reciprocal exchange agreements with our partner universities.

Only students from our partner universities may come to CALS as exchange students. To apply, contact the office at your home university that coordinates international reciprocal exchange programs. You will complete a selection process with your home university.  Once your university approves and nominates you as an exchange student, you may apply to CALS.

Good luck! We hope to see you soon!

What can you expect?

Acceptance guidelines for the CALS Exchange Program

You should:

  • be an undergraduate* student from one of our exchange partner universities.
  • have a minimum cumulative GPA equivalent to a U.S. 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (above average grades).
  • have completed at least two full-time semesters (one full year) of college/university level studies and must continue to assume this status throughout your intended duration of study  at Cornell under the exchange program. 
  • refer to our areas of study to  ensure your academic interest relates to the mission of the college.  Once you begin to explore our undergraduate programs, you will quickly discover that they all contribute to defining the mission of our college.  Our majors fall within these broad areas: agriculture and food, social sciences, environmental sciences, and life sciences.  For a complete list of fields of study offered at CALS, please visit this page.
  • be proficient in the English  language. Unless explicitly waived by the CALS Exchange Office, you are required to submit either the Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] or the International English Language Testing System [IELTS] if you are from a non-English medium institution; and/or your first language is not English.
  • be recommended by their home institution/university.

* Graduate level students may be accepted under the terms of our agreement with your home university.  However, you will be admitted into CALS as an undergraduate.

If you meet the above guidelines and you wish to apply for the CALS Exchange Program, you must be currently enrolled at one of our exchange partner universities and be nominated by your home university.  Please contact the relevant office at your university which is responsible for student exchange programs to determine your eligibility.

What you'll need to apply

  • Completed Exchange Student Application Form: Typed, and signed by you and your home university. (Obtain from your home university exchange coordinator.)
  • Declaration of Finances Form (2R): Must be correctly completed or application cannot be processed.(Obtain from your home university exchange coordinator.)
  • Letters of Reference: Provide one letter of reference from a professor, lecturer, or employer, explaining your readiness to represent your university as an exchange student at Cornell University.  If English is not your native language, the letter of reference should include his/her general impression of your readiness to study in a fast-paced English-speaking environment.
  • Personal statement: Tell us why you want to spend a semester or year studying at Cornell University as a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Exchange Student.  Include personal characteristics, contributions you can make, personal benefits you anticipate, and how studying at CALS fits into your curriculum and career.  
  • Most recent official transcript(s) with an official grading system explanation:  Official seal of your home institution should be included.
  • Official score of a recognized Language Proficiency Test, if required.
  • Passport: Include a copy of the passport (personal information pages) on which you intend to travel to the United States. If you also have a U.S. passport, please provide that copy too. Make sure that your Passport(s) will not expire while you are in the United States.

All materials must be submitted to CALS by your home university exchange coordinator.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall semester or Academic Year: March 15
  • Spring semester: October 15