Transfer Credit Policy

Non-Cornell Credit Policies

The information below outlines the CALS college transfer credit policy and provides links to AP scores and placement, pre-approval forms to transfer course work into CALS, and the transfer course requirements.

Non-Cornell credits include:

  • Credit by Exam;
  • credit earned at an accredited college or university;
  • credit earned through the Ithaca College and Wells College Exchange Programs;
  • credit earned through Cornell Abroad;
  • CALS does not accept CLEP credit.

Non-Cornell credit is accepted by CALS when:

  • the credits are earned at an accredited institution;
  • the credits do not duplicate course work already completed at Cornell;
  • the credits have not been applied toward high school graduation requirements (Please note, a student earns credit in high school for successfully completing the AP class. If the student would like to earn credit in higher education they are required to take the AP exam administered by the College Board. If the student receives a sufficient score on their AP exam as approved by the respective department, the score on the AP exam will award the student credit/exemption out of a course.)
  • the grade earned is “C” or better; and
  • an official transcript is sent directly to the CALS Student Services Office from the college/university where the credits were completed.

Non-Cornell Credit can be applied in the following ways:

  • A transfer student may apply a maximum of 60 non-Cornell credits toward his or her graduation requirements. If more than 60 non-Cornell credits have been completed, the CALS Registrar will work with the student to determine which credits best fulfill CALS graduation requirements. Students are limited to 30 credit placement by exam credits (this includes all non-Cornell credit earned before a student’s first semester in a college/university)*effective fall 2019; the limit will be 15. Cornell Abroad (not CALS exchange) credits are limited to 15 credits per semester, 30 per academic year.
  • Non-Cornell credits are recorded on a student’s degree progress, and can be applied toward CALS credits, distribution requirements, and major requirements. However, non-Cornell credits are not reflected on a student’s official transcript nor do the grades received factor into the students Cornell GPA.
  • If a course has no comparable course at Cornell, the CALS Registrar will determine how the credit should be applied.
  • Faculty advisors determine how non-Cornell credit will be applied toward major requirements; the CALS Registrar determines how non-Cornell credit will be applied toward CALS graduation requirements.

Obtaining pre-approval of a transfer course (highly recommended prior to enrolling in a course):

  • Students who plan to take courses at another institution should complete transfer credit pre-approval form located on DUST, under the transfer equivalency link. It is possible that the course a student would like to complete has already been approved and is in the database on this site.
  • Students are not allowed to complete course work at an international institution during the fall/spring semester while they are on a leave from Cornell.

Please note: students may concurrently enroll in courses at both Cornell and another institution. However, a student must maintain the 12 academic credit minimum at Cornell.