Apply to the Major

Admission for Prospective Freshmen and Transfer Students

If you would like to major in Biological Sciences at Cornell you will need to apply to either the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The opportunities and requirements for the biological sciences major are the same in both colleges, we advise you to make your college choice according to your secondary interests. So spend some time visiting both college web sites to learn more about their respective academic offerings beyond Biology and contact the respective college admission’s office with any questions.

Biological sciences majors are supported by the Office of Undergraduate Biology which is the home to four professional staff advisors and two support staff.

For Current Students

The Office of Undergraduate Biology utilizes a unique first-year advising program which supports both freshmen and transfer students during their first year at Cornell University. First-year students who are in our advising program are supported by a unique advising structure. They are assigned both a student advisor and a faculty advisor who support them throughout their first year at Cornell University.

Freshmen who are not part of our advising program and who are interested in adding the biological sciences major are not able to do so until fall of their sophomore year. However they can unofficially affiliate with the major, which means they can make an appointment with an OUB advisor any time, will be added to our first year listserv, welcome to attend any of our programs, and will be asked to attend a required freshmen planning meeting which are hosted during the spring semester.

Upper-class students (sophomore, junior, and seniors) who matriculated as first year students are able to apply to the major by completing the Application to the Major & Declaration of Concentration.

Students who externally transfer to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and seek to change their major to biological sciences will not be considered unless they were admissible to the major in accordance with the CALS transfer admissions criteria for biological sciences at the time of matriculation to Cornell.

Students who have met the CALS transfer admissions criteria must complete one semester at Cornell before they will be considered for the major. They must also meet with an OUB advisor to have their transfer credit reviewed to determine which major requirements have been met.