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Degree Requirements

Departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences foster study for the bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in over 20 major programs. To qualify for the degree, students must fulfill requirements established by the faculty of the college and administered through the Office of Academic Programs. Students are admitted into a single major and have the option during their academic career to pursue a second major within CALS as well as complete one or more minors offered by the university. 

Graduating early, late or elsewhere  

It is expected that students will make progress on graduation requirements each semester and will complete requirements for graduation within eight semesters. Students are able to apply non-Cornell credit to graduate in less than 8 academic semesters. Students wishing to make any changes to their degree date are able to request an updated degree date in their junior year:

  1. On the CALS Resources webpage, choose 'CALS Application to Update Degree Standing'
  2. Submit the online form for review

Students may delay graduation to complete requirements for the college, including requirements for one major. Delayed graduation will be approved only for compelling academic reasons that prevented completion of requirements within the expected period. Compelling academic reasons is defined as a circumstance beyond a student’s control that prevented taking the necessary courses or credits in a timely fashion.

In some cases students need an additional course beyond their expected graduation date and are unable to complete this course at Cornell University. In this situation a student can request to complete their course work at another institution (up to 8 academic credits). To do this a student must complete the form to Complete remaining coursework/credits at another institution.

  1. Attain pre-approval of the course the student would like to take by completing a transfer pre-approval form.
  2. On the CALS Resources webpage, choose 'CALS Student Petitions'
  3. Choose the bullet 'Complete remaining coursework/credits are another institution'
  4. Submit the petition
  5. Request an update to the expected degree date

Once the course is complete the student must send an official transcript to the CALS Office of Student Services verifying a grade of “C” or better. When the transcript is received, the students degree will be posted for the next eligible degree date (example: transfer received June 5; the student will be an August Graduate).

Students wishing to make any changes to their degree date, including finishing elsewhere are able to ask questions and request their record to be changed through DUST.

See more policy information on this topic.