Students are responsible for fulfilling all the requirements of their curriculum. Click on each section to learn more about the requirements to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Minimum total credits: 120 academic credits are required for graduation.
- Repeated courses increase the number of credits required for graduation by the number of credits in the course. These credits do count toward the minimum 12 credits required for full-time status.
- Review or supplemental courses (e.g., 1000- to 1099-level) increase the number of credits required for graduation by the number of credits in the course. These credits do not count toward the minimum 12 credits required for full-time status.
- Physical Education courses do not count toward 120 credits for graduation. They do not count toward the minimum 12 credits required for full-time status.
Minimum credits at Cornell: 60 academic credits must be completed at Cornell (includes CALS Exchange, Cornell in Rome, Capital Semester and Cornell in Washington).
Maximum non-Cornell credit: 60 (AP, CASE, IB, GCE, French Baccalauréat, transfer coursework, Cornell Abroad) can be applied toward degree requirements. Students are limited to 15 non-Cornell credits earned before matriculation as a first-year student from an accredited college/university.
55 CALS credits are required for graduation. CALS credits include all courses from departments within CALS and courses offered in Applied Economics and Management, Biological Sciences, Biology & Society, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Information Science, Nutritional Science, and The Department of Statistics and Data Science.
100 minimum letter-graded credits: Prorated Chart for non-Cornell credit.
15 credits of “non-structured” coursework can be applied toward graduation requirements, including internships, teaching assistant, research, and independent study.
The University has two requirements for graduation that must be fulfilled by all undergraduate students: the swim test, and physical education courses. Information on university graduation requirements are on the Registrar's Office website.
Physical education (PE): Successful completion of two 1-credit non-academic PE Cornell courses with a satisfactory grade (SX). Students are expected to complete the Physical Education Requirement in their first two semesters at Cornell.
Swim test: Successful competition of the swim test. Swim tests are typically taken as part of the orientation process.
*Exception: Students who externally transfer to Cornell from another accredited college or university are exempt from the physical education and swim test requirement.
Eight semesters of full-time study are expected. External transfer students are credited with one semester in residence for each full-time semester (or equivalent) earned at another institution.
Internal transfer students must be enrolled in CALS for at least two semesters.
The final semester before graduation must be completed in a Cornell program as a full-time student. (The School of Continuing Education does not count towards a final semester of residency).
Students in the ninth and final semester may be eligible to apply for prorated tuition.
A minimum cumulative GPA: 2.00 or above must be maintained. The cumulative GPA includes all letter grades earned at Cornell.
A student must be enrolled in the following to maintain a legal CALS Schedule and to maintain good academic standing:
- A minimum of 12 academic credits per semester is required to be a full-time student in good academic standing. NOTE: Students must enroll in an average of 15 credits per semester to be on track to graduate in 8 semesters.
- Students in good academic standing may enroll in a maximum of 22 credits with the exception of first-year students in their first semester who may only enroll in a maximum of 18 credits (see below).
- Students must enroll in at least one CALS course each semester until 55 CALS credits have been successfully completed.
- Review or supplemental courses (1000 to 1099 level courses and Physical Education (PE) courses) will not count toward the 12 credit minimum required for full-time status.
- First-year students may not enroll in more than 18 academic credits (including PE or review/supplemental courses) in their first semester and are limited to one S-U optional course per semester.