Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalogue 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalogue

Additional Academic Opportunities


Independent Credit Bearing Courses

Each department or each program offers opportunities for independent credit (280/380, 289/389, 290/390/490, 297/397). No more than four of these credits may be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirement for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Science degree. There is no limit to the number of these courses that a B.S.S. candidate may take.

280/380. Internships (1/4, 1/2, 1)

Internships are traditionally off-campus experiential learning activities designed to provide students with opportunities to make connections between the substance and methods of academic study and the application of that study to work or service. Internships entail pre-professional work projects conducted under the guidance of a practicing professional supervisor, and help students develop leadership and/or service skills. For-credit internships are sponsored by a Cornell faculty member and supervised by a representative of the organization or firm where the internship resides. For-credit internships are open only to students who have completed at least eight course credits, at least two of which are from a department related to the internship.  Students wishing to pursue an on-campus internship must work with the sponsoring Cornell department to ensure the job responsibilities of the internship are consistent with professional work experience. Faculty sponsors and the Berry Career Institute should be consulted during this process. Traditional work study positions will not be considered as internships. 

Students wishing to complete an internship not for credit should contact the Berry Career Institute.

In order to qualify for academic credit, students must complete the Ingenuity in Action form and syllabus (template is available on the Registrar’s web site) that includes the following information:

  • Approval of a professor who will be the internship sponsor.
  • The location, dates, and times that the internship will take place.
  • The contact information of the on-site supervisor and a job description from the supervisor which lists the intern’s responsibilities and how their performance will be evaluated.
  •  A statement of at least 250 words from the student explaining how this internship contributes to their academic and career goals.
  • A statement from the student describing the method that the student will document their activities (e.g. daily journals, weekly reports, and/or a final, reflective essay from the student).
  • The determination of credit for the internship.  A valid internship will include a minimum of 150 hours to receive one course credit, 75 hours to receive one-half course credit, and 37.5 hours to receive one-quarter credit.

The contract and syllabus must be submitted to the Registrar at least one week before the start of the Block in which the internship is to be credited. Internship credit will not be approved retroactively. (CR)

Internships that are taken concurrently with block course(s):

Students are permitted to receive a maximum of one credit per semester for internships that extend over multiple blocks while concurrently enrolled in regular Cornell block courses during Cornell’s academic year only if they have:

  1. junior or senior standing,
  2. a grade point average of at least 2.5, and
  3. filed an Internship Contract on the Ingenuity in Action portal at least one week prior to the start of the internship.

While enrolled in their block courses during the Fall and Spring semesters, students are permitted to be enrolled in only one concurrent credit-bearing internship or consortial course at a time.

  • Students cannot have both a concurrent credit-bearing internship and a consortial course at the same time as their block courses.
  • For internships that are concurrent with block courses, students may earn a maximum of one internship credit per semester.
  • For consortial courses that are concurrent with block courses, students may only enroll in one per semester and may count up to two of these credits toward their total 31 credits to graduate.

296/396/496. Original Projects (1/2-1)

Students may do intensive work in close supervision of a faculty member in which the outcome is a substantial project that involves original work (e.g., research, synthesis paper, work of art, or composition). To enroll in an Original Project, a student must file an Original Project contract and a syllabus endorsed by a faculty member.  Credit for Original Projects is open only to students who have completed at least eight course credits, at least two of which are in the same department as the project. (OP)

In order to qualify for academic credit, an Original Project Contract (available on the Registrar’s Office web site) and syllabus must be filed with the registrar one week before the start of the block in which the project is to be credited that includes the following information:

  • Approval of a professor who will be the project supervisorsponsor.
  • A syllabus that includes:
    • The location, dates, and times that the project takes place.
    • A statement of at least 250 words from the student explaining how this project contributes to their academic goals.
    • A description of the method that the student will use to document their activities (e.g.  paper, daily log or journal, presentation).
    • The determination of credit for the project.

290/390/490. Independent Study (1/2-1)

Students may do intensive work in a subject or area not normally included in the regular course offerings or else pursue in depth a topic encountered as part of previous studies. The arrangement is that of a tutorial, in which the student works independently under the supervision of a faculty tutor on a topic suggested by the student and approved by the tutor. Independent Study is open only to students who have completed the following requirements: 290 - a writing-designated course (W) and a minimum of seven course credits (at least two of which are in the same or a related department/interdisciplinary major as the project); 390 - a writing designated course (W) and a minimum of fourteen course credits (at least four of which are in the same or a related department/interdisciplinary major as the project).  Independent Study may not be used to satisfy the distribution requirements for the B.A. or B.Mus. degree and may fulfill major requirements only if the department approves. Students may, with departmental approval, design their own off-campus independent studies . Students should contact the Office of Off-Campus and International Studies if they plan to complete an independent study abroad. To enroll in an Independent Study, a student must file a contract endorsed by the faculty tutor and the chair of the department. The contract and a syllabus must be submitted to the Registrar at least one week before the start of the Block in which the project is to be credited. Exceptions must be approved by the Academic Standing Committee. (OP)

In order to qualify for academic credit, the Independent Study Contract (available on the Registrar’s Office web site) must be filed with the registrar that includes the following information:

  • Approval of a professor supervising the study.
  • A syllabus created by the student and faculty member  which includes:
    • A description of the study or project
    • A list of learning outcomes
    • A preliminary list of readings.
    • A statement on the method of evaluation

Arranged Course (1)

Arranged courses are courses that are offered in the Cornell curriculum but are taken by the student as an individual tutorial, not as part of a regular class.  The Arranged Courses will carry the regularly offered course number and the corresponding course requirements. To enroll in an arranged course a student must fill out an add/drop form signed by their faculty sponsor and include a syllabus. Students must consult the faculty member whom they wish to direct their arranged course well in advance of the applicable block.  Arranged courses are open only to students who have completed at least eight course credits.  

Summer Study

Students seeking credit for summer study begin by consulting a faculty member in the department in which they wish to earn the credit, who can tell them whether the department will sponsor their project and what, if any, prerequisites or other conditions must be satisfied in order to obtain departmental approval. Although some departments may suggest topics or put students in contact with prospective internship supervisors, most students develop their own proposals and contacts.
To register for a Summer Study course, students must file a proposal with the Registrar, available from the Registrar’s Office, before leaving for the summer (the earlier the better in case there is a problem obtaining the permission of the Academic Standing Committee). The prospectus must be approved and signed by the faculty sponsor and the department chair. Late or retroactive registration is not permitted.

The Summer Individual Study or Internship must be completed by August 15 during the summer in which it is undertaken.

For information about Summer Study courses, consult the Registrar.

Off-Campus Programs

General information about off-campus study, travel abroad, passport applications, etc., is available from the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies. Students may participate in multiple off-campus study opportunities during their career at Cornell. In order to be eligible to participate in any off-campus study at Cornell students must:

  1. have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (unless a higher grade point average is specified);
  2. be in good disciplinary standing with the College; and
  3. be in good financial standing with the College.

The Office of Off-Campus Studies will request the appropriate information from the Registrar, the Dean of Students, and Student Accounts Manager to determine a student’s eligibility.

Students are responsible for contacting the Residence Life Office to discuss how off-campus study will affect their housing assignments, especially for off-campus study which takes place prior to or immediately following any college break.

Participants are responsible for knowing the regulations in this section as well as those governing their chosen program. By the act of registering for a program, the student signifies that he or she understands and agrees to abide by these regulations.

Cornell Off-Campus Courses

Cornell Off-Campus Courses are taught by Cornell faculty members in locations throughout the U.S. and the world. Offerings are advertised each year in the Course Schedule. Students must register for Cornell Off-Campus Courses in the same way that they register for regular courses. (See also Registration ) If students are using an off-campus course as one of their Ingenuity in Action requirements, they must also register for the corresponding experiential learning course code (e.g. EXP 104).

  1. All Cornell Off-Campus Courses require an additional course cost that is not covered by either the regular tuition or financial aid. All published course costs are estimates only and are subject to an increase or decrease in price (not to exceed 10% of the original course cost) until 30 days prior to the start of the Block in which the course is to be offered. A non-refundable deposit of 10% of the course cost, or a minimum of $150 will be due within 10 days of the close of the registration period during which students register for the course. Students who have not made the initial deposit will be removed from the course and receive a “no course” designation on their course schedule. Payment schedules for each course are determined by the faculty instructor and/or the Office of Off-Campus Studies and are published prior to spring registration. Students adding an off-campus course after the registration period closes are required to submit the deposit and any appropriate scheduled payment at the time they add the course. Travel reservations will not be made for a student who has not adhered to the payment schedule. Failure to adhere to the posted payment schedule may result in removal from the course. (See also Adding and Dropping Courses , paragraph 10.) 
  2. Students traveling on Cornell off-campus courses are required to participate in the group travel arranged by the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies. The Office of International and Off-Campus studies may arrange travel to accommodate a student wishing to extend their stay in the destination city/country provided that the student: 1) secure permission from the course instructor and the Office of Off-Campus Studies before group transportation has been purchased and 2) pays any additional travel costs associated with the extended stay or travel adjustments.
  3. Initial eligibility is determined at the time the non-refundable deposit is made. Students who have paid the deposit and are denied participation at the time of the initial eligibility check will be refunded their deposits. Final eligibility is determined one month before the course. If a student is placed on academic, disciplinary, or financial probation between the time of the initial check and the final check, their participation will be reviewed by the course instructor, the Associate Dean, and the Dean of Students. The student may be removed from the course or may be given permission to participate with clearly established guidelines. Should a student be placed on disciplinary probation after the final eligibility check but prior to the departure date for the off-campus course they will be removed from the course. Faculty members retain full discretion as to student enrollment in their courses.
  4. In addition to fulfilling all eligibility and payment requirements, students participating in Cornell Off-Campus Courses are required to:
    1. attend all pre-departure sessions held by the faculty instructor, Student Health Services, and the Office of Off-Campus Studies;
    2. complete and submit all documents required by the faculty instructor, Student Health Services, and/or the Office of Off-Campus Studies; and
    3. fulfill additional requirements, as defined in writing by the faculty instructor and the Office of Off-Campus Studies.
  5. Students who drop or are removed from an off-campus course are only eligible for refunds of monies not already committed as a result of their anticipated participation, less the non-refundable deposit. A student’s refund may also be reduced if their non-participation in the course results in a higher per student cost on an existing contract with a third-party organization (e.g. tour company). Students who drop or are removed from an off-campus course less than 60 days prior to the start of the course is scheduled to begin are liable for payment of the full cost of the program. The Office of Off-Campus Studies will provide information to assist students with their inquiries regarding changes to existing flight reservations.
  6. Students participating in Cornell off-campus courses are held to all policies and procedures outlined in The Compass as well as any other guidelines outlined by the faculty instructor. Faculty instructors, with assistance from appropriate college administrators when requested/required, are responsible for evaluating the severity of and responding appropriately to all misconduct occurring throughout the duration of the off-campus course. Student misconduct on off-campus courses may result in verbal warnings, written warnings and/or dismissal from the course. Return travel to the college as a result of dismissal from a course is at the student’s expense. Any behavior warranting a written warning or dismissal from the course must be reported to the Office of Off-Campus Studies. Participation in future off-campus courses by students who have received written warnings and/or who have been dismissed from off-campus courses will not be allowed unless a successful agreement is made in a meeting with the student, the faculty instructor, the Dean of Students, and the Office of Off-Campus Studies.

Off-Campus Study through Outside Provider

  1. Off-Campus Study courses or programs offered by outside providers are numbered in the 900s [numbers appear in square brackets at the end of each description], and are listed at the end of the Off-Campus Programs section.
  2. Upon approval, students must register for the program at the Registrar’s Office as for any other course and notify the Registrar whenever there are changes.
  3. All courses are considered electives. Students who wish to have one or more of these courses count toward fulfilling their B.A. or major requirements must use a Petition for Transfer of Credit to obtain written permission from the Cornell department concerned and file this petition with the Registrar before beginning the program.
  4. If, after a student has been accepted by the host institution, he or she drops out of the program, the student is liable for any expenses the student’s withdrawal caused the host institution, the sponsoring agency, and/or Cornell College. Any student who wishes to return to Cornell during the period when he or she was to have been a participant in an off-campus program must make arrangements in advance with the Division of Student Affairs and the Business Office.
  5. Students who choose to be off campus during the second half of their senior year do so with the full understanding that they may have to postpone their graduation to August or later because Cornell’s Commencement may occur earlier than the completion of the off-campus program or earlier than the host institution can process and forward their transcript to Cornell. In such cases, the College assumes no responsibility for the student to graduate with their class.
  6. If, after completing the program, the participant does not re-enroll at Cornell, the courses taken and the credits earned in the program will not be recorded on the student’s Cornell transcript unless he or she pays a processing fee of $100 for each course transferred.

Programs Pre-Approved for Funding

Students may apply to have their need-based Cornell funding applied to programs that have been approved by the Cornell faculty for listing in this Catalogue (approved programs listed at the end of this section). Students who are not approved for funding but who meet eligibility criteria may still participate in an approved off-campus study program but will not be able to have their need-based Cornell funding applied. (See Other Off-Campus Study below).

  1. Students must be in good financial standing with the college in order to participate in pre-approved off-campus programs. Initial financial eligibility will be determined at the time the petition is submitted. Final eligibility is determined one month prior to the start of the program.
  2. Students must have completed at least four credits at Cornell prior to the program start date.
  3. The number given in parentheses after the title indicates the maximum amount of course credit that will be awarded by Cornell; however, participants who do not take or pass all parts of the program will receive credit only for the work actually completed. Normally, students will not receive more course credits than the number of Cornell Blocks encompassed in their program.
  4. Students approved for funding receive Cornell CR (if C or higher) or NC (see Credit by Transfer  and Grades ). The original grades will appear as annotations on the student’s Cornell transcript but are not calculated into the student’s Cornell grade point average.
  5. The provider’s application, deposit, letters of recommendation, etc., should not be sent to the host institution or sponsoring agency until the student has received formal notification from the Office of International and Off-Campus Study that he or she has been granted funding to participate. Admission to most programs is competitive and requires the approval of both Cornell and the host institution.
  6. For these programs, the College reserves the right to limit the number of students and/or the amount of funding per student available for participation in any academic year. The Ingenuity in Action Committee prioritizes each petition based on the following criteria:
    1. students who have received no prior support through financial aid or Cornell funds, including campus programs and scholarships for off-campus study as a Cornell student;
    2. students who intend to go off-campus as seniors, as juniors, or as sophomores, in that order of preference;
    3. students who apply for ACM-sponsored programs;
    4. the merits of the student’s written statement of purpose, in which the student describes the features of the program that are of special importance and explains how the program relates to the Cornell course of study and to general educational goals;
    5. the merits of a recommendation (if supplied) from the program director, an academic advisor, or instructor who can testify to the relevance of the program to the student’s studies, and who can comment on the student’s ability to participate successfully (academically and socially); and
    6. the student’s cumulative grade point average.
    7. the student’s level of financial need.
  7. For students approved to have their need-based Cornell funding applied to the period of time the student is studying with the affiliated program, the College will pay the program all or part of the student’s tuition, depending upon the program charges. If the program tuition is less than Cornell’s charges for the time period, no adjustment in Cornell charges will be made. Need-based Cornell funding does not cover transportation, lodging, and meals. Because each program is structured differently, students, before submitting application, should ascertain the actual costs by conferring with the Student Accounts Manager in the Business Office and the Office of Financial Assistance. Students are not allowed to use their tuition exchange or remission benefit for these programs.

Other Off-Campus Study/Academic Leave of Absence

Students who were not approved for funding to participate in pre-approved off-campus programs or students who wish to study on programs that have not been pre-approved by Cornell College should fill out the Petition for Off-Campus Studies Program form to be turned into the Office of International and Off-Campus Study.

  1. Students must have completed at least four credits at Cornell prior to program start date.
  2. Students will not receive more course credits than the number of Cornell terms encompassed in their program.
  3. Students will register for ALA 701 for international off campus coursework or ALA 702 for domestic off campus coursework.
  4. Credits by transfer (other than summer school) while a student is participating in an unaffiliated program will only be accepted when approved in advance by the Academic Standing Committee. Grades will be posted as transfer work, i.e., as “Credit” only, provided grades of “C” or better are earned. Grades are not calculated into the student’s Cornell grade point average.
  5. If approved by the Director of Financial Assistance, the Registrar is agreeable to the sponsoring college or university, and if the duration of the program will not exceed one academic year, the two institutions may enter into a consortium or contractual agreement. Students should contact the Office of Financial Assistance to determine if they are eligible for an agreement and which type of agreement applies to the program. Under either arrangement, the College will consider the student to be enrolled at Cornell while participating in the approved program, and will provide any federal and state financial assistance to which the student is entitled. Cornell-funded scholarship and aid monies are not generally available to students participating in non-affiliated programs. Because each program is structured differently, students should ascertain the actual costs by conferring with the Student Accounts Manager in the Business Office and the Office of Financial Assistance prior to submitting an application.
  6. Students taking an Academic Leave of Absence will pay only the program costs, unless Cornell is the credit granting institution, (e.g. ACM courses).

Exchange Programs

Exchange programs may be available in Japan, Korea, and Northern Ireland. Application deadlines vary; contact the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies for information about current exchange programs at least one year in advance.

Cornell-Approved International Off-Campus Programs

ACM Japan Study

Become an international citizen as you explore Japanese culture, build your language skills, and experience daily life in the bustling, dynamic city of Tokyo. For more than 50 years, Japan Study has offered students multiple ways to learn about this complex society, which has maintained both strong cultural traditions and its position as a global technology superpower.

American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)

Study Abroad Programs for U.S. College Students. U.S. college students can study at 29 international universities while earning academic credit. Semester, summer, January term and academic year programs are available.

CAPA: The Global Education Network

Through our education centers worldwide, we offer students an unparalleled opportunity for growth and exploration of their world. Imagine opening your front door every morning to the streets of an exciting global city like Barcelona, London, or Sydney. Around you, life in this vibrant world unfolds against a rich cultural landscape. You head to class, a field trip location, or your internship, and return each day having created life-long memories, connected with friends and local colleagues, and learned a skill or two useful for your future career. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to explore and discover all the city has to offer, including food, art, architecture, and local attractions unique to each CAPA global city.

Carleton Global Engagement

Carleton champions an interdisciplinary, liberal arts approach to learning with the highest commitment to academic excellence. Our Global Engagement Programs emphasize:

  • Experiential learning
  • Field research projects
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum
  • Engagement with local communities
  • Rigorous academic standards

Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE)

Since 1947, nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization CIEE has been bringing the world together, advancing peace by building bridges of mutual understanding between different people, different countries, and different cultures.

This year CIEE is celebrating 75 years of helping people develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world through people-to-people exchange programs. We change lives, our alumni change the world.

Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA)

Make the world your classroom and focus entirely on gaining global perspective while taking academic courses abroad. These program offerings run during fall, spring, J-Term, and summer semesters. Our wide range of study only program options enrich your academic experience with built-in immersive cultural activities and excursions.

IES Abroad

Our study abroad programs allow you to choose courses based on your area of study and where you want to travel. Other details, like your housing, field trips, and on-site support are all built into the program. Learn more about what’s included in our study abroad programs. 

College study abroad is your chance to live and study in another country while earning college credit. Whether you choose to spend a semester, summer, or year studying abroad, your IES Abroad courses and experiential learning opportunities-think internships, community-based learning placements, field trips, and more-are designed to immerse you into the local culture. Because while studying abroad, the world is your classroom.

School for International Training Programs

The College Semester Abroad program of the School for International Training (SIT/World Learning) provides a unique opportunity to experience other cultures through language study, a homestay, and cross-cultural orientation. Each participant, in consultation with the academic study director on site, plans and completes an independent study project. Most SIT programs also include intensive language instruction. To undertake any of the following programs, the student must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher at the end of the Block preceding the start of the program and have satisfied the program prerequisites, if any.

Each program awards four Cornell course credits. The particular nature of the credit varies with each program. The program selection changes annually, so for complete and up-to-date details and program descriptions for programs offered in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific, consult the SIT web page [http://www.sit.edu/studyabroad/], or the Cornell program advisor. [SIT 988]

Cornell-Approved Domestic Off-Campus Programs

Domestic off-campus programs are occasionally added and removed as interest, safety concerns, and financial feasibility change. For latest program information, contact the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies.

ACM River Semester

Travel from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico as part of this distinctive educational expedition. Advance your undergraduate studies with a customized curriculum built around environmental justice and social change in the Mississippi watershed.