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Cornell University

External Transfer Students

The transition to Cornell from a different college or university can be both exciting and a bit daunting. As a transfer student, you have a foundation of college courses, which you will build on in your time at Cornell. There are many people at Cornell to help and support you while you are here. You need to reach out, ask questions, and take advantage of opportunities. As you continue your journey here at Cornell, what are a few things you should keep in mind?

Continuing Your Academic Journey at Cornell

In your academic journey at Cornell, establish a strong relationship with your advisor, understand credit transfer processes, and enroll in classes according to college guidelines. Explore campus resources such as tutoring centers, the library, counseling services, and career services. Adapt your study strategies and remain open to new teaching styles and campus culture to enhance your success in college courses.

Establish a relationship with your advisor

Your advisor is very often your first stop for questions. Schedule a meeting with them and think about questions you might want to ask. They can help you find classes based on your goals and the requirements of your major or college, and they can help you find help and support when you need it.

Academic credits and requirements

Make sure you understand the credit transfer process and know what courses you are receiving transfer credit for and the courses you need to fulfill your degree requirements. Familiarize yourself with your degree requirements and ensure that you're on track to meet these requirements.

Enroll in classes

Review the information available for your college and major as you are thinking about classes. At Cornell, we have something called "pre-enroll," which is when you can request courses for the upcoming semester. You should follow guidelines sent by your college about choosing classes. You enroll in classes using Student Center, which is also where you can see course enrollment information. Read more about enrolling in courses here.

Explore campus resources

Explore the resources available on campus, such as tutoring centers for getting help when you need, the Cornell University Library, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), and Central Career Services. These services can be invaluable in your academic journey.

Hone your success skills

Each institution has its unique environment, and it is important to be open to new teaching styles, grading systems, and campus culture. You already have a sense of what is needed to be successful in college courses, but be prepared to try new strategies if needed. Take some time to identify your academic supports and consider ways to connect with someone in each of your classes. You will find course specific information, including the course syllabus, on Canvas

Set your foundation and build community

To establish a solid foundation at Cornell, focus on building a sense of community by connecting with peers, faculty, and staff through clubs, student organizations, and residential communities. Additionally, prioritize self-care to balance your academic commitments, maintain connections with family and friends, and access resources like the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives for overall well-being.

Develop community and make connections

Think about ways to connect with peers as well as faculty and staff. There are many different clubs and student organizations you can be part of. Find one or two that you want to learn more about, but don’t overcommit. Campus Groups is a good place to start, but you can also find community in your residential community, in your classes, and through the Centers for Student Equity, Empowerment, and Belonging. It is also important to connect with the faculty who teach your classes.

Take care of yourself

There will be many new opportunities and also new expectations at Cornell. It is important to make time for things outside of your studies. Find ways to stay connected with family and friends from home, and to connect with new people here at Cornell. The Skorton Center for Health Initiatives and Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at Cornell Health have lots of resources and programs for finding balance and staying healthy.

Explore Experiential Learning and Career Options

Prioritize building a strong resume by considering internships, study abroad, and other experiences relevant to your interests. If further education is your goal, explore graduate or professional programs and the associated admission requirements.

Continue building your resume

Developing a resume that showcases your skills and experiences is essential. Think about if there are experiential opportunities that you want to participate in. Depending on your interests, these could include internships, study abroad, community-based learning, or undergraduate research. Consult Central Career Services or career services in your college for ideas on how to present these skills in your resume.

Look for networking opportunities

Use CUeLINKS ( pronounced “see-you-e-links” is a university-wide online networking platform used to connect you with Cornell alumni, your peers, faculty/staff and friends of Cornell to explore and achieve your academic, career, and personal goals. You can also attend career fairs, workshops, seminars, and conferences related to your field of study or career interests. If you are planning to continue your education after your bachelor’s degree, begin exploring graduate or professional programs and the testing required for admission.
A class meets outside Ives Hall on a warm fall day.