We hope that the following frequently asked questions and answers below will help as you get to know the College of Human Ecology better. 

As you learn more about us, we strongly encourage prospective freshmen applicants to attend a College of Human Ecology information session. We do not schedule individual appointments with prospective freshmen.

Prospective transfer applicants are strongly encouraged to schedule a phone or in-person appointment with an Admissions Counselor well in advance of preparing an application. Call 607-255-5471 to schedule an appointment.

How would you distinguish Human Ecology from a liberal arts education?

While the Human Ecology curriculum provides students with a liberal arts foundation, our programs are also

  • Contemporary in focus

  • Applied and applicable to today's human issues

  • Profoundly interdisciplinary

  • Pre-professional in scope

  • Adaptable and flexible to meet the interests of our students.

We encourage you to take some time to review our curriculum as outlined by each department. This will help you further understand the difference between a Human Ecology education and a liberal arts education.

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What are the advantages of a Human Ecology education?

Human Ecology provides its students with a unique opportunity to explore their interests in an interdisciplinary way through a variety of perspectives. Our programs are organized around social issues instead of disciplines, which allows our students to pursue their interests in a meaningful way.

The Human Ecology experience is also focused on established learning goals that drive our approach to education. Other advantages include:

  • Human Ecology is a small college with the resources and benefits of a large Ivy League institution.

  • The collection of unique academic programs are unmatched in their areas for quality, depth and opportunity.

  • Majors/programs relate to contemporary issues, are adaptable and are highly interdisciplinary.

  • Students establish a strong liberal arts foundation that supports career specific preparation.

  • Students develop deep analytical skills, are self-directed yet team-oriented, and appreciate the world as complex, multicultural and dynamic.

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Can Human Ecology students take courses in other schools and colleges at Cornell?

Yes! In fact, taking courses across the colleges at Cornell University is a required part of the curriculum. Please visit the individual department’s websites for more information about curricular requirements.

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How can I become involved in undergraduate research?

Human Ecology students are heavily involved in research across departments and disciplines.  In fact, approximately 60% of our students have participated in research during their undergraduate careers.

There are a number of ways to become involved in research as an undergraduate including participation on a faculty member's research team, working with mentors to organize more individualized research projects, or pursuing research honors opportunities offered by some of our departments/majors.

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Which application form should I use to apply to the College of Human Ecology?

Visit www.admissions.cornell.edu/apply for application process and deadline information.

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Do I need to submit a portfolio or any other supplemental information if I am applying to the Design and Environmental Analysis, Apparel Design, or Fashion Design Management programs?

Yes, creative supplements are required for freshmen and transfer applicants to those programs. Please carefully review the Information and guidelines for the current admissions cycle. Do not refer to creative supplement guidelines that are not dated for the current admissions cycle.

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Which Standardized Exams are required and when do the scores need to be reported?

Each of Cornell's colleges has its own set of admissions requirements.

Prospective freshmen applicants should carefully review the admissions requirements to ensure that they pursue appropriate testing and coursework.

Prospective transfer applicants who are applying to transfer from a college/university outside of Cornell University should carefully review the transfer admissions requirements to ensure that complete the appropriate requirements.

International students applying as freshmen or transfers must review our international applicant requirements for information about TOEFL/IELTS exams.

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What are my chances of being accepted as a freshman? As a transfer?

Decisions are based on the applicant’s credentials within the context of the applicant pool for that year. Applicant pools differ each year, so we cannot provide an assessment of an applicant’s chances of admission.

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How do I schedule an interview?

The College of Human Ecology Admissions Staff does not conduct interviews.

Prospective transfer applicants are encouraged to make a phone or in-person appointment with an Admissions Counselor well in advance of submitting an application to discuss coursework requirements, their interests and the transfer application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 607-255-5471.

Our freshmen applicants are often contacted by the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network (CAAAN), a group of Cornell University alumni who provide another perspective about Cornell. This contact is not evaluative in nature.

CAAAN members initiate contacts with applicants. These contacts are not facilitated through the University Admissions Office or through the Human Ecology Admissions Office. CAAAN chapters are not available in all areas, so please do not fret if you do not receive a contact. Students who do not have the opportunity to participate in a CAAAN meeting are not at a disadvantage in the application process.

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How can I check if Cornell University and the College of Human Ecology have received my SAT/ACT scores, letters of recommendation, transcript, other pieces of my application, etc?

Once an applicant submits their application they will receive instructions regarding establishing an online application status account. Please use this account to determine which parts have been received.

We are unable to determine which letters of recommendation have been received and ask that you follow-up with your letter writers with any questions about their letters.

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I applied Early Decision and was postponed – what does that mean and what can I do at this point?

Early decision applicants who are postponed will be reconsidered in the regular decision pool. Students should continue to focus on their academics, as midyear grades are reviewed by the admissions committee. We encourage students to submit a written statement/letter regarding their interest in Human Ecology and the program to which they applied. Students can also submit updates regarding new awards, activities, internships, etc. Additional letters of recommendation are not encouraged at this point in the application process.

We do not recommend that postponed applicants and/or their families visit the College of Human Ecology in hopes that they can speak with an admissions counselor. Individual appointments are not granted.

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What courses should I complete if I plan to transfer to the College of Human Ecology?

The Admissions Committee, in conjunction with faculty from the academic departments, has a number of coursework requirements that represent a curriculum parallel to that of our current students.

Prospective transfers are encouraged to make a phone or in-person appointment with an Admissions Counselor well in advance of submitting an application to discuss coursework requirements, their interests and the transfer application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 607-255-5471.

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What does it mean that the College of Human Ecology is a “contract college” and how does that status affect Human Ecology students?

The College of Human Ecology, along with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and the College of Veterinary Medicine have a unique relationship with New York State. In exchange for New York State subsidies, the contract colleges conduct research, outreach and extension services that serve our surrounding communities, the nation and the world. The tuition rate is also subsidized by New York State for in-state students.

This relationship holds consistent with the missions of the College of Human Ecology and benefits our students in a variety of ways. In addition to receiving a Cornell University education, having access to all of the resources available at Cornell and living, working and studying with students from the other contract and privately endowed colleges, our students also are able to help the College fulfill the partnership by participating in undergraduate research and outreach.

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