A Mission-Focused Approach

The College of Human Ecology Admissions Team practices selective admissions and takes a mission-focused approach to the comprehensive review of our deep, diverse, and talented applicant pool. 

We consider a range of selection criteria linked to the College of Human Ecology's mission and education, as well as the value an applicant will bring to the College of Human Ecology and broader University communities. In addition to applicants' academic readiness and rigor, perspective, and life and other out-of-classroom experiences, we consider the characteristics and skills that our successful students, community members, and alumni have demonstrated.

Getting Started

Knowing yourself is one of the most important steps as you begin your college search. Creating a moment of reflection to learn more about your strengths and weaknesses, what engages you, and what environments stretch you will help you thoughtfully consider your choices and find an undergraduate experience, not just an undergraduate education.

Being well informed regarding the institutions on your list is also important. Learn about what makes the Human Ecology experience so meaningful, our academic programs, and how to best prepare for the possibilities ahead. You can flip through the Human Ecology Viewbook* and watch our recorded information sessions and the Ask Cornell: College of Human Ecology Q&A.

Also, join the University's contact list to receive emails, electronic invitations to programs, and important admissions updates. Select “Human Ecology” in the "College Interests" section at the bottom of the form.

Admissions Selection Factors

Competitive and compelling candidates demonstrate...

  • strong academic performance in a challenging curriculum that includes depth in core math and science courses throughout the high school career regardless of your choice of major.
  • a clearly articulated connection to the college mission and an understanding of how the academic programs will support your interests in addressing contemporary human challenges. (Please directly answer the College of Human Ecology's Cornell Supplemental Essay prompt!).
  • active engagement in school and greater communities through a variety of opportunities including extracurricular activities, meaningful service work, paid positions, internships, etc. [COVID 19 note: We realize that the global COVID-19 pandemic might have limited the available opportunities. We will have a record of your pre-COVID involvement, and we encourage you to be creative about how you might continue to serve and be involved in a safe way that is consistent with public health guidelines. 
  • and an outwardly focused and observant perspective. 
  • NOTE: Those applying to our Design and Environmental Analysis and our Fashion Design and Management majors are required to submit a design supplement in addition to the primary application materials. Carefully review the instructions and focus on showcasing your best creative thinking and problem-solving through this required component. 

Review our First Year Application Tips for more help as you prepare your application. 

Review Cornell University's Freshman Admissions Requirements for information about required coursework, testing, and supplements. Please note Cornell University's updated standardized exam policy for those applying for Fall 2021.

*Download the College of Human Ecology Viewbook version that is Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. PDF is 45MB in size.