Prospective First-Year Students
A Mission-Focused Approach
The College of Human Ecology Undergraduate 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. See below for more information about our selection factors.
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.
- Flip through the Human Ecology Viewbook*.
- Watch our recorded information sessions and Ask Cornell: College of Human Ecology Q&A.
- Join us for our CHE Live information sessions.
- Sign up for 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.
As you move through the college search and engage with the College of Human Ecology, keep in mind the following.
- Interviews are not offered.
- Contacting faculty and academic departments directly is strongly discouraged. Those interested in Design + Environmental Analysis can email the D+EA Academic Program Coordinator with questions; those interested in Fashion Design & Management can email the department with questions. The design departments are not offering tours of their spaces, nor are they offering design supplement consultations at this time.
*Download the College of Human Ecology Viewbook version that is Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. PDF is 45MB in size.
Undergraduate Admissions Selection Factors
Undergraduate Admissions Selection Factors
- an outstanding record of academic achievement in a rigorous curriculum that includes depth in core math and science courses throughout the high school career regardless of your choice of major.
- a strong, clearly articulated connection to the college mission and an understanding of how the academic programs will support your interests in addressing contemporary human challenges demonstrated through a thoughtful supplemental essay response and engaged participation in school and greater community. (Tip: Directly answer the College of Human Ecology's Cornell Supplemental Essay prompt!).
- active engagement in school and greater communities and testing of your academic/career interests through a variety of opportunities including extracurricular activities, meaningful service work, paid work positions, internships, shadowing, etc. [COVID 19 note: We realize that the global COVID-19 pandemic might have limited the available opportunities. We encourage you to be creative about how you serve and are involved in a safe way that is consistent with public health guidelines. We will also have a record of your pre-COVID involvement.]
- volunteer and/or work experience.
- and an outwardly focused and observant perspective and point of view.
- review our First-year Application Tips for more as you prepare your application.
- Design & Environmental Analysis and Fashion Design & Management applicants 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.
- Carefully review Cornell University's first-year admissions requirements for information about testing, required/supporting admissions materials, and deadlines.