Thoughtfully prepare for and approach the application process.

The College of Human Ecology (CHE) Undergraduate Admissions Staff offers the following Transfer Application Tips to help you thoughtfully approach the application process and present an application that reflects you as a person, an academic, and a community citizen.

New for 2024: Fiber Science applicants are required to complete a Fiber Science Index. More information will be posted this summer. 

Be sure to also review our Transfer Admission Information and Special Requirements.

Transfer Application Tips

Understanding your interests, considering your academic strengths, and being well-informed about your options are critical as you make decisions regarding your transfer. This is especially true for the College of Human Ecology.

  • Make this your own exploration of Cornell University, even if you have family, friends, or others in your community who attended or are familiar with Cornell University.
  • Carefully review the College of Human Ecology's major-specific fact sheets and required preparatory coursework for transfers when preparing to apply as a transfer. 
  • Test your pre-professional interests through volunteer and work experiences. Consider what you enjoyed/valued about those experiences and how you might grow through further exploration and academic pursuits.
  • Watch our recorded College of Human Ecology information sessions. Contacting faculty and academic departments is discouraged unless you are interested in our design-based majors.

Your undergraduate transcript(s) reflects your academic rigor, preparation, persistence, and growth. Our most competitive candidates earn very strong grades in a parallel curriculum that includes our required coursework.

Completing the required foundational coursework prepares students to thrive in their transition to Cornell University and to graduate on time, and is critical in determining an applicant’s competitiveness. Admission, however, is not guaranteed even if the courses have been completed.

  • Pursue the required preparatory coursework. An applicant’s competitiveness in our admissions process is largely based on the completion of our coursework requirements.
  • Demonstrate strong performance in the required and recommended coursework. A GPA of 3.5 or above, with “As” and “B+s” in required preparatory coursework, increases an applicant’s competitiveness.
  • Know that Cornell University and the College of Human Ecology adhere to our own policies regarding placement out of requirements due to Advanced Placement or other related credits. Advanced standing at another institution does not guarantee that Cornell will accept that credit. The Advanced Placement Equivalencies information outlines how AP credit may be used. A maximum of 15 pre-college credits from APs or other sources may be applied.

Your essays are the best way to convey your goals, experiences, motivations, what you consider important, and how those pieces impact your desire to attend the College of Human Ecology. A thoughtful and college-specific approach to the essays and application makes for a more compelling candidacy. The College of Human Ecology Admissions Staff is interested in applicants who can articulate a connection to the college mission and programs.

  • Carefully read and respond directly to the College of Human Ecology supplemental admissions essay prompt. 
  • Address how the College of Human Ecology is uniquely positioned to help you examine your interests, support your goals, and create purpose. Knowing what motivates your interest in and connection to the college and your chosen major helps us better understand your candidacy.
  • Reflect on the experiences – academic, research, extracurricular, work, and volunteer – in which you have participated and that make CHE a compelling and meaningful choice. This can inform how you approach and write the supplemental essay. 

Design supplements are required for Design & Environmental Analysis, Fashion Design and Management (Fashion Design and Fashion Design Management options), and Fiber Science applicants, in addition to submitting the Common Application. These materials must be submitted by the Common Application deadline for critical evaluation by department faculty. Applications to those majors without the required supplement will not be reviewed.

  • Carefully review the design supplement instructions for the major/option of interest, as these supplements are unique to the programs and require written and creative work. 
  • Submit the design supplement, in addition to the Common Application, by the deadline that corresponds to your application timeline. 
  • Those who are reapplying to these majors need to submit a new and updated design supplement as the supplement instructions have changed. 
  • Draw on your creativity in all components of the design supplement. Refer to the FAQs associated with the specific design supplement you are completing for more information.  
  • Appropriately credit images/photos/creative work if you use those owned by someone else. 

The Admissions Committee is interested in how you use your time in your school and greater communities, what engages, informs and tests your academic interests, and what you learned from those pursuits and how they are connected to the College of Human Ecology.

  • Thoughtfully prioritize the extracurricular activities, work experiences, intern/externships, volunteer work, etc. you include. Your deepest and most relevant extras are of most interest to the Admissions Committee. Multiple page lists of activities/résumés are not helpful. 
  • Reflect on what you learned about communities, institutions, people, and organizations as a result of your activities. Consider how those reflections might inform your approach to the supplemental essay. 
  • Research experiences can be presented as an entry on the Common Application listing or on a résumé. Should you want to include more information you can submit a short (100 word) overview of your research topic with a focus on the most significant aspect of it as a learning experience, why it matters, and/or how you were supported in this work. Research abstracts are not helpful. 

Letters of recommendation help the Admissions Committee understand your maturity, self-motivation, initiative, character, and role in the classroom and community. 

  • Carefully consider who to ask and how that letter may support your candidacy. We prefer that faculty at your undergraduate institution write on your behalf. 
  • Ask a science or math professor to submit a letter on your behalf if you apply to one of our natural science-based majors.
  • Limit submissions to the number of letters required in the application instructions. 
  • Use your best manners to request a letter of recommendation and to thank the letter writer afterwards.
  • Inform us if you have impending deadlines by which you hope to have an admissions decision. Transfer decisions are made on a rolling basis. Delays in midterm grades or other information will delay a decision. We sometimes need final grades for the current semester's classes.
  • Our faculty and academic departments are focused on teaching, advising, and conducting research as they work with our current students. Please do not contact our faculty/academic departments during the college search or admissions process.
  • The “Additional Information” section of the Common Application is best used to contextualize your academic record, address a circumstance that might have impacted your performance, or clarify a specific aspect of your application. Please do not use it to include a second personal essay. 
  • Email the CHE Admissions Office with questions about academic programs, the admissions process, career development, and student life.
  • Submit Financial Aid application forms early.
  • Visit Cornell University's FAQs for more information.