A Message from Julia Felice, DNS Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies


Dear New Students,

We are delighted to have you joining us in the Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS). The DNS is home to the human health science majors at Cornell and includes students from three colleges. You are a student in the College of Human Ecology or in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and are majoring in either Nutritional Sciences (NS)Human Biology, Health, and Society (HBHS), or Global and Public Health Sciences.

Soon after you arrive on campus, you will be assigned an academic advisor from the DNS faculty. Any questions you have about advising should be directed to that person. In the meantime, for the first term schedule, "Scheduling Advice for Freshmen" below will help you to choose courses appropriate for your chosen major. Please read it carefully to thoroughly understand your different options and choices. You can still make changes (add/drop) to your schedule during the first several days of classes.

If you have any further questions regarding the first term schedule, please contact Dr. Julia Felice (Interim Director of Undergraduate StudiesCHE Student Development Office, or the DNS academic affairs office.

Again, we welcome you to the Division of Nutritional Sciences and hope that you will let us be your HOME away from home!

Scheduling Advice for Freshmen:

First Term Schedule: For Nutritional Sciences (NS), Human Biology, Health and Society (HBHS), and Global and Public Health Sciences (GPHS) Majors—you must enroll in a minimum 12 credits, not including PE and supplementary courses.

  1. CHEM 2070 General Chemistry I (4 cr)
  2. Introductory Biology (3-5 cr): BIOG 1500 and/or one lecture course (e.g. BIOMG 1350, BIOG 1440, or BIOG 1445). Click here for detailed information. May postpone to spring freshman year or sophomore year.
  3. First Year Writing Seminar (3 cr): College Distribution Requirement. CHE students must take this in fall freshman year.
  4. For NS and HBHS Students only: NS 1150 Nutrition, Health, and Society (3 cr): Requirement in the Major (core nutrition class) Note to Freshmen (not transfer students): Incoming students will be auto-enrolled in this course by their college registrar.
  5. For NS and HBHS Students only: NS 1160 Personalized Concepts and Controversies (1 cr): Additional session for NS 1150; strongly recommended
  6. For GPHS Students only: NS 1600 Introduction to Public Health (3 cr): must take it this semester. Note: Incoming students will be auto-enrolled in this course by their college registrar.
  7. If biology classes are not taken in the freshman year, other college (CHE or CALS) distribution requirement classes can be taken during first semester.
  8. Physical Education (PE)
  9. Supplementary Courses (e.g. CHEM 1007. See below for more information about supplemental courses.)

For Transfer Students: Need individualized schedule after credit evaluation.

Thank you!

Professor Julia P. Felice 
DNS Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Intro chemistry should be taken as a freshman. Intro bio is usually taken in the freshman year, but it can be postponed until the sophomore year - when most students are taking organic chemistry. Most students can complete the sequence of courses required for their majors if they take chemistry, but not biology, in their freshman year. Postponing biology and/or chemistry may affect the timing of meeting the requirements needed to apply to professional and graduate schools. Many athletes do not take biology in their freshman year. Students should discuss alternative scheduling with their advisers.

For both NS and HBHS major, total 8 credits of introductory biology is required:

BIOG 1500 Investigative Lab (F/S, 2 cr) AND
Choose two out of three from the following lecture options:

1. BIOMG 1350 Cell and Development (F/S, 3 cr)
2. BIOG 1440 Comparative Physiology (F/S, 3 cr) OR*

BIOG 1445 Comparative Physiology (Autotutorial) (F/S, 4cr) 3. BIOEE 1610 Ecology and the Environment (F/S, 3cr) OR* BIOEE 1780 Evolution and Diversity (F/S, 3cr)

*Cannot take both to fulfill this requirement

Among three lecture options, BIOG 1440 (or BIOG 1445) and BIOMG 1350 are popular courses and recommended if you are pre-med. You can take one bio course (either lab or lecture) in each semester over three semesters OR may want to take lab plus lecture in one semester and another lecture in another semester, completing all within two semesters.

Supplemental course credit will not be counted toward 120 graduation credits. The objectives of supplemental courses are to help students clarify course material, assist with problem analysis, in-depth questions and answers, and prepare for exams. There are supplemental courses in chemistry, biology, mathematics, economics, and physics and we strongly recommend those supplemental courses (especially chemistry and biology) to students whose preparation is not strong and/or who last took those courses many years ago. Please check the following link for more information. http://lsc.cornell.edu/course-info/supplemental-courses/chem/

Recommended supplemental courses:
CHEM 1007: supplemental course for CHEM 2070

Students vary in how they choose to apply their AP credits towards their degree requirements. You are in charge of how you use your AP credits, and you will need to meet with your faculty adviser and college registrar to discuss how you wish to apply your AP credits toward your degree requirements. Career interests, areas of interest outside your major, study abroad plans, and graduation timelines will determine the best way for you to use your AP credits. You can take some time in getting it figured out.

Once you have chosen your major and understand the course requirements, you will be in a better position to make final decisions. In general, you can use AP credits in subjects that are elective for your major (such as history or language) and for which you do not plan to pursue advanced study. For courses that are important in your major or career goal (such as chemistry, biology, and math), you may choose NOT to use your AP credits. Some students forfeit their AP credits and take the introductory course at Cornell because they want to have a thorough review at the introductory college level in preparation for advanced courses. Students who skip the introductory math and science because they have AP credits rarely take sophomore level math and science courses as freshmen. Instead they take introductory courses in other subjects that will apply to their degree requirements.

To view a list of the current accepted AP and IB scores by university, please see the following link: http://courses.cornell.edu/content.php?catoid=26&navoid=6726. Note: Our majors (NS, HBHS, and GPHS) do not accept Biology AP score 4. Only Biology AP score 5 can be used to place out of one introductory biology lecture course (BIOG 1440, BIOG 1350, or BIOEE 1610/1780)

Please keep in mind that you are allowed 15 credits from AP/pre‐college and In Absentia combined. In Absentia credit comes from credit taken at another institution after you’ve matriculated to Cornell.

Major specific guideline/rule:

Chemistry: Do not recommend to use AP toward chemistry. Most students take Introductory Chemistry to become familiar with the material covered and pace of chemistry at Cornell. But if desired, students with AP score 5 in chemistry may apply it toward the first part of introductory chemistry requirement, CHEM 2070.

Biology: Student with AP 5 may apply AP biology credit to the part of introductory biology requirement (up to 3 credits).

  • Exam Score 5: Students with AP score 5 are required to take BIOG 1500 and one lecture course. If students earn a B- or lower in those courses, we strongly recommend continuing with the second lecture. A student who earns a B or higher and feels confident in second lecture’s subject matter can decide to discontinue with the sequence.

  • If students take second lecture of introductory biology, they will forfeit all AP credits.

  • If students decide not to take second lecture of biology after BIOG 1500 plus one lecture is taken, 3 advanced placement credits will be given for second lecture of introductory biology.

  • Exam Scores 4 and lower: Students receive no advanced placement credits. Must take introductory biology at Cornell.

Placement is by electronic submission of a ballot. Strongly recommend to take it during freshman year. Note: Human Ecology freshmen are required to complete two FWS by the end of their first year (one FWS per semester).

Check the following web page for information on First Year Writing Seminar Enrollment:


Freshmen are required to take PE (1 cr) each term of freshman year. The Credit will not be counted toward full-time status or 120 graduation credits. Physical Education registration will take place on-line. Please call the Physical Education office at 607-255-4286 for questions.

Please see the following web page for more information: