Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
It is important that intro chemistry (CHEM 2070 and CHEM 2080, or just CHEM 2070 in the case of some GPHS majors) should be taken as a freshman so as to stay on track with later chemistry requirements (e.g. organic chemistry and biochemistry).
Most students complete some or all of their introductory biology requirements—two lectures and one lab—their freshman year, but starting those courses can be postponed until spring freshman year or fall sophomore year if reasonable and warranted. Most students can complete the sequence of courses required for their majors if they take chemistry, but not biology, in their freshman year.
However, postponing biology and/or chemistry may affect the timing of meeting the requirements needed to apply to professional, clinical (e.g. medical), and graduate schools. Students considering postponing introductory biology and/or chemistry should first discuss alternative scheduling options with advisors.
For all DNS majors, a 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 3-credit lecture options:
- BIOMG 1350 Cell and Development (F/S, 3 cr)
- BIOG 1440 Comparative Physiology (F/S, 3 cr) OR* BIOG 1445 Comparative Physiology (Autotutorial) (F/S, 4cr)
- 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. If you are unsure which option might be best for you, contact one of the resources listed above.
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. We strongly recommend supplemental courses, especially chemistry and biology (e.g. CHEM 1007 or CHEM 1070 for support in CHEM 2070), to students, especially those whose preparation is not strong and/or who last took those courses many years ago. Note: Supplemental course credits do not count toward the 12-credit minimum needed for full-time status or toward the 120 total credits required for graduation. Please check the Learning Strategies Center's link for more information.
Students vary in how they choose to apply their AP credits towards their degree requirements, provided they have met the minimum AP scores determined by their College and by DNS, and are responsible for making arrangements to count AP credits toward their requirements. You will need to meet with your faculty adviser and College Registrar to discuss whether and how you are able to apply your AP credits toward your degree requirements.
Your major, career interests, areas of interest outside your major, study abroad plans, and graduation timelines will help you determine the best way for you to use your AP credits. In general, you can use AP credits in subjects that are elective for your major (such as language) and for which you do not plan to pursue advanced study, either during or beyond your time at Cornell. In contrast, you may consider forfeiting AP credit and taking the introductory course at Cornell if 1) the course is important for a potential major or career goal (e.g. biology or chemistry for students considering a pre-health track) or 2) you need to prepare for more advanced courses in the same topic area.
Major specific guidelines/rules:
- AP Chemistry
- Students must take at least 4 credits of introductory chemistry at Cornell; i.e., GPHS students who do not plan on taking CHEM 2080 may not use AP Chemistry credit to fulfill the CHEM 2070 requirement.
- It is strongly recommended that NS or HBHS students take CHEM 2070 at Cornell—i.e. not use AP Chemistry credit to meet that requirement.
- AP Biology
- DNS majors may only use one AP Biology score of 5 to fulfill one of their introductory biology lectures (3 cr). Scores of 4 are not accepted.
- Students with an AP Biology score of 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 introductory biology 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.
- Students with an AP Biology score of 5 who decide to continue with a second introductory biology lecture will forfeit their AP Biology credits.
Other acceptable AP scores for CHE and CALS students may be found at the links below. Please note all Cornell students are limited to 15 credits from AP/pre‐college credits and In Absentia credits (credit taken at another institution after you’ve matriculated to Cornell) combined.
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).
For more information, check the First-Year Writing Seminars page.
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.
For more information, check the Physical Education page.