exterior of savage hall with tiger lillies

Make an appointment with DNS Student Services


Not sure where to start? Email dnsstudentservices@cornell.edu or visit our office in B36 Kinzelberg Hall weekdays between 8am-4:30pm.

Faculty advisors, DNS Student Services, and College advising offices work closely together to be sure that students’ academic and major advising needs are met.

  • Incoming students can contact DNS Student Services any time between choosing to attend Cornell and your Orientation. 
  • At Orientation, first-year students are a assigned a DNS Student Services advisor, a faculty advisor, and a student advisor. 
  • Continuing sophomore-senior students (HBHS, GPHS, NS, and Biological Sciences majors in the Human Nutrition concentration) are assigned a faculty advisor.
  • CHE students also have the Human Ecology Advising and Counseling Office, which provides professional counseling and referral services to students who have academic, personal, and/or family problems, help students who are undecided or changing their majors, and provide general career planning services.
  • CALS students can seek advising about their college requirements and degree progress through CALS Student Services.
  • The Cornell Career Network is a place for students in all colleges to seek career planning advice.
  • Pre-health students may seek advice of the Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC) in addition to the above resources.

Cornell offers a wide range of resources and services related to exploring and pursuing potential careers of interest, including pre-health (e.g. pre-medical) tracks. College- and University-level career development offices, listed below, provide guidance for exploring potential careers, searching for professional development and employment opportunities, developing skills and materials for applying and interviewing, preparing for and applying to graduate and professional programs, and more. 

There are a wide range of resources at Cornell for students who would like help building their skills for studying, time management, or test taking and those who are having a difficult time with coursework in particular classes. The following list describes some important resources for course-specific needs as well as for more general academic support and skills-building.

  • Course teaching staff: Interact with the faculty, instructors, and TAs in your classes. If you don’t understand material or assignments, they need to know. They usually are happy to assist students who are working hard but having trouble. See them early in the semester when they can be most helpful, and take advantage of any office hours or walk-in tutorials. If you do poorly on the first assignment or exam, contact them to find sources of help. You probably need new strategies rather than simply planning to study longer or better for the next exam!
  • Supplemental courses: Students can enroll in 1000-level courses that offer course-specific support for other courses (e.g. CHEM 1007 supports students in CHEM 2070). These supplemental courses clarify lecture material, help students keep pace with lectures, and assist students with exam preparation. Courses in Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Economics, and Statistics are also offered.
  • Courses for building individual academic and personal skills: 
  • Learning Strategies Center: The LSC offers both course-specific support in several science- and math-based courses and general support to groups and individuals in areas such as Time Management, Textbook Mastery, Rapid Reading, Learning from Lecture, Exam Preparation and Strategies. For example, HE 1000 Critical Reading and Thinking is a 2 credit course to help students increase reading, thinking and learning skills.
  • Center for Teaching Innovation: The CTI offers both course-specific and general support to Cornell students, including supplemental instruction for major introductory courses, tutorial assistance, and workshops.
  • Cornell Writing Centers: Offered by the John S. Knight Institute, Writing Centers at three campus locations have graduate and undergraduate tutors to help students with particular pieces of writing, including academic papers, at any stage of development, focusing on improving the substance and quality of the writing by helping the writer with issues of self-confidence, active use of the imagination, and critical thinking. Tutors do not proofread or edit.

Internal transfer: 
Current Cornell students who are considering transferring to a DNS major should first review the transfer information for their new home college: Human Biology, Health & Society: Cornell Human Ecolog. Nutritional Sciences: Cornell Human Ecology or College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Global and Public Health Sciences: Cornell Human Ecology or College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Once you have determined that you are eligible to transfer and put together a preliminary academic plan, make an appointment with DNS Student Services or email dnsstudentservices@cornell.edu to put together a course plan that will facilitate your application to transfer.

External transfer: 
Students who are considering transferring to a DNS major from an institution other than Cornell are assigned a faculty advisor during Orientation, and are welcome to direct questions to dnsstudentservices@cornell.edu before that point.

Advising, Transfer Credits, and Grades: Transfer students often have to adjust to new advising and grading systems than those they experienced at their previous systems, and have to consider transfer credits.

  • Cornell students are expected to be proactive and self-directed in identifying and seeking advising support, which commonly entails emailing faculty advisors directly (see the If you are unsure of where to go or who to ask, start with dnsstudentservices@cornell.edu)!
  • Unlike many schools that do not offer grades above an A, Cornell allows grades of A+’, which can lead to a GPA above 4.0. In addition, many classes curve grades at the end of the semester. As a result, depending on the professor, the class, and everyone else’s academic performance, your final grade might differ significantly from your raw test scores.
  • You will have to work with your College Registrar to figure out which transfer credits might fulfill your College distribution requirements, and with DNS to figure out which might fulfill major requirements; see Key Resources: Academic Policies and Procedures in this Roadmap for more information.

Course Planning: Students can transfer in a maximum of 60 credits to Cornell, and must complete a minimum of 60 credits at Cornell. CHE transfers must complete 43 CHE credits, and CALS transfers must complete 55 CALS credits. Courses from past schools may count if they are approved as substitutes by College Registrars. Beyond that, there is no common or recommended first-term schedule for transfer students, even within the same major, because transfer students come from diverse backgrounds and have a wide range of goals for their time during and after Cornell.