Welcome Fall 2020 New Students!

We are excited to meet you and begin our work together this Fall 2020 semester! We will be contacting you via your cornell.edu email address, so be sure to activate your NetID and regularly check your official Cornell email account for updates. 

All new Human Ecology students will select courses for the Fall 2020 semester during course enrollment. Please be sure to visit the 2020/2021 Key Academic Dates for information about Fall 2020 Enrollment.

See our "Scheduling Fall Courses" information below for enrollment requirements and scheduling guidance. The academic departments will also provide information that will assist you as you develop your course schedule.

We look forward to beginning our work together during the College of Human Ecology’s orientation programs on Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1. If you have not already done so, all new College of Human Ecology students must self-enroll in our CHE Orientation course in order to see the Fall 2020 Orientation Schedule. The College specific orientation programs will be an important opportunity to gather information about your major, requirements, and the policies that govern your academic life at Cornell University. You will work with counselors and advisors, meet other students and faculty in your major, and get to know your way around the College of Human Ecology during orientation, as well.

If you run into questions after carefully reviewing the online resources, you can schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor in the Office of Student and Career Development by visiting our website and clicking "Appointment information". The College looks forward to knowing and working with you as a Human Ecology student at Cornell!

Scheduling Your Fall 2020 Semester

Fall 2020 Enrollment Updates

2020/2021 Key Academic Dates

Check your Student Center (Enrollment dates, right hand side of screen) for your specific assigned appointment times.

Round 1 Enrollment

Seniors - August 26 9am-7pm

Juniors - August 26 1pm-11pm

Sophomores - August 27 7am-5pm

First-Years - August 27 10am-8pm

Round 2 Enrollment

Seniors - begins at 7am on August 28

Juniors - begins at 10am on August 28

Sophomores - begins at 1pm on August 28

First-Years - begins at 8am on August 31

Check your Student Center (Enrollment dates, right hand side of screen) for your specific assigned appointment times.


Last day to add/change credits - September 16 at 11:59pm

Last day to drop/change grade option - October 28 at 11:59pm

Class and Enrollment FAQ


Full-Time Enrollment Policies

All students are required to complete at least 12 credits of academic work each semester to remain in good standing. Physical Education courses and Academic Support courses do not count towards the 12 credits or towards the 120 credits required for graduation. Most students average 15 credits per semester to complete the required 120 credits over their 4 year undergraduate career.

Exception: Mature students (age 24 or older at matriculation) may petition to enroll in fewer than 12 credits and request prorated tuition.

If you have a problem or a concern about the course load, please schedule an appointment to speak with a College of Human Ecology counselor.

Freshman Writing Seminars

The College of Human Ecology accepts a score of a (5) on the AP Literature and Composition or the AP Language and Composition exam as fulfilling (3) credits of the Freshman Writing requirement. Students who earned a (5) on both exams still need to complete at least one Freshman Writing Seminar.

Transfer students are required to complete any remaining writing requirements during their first semester of enrollment. Refer to your credit evaluation for more information.

Human Ecology Credits

You are required to complete at least 5 credits of Human Ecology coursework by the end of the first year of enrollment, and at least 12 credits of Human Ecology work by the end of the second year. Meet with an academic counselor in the College of Human Ecology's Office of Student and Career Development with questions.

Please be sure to visit the 2020/2021 Key Academic Dates regarding the course enrollment dates for Fall 2020. During course enrollment, you will be able to schedule Fall 2020 courses using Course Enroll through your Student Center.

Be thoughtful when planning and scheduling courses.

  • Academic departments have been thoughtful about their suggestions and guidance (see below for your department). Carefully review the specific advising materials and academic department information, including sample first semester schedules, to develop your schedule and to support your planning before making decisions.
  • During your Round 1 enrollment window, students will have the opportunity to enroll in 6 credits. Students will be able to complete their Fall 2020 course schedule during Round 2 of enrollment. 
  • Incoming CHE freshmen – After Round 1, freshmen will be automatically enrolled in select courses for their Human Ecology major (course codes: DEA, FSAD, HD, NS, or PAM). During Round 1, enroll in the courses that are most critical for you. For some students, it may be the Freshman Writing Seminar. For others, it may be a Pre-Med requirement or a requirement on your curriculum sheet. Plan to enroll in courses that will not conflict with your automatically enrolled Human Ecology major course. 
  • Incoming CHE freshmen – Work within 12-15 academic credits your first semester. Academic and social transitions present challenges you cannot yet see. Also, there is no reason for you to be in 3000 or 4000 level courses at this stage in your undergraduate careers. Make an appointment to speak with your Faculty Advisor (if the course is in your major/department) or a Student and Career Development Counselor (by visiting this website and clicking "Appointment information") if you have questions about an upper-level course and whether it is appropriate for you.
  • Incoming Transfers – Refer to your credit evaluation when scheduling coursework.
  • Incoming Transfers – You come with college experience, but know that Cornell is a new, demanding, and dynamic environment. Plan your schedule accordingly. Do not overload your first semester with credits and/or courses that might leave you no time for making a successful adjustment. Remember, the grade point average from your former institution does not transfer.
  • Use the Fall 2020 Course Roster and the 2020-2021 Curriculum Sheets to consider the remainder of your schedule.
  • You will attend your mandatory orientation programs prior to the start of the Fall 2020 semester on Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1 - at which time you will be able to ask questions and confirm your schedule. Know that students can and often do make changes to their schedule once the semester begins (see Academic Calendar for add/drop deadlines).

Select your major from the list below to review the scheduling suggestions and recommendations from your academic department:

If you run into scheduling questions after carefully reviewing the online resources, you can schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor in the Office of Student and Career Development by visiting our website and clicking "Appointment information".

There will be a Pre-Med/Pre-Health Orientation for Human Ecology students on Tuesday, September 1, 1:00pm-3:00pm EST. In addition to the mandatory New Student Orientation Meeting by Academic Department, this Pre-Health session is essential if you are considering a career in human health, medicine, or dentistry.

Considering your choice of major in the College of Human Ecology through the specific lens of a prospective Pre-Med/Pre-Health candidate is not necessary. Pre-Med academic requirements can be accommodated by any major. Pursue a major that reflects your intellectual strengths, personal interests, and best opportunity for success in and outside the classroom.

You will need to prepare a total academic portfolio over the course of your undergraduate career, including courses in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics), behavioral/social sciences (psychology and sociology), mathematics (calculus and statistics), English (First-Year Writing Seminars; writing intensive courses), and the humanities.

  • Time management through this transition period is very important. Be mindful of your co-curricular plans and extracurricular involvements as you build around your required academic course work and schedule. Do not hesitate to seek help in this time of transition - utilize the Learning Strategy Center for free tutoring, time management skills, and general academic support.
  • It is not always advisable to take both biology and chemistry together in the first semester. You should consider your choice of major and the strength of your high school preparation before choosing courses. Discuss these options with your Human Ecology Pre-Health Advisors (Shaun Gendrue and Verdene Lee: appointments can be made by visiting this website and clicking "Appointment information") and the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for your chosen major to learn more before deciding on your best option.
  • Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental students must complete a total of 8 or 9 credits of biology lecture and laboratory. You may complete this requirement through the two options listed below. (Note: you can only take one lecture course each semester; BIOMG 1350 cannot be taken in conjunction with BIOG 1440 or BIOG 1445.)

Option 1
BIOG 1500 - Biology Laboratory (Fall or Spring, 2 credits)
BIOMG 1350 - Principles of Cell and Developmental Biology Lecture (Fall or Spring, 3 credits)
BIOG 1440 - Intro to Comparative Physiology Lecture (Fall or Spring, 3 credits)  

Option 2
BIOG 1500 - Biology Laboratory (Fall or Spring, 2 credits)
BIOMG 1350 - Principles of Cell and Developmental Biology Lecture (Fall or Spring, 3 credits)
BIOG 1445 - Intro to Comparative Physiology, Auto-tutorial lecture & laboratory (Fall or Spring, 4 credits)

NOTE: Some medical schools require two biology labs. Cornell provides various options for these labs which are taken after completion of BIOG 1500.

  • Due to increasing competition for entry to medical school, basic mathematics and science sequences (biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics) should not be taken during the summer unless there is a reasonable explanation (study abroad, for example, could be a reasonable factor) or dire extenuating circumstance.
  • While some medical schools do accept Advanced Placement (AP) credit to satisfy Pre-Med admissions requirements, many do not. Nor are the individual schools entirely clear or consistent on this matter. Even if a certain medical or health professional school does accept AP credit, you will be a much stronger and more competitive candidate for admission if you take your science courses in college. AP Credit for General Chemistry is rarely awarded for Pre-Medical students in Human Ecology.
  • Students who wish to study abroad are encouraged to do so, though they should work with Pre-Health Advisors and Faculty Advisors early in their academic career to plan their science sequences and other relevant requirements.
  • For Transfers: Cornell offers a one-semester organic chemistry course. Please check with your advisor if you are interested in this class. It is only recommended for students who receive a "B-" or higher in general chemistry. At this time, some allopathic medical schools and most osteopathic medical schools still require a two-semester organic chemistry sequence. It is important, therefore, that you consult with a Human Ecology Pre-Health Advisor during each Course Enroll period, to ensure that you are making the best course choices.


Please review the following information about Chemistry 2070 and Biology 1500 prior to your Enrollment Date and prior to attending the Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Information Session on Tuesday, September 1, 1:00pm-3:00pm EST. We believe the following information will aid in your understanding of the tenets of these two courses, their goals, and inspire confidence in your enrollment decisions.

Click Here to watch a CHEM 2070 Informational Video by Professor Stephen Lee

Frequently Asked Questions:


Q: Can BioG 1500 be taught online successfully?

A: Absolutely! We have successfully moved BioG 1500 online in March 2020 and taught it completely online during the summer. All components of the course will be taught online in Fall 2020, and students will not need to be present on campus to be able to complete the course. All assignments and exams will be online.


Q: How can I learn scientific skills in an online course?

A: The course introduces students to teamwork, hypothesis formation, experimental design, and ethics in research. Students gain information literacy and science literacy skills and practice many forms of science communication, from seminar presentations to proposal writing and scientific poster preparation. Often this is the first course where students learn about statistical tests and programming in R. All of these can be taught and successfully assessed online. 


Q: Do I need to purchase a laboratory kit or lab equipment to have in my dorm room or at home to complete BioG 1500?

A: No, you do not. Everything you need we will provide online for free. The ONLY thing you need to purchase for the course is the online laboratory manual, available for purchase after you enrolled and logged into Canvas. 


Q: How will I learn to use laboratory equipment?

A: This is the greatest challenge of an online laboratory course. We have three approaches: a) during the summer we created 10 short educational videos describing how to use laboratory equipment from microscopes through pipettes to spectrophotometers; b) we use online simulations where students can practice using a microscope and pipettes; c) during the mid-term week in November, lab equipment will be set up in Comstock hall, and those students who are in Ithaca and would like to practice will be able to. The in-person practice will not be part of the course and it will not be graded.


Q: Is there any component of the course that would require me to be physically present in the labs?

A: No, the entire course will be online. While students will have an opportunity in November to practice their skills in the labs, that will not be part of graded assignments and will be on a volunteer basis. 


Q: Since this is an online course, can I take the course any time (asynchronously) or do I need to attend the lecture and the lab online during the assigned times (synchronously)?

A:  All lab sections will be live, held synchronously, and will include lots of group work and online activities, so students have to be in their Zoom labs during their assigned lab times. In addition, many of the graded assignments will be completed in the virtual labs, therefore students need to be in their labs online during their lab sections to be able to successfully complete the course. The first two lectures on September 8th and 15th at 9:10 am will be live on Zoom. After that, all lectures will be recorded and released at the beginning of each week. 


Q: If I complete the course online in Fall 2020, will I be able to practice with laboratory equipment after the course returned to in-person instruction?

A: When we return to in-person instruction, hopefully, in the spring semester, we will make opportunities for those students who took the online course but could not practice with laboratory equipment. We plan on setting up laboratory spaces in the spring and will allow students to come and practice the skills they learned in the Fall semester online. This will be on a volunteer basis and will not be a part of the course or affect student grades.

If there are any unanswered questions, please check the course website for updates (http://investigativebiology.cornell.edu/) or email biolabs@cornell.edu


If you applied as "undeclared/undecided" and have some general ideas about what you would like to study, or what you would like to do after college, choosing a major at this point makes a lot of sense. You can declare your major through the major verification process.

If you are not ready to choose a major, you will use this first semester to sample coursework within the College to clarify your major options and your own interests. You will enroll yourself in your other courses and submit your Freshman Writing Seminar ballot during your Enrollment Dates.

Begin planning your fall schedule by reviewing the coursework suggestions by department as listed in the "Scheduling Fall Courses | Overview " section above. You should incorporate the following priorities into your schedule.

  • Freshman Writing Seminar (required) -- Select seminars in time slots that fit the schedule you and we have created.
  • (2) Human Ecology courses -- Our College of Human Ecology (CHE) Student and Career Development advisors will enroll you in Human Ecology courses according to the information you provided in your application and via the major verification process.
  • Natural Science and/or Social science courses according to your interests -- Review the "Scheduling courses | Pre-Health students" section if you are considering applying to medical school for further guidance.

You will use the CHE orientation programming to gather more information about Human Ecology majors and to finalize your fall schedule. You are also welcome to visit the Student and Career Development website and click "Appointment information" to schedule an advising appointment to discuss your interests and plans as you consider declaring a major.

Your first opportunity to meet with the Director of Undergraduate Study (DUS) for your department will be during the mandatory orientation programs on Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1. You will learn more about the faculty advising structure in your department at that time.

The College of Human Ecology, Office of Student and Career Development is another resource for academic, career, and personal advising/counseling. Students can begin to schedule appointments with our Student and Career Development advisors once the academic year gets underway; no same day appointments are scheduled.

The DUS and our Student and Career Development advisors maintain the most current information about curricular requirements, college policies, and career development/graduate school advising. Advice from others, including peers and upper-classmen can be outdated and misleading.

Additional resources:

Learn about services that are available to ensure that all aspects of student life are accessible, equitable, and inclusive of individuals with disabilities through Cornell University's Student Disability Services.

Learn how to adjust to Cornell's academic expectations with the Learning Strategies Center. There you will find free resources to help students with Time Management, Study Skills, Free Tutoring, and more.

There are many resources to turn to discuss personal issues. CHE's Office of Student and Career Development counselors in 125 Academic Surge Facility A are here to meet and talk with Human Ecology students, as well as your Resident Advisor (RA), other residence hall staff, and free counseling resources at Cornell Health. All you need to do is take the first step of asking for help!

There are a number of resources available to help students consider their next steps after graduation. In addition to the resources below, you can also refer to your faculty advisor and/or department's Director of Undergraduate Study. Learn more about careers in health, law, business, and design, and how we support students as they thoughtfully consider their career paths.

There will be a Pre-Med/Pre-Health orientation for Human Ecology students on Tuesday, September 1, 1:00pm-3:00pm. This session is essential if you are considering a career in human health, medicine, or dentistry. The Pre-Med/Pre-Health on Tuesday session is in addition to the mandatory New Student Orientation Meeting by Academic Department.

Students will be able to start scheduling appointments with career advisors in the CHE Office of Student and Career Development as soon as they have completed their New Student Orientation Meeting by Academic Department.

Office of Student & Career Development

Our counseling and advising staff in the Office of Student & Career Development are ready to work with students around how to plan their course schedules, study abroad, research, and experiential learning opportunities with graduate school and careers goals in mind. Schedule an appointment with our career development staff by visiting the website and clicking "Appointment information".

Human Ecology Career Exploration Center (CEC)

The Human Ecology Career Exploration Center (CEC), located in Academic Surge A, has many guides and resources to explore career options. Staffed by student career assistants, the CEC focuses on how students thoughtfully leverage their Human Ecology education to find meaningful internship, graduate school, and career opportunities.

Cornell Career Services (CCS)

This centrally located office, 103 Barnes Hall, offers services and resources to complement the specific offerings found in the undergraduate schools and colleges. There are a range of resources including informational materials, career guides, workshops, Health Careers Evaluation Committee (HCEC)alumni networking resources, and more to help with your planning and preparation. CCS also supports Cornell Handshake, the information system we use to manage correspondence with our undergraduates as well on-campus recruiting, job postings, and contact with alumni mentors. Be sure to register when you arrive!

College of Human Ecology Office of Student and Career Development
[Academic year office hours -- Monday through Friday; 8:30a.m. -- 4:30p.m.]
Website: https://www.human.cornell.edu/studentlife/studentdevelopment/advising-counseling
Email: humec_students@cornell.edu
Telephone: (607) 255-2532
FAX: (607) 255-2293

College of Human Ecology Registrar’s Office
Website: https://www.human.cornell.edu/academics/policies/registrar/home
Email: HEREG@cornell.edu
Telephone: (607) 255-2235
FAX: (607) 255-9256