Welcome Fall 2021 New Students!

We are excited to meet you and begin our work together this Fall 2021 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. 

If you are an incoming First-Year student (Class of 2025) your first step will be to visit the Student Portal to verify your major between June 7 -- June 21. You can change your major at this time if your interests have evolved.

All new Human Ecology students will select courses for the Fall 2021 semester during course enrollment. Please be sure to visit the New Student website and click "Course Enrollment" for more information. Additionally, see our "Scheduling Fall Courses" information below for enrollment requirements and scheduling guidance and be sure to visit the Student Portal. 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 23 and Tuesday, August 24 (Enroll in our Canvas Course for more detailed information). 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". Student and Career Development counselors are not assigned, thus students are welcome to schedule an appointment with any available counselor. Students will be assigned to a faculty advisor at their academic department meeting during Orientation in August. The College looks forward to knowing and working with you as a Human Ecology student at Cornell!

Scheduling Your Fall 2021 Semester

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 in their first semester.

Transfer students are required to complete any remaining writing requirements during their first semester of enrollment. Refer to your credit evaluation for more information (the credit evaluation website will not work until all of your transcripts have been processed be the Registrar's office - contact hereg@cornell.edu if you have questions).

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 New Student website and click "Course Enrollment" for important dates and information. During course enrollment, you will be able to schedule Fall 2021 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.
  • Incoming CHE freshmen – Freshmen may be automatically pre-enrolled in one or more select courses for their Human Ecology major (course codes: DEA, FSAD, HD, NS, or PAM - see department websites below for more information pertaining to your major). If you have not declared a major, you will not be pre-enrolled in any classes. Undecided students can choose to declare a major in the Student Portal during the June 7-21 Major Verify window, or they can choose to remain undecided and enroll in all of their classes during their enrollment window. If undecided students are considering one or more CHE major, look at the new student information (below) and the Curriculum Sheets to view the required introductory classes for each major.
  • Incoming CHE freshmen – Students should aim to complete an average of 15 academic credits each semester, though some students may choose to enroll in 12 credits their first semester to adjust to the academic rigor at Cornell. 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. 
  • 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 2021 Course Roster and the 2021-2022 Curriculum Sheets to consider the remainder of your schedule. If you still have questions regarding your Fall 2021 course schedule after reviewing these resources (and the major information below) you can schedule a Student and Career Development appointment by visiting this website and clicking "Appointment information".
  • You will attend your mandatory orientation programs prior to the start of the Fall 2021 semester on Monday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 24 (Enroll in our Canvas Course for detailed information) - 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, August 24th (Enroll in our Canvas Course for more detailed informationo). 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: Pre-Health 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.
  • Click Here to watch a CHEM 2070 Informational Video by Professor Stephen Lee to aid in your understanding of the tenets of this course prior to the start of Fall 2021 classes.


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 June 7-21 through the major verification process on the Student Portal.

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 have created using the Class Roster.
  • Two Human Ecology courses -- Review the "Scheduling Fall Courses | Overview " section above and schedule a Student and Career Development appointment if you have any remaining questions.
  • Natural Science and/or Social science courses according to your interests -- Review the "Scheduling courses | Pre-Health students" section above for further guidance if you are considering a health-related career.

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 23 and Tuesday, August 24 (more information to come). You will learn more about the faculty advising structure and be assigned a faculty advisor 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 are not assigned to any one Student and Career Development counselor, and can meet with any available counselor; though 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 MVR 1210 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 (more information to come). This session is essential if you are considering a career in human health, medicine, or dentistry. The Pre-Med/Pre-Health session is in addition to the mandatory 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) 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
[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