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Internal Transfer Frequently Asked Questions

You are highly encouraged to apply in the semester during which you will complete the requirements to affiliate with an engineering major subject to the following restrictions:

  • Freshmen may first apply during their second semester at Cornell;
  • External transfers to Cornell may first apply during their second semester at Cornell;
  • Residency requirements: 3 semesters affiliated with an engineering major and 4 semesters as Cornell students;
  • Majors not open for internal transfer: Unaffiliated Status;
  • Engineering Advising is available for students who:
    • Need to better understand the affiliation criteria for each engineering major;
    • Have questions about the common curriculum requirements in engineering;
    • Are unsure whether they fulfill the requirements for internal transfer to engineering;
    • Have questions about the application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I transfer into the College of Engineering as an undeclared student?

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No, you must be affiliated by (accepted to) an Engineering major.

Who makes the decision?

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Transfer decisions are made by each department with regard to their major.

What are my chances of being accepted?

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The more courses a student has taken in the engineering curriculum, and the better the performance in these classes, the greater the chances are for admission. Due to prerequisites for affiliation courses, it typically takes 1-3 semesters to complete the affiliation criteria, depending on advanced placement credit and the intended major. Students are highly encouraged to apply during the semester in which they will complete the courses required for affiliation by their intended major.

What is direct transfer?

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Direct transfer means that the major department directly accepts a student for admission to the major, and therefore, to the College of Engineering.

What is conditional transfer?

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Conditional transfer may be granted by a major department if a student's academic performance is border-line in a key course, minimally meets the required affiliation GPA, or if the student has not met the affiliation criteria fully. The major department may set a condition such as a specific GPA to be achieved and/or certain coursework to be completed with specifically required grades during the conditional semester. For the purposes of billing, conditionally transferred students are billed endowed college tuition. However, if a student does not meet the conditions, they will not be admitted to the College of Engineering. They may or may not be able to return to their original college, depending on their academic good standing status within that college. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with his/her original college regarding their status.

How do I complete the Engineering Seminar (ENGRG 1050)

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The ENGRG 1050 course is taught by students' faculty advisors during the fall of their first year in engineering. It is not a course that can be "made up" even if a student wishes to take it. Internal transfer students do not have to substitute a different course for the one credit of ENGRG 1050.

Do I have to take and Introduction to Engineering (ENGRI) course in order to transfer or to graduate?

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The three credits of the ENGRI requirement must be completed for graduation. Internal transfers are highly encouraged to complete an ENGRI course either prior to transferring or soon after transferring. Some substitutions to the ENGRI requirement may apply. Students should seek advice from Engineering Advising.

If I am studying engineering in CALS, and I want to switch to a major offered within the College of Engineering, by which semester do I need to switch?

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A student should apply no later than the end of the fifth semester so that he/she can meet residency requirements. However, applying sooner is better so that the student has access to both a faculty advisor in their major and the department communications. Additionally, a student may fail to meet good academic standing if he/she is taking a significant number of courses for a different major and not making progress within his/her current major and original college.

I am studying engineering in CALS, and I have credit for CHEM 2070 and BEE 1510. I want to switch to a major within the College of Engineering, what should I do?

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Internal transfer students may petition to substitute CHEM 2070 for CHEM 2090 and BEE 1510 for CS 111X, after successfully transferring.

Do I need to apply for affiliation? Must I apply for affiliation by the end of the fourth semester like unaffiliated engineering students must do?

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Since internal transfer students are directly accepted by a major, the internal transfer application serves the purpose of an affiliation form. Internal transfer students are not held to the same affiliation timeframe as engineering students, but there may be a major declaration deadline within their original college that needs to be met. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with their original college regarding their status.

I transferred to another college at Cornell from a different institution. Now I want to transfer to the College of Engineering. How do I switch?

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External transfer students are required to stay in their original college at Cornell for one year.  Students who desire to switch should meet with their faculty advisor or department in their original college to discuss their intentions and amended schedule should they choose to pursue this.  Different colleges at Cornell evaluate transfer credit differently, and the students may need to have all of their technical coursework, that was completed elsewhere, re-evaluated in the context of the engineering curriculum and in accordance with College of Engineering guidelines.