Transferring Credit from Another Institution
The Mathematics Department will review transfer credit requests for courses offered by a mathematics or statistics department and will approve credit for eligible courses that are highly comparable in both content and level to a course offered for academic credit toward graduation by the Cornell Mathematics Department (i.e., with a MATH prefix). An introductory statistics course will be approved only if it is a satisfactory substitute for MATH 1710.
Current Cornell students are encouraged to have courses pre-approved to avoid wasting time/money on an unsuitable course. For example, MATH 2930 is almost impossible to replace because very few universities offer a course that has such significant ordinary and partial differential equation content.
Where to Start
CALS students should first submit a transfer credit request through DUST or Chatter. If you receive instructions to have your course reviewed by the Math Department, continue with Submitting a Review Request below.
Students who are not in CALS should start by reading the eligibility requirements. If your course is eligible for transfer credit, continue with Submitting a Review Request below. Your request will be assigned to a faculty member, and the faculty member will review the course’s content and contact you with a decision. If the faculty member approves the course, you may need the faculty member’s signature on a paper form to submit to your college. This is also the process for external transfer students to have Cornell equivalencies appear on their transcript.
College courses taken during high school may be available for transfer credit if you attended the course on a college or university campus and the course was not used to fulfill high school requirements or Cornell admission requirements. Courses taught in high school to high school students are not eligible, even if the college provides a transcript.
Courses that overlap Cornell's fall or spring semester are not eligible for transfer credit unless the student is on leave that semester.
Courses labeled “college algebra”, “trigonometry”, or “pre-calculus” are not eligible for transfer credit because the material covered in such courses cannot be used for academic credit toward graduation at Cornell.
Distance-Learning / Online Courses
The Mathematics Department will consider a distance-learning course for transfer credit only if it is taken during the summer or winter break (not overlapping the fall or spring term) or while the student is on leave from Cornell. The final exam must be proctored on campus in person by the institution running the program*, rather than by a proctor agreed upon by the student and the program.
*The final exam proctoring rule is suspended for classes offered summer 2020 through summer 2021 due to COVID; it will be enforced for classes offered fall 2021, spring 2022, and beyond.
Transfer credit policies vary from college to college and major to major. Before taking a course at another institution or submitting a review request to the Math Department, please investigate these policies to be sure credit can be applied to the requirement that needs to be satisfied.
Submitting a Review Request
Before any forms can be signed, the department must review detailed information about the course you propose for transfer credit, including the following:
- Course number and title,
- Credit hours,
- Course catalog description
- Textbook(s) used for the course
- an outline of topics covered (usually week-to-week)
After you have collected the above information, submit your review request here. (NOTE: We will review courses for current and admitted Cornell students only.)
Requests take 1-2 weeks to review (sometimes longer during breaks) and may be denied due to insufficient information. The faculty member may request additional detail or ask to see the final exam or sample exams for the course. It may be necessary for the student to request more information from the department or instructor offering the course.
Forms and Department Approval
Each review request is assigned to a faculty member, and the faculty member will communicate his/her decision directly to the student by email. Some colleges will accept a forwarded email as proof of department approval. Others require the faculty member’s signature on a paper form
Arts and Sciences uses the form Application for Credit from Other Institutions.
Engineering uses this Transfer Credit Application Form.
CALS students should forward the email approval to email@example.com.
If you need a signature, attach a print-out of the email approval to your transfer credit form and leave the form with Heather Peterson at 310 Malott Hall. Heather will contact you when the form has been signed.
After receiving department approval and completing the course, arrange for a sealed transcript to be sent to your college registrar.
For Arts and Sciences: Robin Perry, Cornell University, Arts & Sciences Admissions, KG17 Klarman Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853.
For Engineering: Engineering Registrar’s Office, Cornell University, 170 Rhodes Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-5201.
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