First Year Applicants

Before You Apply

As you prepare your application to CALS, please review the following information before you apply:

Choose a Major

CALS selects students who are ready to dive into their major as soon as they set foot on campus. As a result, students must apply to a specific CALS major and are chosen based upon their academic and personal fit for that course of study. There is no “undeclared” major at CALS.

Choosing a college major that suits your interests, skills, and personality is an important and sometimes daunting decision. There are a few important questions to ask yourself as you make your choice: Do you have a passion for a particular academic subject? What extracurricular and work activities have you enjoyed the most? What do you envision as your future career? In what subjects are you strongest?

Take time to explore the more than 20 majors that CALS offers, and apply to the one that is the best fit for you.

Review the Admission Requirements for CALS

High School Courses

CALS seeks students who maintain a rigorous high school curriculum and demonstrate an outstanding record of academic achievement.

  • 4 Units of English
  • 4 Units of Mathematics* (including pre-calculus)
  • 3 Units of Science (biology, chemistry and physics recommended)
  • Also recommended: an additional unit of science

*Calculus also required for Applied Economics and Management, Atmospheric Science, Biological Engineering, Biological Sciences, Biology & Society, Biometry & Statistics, Environmental & Sustainability Sciences, Environmental Engineering, Food Science, Information Science, and Science of Earth Systems.

Standardized Testing

  • SAT or the ACT —CALS does not have SAT/ACT score requirements
  • SAT Subject Tests are NOT required by CALS
  • International Students: TOEFL (score of 100 or better) or IELTS (score of 7) required

Special Requirements

  • Landscape Architecture: Portfolio required
  • Although CALS does not conduct personal interviews as part of the application process, a campus visit is strongly encouraged.

Choose between Early Decision & Regular Decision

Is Cornell the perfect fit for you? Consider applying under the early decision option

Review Important Date and Deadlines

Scheduling test dates, completing essays and balancing everyday responsibilities can get very hectic. Stay organized by reviewing application deadlines and planning ahead.