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Enrollment and registration

International students

Summer Session welcomes international students to Cornell and encourages you to take advantage of this chance to live and learn at a world-renowned university.

As an international student at Cornell you'll be well supported by our International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). In addition, you'll find that Ithaca, New York is a friendly and vibrant small city. You'll hear more than English spoken at Summer Session. And, we hope you'll share your culture with us.

International students may be interested in these summer programs:

To enroll in Summer Session, please carefully read the information below.

If you have any questions about enrollment or payment, contact the Summer Sessions office.

For the most current information about eligibility for international study, as well as helpful hints about other cultural and academic matters, please e-mail the International Students and Scholars Office at or visit the ISSO website.

Language requirements

If your first language is not English, and you've taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), you need to have received the following scores to attend Summer Session:

  • a TOEFL score of at least 100 on the Internet-based test or 600 on the paper test or
  • an IELTS score of at least 7.

These required scores reflect the minimum level of English proficiency you need to take Cornell courses.

Adequate command of written and spoken English is critical to your success at Cornell. Courses are taught in English and you must be able to effectively communicate with faculty members, your fellow students, your roommate, and others to succeed at Summer Session.

Visa requirements

Most international students will need an F-1 student visa to study at Cornell. (Students cannot study at the university on a tourist visa.) The F-1 student visa requires that students studying in the United States be fluent in written and spoken English. This proficiency is also critical to your success at Cornell. In addition, you must be enrolled for the duration of your program in at least three credits for a three-week session or at least six credits for a six- or eight-week session.

Obtaining this visa may take a number of weeks. Therefore, we ask you to submit your I-20 Request Form along with your course-enrollment form at least six weeks before the start of your session.

Enrollment and registration steps

Step 1: Consult the academic calendar for your session dates and registration deadlines.

Step 2: Complete a course-enrollment form.

Please complete only one course-enrollment form, even if you're attending more than one session. (If you later decide to make a course change, submit a change-in-enrollment form.) If you're participating in more than one session, the dates that apply are the ones for the first session in which you're enrolling.

Step 3: Put together the following items, attach them to the course-enrollment form, and submit the materials to Summer Session as soon as possible:

  • the I-20 Request Form or a letter that states your date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship, course of study (you must be enrolled for at least three credits in a three-week session or six credits in a six- or eight-week session), and source of financial support;
  • a copy of the biographical data page of your passport; and
  • a copy of the letter of award if the source of funds is a scholarship or a grant, or
  • a current statement from a bank guaranteeing sufficient funds to cover summer study if personal funds are being used. The amount must be shown in U.S. dollars and must equal tuition of $1,260 per credit, fees, plus $1,800 per month for living expenses. Note: Facsimile copies of documentation cannot be accepted.

Upon receipt of the letter or I-20 Request Form, the Summer Session office will issue you an I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Visa). You may then take the I-20 form to the U.S. Consulate in your home country and apply for the F-1 student visa. Note: To ensure receipt of an I-20 form before the start of your study, you should submit all required forms and documents at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the session for which you are enrolling.

If you have not received your I-20 form as expected, contact the Summer Session office.

If you have received your I-20 form and have questions regarding your F-1 student visa application or other immigration matters, please contact the International Students and Scholars Office, Cornell University, B50 Caldwell Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-2602 (telephone: 607.255.5243; fax: 607.255.2778; e-mail:

Step 4: Submit payment

  • before or on registration day. Send or bring payment to Cornell University Summer Session, B20 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY 14850.
  • after registration day. Bring payment to B20 Day Hall. See "Late Registration."

Note: You are not officially registered for summer session until you have submitted full payment. If you're participating in more than one session, payment must be submitted for all sessions according to the applicable dates for the first session in which you are enrolling. For payment amount and methods, see "Tuition."

Step 5: Review Cornell's health requirements. Complete and submit your Cornell University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) enrollment form as well as your Summer Session health history form.

Step 6: Review the Welcome Guide.

Learn more about how to prepare for Summer Session and what to do when you arrive on campus.

Step 7: Report to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) within 15 days of arriving at Cornell.

You must report to the ISSO—located at B50 Caldwell Hall—with your passport and the I-94 card issued at the U.S. port of entry.

The ISSO is required to check these documents and confirm your status in the United States. The International Students and Scholars office will give you important information regarding your legal stay in the United States.