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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Registration categories

International students

Visit the Global Cornell site for updates about the executive order on immigration as well as information about Cornell resources in support of our international community.

International students who wish to register for part-time study:

  • must state their educational purpose(s) for doing so,
  • must submit an enrollment request explaining how a semester's study at Cornell will help them achieve that academic goal,
  • must receive permission from the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions to enroll, and
  • must obtain F1 immigration status and register for twelve or more credits (a "full course of study").

Although non-degree students generally register for fewer than twelve credits, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires that international students register for twelve or more credits to qualify for F-1 visa status. For the most up-to-date immigration regulations, contact the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) at B50 Caldwell Hall, phone 607.255.5243, e-mail isso@cornell.edu.

Recently graduated high school students are usually not eligible for this program.

If you are interested in being considered for part-time study, you must follow these steps:

  1. Review need for English Proficiency.

    If English is not your first language, you should provide proof that you have taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and received a TOEFL score of at least 100 on the Internet-based test or 600 on the paper test, or at least a 7 on the IELTS to enroll in Part-Time Study. These required scores reflect the minimum level of English proficiency you will need to take classes as a part-time student. (If your score is less than 100/600/7, you may want to take the English for International Students and Scholars program before beginning your other studies.)

  2. Request permission to register for twelve credits or more.

    A. You must submit a written request for permission to register for twelve credits or more to the registrar of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions at:

    Part-Time Study at Cornell University
    School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions
    B20 Day Hall
    Ithaca, NY 14853-2801 USA
    Dedicated fax: 607.255.9697
    E-mail: cusce@cornell.edu

    In your request, you must outline your specific reasons for wanting to study at Cornell University for a semester, including how this study will help you achieve your academic goals.

    B. You must also complete and submit a course enrollment form along with your request indicating the classes in which you want to enroll if you receive permission to do so. (You do not need to obtain the requested instructor's and college registrar's signatures at this time.)

    C. You must include a copy of the biographical data page of your passport.

    D. You must request that official copies of your college and university transcripts be faxed or e-mailed to the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions at 607.255.9697.

    E. Finally, ask two professors who know you well to send letters of recommendation directly to the e-mail address above.

    An interview with a dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions may also be required.

  3. If permission to register for twelve credits or more is granted, complete and submit an I-20 request form along with:
    • 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 part-time study if personal funds are being used. The amount should be shown in U.S. dollars and must equal tuition of $1,460 per credit, fees, plus $1,800 per month for living expenses. Note: Facsimile copies of documentation cannot be accepted.

    Submit the above materials, as soon as possible, to:

    Part-Time Study at Cornell University
    School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions
    B20 Day Hall
    Ithaca, NY 14853-2801 USA

  4. Apply for an F-1 visa.

    Upon receipt of your I-20 request form, the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions 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 haven't received your I-20 form as expected, contact the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions.

    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 (ISSO), Cornell University, B50 Caldwell Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-2602 (telephone: 607.255.5243; fax: 607.255.2778; e-mail: sw57@cornell.edu).

  5. Obtain instructor/registrar signatures or departmental stamp for enrollment form.

    Along with mailing you an I-20 form, the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions will return your enrollment form. You may want to contact the professors of the classes in which you are interested in advance of your arrival on campus to determine if you are likely to be able to enroll in them. Course, time, and room rosters are available at courses.cornell.edu.

    You must bring this form with you to Cornell and, when you arrive on campus, you must ask the course instructor(s) (or departments) to sign or stamp this form. The instructor determines if there is space in the class and if you have completed course prerequisites, if any. The instructor's signature indicates you have permission to enroll in the class. If the college registrar's approval is required for your course (see enrollment form), you should obtain it at this step.

  6. Review Cornell's health requirements.

    Visiting students enrolled in 12 or more credits in on-campus fall/spring classes are required to pay either the fall/spring student health fee or enroll in Cornell’s Student Health Plan (SHP). Review the health and safety page to determine if you need to enroll in (SHP).

    In addition, be sure you meet Cornell’s health and immunization requirements.

  7. Review housing options.

    Campus housing is provided primarily to matriculated students. You may explore options available to you at the off-campus housing website.

  8. As soon as you arrive on campus, bring the signed course enrollment form to B20 Day Hall.

    See the calendar for registration dates. Late registrations are subject to a late fee.

  9. At registration you must pay tuition of $1,460 per credit and all course fees.

    See payment methods for information about making international payment.

  10. Complete the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) check-in procedure.

    Once you arrive at Cornell and are within five days of your Cornell start date, you must complete the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) check-in procedure. To do this, follow the directions here: isso.cornell.edu/students/new-student-visas/isso-check.

    ISSO, located at 50 Caldwell Hall, provides many useful services and programs to international students. Learn more at isso.cornell.edu/life-cornell/new-student-arrival-guide.