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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Online courses

Cornell's online courses are a great way to

  • take a fascinating college course at an Ivy League university,
  • study with a Cornell faculty member,
  • get a head start on college by earning credits, and
  • work with students from around the world,

. . . all without leaving home!

Winter 2019 online courses

Additional Winter Session online courses that are open to high school students will be added soon.

Tuition: $1,460 per credit. High school students are not eligible for financial aid.

See the individual course descriptions for class dates. Most Winter Session online courses begin December 26 or January 2 and run through January 19, 2019.

ALS: Agriculture and Life Sciences

ANTHR: Anthropology

CLASS: Classics

COMM: Communication

EAS: Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

ECON: Economics

HD: Human Development

ILRHR: ILR: Human Resource Studies

NS: Nutritional Science

PLBIO: Plant Biology

PSYCH: Psychology

How to enroll

  1. Review the course description for the class you'd like to take to be sure you meet any course prerequisites listed.
  2. Send an email to the Cornell University Summer College director, Jim Schechter (, with "Approval for an online course" as the subject. Your message should include:
    • your request to enroll in an online class,
    • the name of the class you'd like to take, and
    • your name, address, and phone number.

    Attach a PDF of your official high school transcript (in English and including your most current grades) to this email. We will also accept your transcript by mail or fax. Please write "Online Courses" at the top of the transcript cover page.

  3. The Summer College director will review your request and send you an email notifying you of the decision.
  4. If you are granted permission to enroll, please mail a copy of the permission email you received from the Summer College director along with your course enrollment form to B20 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Payment for Winter Session online classes must be postmarked by November 30, 2018.

You are not officially registered until you have submitted full payment. See the "Tuition and payments" section of the FAQs below for information about payment methods.

Note: Although you are subject to the same rules and regulations as other students, as a high school student at Cornell there may be circumstances in which more specific program and/or statutory requirements apply.

Please review the FAQs below. If you're unable to find the answer, please contact the Summer College office.

Frequently asked questions

Enrollment and eligibility

How old do I have to be to take an online class?

You must be at least a high school sophomore.

How many classes can I take?

Because of the intense nature of study during the Summer and Winter Sessions, students may enroll in no more than eight credits during a six-week Summer Session and no more than four credits during the Winter Session.

How do I enroll?

Follow the steps outlined in the “How to enroll” section above.

What if I change my mind and want to drop my class?

The last day to drop a Winter Session class without receiving a "W" on your Cornell transcript for a class that runs December 26, 2018–January 19, 2019, is January 4, 2019. The deadline to drop a class that runs January 2–19, 2019, is January 7, 2019

Tuition and payments

How much does an online class cost?

Per-credit tuition for Cornell's 2019 Winter Session classes is $1,460, so a three-credit class will be $4,380. Cornell tuition does not include textbooks for the class. You may be required by the faculty to purchase textbooks.

When do I have to pay?

If you are approved by the Summer College director, we ask that you immediately submit your enrollment form and payment to Cornell. The deadline for Winter Session online courses is November 30, 2018.

What are acceptable payment methods?

Payment may be submitted by check, money order, or credit card.

Checks will be accepted only if they are:

  • made payable to "Cornell University"
  • drawn on banks located in the United States, and
  • payable in U.S. dollars.

Checks returned for insufficient funds are charged a $25 returned check fee (to be replaced by cash, cashier's check, or U.S. money order). Students are also charged any applicable late fees incurred as a result.

Students living within the U.S.:

You may pay by credit card through our secure online payment system.

For students living outside the U.S.:

To submit your program payment, visit Payment will be posted to the student's account within two to five business days.

Is there financial aid?

Cornell University does not provide financial aid to high school students enrolled in an online class.

Will I get my money back if I drop the class?

For the winter refund schedule, visit the Refund Schedule page.

If you have questions, please contact the Winter Session office.

May I take a class as non-credit and pay a reduced tuition?

No. Online classes are taken for credit and the per credit tuition applies.

Grades, credits, and transcripts

Could this class be used at my high school?

Maybe. Work with your high school guidance counselor prior to enrolling at Cornell to answer this question.

Will you notify my high school of my final grade?

No. Your grades are confidential information, and we will not share them with your high school. Of course, you are free to show your Cornell transcript to anyone you choose.

How do I get my grade?

Approximately ten days after the end of your class you may log into your Cornell Student Center to view your grades.

What kind of credit do I get?

At the successful completion of the class, you will receive Cornell University credits.

Will I have a Cornell transcript?

Yes. Approximately ten days after the end of the class you may log into your Cornell Student Center or the Cornell University Registrar website to order your transcript.


Is there a class outline (syllabus)?

In many cases you can find the syllabus in the class description. If the syllabus for the class you are interested in taking is not on the website, please contact the Summer College director; he will work with you and the faculty member to obtain the information you need.

How do I get access to the class materials?

Once you receive your NetID (see below), the faculty member teaching the course will contact you with instructions for accessing the lectures, syllabus, and other class information.

What is a NetID?

A NetID is the Network Identification number assigned to students by Cornell. It gives you access to your class, transcript, grades, Cornell's online libraries, and email system. For more information, visit the Cornell NetID page.

For Winter Session online courses, your enrollment and payment must be received by November 30 in order for us to process your Cornell NetID. NetIDs for Winter Session will be assigned in early to mid December.

If you have attended Cornell University Summer College, you already have a Cornell NetID and you will just need to reactivate it. Please contact the IT Service Desk at 607.255.5500.

How much time will be involved in lectures?

You should plan to spend at least 37.5 hours viewing lectures when taking an online course. Remember, this is an entire college semester offered in just a few weeks.

How much time will be involved in homework?

For each hour of online lecture, you should plan on two to three hours of homework.

How do I get homework assignments, tests, etc.?

Homework, tests, paper assignments and more will be clearly communicated on the class website as well as directly by the professor.

How do I get textbooks?

Once you are enrolled in the class, the faculty member will contact you with a book list, information about where books can be purchased, and their estimated cost.

Will classes meet at a specific time?

With online learning, you may view the class lectures on your schedule. The lectures will be available to all students 24/7. However, you may be required to meet at set times with the faculty member.

How do I ask the professor questions?

You will use your Cornell email initially. However, if your class uses Blackboard or another virtual class management program, you will also be able to communicate on that site.

I'm interested in taking a Winter Session course. My high school term ends in mid-December. May I begin my online class early?

It is often possible to begin readings and preparation prior to the first day of class. Please work with your professor to see if this is an option for your class.

What if I want to take an online Cornell class but I'm still taking classes at my high school; can I wait to start the online class?

One of the great things about taking an online course at Cornell is that once the course has started, you can sign in to hear the lectures at any time. However, if you need to delay the date you actually start the course, it is best to contact the faculty member directly to see if it is possible to catch up on a couple of days' work.

To contact the faculty member for your course, click on the course link above, locate the "Instructor" field, and either:

  • Note the instructor's name and then look up that person's email address in the Cornell directory, or
  • Note the instructor's NetID. This is a code that appears in parenthesis after the instructor's name and consists of the instructor's initials followed by one or more numbers, such as "(ewe1)". To email the instructor, send a message to this NetID followed by "". For instance, if your instructor's NetID is "ewe1" then her Cornell email address would be "". If an instructor is not listed, please contact us at or 607.255.7259.