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Summer College 2015 is now full! If you are interested in attending CUSC 2016, sign up for our e-mail list to receive program updates.


As a Summer College student, you'll be housed in a single or double room, or share a triple, in one of our residence halls on North Campus.

The buildings contain study areas, laundry rooms, piano lounges, and main lounges for studying and large gatherings. Men and women live in separate units or floors with close supervision by residential staff. The staff-to-student ratio is 1:25.

Each student will receive a "Summer Housing and Dining" guide on Opening Day.


Summer College students are required to live on campus with other Summer College participants. Exceptions are made only for students who live locally with a parent/guardian.

We believe that living in the same room, hall, or residence with someone from a different part of the world or section of the country can be one of the best learning experiences at Cornell.

Please note that you may not request a roommate. Room and roommate assignments will be given to you when you arrive.

We work closely with our students to assist them in adjusting to different interests and lifestyles. Room changes are only granted in extreme situations. Check out these essential tips for getting along with your roommates.

Residential staff

Residential community advisors (RCAs) also live in the residence halls with you, providing supervision and guidance. As Cornell students, RCAs may know your professors and may have taken the same courses you're taking. They'll share their college experiences with you and may have suggestions about choosing a college and major. Most importantly, they'll work hard to ensure that your experience in the residence hall is a good one.

Your room comes furnished with:

  • a lamp
  • a fan
  • a bed for each resident
  • a desk for each resident
  • a bureau for each resident
  • bookcases and chairs
  • pillows, bed linens, and blankets

Your room does not have air conditioning. The North Campus residence halls were built in the 1960s, before central air conditioning was prevalent. We do have a number of very hot days every summer when the dorm rooms can become uncomfortably warm.

To cope with the heat, we suggest you bring an additional desk or window fan, and/or rent a fan from the local rental agency (call Lewis Freedman at 607.539.6673).

What to bring to Summer College

Below is a list of items recommended by some of our Summer College alums. Watch out, though—you'll need a big suitcase to fit in everything on this list.

Towels are not included in weekly linen service, so be sure to bring them with you. Also, if you want to change your bed linens more often than once a week, consider bringing an extra set of long twin sheets (also known as dorm-size sheets) and a bed pad. Finally, visit our to-do list if you are interested in renting a refrigerator or extra fan for your room.

  • computer (optional)
  • writing supplies (pens, pencils, notebooks, paper, etc.)
  • backpack
  • cell phone or prepaid phone card and your address book (There are no landline phones in students' rooms.)
  • ATM card (The banks on the Cornell campus do not cash money orders, traveler's checks, or personal checks.)
  • $$$ for books, printer services, laundry, additional snacks, and entertainment
  • water bottle
  • laundry basket and laundry soap
  • clothes hangers
  • clothes for a variety of weather conditions
  • swimsuit
  • rain gear and umbrella
  • comfy shoes
  • one "business casual" outfit, for one of the Summer College special events and class presentations
  • shampoo, soap, and other personal supplies—and a basket to carry toiletries into the bathroom
  • your favorite pillow (Cornell provides one, but is one ever enough?) and favorite comforter
  • extra lamp (Cornell provides one in each room. Bulbs for halogen lamps must be no more than 150 watts. Spider lamps are prohibited.)
  • radio, MP3 player or iPod
  • alarm clock
  • power strips
  • flashlight
  • musical instrument
  • bike (Ithaca has been voted a top place to ride bikes, especially if you love hills), a strong bike lock, and bike helmet
  • tennis racket and other athletic equipment
  • camera

What not to bring

Don't bring everything you own. Definitely don't bring

  • a television or an air conditioner, because you won't be able to use them;
  • pets of any kind; or
  • an automobile, motorcycle, scooter, or motorbike, none of which you are permitted to have on campus—nor may you ride in other people's cars or motorized conveyances on or off campus. (Written permission to ride in a private car may be granted for certain restricted occasions. Public transportation can take you to most places.)

Money, money

Students frequently ask us how much spending money they should bring. This is really an individual decision. All your meals and most of your other activities are included in the cost of the program. Students attending the three-week program will probably need about $100 to $150 for books and supplies. Six-week students will need about $150 to $200—unless you're taking an art or architecture course, in which case supplies will be more expensive.

Neither the university nor anyone on the residence staff can hold money for you, and leaving it in your room or carrying a large amount of cash with you is not a great idea. We suggest that you use the bank machines located in Appel Commons, Robert Purcell Community Center, Willard Straight Hall, or the Campus Store. These ATMs have global access hookups. Or, you may want to talk with your home bank to get some suggestions for how to keep money on campus. Six-week students may choose to open a savings account in an on-campus bank branch. Campus banks do not cash traveler's checks, money orders, or personal checks. You can, however, bring traveler's checks to purchase items or use a bank debit card.