Skip to content
Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Courses will be added to the Winter Session roster between September and December. Visit often to see the latest course listings.

Enrollment and registration

International students

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

As an international student at Cornell you'll be well supported by the Winter Session office and a variety of campus resources. You'll also find that Ithaca, New York is a friendly and vibrant small city. You'll hear more than English spoken at Cornell. And, we hope you'll share your culture with us.

For the most current information about eligibility for international study, as well as helpful hints about other cultural and academic matters, please contact the Office of Global Learning International Services (IS) at or visit the IS website.

Note: The university does not provide housing for Winter Session students. Winter Session students are responsible for finding their own accommodations. For more information, see housing.

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

If you have any questions about enrollment or payment, contact the Winter Session office.

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 Winter 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, and others to succeed at Winter Session.

Visa requirements for students in on-campus courses

Most international students in on-campus courses 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 Winter Session program in at least three credits.

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 (see step 4 below) at least six weeks before the start of Winter Session.

Enrollment and registration steps for students in on-campus courses

Note: International students wishing to enroll in online courses may skip the steps below. Instead, they may simply select their online course, complete a course enrollment form, and submit the form along with their payment.

Step 1: Review the deadlines for international students in on-campus courses

The deadline to submit the course enrollment form, visa information, and payment is November 1, 2018. (This deadline is earlier than the deadline for other students to accommodate the time necessary to obtain and process visas.) Because of the time involved in obtaining a visa, we strongly recommend you submit your information well before this date.

Step 2: Choose the class you want to take

You may enroll in one three- or four-credit Winter Session class, (effectively a 20-credit semester). The four-credit limit may be exceeded only in the most extraordinary of circumstances. Any request to do so must be submitted to the registrar of the School of Continuing Education with a written explanation of these circumstances. A conference with one of the deans of the School of Continuing Education may also be required.

Step 3: Complete a course enrollment form

Download and complete the course enrollment form.

Step 4: Complete and submit an I-20 request and related materials

If you wish to study on campus, download and complete an I-20 request form. Also, gather the following materials:

  • 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 winter study if personal funds are being used. The amount must be shown in U.S. dollars and must equal tuition of $1,460 per credit, fees, plus $450 per week for estimated living expenses. Facsimile copies of documentation cannot be accepted.

Submit all of the above materials, including your course enrollment form, at the same time and as soon as possible before November 1, 2018, to the Winter Session office. Materials may be submitted in person or via mail to:

Cornell University Winter Session
B20 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-2801

Upon receipt of your I-20 request form or letter and related materials, the Winter 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. To ensure receipt of an I-20 form before the start of your study, you should submit all required forms and documents before November 1, 2018.

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 Office of Global Learning International Services (IS), Cornell University, 300 Caldwell Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-2602 (telephone: 607.255.5243; fax: 607.255.2778; email:

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

Step 5: Submit your payment

For payment amounts, see tuition.

For ways to submit your tuition, see payment methods. In addition to the payment methods listed on that page, international students who are visiting Cornell may also pay by credit card (this exception does not apply to full-time Cornell students). You are not officially registered for Winter Session until you have submitted your full tuition and fee payment and have no outstanding Bursar indebtedness.

If you decide to make a class change after submitting your enrollment form, please submit a change-in-enrollment form.

Step 6: Review Cornell's health requirements

Review the section on health insurance on the health and safety page and complete the health history form.

Step 7: Review the welcome guide

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

Step 8: Obtain a Cornell ID card when you arrive on campus

Stop by B20 Day Hall on or after your first day of classes to pick up an ID Request Form. You will then take this form to the University Registrar to have your picture taken and to receive your Cornell ID.

Step 9: Complete the Office of Global Learning International Services (IS) check-in procedure

Once you arrive at Cornell and are within five days of your Cornell start date, you must Complete the Office of Global Learning International Services (IS) online check-in procedure.

IS provides many useful services and programs to international students, including a quick guide to life at Cornell.