Skip directly to main navigation | secondary navigation | main content

Enrolling in Classes

Cornell University Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences Cornell University

College of Arts and Sciences, Liberal Arts at Cornell University

Enrolling in Courses

You have now finished our enrollment tutorial and we hope you have a list of courses ready. Please take a moment or two to review the instructions on the university’s New Student Website, particularly the "courses and colleges" link. You can access the Student Center to start the enrollment process through the “creating your schedule” portion of that site.

We hope that the New Student Website and Student Center itself will answer any remaining questions you have about the technical aspects of enrolling. One concern that is not addressed on these sites is what to do if you find you are unable to enroll in a course you want because it is full. If that happens, you have a few options:

  • Find another course that appeals to you and enroll in it instead, but plan to take your original choice in a future semester.
  • Wait until you arrive on campus in the fall. During Orientation, you will receive further guidance about course selection and will have the opportunity to make changes to your schedule during the add/drop period. Often at this time spaces open up in courses that were previously full. You might therefore be able to add the course you want during add/drop.
  • Contact the department offering the course. If it is a course you feel you really need to take in your first semester, the department might have advice on how to proceed, such as attending the first class meeting or adding your name to the waiting list for that class. Be assured that the college’s departments will do as much as they can to help you get into the courses you need.

Be aware that in many academic areas, there really are no sequences of courses you must follow, particularly in the humanities and social sciences areas. For example, the introductory courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics can be taken in either order because they are not a sequence. This gives you a lot of flexibility in deciding which semester to take a particular course. Other areas do, in fact, require that you take a series of courses in a particular order. This is common in the sciences, math and languages. That means it is important that you enroll in that first course in the sequence this fall since the beginning course is often taught only in the fall semester each year. If you are unsure, check the course description in Courses of Study.

For additional questions, you may e-mail the college’s academic advisors using the format below. We will be available throughout the summer enrollment period to answer your questions. Please be aware that we will only respond using your Cornell e-mail address, so be sure to activate your account and check your Cornell e-mail regularly.