How to enroll

1. Review language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide proof (see step 3) that you have taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and received the following scores:

  • 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 (While IELTS testing is currently suspended due to COVID-19, we will accept your IELTS Indicator score.)

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, your roommate, and others to attend Cornell.


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. (Available in summer only.)

2. Review enrollment deadlines

See the academic calendar for your session for term dates and enrollment and registration deadlines:

3. Select your course(s)

Review prerequisites and credit limits and then select your course(s).

Summer Session course enrollment

To enroll in summer courses, you must submit the following:

  • A course enrollment form (PDF) indicating the classes in which you want to enroll if you receive permission to do so. (You do not need to obtain the instructor's and college registrar's signatures.)
  • A copy of the biographical data page of your passport

Fall/Spring course enrollment

To enroll in fall/spring courses, you must request permission to register.

This request must be submitted by email to the Cornell SCE registrar at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the session for which you are enrolling. The request should address your specific reasons for wanting to study at Cornell for a semester, including how this study will help you achieve your academic goals.

Along with this request, you must also submit the following:

  • A course enrollment form (PDF) 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.)
  • All of your college and university transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors who know you well
  • Your English language test scores

You might also be required to meet with a Cornell SCE dean.

4. Instructor permission

Obtain the requested instructor's and college registrar's signatures on your course enrollment form. If a digital signature is not possible, please attach written approval (email is acceptable).

5. Submit payment before or on registration day

See tuition and how to pay.

In addition to the payment methods listed on the how to pay 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 until you have submitted your full tuition and fee payment and have no outstanding Bursar indebtedness.

6. Finalize your registration

Finalize your registration by completing the steps on the SCE onboarding page.

These requirements include activating your Cornell NetID and familiarizing yourself with important policies.

In addition, review the general orientation information .