Before submitting your course enrollment form, consult the appropriate official in your school, college, or university to make sure that the credit you earn from your courses will count toward your degree.

Cornell grants academic credit in semester units. To convert them to quarter units, multiply by 1.5.

Credit limits

Summer Session

  • Up to four credits in a three-week period (effectively a 20-credit semester)
  • Up to eight credits in a six-week period (a 20-credit semester)
  • Up to ten credits in an eight-week period (a 19-credit semester equivalent)
  • Up to fifteen credits during the entire summer period (May-August)

Winter Session

  • One class or up to four credits

Fall/Spring Study

  • Domestic students: Up to eleven credits per semester, unless you receive special permission to exceed that limit (see below)
  • International students: Up to fifteen credits per semester

May I exceed these credit limits?

Credit limits may be exceeded only in the most extraordinary of circumstances. In addition, requests to take more than fifteen credits will not be approved.

To request permission to exceed credit limits, you must submit a petition that addresses your specific reasons for wanting to do this.

You must also complete the appropriate registration process.

If you're a Cornell undergraduate

Your request must include the endorsement of your academic advisor

If you're a visiting Fall/Spring study student

Your request must include

  • A detailed explanation of your rationale for exceeding the credit limit
  • Your plan for ensuring you'll successfully complete all of your coursework
  • A written acknowledgement that you have reviewed the health-related requirements and fees for visiting students enrolled in twelve or more credits on-campus in the Fall/Spring semester

Grades & symbols

Grading basis

The grading basis for a class may be

  • Letter (A+ to F)
  • Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U)
  • Student option (in which case you may select either “Letter” or “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” as the grading basis)

You may change the grading basis for "student option” classes by submitting an electronic add/drop/change request form prior to the deadline or, for currently matriculated students, by making the change in Student Center.

Once the deadline has passed, all requests for grading basis changes must be done via petition.

Final grades

You can get your final grade(s) at the end of the semester by logging on to Student Center and clicking on "Grades" under Academic History. Your Cornell NetID and password are required.

  • Grades cannot be given over the telephone, email, or fax.
  • If you're unable to access your grade(s), contact the IT Service Desk.
  • If you withdraw from a course on or after the withdrawal deadline, the symbol "W" appears on your transcript for the dropped course.
  • When you register as an auditor, the symbol "V" appears on your transcript.
    Note: Cornell undergraduates are not permitted to audit courses.

For more information, visit the Cornell University Courses of Study website.


Your enrollment in courses, your grades, and the number of credits you earn will be recorded on an official Cornell University transcript and will be a part of your permanent and complete academic record at the university.

To request a transcript, visit Ordering Transcripts on the Office of the University Registrar website. Your Cornell NetID and password are required.

If you do not have a NetID or your attendance began before 1982, use the Self-registration ordering site.

For more information, visit the Office of the University Registrar website.