Class syllabus, textbooks, and materials

Soon after you receive your NetID (see below), the faculty member teaching the course will contact you via your Cornell email address with instructions for accessing the lectures, syllabus, and other class information.

Your required textbooks and/or materials are or will soon be available for purchase through the Cornell Store. Note that it may take several days/weeks for your textbook information to be listed on the Cornell Store website, so check back frequently.

Assignments, tests, homework, and more will be communicated on the class website as well as directly by the professor.

Time in class

You should plan to spend at least 37.5 hours viewing lectures when taking an online course.

In addition, for each hour of online lecture, you should plan on two to three hours of homework.

If you are taking a summer or winter course, this timing reflects the fact that you'll be completing an entire college semester in just a few weeks.

For example, if you take one three-credit, six-week class, you should plan to spend approximately 1.5 hours in class and up to three hours doing homework each day. If you take two three-credit, six-week classes, you should plan to spend approximately three hours in class and up to six hours doing homework each day.

Exam schedules

If you have more than two exams in 24 hours, you may request a make-up examination from your instructor. In addition, instructors must provide accommodations to students who may not have reliable access to an online exam or who are in different time zones.

If a course requires an end-of-class exercise (for example, a paper, project report, final critique, or oral presentation) but not a final examination, your instructor must allow you at least until the date appearing on the official examination schedule to complete submission of materials associated with the culminating exercise. (For example, a student making a presentation during the last week of classes or during study period will have at least until the scheduled final-exam date to submit a final write-up or equivalent.)


A NetID is the Network Identification number assigned to students by Cornell. It gives you access to your class, transcript, grades, Cornell's online libraries, and email system. For more information, visit the Cornell NetID page.

  • For Summer Session online courses:
    NetIDs will be assigned a week or two before your class begins.
  • For Fall and Winter Session online courses:
    You will receive a text (if you agreed, on your enrollment form, to allow Cornell to send texts) or an email within approximately one week from the date of your registration. Please note that your registration will not be processed until full payment for your class(es) is received. Follow the instructions in the text/email to activate your NetID and set up your Cornell email. Activation can take up to two weeks.

If you attended Cornell University Summer College, you already have a Cornell NetID, and you will just need to reactivate it. Contact the IT Service Desk at 607.255.5500 as soon as you have enrolled in your class.

Communicating with your professor

To contact your professor, click on the link for your course, locate the "Instructor" field, and either:

  • Note the instructor's name and then look up that person's email address in the Cornell directory, or
  • Note the instructor's NetID (such as "ewe1") and send a message to this NetID followed by "" For instance, in this example, your email would go to "". If an instructor is not listed, contact us at or 607.255.7259.

To communicate with your professor, please use your Cornell email initially. However, if your class uses Canvas or another virtual class management program, you will also be able to communicate via that site.

Students with disabilities

Cornell University is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities (including physical, medical, visual, hearing, learning, ADHD and psychological disabilities) have equal access to all university programs and activities.

For information about requesting aids and accommodations, see students with disabilities.