Frequently Asked Questions

Request Information

Applying to PDP (Download PDF)

Class Schedule

Fees and Payment

Travel and Lodging (Download PDF)


Beyond PDP

Applying to PDP

How do I apply to PDP?

Submit your PDP 2019 Application online. The application will be reviewed by the Office of Executive Education and we will contact you, usually within 24 hours, to advise you of your status.

Or download the PDP 2019 Application and submit by email, postal mail, or fax to:

Cornell Executive Education
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
Cornell University
209 Dryden Road, 4th Floor
Ithaca, NY 14850
Fax: 607.277.0517

What are the eligibility requirements to enroll in PDP?

PDP participants must have been employed full-time in the hospitality industry, or a related field, for a minimum of two continuous years prior to applying to the program. There are no employment requirements for online courses, but knowledge of the hospitality industry is helpful.

While many cultures enrich the Cornell experience, English is the language of instruction in PDP. We do not require a TOEFL score; however, to participate in and benefit from the courses, participants must have well-developed English-language communication and reading comprehension skills. If a participant's English language skills preclude active and full involvement in the classroom sessions, he or she may be removed from the program.

What do you mean by "Level A" and "Level B" courses?

Each course is designated by level, allowing all participants to receive training best suited to their respective levels of experience.

Level A

Open to anyone with at least two years experience in the hospitality industry or a related field. Many participants who qualify for Level B (advanced) courses often take the Level A course in subjects in which they wish to cross-train.

Level B

Designed for senior-level managers who typically have more than five years experience in the hospitality industry or a related field, including owners, corporate executives, general managers, assistant general managers, and department directors. Level B courses are also appropriate for individuals who have completed all required Level A courses in a given subject area as defined by the PDP certification requirements. Exceptions may be requested to allow Level A-qualified participants who can demonstrate significant experience or education within a given subject area to enroll in subject-related Level B courses. Determination of qualifications for Level B courses is determined solely by the PDP manager, whose decision is final.

Is there a deadline to apply?

Although you can apply to PDP as late as seven days prior to the class, it is best to apply as soon as possible to expedite the processing of your visa, if necessary, and to secure your first choices in courses. You must also be sure to complete your pre-course assignment before the start of class.

There is no deadline for online courses. They are available year-round.

Can I buy course materials instead of attending class?

PDP course materials are not for sale. They are available only to those who attend the specific classes.

What are the terms and conditions of my PDP registration?

By registering for PDP, you agree to pay a minimum deposit of $300 per course no later than ten days after your application has been accepted to secure your place in the program. Please be aware that your registration is not complete and your place in the program will not be held until the SHA Office of Executive Education receives the minimum deposit. Full payment for Ithaca courses must be made by June 3, 2019.

You may cancel prior to May 27, 2019 and receive reimbursement for all course fees. The minimum deposit of $300 per course will be held by the Office of Executive Education if cancellation takes place on or after May 27, 2019. You will receive no reimbursements if cancellation takes place after June 14, 2019.

Although it isn't mandatory for participation in the program, we ask for your permission to use candid photos of yourself and your organization's name to promote programs offered by the Office of Executive Education.

What is your cancellation policy?

You may cancel prior to May 27, 2019 and receive reimbursement for all course fees. The minimum deposit of $300 per course will be held by the Office of Executive Education if cancellation takes place on or after May 27, 2019. You will receive no reimbursements if cancellation takes place after June 14, 2019.

How do I get the pre-course assignment?

Some course will require the completion of a pre-course assignment. The pre-course assignment will be an assigned reading, project, or problem set.

Your pre-course assignment(s) will be posted no later than two weeks prior to the start of each course and you will be notified when the assignments (for those courses requiring them) have been posted. Once your application has been accepted and you are enrolled in the program, you can access your account and click on the "My Learning Path" tab to see any pre-course assignments.

Class Schedule

Can I attend more than one course during the same timeframe?

No. Each course is three intensive days: a pre-course assignment must be completed before class begins, and homework or group work will be assigned each of the first two evenings.

What is the daily schedule?

Day One 08.30-12.30: Class
12.30-13.30: Buffet Networking Lunch
13.30-17.00: Class
17.00-18.30: Welcome Reception
Evening: Individual or group assignment

There will be a 20-minute break in the morning and a 20-minute break in the afternoon.

Day Two 08.30-12.30: Class
12.30-13.30: Buffet Networking Lunch
13.30-17.00: Class
Evening: Individual or group assignment

There will be a 20-minute break in the morning and a 20-minute break in the afternoon.

Day Three 08.30-12.30: Class
12.30-13.30: Buffet Networking Lunch
13.30-15.30: Class

There will be a 20-minute break in the morning and a 10-minute break in the afternoon.

Daily refreshment breaks and buffet networking lunches are included in the cost of the course.

You are expected to attend all sessions. Certificates are presented only upon completion of each course, and you must be present to receive your completion and certification documents. We reserve the right to withhold certificates from participants who do not attend all sessions.

Is there an orientation?

Prior to your arrival, we will provide you with information regarding your stay and getting the most out of your PDP experience.

Registration and continental breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. on the first day of class in the atrium at Statler Hall. There you will receive your welcome bag containing PDP information. Classes will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m.

When do classes begin and end, and can I arrive late or leave early?

Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. (08.30 hr) on the first day and end on the third day at 3:30 p.m. (15.30 hr). You should also plan to be available the first two evenings for homework or group work. Because of the intensive nature of these courses, those who arrive late or leave early will not earn a Certificate of Completion for the course.

Fees and Payment

How much does each course cost?

PDP courses on the Cornell campus in Ithaca are US$2,895.

What is included in the course cost?

The PDP classroom course fee includes everything required for the course, including notebooks, articles, note paper and pencils, and CDs for those courses that require them. Continental breakfast, buffet networking lunch, and refreshment breaks are also included.

When is payment due?

A minimum deposit of US$300 per course is due ten days after your application has been accepted to secure your place in the program. Full payment for courses must be made by June 3, 2019.

The deposit will be held by the Office of Executive Education if cancellation takes place on or after May 27, 2019. You will receive no reimbursements if cancellation takes place after June 14, 2019.

Make a secure online credit card payment now.

What methods of payment do you accept?

Full payment of the program fee is due by June 3, 2019, and can be made by credit card, check, or wire transfer. Lodging fees should be paid separately.

By credit card

Make a secure online credit card payment using Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

By check

Mail a check (personal or corporate) drawn on a U.S. bank, and made payable to "Cornell University."

By international wire transfer


Cornell University's Office of Executive Education has partnered with Flywire in order to streamline the process of international payments. Flywire allows you to pay securely from any country and any bank, generally in your home currency.

By making your payment with Flywire you can:

  • Pay from any country and any bank
  • Save money on bank fees and ensure your payment is received in full
  • Receive peace of mind with 24x7 multilingual customer support
  • Track your payment from start to finish

To make an international payment today, please visit our Flywire payment portal

Flywire does handle wires initiated from the United States for a fee. Please see their website for more information.

Payment for lodging on campus or at the Statler Hotel should be handled according to the instructions they provide and should be sent separately. Please do not send one wire transfer for both program and lodging fees.

Once our office receives notification that your wire transfer was successful, we will send you an updated invoice reflecting the payment.

See more about fees under individual course categories.

What payment incentives are available?

Early payment incentive: US$100 per course if full payment is received by the dates noted below.

Cornell campus, Ithaca  April 26, 2019

Corporate partner pricing: The Office of Executive Education has also negotiated special corporate pricing with several corporate hotel brands. You may be entitled to this special pricing, which replaces the early-full-payment incentive. Please contact us at to determine if your company is among those qualifying.

Sorry; this incentive does not apply to online courses.

Single payor volume pricing: For organizations willing to register and pay through one coordinator, volume pricing is available starting with ten course seats in a given year. Please contact us at for full details and to get started.

What scholarships are available?

The Leif Torne PDP Scholarship is an endowed fund that offers scholarships to PDP classroom participants currently working in Europe. Three awards of one course each, valuing $2,895, will be given. You may apply by completing the application form or by requesting an application from the Office of Executive Education. The completed scholarship application must be submitted with your PDP application and resume. Submission deadline is April 15, 2019. Scholarships will be awarded in early May.

Several regional organizations, such as the Caribbean Hotel Association and the International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA), offer scholarship opportunities to their members, but these are neither funded nor administered by Cornell University.

Alternatively, you may want to check with hospitality or business associations within your region to explore possible funding sources.

Seeking sponsorship from your company? Use this guide.

Can I obtain education benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs and apply them toward PDP?

Yes, PDP is approved for the training of veterans and other eligible persons in accordance with the provisions of Section 3675, title 38, U.S. Code by the Division of Veterans Affairs. Eligible persons who enroll in any of these certifications can obtain education benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

To receive VA benefits, you must first submit a Form 22-1990, which can be accessed online.

Once you have been accepted to PDP, the Office of Executive Education will complete a Form 22-1999 and submit it to the Department of Veterans Affairs upon your request.

For more information, contact Robert Hurtle, New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs, Bureau of Veterans Education at 518.474.7606 or

More information about veterans' education benefit can be found at

Travel and Lodging

What housing options do I have while attending PDP?

We have negotiated special PDP rates with a number of hotels, as well as on-campus facilities.

Participants are responsible for making their own arrangements for accommodations and paying for them at their own expense.

How do I get to Ithaca?

Ithaca and Cornell University are served by the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. The university campus is about a ten-minute drive from the airport, serviced by various major airlines.


See maps of the Cornell University campus and our Travel to Ithaca page for more details.

Can I take a bus from New York City to Ithaca?

Yes, see our Travel to Ithaca page for more details.

How do I get to my hotel or Cornell once I arrive in Ithaca?

There are several ways for you to get to your hotel or on-campus residence hall room once you have arrived in Ithaca. Please remember that you are responsible for making your own transportation arrangements at your own expense.

From the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (where PDP staff members in red shirts will be waiting to direct you):

By taxi: Ithaca Dispatch (888.321.1149) represents the following taxi companies:

  • Yellow Cab (607.277.2227)
  • Cayuga Taxi (607.277.8294)
  • University Taxi (607.277.7777)

By courtesy car: Some local hotels provide complimentary transportation to and from the airport. Use the courtesy phones located at the airport in the baggage claim area to call your hotel and have them send a car to pick you up.

If you are arriving by bus: Call a taxi from the pay phones at the bus station using the numbers above.

How will I get to and from class each day?

Complimentary shuttle-bus transportation will be available to and from class each of the three class days. PDP representatives will be on the bus to assist you. Shuttle buses will make stops at designated locations based on our list of suggested housing options.

If you have not done so, please advise us of your housing choice as soon as possible so that we may coordinate the shuttle schedule.

How do I obtain a visa?

Once you have been accepted to the program, we can fax you a Visa Certification Letter, upon request, that you can submit to the U.S. Embassy. This document is sufficient in most instances, but you should check with the U.S. Embassy in your country as early as possible to be sure.

The Professional Development Program is a noncredit program; your attendance does not qualify you for a student visa. You will be a professional attending seminars at the university, not a matriculated student.

If you plan to take a trip into Canada during your stay, you will need a visa from the Canadian government, and may need a reentry visa to return to the United States.

What is the weather like in Ithaca?

Summer temperatures vary in this area during the day from 70° to 95° F (21° to 35° C), and 60° to 70° F (16° to 21° C) at night; highs of 100° F (38° C) have been recorded, but are very unusual. Rain showers are not uncommon. The scenic walks from the on-campus apartments to SHA take approximately 25 minutes, and there is also a frequent, daily bus service for your use.

Where can I access my email while I attend PDP?

At Cornell's School of Hotel Administration: If you have an Internet-based email address, you may access email from computers in the Binenkorb Computer Center. Wireless access is available in various locations throughout the Beck Center.

In on-campus housing: Internet service including wired access for your personal laptop is available. Detailed instructions on accessing this service will be available at check-in.

What is the suggested attire for class?

You should select your wardrobe in consideration of the weather. Attire for classes is strictly casual. Please note that all PDP classroom facilities are on a central air conditioning system. If you come from a warm climate, you may want a light jacket or sweater to wear in the classroom. There will be some photo opportunities and some participants like to plan weekend trips, so you may want to pack at least one business outfit (e.g., dress, suit, or jacket and slacks). If you are more comfortable in attire that is customary or traditional in your country, by all means dress accordingly.


How do I earn a certification?

PDP offers sequences of specially designed, sharply focused courses, most of which consist of four classroom courses each. These course sequences earn you a certification recognized around the world, and may be completed in a single year, or spaced out over two, three, or four consecutive years.

Select a category of interest and learn the requirements for each certification.

Can I apply a course I attended seven years ago toward a certification?

No, you have up to four consecutive years from the completion of your first course in a certification sequence to apply that course toward a certification. That means, if you attended PDP in 2015 and completed the first course in the sequence on June 28, 2015, you must complete the certification no later than July 8, 2019. You do not have to attend PDP in consecutive years to earn a certification.

The exception to this rule is the Master Certification in Hospitality Leadership. You have six consecutive years to complete this certification.

Can I apply a course to more than one certification?

A maximum of one course that has been applied toward a completed certification may also be applied to a subsequent certification. For example, completion of Marketing Management is a requirement for both the Certification in Hospitality Management and the Certification in Hospitality Marketing. If you are interested in earning both of these certifications, this course may be applied to both sequences.

The exception to this rule is the Master Certification in Hospitality Leadership. You can apply any or all required courses already applied to previous certifications earned.

Can I mix and match venues to get a certification?

Yes. You may elect to complete a certification at a single venue or by combining courses from any of our classroom locations or our online offerings. Certifications may be completed in a single year or spaced out over two, three, or four years from the date you complete the first course of the certification.

Please note that in many cases, five or six specific online courses are equivalent to one classroom course. See additional details.

Beyond PDP

Do you offer online hospitality management courses?

Yes. Learn about our online offerings.

Does Cornell's School of Hotel Administration have a master's program?

Yes. You may also be interested in the Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) program that covers an intensive three-semester curriculum in one year, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AACSB accreditation confirms a position among the top MBA programs in the country for quality business-management education. With their unique emphasis on hospitality and service industries, they can offer their students a specialized graduate management experience of the highest caliber.

Am I eligible to become a member of the Cornell Hotel Society after attending PDP?

To be eligible to become a member of the Cornell Hotel Society, you must either:

  • Be a Cornell School of Hotel Administration graduate
  • Attend GMP
  • Attend four PDP classroom courses

Unfortunately, PDP participants are not considered Cornell alumni. This designation is reserved for individuals who have graduated from a Cornell University degree program (e.g., bachelor's, master's, PhD). However, after you have attended four PDP courses, you are eligible to enroll as an Affiliate member of the Cornell Hotel Society.

Why can't we get electronic copies of the binder materials?

The information contained in the presentation, class materials, and handouts is copyrighted and is the intellectual property of Cornell University and the individual program faculty members. The Office of Executive Education does not have permission to distribute them in electronic form at this time. We hope you will understand that we are obligated to uphold the copyright laws and therefore have to provide hard copies to minimize the risk of sharing or distributing the materials for unauthorized use.

We do offer to coordinate shipping for our participants right on site. If you decide that you need to ship your materials once you arrive at Cornell, please see someone on our guest services team and they will assist you in shipping your materials home.

How do I add my PDP accomplishments to LinkedIn?

Once you have completed a course in the Professional Development Program (PDP), you may add it to your LinkedIn profile under Education.  Select “Cornell University” as the school and under degree, list “Professional Development Program (PDP), School of Hotel Administration”.  If you completed a PDP Certification, you may list “Certification in [insert certification name]” under Field of Study.   Select the year of completion under “To Year (or expected)”.

How should I list my accomplishments on my resume/CV?

Once you have completed your program, you may add it to your resume or CV by including the following information:

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration
Professional Development Program
Certification name (if applicable)
Course name(s)
Completion month and year



Cornell Executive Education

Phone: 607.255.4919
Fax: 607.277.0517

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
209 Dryden Road, 4th Fl.
Ithaca, NY 14850 USA

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