Explore the Undergraduate Requirements Needed for Your Admission to the Nolan School

At the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration, our admissions procedures and requirements differ slightly by the type of student: first-years, transfers from other Cornell schools, transfers from colleges and universities outside Cornell, international students, and military veteran applicants. Be sure to read through the admissions requirements relevant to you and become familiar with the application process before you begin. If you have any questions along the way, we’re happy to provide you with more information. Learn more about the Nolan School’s admission requirements below.

Everything You Need to Know About Applying to the Nolan School

We invite hard-working, well-rounded, life-long learners who believe in self-improvement to apply to the Nolan School. On the global stage of business students, our Hotelies rise above the crowd. Hotelies are intellectually curious and enjoy challenging themselves. They’re energetic, collaborative, passionate; they get involved in the community, demonstrate entrepreneurship and leadership, and have an interest in business and the business of hospitality. Watch our recorded information session before you apply and find answers to your questions about our programs and the admissions process.

First-Year Applicants

We holistically evaluate your application to determine your readiness for a rigorous AACSB accredited business education as well as your alignment with our uniquely service-oriented program. Whether you’re interested in finance, real estate, food and beverage, sales and marketing, or data analytics, let us know in your application why you’re excited to experience it all.

Apply by: November 1 for early decision and January 2 for regular decision

First-Year Applicants

International Applicants

International Students bring valuable perspective and experience to our community. If you have a record of academic excellence and see yourself thriving in a challenging, hands-on, and innovative business environment, we welcome your application. Please check Cornell University’s policy regarding English Language Proficiency (ELP) Requirements to find out if you’re required to submit ELP test results.

Apply by: First-year or transfer application deadline as applicable

International Applicants

Military Veteran Applicants

Cornell is a strong supporter of our military students and proud partners with VetLink and the Warrior Scholar Project, and participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program. We look forward to reviewing your application and learning more about the contributions you could make to our program.

Apply by: First-year or transfer application deadline as applicable

Military Veteran Applicants

External Transfer Applicants

We welcome motivated, bright external transfer applicants who are intellectually curious, interested in the business of hospitality management, and who continuously challenge themselves. Successful transfer applicants come from all kinds of schools and programs, including 2-year institutions and both public and private colleges and universities from all over the country and the world.

Apply by: March 15 for fall semester

External Transfer Applicants

Internal Transfer Applicants

Rising second and third year current Cornell students (i.e. those who apply in their first or second year) who meet our eligibility requirements and are interested in transferring to the Nolan School from another one of Cornell’s colleges or schools are welcome to apply. It is recommended that students enroll in an HADM elective before applying.

Apply by: midnight EST at the end of the day on December 1st (for spring semester applicants) or midnight EST at the end of the day on May 1st (for fall semester applicants)

*Please refer to the Internal Transfer FAQs below for information and Q&A session registration

Internal Transfer Applicants


First-Year Applicant Admission Requirements

We welcome freshmen who are intellectually curious and challenge themselves. At the Nolan School, we value honest, collaborative, open-minded, and passionate applicants. We also seek students who get involved with their community, demonstrate entrepreneurship and leadership, and have an interest in hospitality—about half of our first-year students have relevant work experience. It is important for Nolan School applicants to express an understanding of what it means to work in the service industry, as the coursework at the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration teaches business through the lens of hospitality. We accept the Common App and expect to see a rigorous high school curriculum with outstanding academic achievement.

FAQs For First-Year Applicants

If you’re applying to the Nolan School as a first-year student, we’ve collected answers to common questions from first-year applicants below.

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External Transfer Applicant Admission Requirements

We consider first year and sophomore applicants for transfer admission. You must have earned at least 12 credits from another accredited college or university at which you were previously or are currently enrolled. Please note that you will be unable to transfer more than 60 credits. You must also meet the following requirements:

  • 3 units of foreign language (from high school or college)
  • 1 unit of chemistry (from high school or college)
  • 1 unit of precalculus (from high school or college)
  • 1 college-level microeconomics course
  • A college-level writing course which meets the requirements established by the Knight Institute

Note: Our program includes rigorous quantitative analysis coursework. If your precalculus credit is from high school and you have not since taken math at a higher level, we strongly encourage you to enroll in a higher level math (college calculus, college algebra, etc.) prior to your enrollment in the Nolan School.

FAQs for External Transfer Applicants

If you’re a bright, motivated student who wishes to transfer to the Nolan School from an institution outside of Cornell, we welcome your application. Please familiarize yourself with our external transfer application requirements.


International Applicant Admission Requirements 

We welcome international students from outside the US. International students follow the same application process as our first-year or transfer students. Cornell considers applicants’ and their families’ ability to pay for education but expects applicants to apply for financial aid when applying for admission. You must complete our application materials without paid agents or credentialing services. If you are not a native English speaker, you must demonstrate proficiency in the English language with acceptable English language proficiency test scores. Peruse our frequently asked questions for more international applicant specifics.

FAQs for International Student Applicants

Cornell accepts academic credentials from institutions outside the US. Please familiarize yourself with our various international application requirements, including English language proficiency for non-native English speakers.


Military Veteran Applicant Admission Requirements

At the Nolan School, we welcome former and current service member applicants, who enrich our Hotelie community with their motivation, innovation, discipline, and experience. More than 200 military veterans are enrolled at Cornell, of whom about 70 are undergraduate students. We are proud to say that our enrolled veteran ranks are increasing. We are opening a house specifically dedicated to student veterans this fall, we continue to partner with the Warrior-Scholar Project, and this past fall Cornell’s incoming cohort of 33 undergraduate veterans was the largest in more than 40 years.


FAQs for Military Veteran Student Applicants

Cornell is a Yellow Ribbon Program participant and collaborates with the Veterans Administration to ensure that our military veteran applicants receive all available financial benefits to help fund their education. We also have an enviable array of representatives and experts to help answer any questions you might have about applying to the Nolan School.

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Internal Transfer Applicant Admission Requirements

Internal transfers must be current full-time (12-credit minimum) Cornell University first-year or sophomore-level students with a strong academic record (a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required) who have completed ECON 1110 or an equivalent microeconomics course. Students who transferred to Cornell from another university or college are not eligible for internal transfer to Nolan. Internal transfers should also have few, if any, S/U-graded courses. It is also recommended that internal transfer students take at least one HADM course prior to applying to transfer.

FAQs for Internal Transfer Applicants

If you’re interested in transferring to the Nolan School from another Cornell school, we welcome your application. Please familiarize yourself with our internal transfer application requirements. Before applying to the Nolan School, all students are advised to confer with their advisor in their current college to determine their eligibility and path to applying. We acknowledge that some colleges require a meeting with an advisor in the college to which you are applying for internal transfer, however, this is NOT required for internal transfer to the Nolan School. Additionally, please note that we do not review resumes or application materials prior to their official submission.

Ready to Start Your Application?

Our How to Apply page featuring relevant deadlines, a list of required application materials, and other useful tips for the admissions process. Get to know our admissions team and access our application checklist and acceptance criteria for maximizing the success of you as an applicant.


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Contact Us

Have a question about our application process and requirements? Want to know more about admissions at the Nolan School? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our admissions team for more information.

Office of Admissions

289 Statler Hall Ithaca, NY 14853

Phone: 607.254.4228


Apply Now 

Get your first-year Nolan School application started with the Common App.