External Transfer Applicants

Students who transfer to the Hotel School from other colleges, universities, or post-secondary programs represent more than one-third of each graduating class. They have an interest in service and hospitality, and frequently exhibit the same characteristics of our current student body: a love of learning and of life, an extensive commitment to professional excellence, and a creative and passionate way of viewing customer-client interactions.

Does this sound like you? Below, you will find all of the information you need to apply to transfer to the Hotel School.

What we look for

Transfer students must fulfill most of the same admissions standards as a first-year applicant. We encourage you to look at the information on the First-Year Applicant page for what we look for in our students and this page for information specific to you as a transfer applicant.


Students who have earned 12 or more credits at another accredited college or university since graduating from high school are eligible to apply as transfer applicants. You are also considered a transfer student if you are enrolled full-time at another institution. For more information about applying as a transfer applicant, please visit the Undergraduate Admissions Application Process Overview.

Rising sophomore and rising junior applicants (i.e., those who apply in their freshman or sophomore year) are eligible to transfer. Current juniors and seniors are not eligible for transfer to the Hotel School, but may want to consider our Masters of Management in Hospitality program.

Admission Requirements

  • Strong academic record at the college level. In general, successful applicants have at least a 3.0 GPA with no grade lower than a C.
  • Full-time standing each prior university semester, with few, if any, pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory-graded courses
  • Good standing at current university
  • Chemistry with a lab component taken in either high school or college
  • Three years of a foreign language taken in either high school or college for native English speakers
  • Math or quantitative courses, including a minimum of pre-calculus taken in either high school or college
  • International students: TOEFL (score of 100 or better) or IELTS (score of 7.5) is required

To see what forms are required for your application, please see the How to Apply section of this page.

Admission Recommendations

While we do not require any specific sequence university courses, most successful transfer applicants have a strong liberal arts background and have taken a broad range of introductory business courses. Courses in hospitality are not required, but a passion for this field of study is imperative. Your application will also be strengthened with hospitality or service related work experience.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 60 credits may be transferred from other accredited colleges or universities toward your Cornell degree. Decisions about the transferability of credits will be made following admission to the Hotel School. Admitted transfer students will receive an official transfer-credit evaluation shortly after admission.

Students must complete all degree requirements with a minimum of sixty (60) credits earned at Cornell University. Thus, a maximum of sixty (60) credit hours in transfer credit and advanced placement may be considered toward degree fulfillment.

Academic credit from other accredited schools may be considered for transfer toward Hotel School B.S. degree requirements. Limitations and restrictions will be based on a case-by-case evaluation.

  • Up to 18 credits may transfer toward fulfillment of required HADM core.
  • Up to 15 credits may transfer toward fulfillment of Non-HADM Electives.
  • Up to 3 credits may transfer toward fulfillment of the University first-year writing (FWS) requirement.
  • Up to 24 credits may transfer toward fulfillment of Free Electives.  
  • Transfer credit is not accepted toward HADM Electives (exception: Culinary Institute of America).
  • Cornell University does not accept credit for courses sponsored by colleges but physically taught in a high school to high school students, even if the college provides a transcript of such work.
  • Current, matriculated Hotel School students (not transfer students) may request to take courses outside of Cornell for consideration for credit toward degree requirements, but only from accredited colleges or universities. (*Note: Coursework at For Profit Institutions is not permitted.) Preapproval is required (link to form). Core course requests will only be considered for extenuating circumstances.
  • Matriculated students are expected to complete core course work at the Hotel School, although they may consider taking Non-HADM and/or Free Elective in the summer.
  • Accepting a student request to take a core course in the summer outside of Cornell will be considered ONLY for extenuating circumstances and requires an advisor conversation and support.
  • Transfer credit will not be awarded for courses taken during a fall or spring semester in which a student is enrolled at Cornell in a degree granting Program.
  • An official transcript noting a grade of at least a “C” (not C-) is required for a course to be eligible for transfer credit.
  • Online course requests to be taken at other institutions will only be considered from four- year, accredited schools/universities. (*Note: Coursework at For Profit Institutions is not permitted.) 

Advanced Placement

The primary purpose of Advanced Placement (AP) credit is to exempt students from introductory courses and to place them in advanced courses. Students who receive AP credit, may not subsequently enroll in a similar course as outlined in the Courses of Study for credit at Cornell unless the AP credit is retracted. Hotel School students are limited to a total of 15 test (AP, IB, GCE, A-level) credits toward SHA degree requirements.

With qualifying scores, Hotel School students may be awarded AP credit only in Free Electives, with the following exceptions:

  • AP Microeconomics – a score of 5 will fulfill HADM 1410
  • IB Economics—a score of 6 or 7 will fulfill HADM 1410 and 3 free elective credits*
    • *effective Fall 2021 only a score of 7 will be accepted
  • AP English Language and Comp or AP English Literature and Comp – a score of 5 will fulfill the First-Year Writing Seminar
  • IB English Literature HL—a score of 7 will fulfill the First-Year Writing Seminar
  • AP Statistics—The Hotel School will not accept advanced credit for statistics 

International Credentials: GCE/A-Level and International Baccalaureate(IB)

Consideration of credit awards for General Certificate of Education “A” Level Examinations and International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations is summarized in the University Courses of Study. http://courses.cornell.edu/content.php?catoid=28&navoid=7243

How to Apply as Transfer

Cornell uses the Common Application. Please review the application instructions provided by the Undergraduate Admissions Office before getting started.

Hotel School transfer applicants should select “Cornell SC Johnson College of Business–Hotel School” as their program of interest.

In addition to the application materials, transfer students must also submit:

  • All students: Official transcripts from your high school and all colleges attended
  • U.S. Students: SAT or ACT scores if you have already taken them (You are not required to take the tests if you have not already done so.)
  • English Language Proficiency Exam for international students and students whose English is not their first language. The examinations that meet this requirement include:
    • TOEFL iBT, minimum score of 100
    • IELTS, minimum score of 7.5
    • DuoLingo, minimum score of 120
    • iTEP, minimum score of 5.5
    • PTE Academic, minimum score of 70
    • C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency, minimum score of 192

The deadline for fall transfer applications is March 15. The deadline for spring transfer applications is October 15.

Internal Transfer Applicants

If you are a current Cornell student considering a transfer to the Hotel School, please visit our Internal Transfer Information page for application instructions and requirements. Please see Frequently Asked Questions for Transfer Applicants for additional information.