Student Handbook 2019-2020

Each school or college at Cornell has its own policies and procedures. Use this handbook, together with other university resources, to get the answers to your questions.

If you have additional questions, please visit the Office of Student Services in 180 Statler Hall.

If you find a topic that has not been included, or one that needs to be more clearly defined, please let us know.

Enjoy your studies!


This handbook is intended to support entering and continuing students in the School of Hotel Administration (Hotel School) at Cornell University. It has been prepared as a reference guide to requirements, programs, policies, and procedures of the Hotel School.

Although this handbook serves as a guide, it does not constitute a complete or definitive statement of the policies of Cornell University. The Courses of Study is the official University document for defining academic programs and requirements. In addition, the final authority for Hotel School academic programs and requirements resides with, and is administered by, the faculty of the School.

We hope you find this to be a useful resource as you progress through your education at the Hotel School and Cornell.

We wish you much success!

Office of Student Services
School of Hotel Administration
180 Statler Hall

Responsibility for Meeting Degree Requirements

Ultimately, students are responsible for understanding the degree requirements for their program, and for planning their courses and schedule accordingly to meet those requirements. Please see Hotel School degree requirements within this handbook. Students may wish to consult with an Office of Student Services advising team member to assist in course selection and planning, but completing coursework and other degree requirements is the responsibility of the student.

Guide to Important Resources

Dean’s Office

School of Hotel Administration Office of the Dean, 607.255.5106,

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, 607.255.5106

Associate Dean for Business Affairs, 607.255.3766

Dean of Students Office, 607.255.6839

Student Services

Office of Student Services, 180 Statler Hall, 607.255.9393

Admissions, 607.255.4228,

Bursar’s Office, 607.255.6413 or 607.255.2336 (student accounts)

Campus Life Management, 607.255.5511

Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives, 607.255.3841

Financial Aid and Student Employment, 607.255.5145

Housing and Dining Office, 607.255.5368

Office of Global Learning, 607.255.2543

Student Disabilities Services, 607.254.4545

University Registrar, 607.255.4232

Academic Support

Hotel School Office of Student Services, 607.255.9393

Hotel School Communication Center, 607.255.1090

Learning Strategies Center,    607.255.6310

John S. Knight Institute, 607.255.6349

Career Management

Cornell Career Services, 607.255.5221

Undergraduate & Masters Programs Career Management Center, 607.255.9393

Health, Wellness, & Safety

Cornell Health Center, 607.255.5155

Cornell United Religious Work, 607.255.4214

Counseling and Psychological Services, 607.255.5155

EARS (Empathy, Assistance & Referral Services), 607.255.EARS (3277)

Let’s Talk Drop-In Consultation, 607.255.5155

Suicide Prevention (Ithaca), 607.272.1616

Statler Hall Resources

Cornell Hotel Society, 607.255.3565

Executive Education, 607.255.4919

Hospitality Research, 607.255.9780

Hotel School Information Technologies and Helpdesk, 607.255.1098

Marketing and Communications, 607.255.8702

Statler Hotel, 607.257.2500

Centers and Institutes

Binenkorb Computer Center, 607.255.8872

Center for Real Estate Finance, 607.255.6025

Student Learning Center, 607.255.3673

Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations,  607.255.6574

Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship, 607.255.0179

Additional Resources

Alumni Affairs and Development, 607.255.3565

Continuing Education and Summer Session, 607.255.4987

Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity, 607.255.3976

Internal Transfer and Concurrent Degrees, 607.255.4386

Judicial Administrator, 607.255.4680

Ombudsman, 607.255.4321

Office of Student Services

The Hotel School Office of Student Services (OSS) is dedicated to providing a wide range of comprehensive student services to all Hotel School students (undergraduate and graduate) from matriculation through graduation. The OSS team strives to create an inclusive environment that fosters individual responsibility and success. Through direct service, the development and implementation of programs, and in collaboration with university resources; the OSS team is strategically positioned to enhance the holistic academic, personal and career development for Hotel School students.

Academic Advising and Student Development

Academic advising is a multi-dimensional, developmental process that fosters intellectual curiosity, supports holistic development and well-being, and assists students in clarifying their academic, personal, and career goals. Depending on the degree program in which a student is enrolled (undergraduate, professional or graduate), faculty and professional staff advisors have various roles and responsibilities and complement one another to assist students in both the development of educational plans and appropriate utilization of resources and support for the realization of these goals.

Advisors help undergraduate students to understand the meaning of higher education, the curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities available at Cornell University, the learning outcomes and requirements of their academic program of study, and how to interpret their progress toward their degree. Through direct service, the use of technology, the development and implementation of programs, and in collaboration with university resources; advisors work with undergraduate students to teach and empower them to become self- regulated learners who think critically about their experience, appropriately seek support and utilize resources, and take responsibility for their educational experience.

Diversity and Inclusion

In support of the primary mission of Cornell University to create a more inclusive community, the Diversity and Inclusion within Hotel School is responsible for providing programming that enhances the successful recruitment, retention, graduation, and career outcomes of a diverse student population, while strengthening the community that supports the social and academic success of all students.

  • Diversity and Inclusion staff collaborate with faculty and OSS staff regarding student academic performance, and recommendations are made for programs to benefit academically at-risk students including URM (retention and qualitative experiences).
  • Diversity and Inclusion staff is responsible for organizing the diversity component of orientation, facilitating programs and support to assist URM students in transitioning to the Hotel School and Cornell University.
  • Diversity and Inclusion staff facilitate specific programming for URM students, and advises the National Society of Minorities in
  • Diversity and Inclusion staff facilitate cultural competency training for all student club and organization leaders
  • The Director of Diversity and Inclusion serves as the chair for the Hotel School diversity committee, which develops workshops and training for faculty and staff to increase multicultural
  • Diversity and Inclusion staff collaborate with the Hotel School Human Resources Office to develop and implement educational programming and
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Director leads the Hotel School towards New Destination initiatives and serves as the Hotel School liaison to the University Diversity Council and related committees.


Many students are unfamiliar with the term “registrar.” Broadly speaking, a registrar is an official keeper of records. The Hotel School Registrar team maintains degree requirements and policies as approved by Hotel School faculty and is the main repository of all Hotel School student records. The Registrar oversees all course enrollment, grading, course scheduling, room assignments, and examination scheduling for Hotel School. The team is responsible for maintaining current student information on the university’s student data systems, including all grade, enrollment, registration, and transfer credit information.

Additionally, the office manages the petition process, diploma ordering and official degree posting for all graduating Hotel School students, ensuring that all requirements are satisfied for the Bachelor of Science degree. The Registrar also facilitates the process for all leaves and rejoins; and can provide assistance with other student registration issues.

What is the Difference between OSS Academic Advisors and the Hotel School Registrar?

OSS academic advisors are available to assist students in selecting courses based on individual interests, preparation, and academic goals. The Advisors help students make decisions about course selection, enrollment, curriculum planning, and how to maximize their time in Hotel School and at Cornell.

The Hotel School Registrar’s team maintains paperwork and documentation related to academic records and enrollment/registration status. The Registrar helps students who have questions related to their academic record in Student Center. Student Center is used to check one’s enrollment appointment, enroll in classes, view grades, and review financial accounts including financial aid.

Student Clubs and Organizations

The Hotel School is home to approximately 20 clubs and organizations that are part of the Cornell Hotel Society, Collegiate Chapter (CHS, CC), and the school’s club umbrella organization. The wide variety of Hotel School clubs allow leaders and members to discover their career interests, develop their leadership skills, and form a wide network of contacts who can help them after they graduate. Clubs are very active throughout the academic year by networking with and learning from industry leaders, hosting charity events, engaging in hand-on learning, developing their career path, touring facilities, and much more.

Students may join more than one club as a member and may also run for an elected officer position. At the beginning of each fall semester, all students are invited to learn more and get involved by attending the Club Fair. Students may find more information about Hotel School clubs and organizations through Campus Groups, a web-hosted platform that creates an online community for not only Hotel School clubs, but all clubs at Cornell.

Complete listing of current Clubs.

Career Management

The Career Management team takes a developmental approach towards career management for all Hotel School students (UG, MMH, Baker Program in RE). Students can meet with a career coach to define their career goals and learn how to successfully pursue those goals. In addition, students are encouraged to attend the career-focused workshops, employer events and other special programs offered throughout the year. Students can get help on a variety of career topics, including:

  • Exploring the world of work and clarifying career goals
  • Creating an effective resume and cover letter
  • Searching for internships and/or jobs
  • Conducting professional networking
  • Strengthening interviewing skills
  • Understanding and negotiating employment offers

Career Management hosts two career fairs in the fall semester, focused on real estate and a breadth of hospitality business sectors. In addition, Hotel School students may attend the university- wide career fairs hosted by Cornell Career Services. Employers visit campus throughout the year, to host company information sessions and interview days, as well as to participate in activities like practice interviews, career conversations and resume reviews.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the networking opportunities available to them through programming provided by Career Management.

Students are expected to be aware of and abide by the Cornell Career Services Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide (, regarding expectations for student participation in recruiting activities.

School of Hotel Administration Advising

Faculty Advisors

Faculty Advisors help students translate their academic interests into an appropriate course of study and support their professional development. Faculty advisors are prepared to provide the most current information not only about course offerings, but also about Hotel School concentrations, research, and other co-curricular opportunities. They are also able to help students explore and connect their career interests to the curriculum and to industry. Faculty can facilitate networking with other faculty, staff, and alumni. Developing a professional relationship with a faculty advisor will be valuable to your development, networking, career tips, job references, letters of recommendation, internships, graduate school applications and more.

In general, students can expect their Faculty advisor to:

  • Provide counsel for an academic program and support professional development throughout their Cornell career;
  • Discuss Hotel School concentrations, possible minors or specialized academic opportunities related to interests or goals;
  • Give guidance or make referrals if special issues or problems arise related to academics;

Invest in the advising relationship so that that he/she may be able to serve as reference.

OSS Academic Advisors

The Academic Advisors with the Hotel School Office of Student Services provide a variety of academic advising services and programs to support student development and assist students in achieving their academic, professional, and personal goals. Advising is a developmental process that assists students in the clarification of their life/career goals and in the development of educational plans for the realization of these goals. It is a decision-making process which assists students in realizing their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchanges with an OSS advisor.

In general, students can expect OSS academic advisors to:

  • Meet to discuss course selections that support academic and career interests;
  • Offer advice regarding progress toward degree requirements;
  • Help design imaginative and solid curricula that satisfy appropriate Hotel School degree requirements;
  • Be knowledgeable about the policies and processes for practice credit, transfer credit, petitions, and curricular substitutions and about the school’s many special academic options including Hotel School concentrations, the Management Intern Program (MIP), the Hotel Leadership Development Program (HLDP), the Hotel School/CIA collaborative degree program;
  • Provide a respectful and confidential space to ask questions and discuss interests and concerns;
  • Make referrals to university resources for academic support and overall health and wellbeing;
  • Provide general advice about the links between academic work and career goals;
  • Offer advice and guidance on studying abroad, transferring internally (between colleges) within Cornell, pursuing university minors, conducting research/other co-curricular or extracurricular activities;
  • Support students with disabilities;
  • Be knowledgeable about voluntary, required, and health leaves of absence;
  • Coordinate the Early Intervention program and support students having academic difficulties;

Providing case management for students who are in need of academic consideration, are of concern, and/or are in distress (support students during difficult or vulnerable times—when confused, overwhelmed, or troubled by academic or personal matters).

Student Responsibilities

Faculty and staff expect students to:

  • Take initiative and be responsible for their academic progress and career development;
  • Plan ahead. Schedule appointments in advance and reschedule or cancel if they are unable to keep your appointment. Do not expect to get a “same day” appointment outside of published “Open Advising Dates” each semester;
  • Reflect on their goals and interests;
  • Review their degree audit regularly;
  • Prepare a list of prioritized questions or topics to ask/discuss;
  • Conduct some background research so they are familiar with what information is already

Day of an appointment, we expect students to:

  • Arrive on time and log out/hang up their device or Be present and attentive during their meeting.
  • Take initiative, ask questions and make an effort to share openly. Advisors and staff can provide the most helpful support and guidance and if they know what is on students’ minds, know all the facts, and understand how students think they can be most

After your appointment, we expect students to:

  • Follow through on advice, referrals and actions that were discussed with an advisor or staff
  • Remember that every student situation is different and the result of an appointment may be unique, do not share information with others for whom the information may not
  • Take responsibility for their academic progress and career development. Check back with the advisor or staff member with whom they met and/or schedule a follow up appointment.

Undergraduate Program: B.S. Degree Requirements, Curriculum, & University Graduation Requirements

Hotel School Degree Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Science from the School of Hotel Administration students must:

  • Complete eight terms of residence, or the requirement designated for transfer To satisfy a term of resident study, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits hours, not including Physical Education (P.E.) credit. (Students who wish to stay beyond eight semesters or students who wish to graduate early must petition to do so at least one semester in advance of the new requested degree date.)
  • Earn a minimum of 120 credits, not including of P.E.
  • Complete the University physical education requirement, including a swim test, during your first year of registration and
  • Complete the University physical education requirement, including a swim test, during your first year of registration and enrollment.
  • Complete the prescribed course curriculum and attain a cumulative GPA of at least 0.
  • Students must be in residence (on campus) during their final semester. Exceptions for extraordinary reasons may be petitioned if all other graduation requirements, such as Practice Credit, physical education, etc., have been met and the student has a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the penultimate semester.
  • Resolve any courses in which a grade of “incomplete” was issued.
  • Complete two units of Practice Credit, 800 hours, paid or unpaid, work experience in areas of the industry aligned with one’s career goals.

Note: Students who have met all graduation requirements and, therefore, can graduate are expected to do so. Financial aid, with the exception of assistance for students enrolled under the Higher Education Opportunity Act, is awarded for a maximum of eight semesters.

Bachelor of Science Curriculum Requirements

Students can track progress toward degree requirements online at:

Note: Students should not rely on Academic Requirements noted in Student Essentials/Student Center, this does NOT contain the most up-to-date or accurate information.


Fulfillment of electives is required toward the degree to broaden and strengthen the intellectual and analytical base of students’ thinking. The B.S. Curriculum includes HADM Elective, Non-HADM Elective, and Free Elective credit requirements.

HADM Electives: 14 credit hours, must be 3000 level or higher and taken for a letter grade unless the course is offered SX/UX only

  • Note: HADM 4150 and HADM 4960 will count toward free electives only
  • Note: HADM 3030 and HADM 3040 must be taken concurrently to be counted toward HADM electives. HADM 3030 taken alone will count as a free elective only
  • Note: Up to 3 credit hours of the following coursework may be used toward HADM electives, any credit over 3 will count as free elective only: HADM 4910, HADM 4970, HADM 4971, HADM 4980, HADM 4990, HADM 4930, HADM4940:

Non-HADM Electives: 18 credit hours (includes the 3 credit First-Year Writing Seminar requirement). These credits must be completed as a letter grade unless the course is only offered SX/UX.

Free Electives: 24 credit hours, may be taken for a letter grade. A maximum of 6 credits can be completed for a grade of S/U.


The School of Hotel Administration faculty believes that integrated, full-time study for a defined period best promotes intellectual and creative development and best prepares students for citizenship and careers. Thus, eight semesters of full-time study is integral to earning the B.S. degree. Even if the minimum requirements can be met in fewer semesters, the faculty of the school expects students to take advantage of the resources of the university for eight full semesters and obtain as rich and advanced of an education as possible.

For transfer students from other institutions, each full semester of study at their previous institution counts as one of the eight semesters of residence. However, even if transfer students have completed more than four full semesters at their previous institution, they must spend a minimum of four semesters on the Cornell campus in Ithaca enrolled in the School of Hotel Administration.

When a student feels they do not need eight semesters, or the designated minimum semesters for transfers, in order to achieve this depth, the student can apply to accelerate by a term (and in rare cases, two terms).  A student desiring to accelerate may formally petition any time at least one semester before the desired graduation date (e.g., during spring 2019 if the desired graduation date is fall 2019).

Students who can graduate in eight semesters should do so.  Students may request to extend study for a ninth semester through a petition. (See an Office of Student Services staff advisor to discuss.)  Such permission is normally granted only to the following:

  1. Students who have been ill or experienced other unexpected circumstances beyond their control.
  2. Students who have a documentable drastic change in finances or financial burden.

Students who were academically underprepared for the curriculum at Cornell and needed to begin with a lighter schedule of courses than normal.

ROTC Students’ Coursework

Credit earned in military science, aerospace studies, or naval science courses may be counted toward the 24 Free Elective credit requirement.

Other Requirements (P.E., Swim Test, Practice Credit, Foreign Language)

P.E. Requirement – Cornell University requires all incoming freshmen to take two credits (two courses) of Physical Education, one credit each semester.

Note: Physical education does not count toward your total credit hours earned for graduation.

Swim Test Requirement – The University Faculty Committee on Physical Education has established a basic swimming competency requirement for all entering freshman undergraduates. Swim tests are typically taken during orientation in a student’s first year at Cornell. Students must pass the swim test in order to graduate. Click here for more information about the swim test requirement.

Practice Credit – To graduate from the Bachelor of Science program, a student must have 800 hours, paid or unpaid, work experience in areas of the industry aligned with one’s career goads. Typically, this requirement is fulfilled in two summers, however part-time employment is accepted. The objective of the Practice Credit requirement is to ensure that the student’s education has the essential balance between theory and practice.

  • A student must work a minimum of two separate employment periods, holding a minimum of two significantly different No single position may qualify for more than 400 hours (one unit). If students have worked in one particular job for more than 400 hours, it will only qualify for one unit.
  • To receive two units of Practice Credit from the same organization, students must obtain prior approval from the Office of Student Services. The nature of the jobs must be
  • Entering first-year students may not receive Practice Credit for positions held prior to matriculation in the School of Hotel Administration. Work experience while in high school or the summer(s) between the high school senior year and first year at Cornell will not be considered for Practice

Foreign Language – No additional foreign language courses are required beyond the admission requirement for graduation.  The Hotel School does not award credit based on proficiency exams, however, proficiency exams can be used to place out of introductory language courses.  Please see the department of the please see the following link for more information:

Following each work experience, students must submit a Practice Credit Employer Verification Form which is completed by both the student and the employer. For more information on the Practice Credit requirements and guidelines, please see:

Typical Course Sequences

Courses are more fixed during freshman and sophomore years, and students will be pre-enrolled into 1st and 2nd year core until complete. A greater degree of flexibility characterizes the upper-class years. Students will typically enroll in 12 to 16 credits each semester.

Hotel School Concentrations and Minors


Students may select an optional 12-credit minimum concentration, usually within the HADM Elective requirement. Courses that fulfill concentrations are defined by the academic areas within the school. To declare a concentration and have it appear on your final transcript, all courses must be approved by the faculty advisor for that concentration, taken for a letter grade (unless offered as SX/UX only), and a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA in the concentration courses must be attained.

Election of Concentration Form
Hotel School Approved Concentrations

Note: A student may complete the requirements for more than one concentration, but only one officially declared concentration will appear on the final transcript. (All verified completed minors will appear on the student’s transcript.)

Note: The 12 concentration credits are often taken within the School of Hotel Administration, which naturally fulfills the degree requirement for 12 credits of HADM Electives. Some concentrations may offer the option or require that the student take courses outside the School of Hotel Administration. If courses outside the school are used to fulfill any of the entire concentration credit requirement, the student must still fulfill the degree requirement of 14 credits of upper-level HADM Electives.

Your faculty advisor, a faculty representative in your concentration area, and the Office of Student Services are available if you have questions.

Undergraduate Minor in Real Estate

The School of Hotel Administration offers the minor in Real Estate. This minor prepares students for careers in the commercial real estate industry such as real estate investor, real estate finance, real estate consulting, structured finance, and real estate transaction support.

Cornell University Minors

Cornell University offers a variety of minors across the schools and colleges, in a variety of fields and disciplines. Many of these minors are interdisciplinary. Hotel School students may consider a minor in a foreign language, computer science, theater, nutritional and health sciences, and more. For more information, visit Undergraduate Minors under the Cornell University Fields of Study.

Additional Academic Opportunities

Culinary Institute of America (CIA) / School of Hotel Administration Alliance

Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration offers a collaborative degree program with The Culinary Institute of America. The program facilitates the completion of the Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Hotel Administration and the Associate Degree in Culinary Arts or the Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from The Culinary Institute of America in an abbreviated time frame. For students interested in the food industry, the collaborative degree program is a unique opportunity to add depth to their business skills, entrepreneurial endeavors, commercial production knowledge, and culinary technique. Students must apply and be accepted to both schools to participate.

Details of the collaborative degree program can be found at To apply, students must contact the program coordinator at

Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC)

HEC allows students to practice the skills they learned in the classroom and showcase their talents to a distinguished and discerning audience.

Up to 3 credits of HADM 4910 may count toward HADM Electives. Student managers can earn up to 80 hours and volunteers can earn up to 40 hours of Practice Credit.

To apply to be on the HEC Board of Directors, students must (1) be in good standing with a grade-point average of 2.0 or higher; (2) have previous HEC experience; and (3) receive approval of the course instructor.

Hotel Leadership Development Program (HLDP)

The Hotel Leadership Development Program (HLDP) offers students professional growth through experiential learning within the framework of an academic environment. Students will gain valuable management experience at the Statler Hotel while concurrently attending school. Exposure to hotel operations offers meaningful learning opportunities, challenging a student’s ability to apply critical thinking and management theory to personal experience.

Interaction with hospitality leaders enable students to establish professional relationships that facilitate and help define their professional path prior to graduation.

HLDP participants progress through several different paid employment phases, from entry level positions to student director. Each phase requires a specified minimum hours of paid employment at the Statler Hotel and is completed through a certification process. To prepare for each certification, participants are trained on the basic skills of each position. After the participant masters the position, a certification evaluation is conducted.

The students are required to complete the HADM 2170 Hotel Leadership Development Program and HADM 4170 Hospitality Leadership classes in order to prepare them for their roles as supervisors and leaders. Students will also participate in the HLDP Seminar Series, a non-credit program which provides additional training on management topics. Cross Divisional work experiences are also required for students to ensure a broad exposure to hotel operations.

Students who progress to the level of Statler Fellow will have reached the pinnacle of the program and are ready to become an effective hospitality manager.

Please review this short video to learn more about the program from some of our recent HLDP students:

For more information on HLDP including eligibility requirements and the application process, contact the Statler Payroll and Student Employment Office or stop by G23 Statler Hall.

Management Intern Program

The Management Intern Program (MIP) is a one-semester work-study program for juniors and first-semester seniors who have completed required course work. The MIP is a unique opportunity for students to gain invaluable knowledge and experience in the real world while receiving twelve Free Elective credits as well as typically earning a salary. One unit of Practice Credit can also be completed through this program if students elect to extend the program to include a summer.

For further information regarding the MIP, please contact Undergraduate & Masters Programs Career Management Center, 180 Statler Hall.

Special Studies Projects (formerly Independent Study)

Students have the option of arranging a special studies project in any academic area of the School of Hotel Administration. Projects are conducted under the direction of a SHA faculty member, and regular, frequent consultations are mandatory. The number of credit hours for such projects will be arranged on an individual basis. For more information, review the Special Studies Project Application form.

Note: Students are limited to a maximum of 6 special studies credits toward degree requirements. 

Note: Up to 3 special studies credits, taken for letter grade, may fulfill HADM Elective requirements. Any additional will be noted as Free Electives.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to consider studying abroad to explore language, cultural immersion and a global curriculum. A minimum GPA of 3.0, completion of 1st and 2nd year core coursework, and PE requirements are required to be considered for Study Abroad. For details on how to apply, schedule an appointment with the Hotel School’s Study Abroad Advisor, in 180 Statler Hall, or visit the Office of Global Learning and speak with an education abroad advisor who can help you identify programs that will allow you to pursue your interests abroad.  You can also get started by visiting their website to begin exploring programs:

Note: Grades on transcripts from abroad are not incorporated in the Cornell University cumulative GPA.

Note: Students are expected to take a minimum of 15 credits when abroad. This is viewed as a full load with the university. If students only take 12 credit hours abroad, they will be awarded only 12 credit hours on their transcript.

Note: Students must take courses abroad for a letter grade (no S-U designations) and the credit will count towards Free Electives. Students must petition to use credits towards Non-HADM Electives.

Note: Internships may not count towards academic credit but may count towards up to 1 unit of practice credit.

Summer Study Abroad

If students are unable to study abroad during the academic year, they can integrate an international experience while doing coursework or an internship through a summer or January term abroad. The Office of Global Learning does not administer short term programs at this time; however, students can apply directly to the program and submit a ‘request for pre-approval form’ available in the Office of Student Services, 180 Statler Hall to ensure that credit will be properly applied. The Office of Global Learning does request that students register their travel plans and contact information at This is a convenient service to support emergency communications and give access to Cornell’s emergency travel assistance coverage while abroad.

Undergraduate Research

Research is fundamental to all fields of scholarship. Hotel School students can engage in undergraduate research by arranging a special studies project under the direction of a Hotel School faculty member or through programs offered at the larger Cornell University community.

The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) offers students the opportunity to work with faculty to explore critical issues that face the hospitality industry and its related service industries.

They offer students direct experience and support in conducting research studies, often publishing the results in CHR publications and reports.

The Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars Program (RCPRS) selects highly motivated students and provides them with the opportunity to conduct financially supported, faculty mentored research throughout their undergraduate years.

For further information regarding undergraduate research, please contact the Office of Student Services, 180 Statler Hall or The Center for Hospitality Research.

Academic Standing/Changes in Status

Good Standing

Each semester, a student will be considered in good standing if they:

  • fulfill University registration requirements
  • are enrolled in and complete 12 or more credit hours (not including Phys Ed)
  • achieve a semester GPA of at least 2.0
  • maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0

Academic Review and Actions

At the conclusion of each semester, Hotel School Academic Review Committee review records of all students and takes appropriate action for students who do not meet the above Good Standing criteria. These actions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Warning: issued when a student’s semester and/or cumulative GPA fall below 2.0 or did not complete 12 credits. The student is warned that a 2.0 must be attained in the following and subsequent semesters or he/she faces further action, such as a required leave or or he/she faces further action, such as a required leave or withdrawal.
  • Required Leave: generally issued after a student has been warned but may be issued at any time a student’s semester and/or cumulative GPA fall below 2.0. The student is advised that he/she must leave the university for a period of one or two semesters.
  • Required Withdrawal: issued when a student’s academic record is such that the faculty deems that the student should leave the university on a permanent  basis.

Leaves of Absence

There are various types of leaves of absence for students in the School of Hotel Administration: voluntary, health, and required. Please note that regardless of leave type, students who have been on leave for two (2) or more years from last date of attendance must adopt the current academic degree requirements. Any leave that exceeds five (5) years will require students submit a formal petition to reapply to the program. Please contact the office of student services for further information about this process.

  • Voluntary/Personal Leave: Students may sometimes find it necessary to take a pause from their studies. A voluntary, or personal, leave of absence may be requested via the University Leave/Withdrawal form for any reason before the University drop deadline (57th day of the semester) by a student in good academic standing. Students are advised to check with the university bursar for tuition refund policies in the event a voluntary leave is requested once the semester has commenced. Students are responsible for all tuition, fees, and administrative charges incurred, and it is the student’s responsibility to contact the Office of Financial Aid, Student Housing, and International Services in the Office of Global Learning, if applicable. There will be no record of enrollment for the leave semester.
  • Health Leave: must be requested by the student and recommended by Cornell Health Services. If granted a health leave, which usually is at least six months in duration, the student may not return to the university until Cornell Health recommends a return.To request a return following a health leave the student must follow instruction found at
  • Required Leave (one or two semesters): generally issued after a student has been warned but may be issued at any time a student’s semester and/or cumulative GPA fall below 2.0. Hotel School faculty will advise that a student must leave the university for a period of one or two semesters. To request a return following a required leave the student must follow the readmission requirements included with the Required Leave letter.Note: Students returning from required leaves must attain a minimum 2.0 grade-point average and must not have any grades of “F” or “Incomplete” in the rejoin term. Otherwise, the student may be subject to further disciplinary action.

Students on any leave of absence are not permitted to enroll in courses at Cornell during the leave. They may however, seek pre-approval to take courses at other accredited institutions while on a leave (see Transfer Credit pg. 22-23).

Students must submit a formal, written request to rejoin the college following a voluntary or required leave. This should be done at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to return. Students who were given conditions to meet while on leave will be granted permission to rejoin once evidence has been presented that all conditions have been met. Students who are approved for rejoin will receive written confirmation and be reactivated at the university.

Other separations from the University include:

  • Voluntary Withdrawal: students who voluntarily withdraw from the School of Hotel Administration sever all connection with the college. A student who fails to register with the university by the end of the fifth week of the semester will be dropped from their classes and be considered to have voluntarily withdrawn, meaning they have separated from the university and are no longer students at Cornell. Students that have been withdrawn and wish to return must make a formal appeal for
  • Suspension: issued when a student has been convicted of a gross violation of the Code of Academic Integrity or the Campus Code of Conduct. A suspension is generally
  • Expulsion: is a permanent separation from the university wherein the student may not reregister in the future.

Internally Transferring to another College at Cornell

Students interested in applying for transfer within Cornell should consult with their advisor(s) and the Office of Internal Transfer and Concurrent Degrees, 200 CCC Building (

Extramural Students

Students not enrolled full-time who register for individual courses through the School of Continuing Education and Summer Session are noted as extramural students. Hotel School students may not take Cornell extramural courses while on a leave of absence or during their last semester of undergraduate enrollment. For further information about tuition, enrollment and a listing of available courses, students should visit, or the office located in B20 Day Hall.


To request consideration of academic matters that are not routine, Hotel School students will submit a formal petition request. The petition form may be obtained online at, or in hard copy at the Office of Student Services, 180 Statler Hall.

Petitions are required for, but are not limited to, such purposes and requests as:

  • a change to expected degree date (*Must be completed at least one semester in advance of requested degree date.)
  • consideration for approval of a voluntary leave of absence
  • adding or dropping courses after the University deadline

The petition should include evidence that an exception is warranted and outline specific details of the request. Students are required to meet with an OSS advisor or their faculty advisor to discuss prior to submission.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List recognizes academic achievement each semester.

Criteria for undergraduate students:

  • Satisfactory completion of at least 12 credits for a letter grade
  • No U, UX, INC, or F grades in the semester
  • A semester GPA of 3.75 or better
  • INC grades may be petitioned once the grade is changed, HADM 4970 (Distinction in Research) is excluded.

If you satisfy these criteria, you will receive written recognition from the dean and a notation will be made on your official transcript.

Distinction in Research

Distinction in Research applicants’ GPAs must be in the top 10% as measured by cumulative GPA up to and including the semester prior to matriculation in the program (the end of junior year).

Applicants must submit the Distinction in Research Course Enrollment Form — signed by both student and thesis advisor — to the Office of Student Services, by end of class period the semester prior to matriculation in the program.  Forms are available in 180 Statler.

Applicants must be enrolled in the Distinction in Research courses (HADM 4970 and 4971) for the duration of the thesis project, for a total of 6 credits. Note: Up to 3 credits of Distinction in Research work may count toward HADM Electives.

**Note: Thesis must be completed in the last two consecutive semesters before graduation.

Distinction in Research Advising

Thesis advisor: Distinction in Research thesis advisor can be any doctoral-degree-holding Hotel School senior lecturer, lecturer, professor, or clinical professor.

Distinction in Research Evaluation Procedures

Review of thesis is as follows:

  • First reviewer: thesis advisor
  • Second reviewer: Distinction in Research thesis program coordinator or a designated Hotel School faculty member. The designated faculty member must meet the criteria for serving as the thesis advisor. The second reviewer may be assigned at the beginning of the process if requested by the thesis
  • Each reviewer will provide independent grade, or both will agree to a common The student will be informed of the final grade only after thesis is completed.
  • In case of mismatch in grade assigned by two reviewers, an independent 3rd reviewer will be assigned by Dean’s Office (or ADAA/ADFD).
  • Honor will be noted on student’s official transcript.

Latin Honors and Evaluation Standards

Honor level (Summa, Magna, Cum Laude) is calculated by Hotel School Registrar’s office based final cumulative GPA after final grades post for the student’s graduating semester.  Honor will be noted on the student’s official transcript and diploma.

Level Cumulative GPA after final semester
Summa Cum Laude 4.0 or greater
Magna Cum Laude 3.75 to less than 4.0
Cum Laude 3.50 to less than 3.75

Transfer Credit and Advanced Placement Policies

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.  A maximum of 15 test credits may apply towards degree requirements.  Transfer credit not applying to HADM core will be applied to free electives first, then only into non-HADM should it exceed 24 free elective credits.

Transfer Credit

Coursework completed at a regionally accredited institution may be considered for transfer credit toward Hotel School B.S. degree requirements. A list of the six recognized accrediting bodies accepted by Cornell is available on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website.

Credit from an accredited two-year not-for-profit college may be transferable provided that they are from an Associate degree program (A.A., A.S.) in liberal arts and sciences or business-related fields (Hospitality Management, Business Administration, Marketing, Accounting, Sport or Recreation Management, etc.)  Online courses will not transfer.  Courses used towards trade or technical programs generally do not transfer.

  • Up to eighteen (18) credits may transfer toward fulfillment of required HADM
  • Up to fifteen (15) credits may transfer toward fulfillment of Non-HADM Electives once Free Electives have been filled.
  • Up to three (3) credits may transfer toward fulfillment of the University first-year writing (FWS)
  • Up to twenty-four (24) credits may transfer toward fulfillment of Free
  • 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
  • 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 and in most cases courses from trade or technical degrees/schools will not apply towards degree requirements.) Preapproval is required.
  • Matriculated students are expected to complete core course work at the Hotel School.
  • 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
  • An official transcript noting a grade of at least a “C” (not C-) is required for a course to be eligible for transfer
  • 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.)

International Transfer Credit

Students who have completed college-level courses outside of the United States and not through Cornell sponsored study abroad programs may be requested to submit proof of accreditation by the appropriate ministry of education or similar accrediting body or provide an external international credential evaluation. Companies offering these evaluation services include WES (World Education Service), Josef Silney & Associates INC, or any member in the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services:

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 University Courses of Study for credit at Cornell unless the AP credit is retracted.  Please note that a maximum of 15 test credits may count towards the degree.

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

  • AP Microeconomics – a score of 5 will fulfill HADM 1410
  • AP English Language and Comp or AP English Literature and Comp – a score of 5 will fulfill the First-Year Writing Seminar

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.  Please note that a maximum of 15 test credits may count towards the degree.  Test count counts towards free electives with the exception to the exams below.

  • IB-HL English Literature exam – a score of 7 will fulfill the First-Year Writing Seminar
  • IB-HL Microeconomics – a score of 6 or 7 will fulfill HADM 1410

Registration and Enrollment


Being registered with the University and the School of Hotel Administration and completing course enrollment are two different and distinct things.

Through Student Essentials, students may view registration and enrollment status each semester.

University registration is the official recognition of a student’s relationship with the University and is the basic authorization for a student’s access to campus resources.

To become a registered student at Cornell University, one must:

  • settle all financial accounts, including current semester tuition and charges
  • satisfy New York State and University health requirements
  • clear any and all holds from their college, the Office of the Judicial Administrator, Health Services, or the

Further information can be found at


Through submission of a completed add/drop form or through their Student Center enrollment pages, students may add and drop classes during the specified enrollment periods (pre- enrollment and add/drop) of each semester. SHA Students will be pre-enrolled in 1000-level and 2000-level core classes until complete. Taking more than four core courses in a single semester during your first and second year is not recommended. You cannot drop 1000-level or 2000-level core courses. If you feel you have extenuating circumstances, please consult with an advisor in the Office of Student Services.

Specific deadlines and further instructions can be found at the University Registrar’s site:

Note: Individual courses may have add/drop deadlines separate from the University dates. Please be sure to follow these if applicable.

Note: If you cannot enroll in an HADM course (other than 1000-level and 2000-level core classes) contact the course instructor or administrative assistant for information about wait lists or additional enrollment polices and permissions.

Maximum Number of Credits per Semester

The typical course load per semester is 12-16 credits.

Note: Physical education does not count toward full-time enrollment or toward total hours needed for graduation.

New first semester students and students whose cumulative GPA is below 2.50 may not enroll in more than 18 credits per semester. Students may request to take more than 18 credits if their cumulative GPA falls within the following ranges:

Cumulative GPA Maximum credits per semester
2.50-2.99 19
3.00-3.49 20
3.50 and above 21

Auditing Classes

Hotel School graduate and undergraduate students may not audit courses. Cornell undergraduate students from other colleges may not audit HADM courses.

Class Time Conflicts

Since instructors have the right to expect that the students registered for their courses will attend for the entire class period, enrollment in courses with overlapping schedules is not permitted.

Forbidden Overlaps/ “Double Dipping”

A forbidden overlap, or “double dipping”, is when a course’s material significantly overlaps material in a course a student has already taken. You may not take two courses that are identical or similar for credit or toward degree requirements. (This includes equivalent AP courses.) If you have any questions about this policy, consult the staff in the Office of Student Services. A current list of forbidden overlaps at Cornell.

Repeating Courses

Students are allowed to register a second time for topic type courses only (i.e. HADM 1910, 4980, 4990). If students re-enroll in courses they already passed with grades above “F,” the second registration will not count toward graduation requirements.

Students are allowed to enroll a second time for courses in which they previously received a grade of “F.” For the second enrollment, the credits will count toward graduation requirements, and the grade received will be figured into the cumulative average. The “F” remains on the record and is included in the computation of the grade-point average.

Grades and Credit

Grade Computation

The official university grading system uses letter grades with pluses and minuses. Passing grades range from A+ to D-; F is failing. INC denotes incomplete, and R is the grade given at the end of the first semester of a year-long course. A grade of W (withdrawn) is automatically assigned when a student is given permission to drop a class after the drop deadline. The grades of INC, R, S, SX, U, UX, and W do not have quality point equivalents attached.

To compute a term average, add the products of hours x the associated quality points and divide by the number of credit hours taken (in the example below, 51.2÷16=3.2).

Cumulative average (averages taken for two or more terms) equals the sum of the products of all terms at Cornell divided by the total number of credits taken. A grade of F carries no quality points but the credits are added to the total credit hours, thereby lowering the average. Incomplete, S-U, and withdrawn grades are not calculated in the grade-point average.

Quality Point Equivalents:

A+ = 4.3 C+ = 2.3
A = 4.0 C = 2.0
A- = 3.7 C- = 1.7
B+ =3.3 D+ = 1.3
B = 3.0 D = 1.0
B- = 2.7 D- = 0.7
  F = 0.0

Example: Calculating a GPA

Course Grade Quality Points Credit Hours Product
HADM 2360 C+ 2.3 4 9.2
HADM 1150 A 4 3 12
HADM 1740 A- 3.7 3 11.1
HADM 1210 B 3 3 9
GOVT 1110 B+ 3.3 3 9.9
Total     16 51.2
51.2/16 = 3.2 GPA      

Grade Option

Every class is offered for one of the following grade options:

  • Letter (A+ through F) exclusively
  • Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SX/UX) exclusively
  • Student option (letter or S/U) – “Student option” allows students to choose the grade option for the class. Students must make the decision for all of their applicable classes by the university drop deadline.  S/U grades will only count towards free electives.  A maximum of 6 total S/U credits can be applied towards degree requirements.

S/U and SX/UX

S/U, SX/UX – Students are limited to four (4) credits of S/U each semester (see above for difference between S/U and SX/UX). S/U credits may only satisfy Free Elective requirements, and may not count towards a concentration. A maximum total of six (6) S/U credits may count toward Free Elective requirements. The University allows students the first 57 calendar days of the semester to make grade option changes to courses with the choice of taking it for S/U or letter grade. This can be done via an add/drop paper form or through their Student Center enrollment pages.

Incomplete Grades

INC – A grade of Incomplete is given when a student is unable to finish the work for a course on time due to extenuating circumstances. In order to receive a grade of Incomplete, the student must have substantial equity in the course (i.e., completed 50% of work to date and be currently passing). The final decision as to whether a grade of Incomplete will be given rests with the instructor.

If the work is completed within the designated time period agreed upon by the instructor and student, the Incomplete will be changed to the earned grade on the student’s official transcript with the notation of an asterisk indicating the work was completed after the end of that term. A course in which a student received a grade of Incomplete will be noted with an asterisk on the student’s official transcript when the final grade is recorded. If the work is not completed within the designated time period, the grade of Incomplete will automatically be converted to an F or U/X depending on the grade structure of the course.  If a time frame is not specified it is one year from the conclusion of the course.

Note: A student may not graduate with an Incomplete or NGR on the transcript.

Grade Dispute

If students find themselves in a significant disagreement with their course instructor over a grade, there are options:

  • The student should request to meet with their instructor and try to resolve differences.
  • Students may wish to seek the advice of their advisor to discuss a strategy for resolving the disagreement.

Meet with the University’s Ombudsman, 118 Stimson Hall, 607.255.4321.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a critical issue for all students and professors in the academic community.

Students are expected to follow the code and understand that the faculty and administration of the School of Hotel Administration take academic-integrity violations very seriously.

The code’s introduction presents broad principles that should help students conduct themselves honorably:

“Absolute integrity is expected of every Cornell student in all academic undertakings. . . Academic integrity is expected not only in formal course work but in all university relationships and interactions connected to the educational process, including the use of university resources. . . A student’s submission of work for academic credit indicates that the work is the student’s own. . .”

A student who has been found guilty of violating the code may receive a penalty that ranges from the loss of points on a specific assignment to expulsion from the university. Moreover, no student who has been found guilty of a breach of the Code of Academic Integrity will be eligible for Ye Hosts membership, a management internship, or academic distinction or other graduation honors and awards.

See: The complete Code of Academic Integrity.