Transfer Student FAQ
If you can't find an answer to your questions among those sent in reply to questions posed by past internal and external transfer students, please contact an Office of Student Services advisor.
Q: Why should I attend the School of Hotel Administration Orientation when I've already been to a Cornell Orientation as a first-year student?
A: You meet fellow transfer students, are assigned to a faculty advisor, and receive your course schedule, a list of career-management resources, and an overview of the school's mission and vision, as it relates to your academic and professional development.
Q: Since I've taken courses already in the School of Hotel Administration, can I request that a specific faculty member be my advisor?
A: Absolutely! We encourage students to choose their own advisors, realizing that during their time at SHA, their choice of an advisor may change. If you need to change an advisor, submit an Advisor Change Form to the Office of Student Services at 180 Statler Hall.
Q: How do I receive transfer credit for the courses I've already taken at another college?
A: With your letter of acceptance, you should receive a Transfer Credit Summary, outlining what credits have been awarded and where they have been allocated in the following areas: core courses, SHA electives, non-HADM (distributive) electives, and free electives.
Q: If my transfer credits don't appear on the Transfer Credit Summary, or if they are noted as CIP (Course in Progress), what should I do?
A: Send a final official copy of your transcript from all schools previously attended, to:
School of Hotel Administration Registrar
Office of Student Services
180 Statler Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-6902
Original copies, not photocopies, are required. If the transcripts are not sent directly from your other school(s), and are submitted by you, they must be in sealed/signed envelopes indicating that the transcripts were a direct delivery from the school and not viewed by anyone prior to arrival at our registrar's office.
Q: How do I know if a course I've taken at another college will replace a required core course at the School of Hotel Administration?
A: On your Transfer Credit Summary, it will be noted as accepted or any course that may replace a core course will be designated as Refer to Office of Student Services. This means that you may be exempt from taking the course, but you will need to provide a syllabus of that course to the Office of Student Services for consideration.
Q: Where do my Advanced Placement (AP) credits get awarded?
A: The primary purpose of Advanced Placement (AP) credit is to exempt students from introductory courses and to place them in advanced courses. For SHA students, credit may be awarded only in free electives with two exceptions: microeconomics (score 4/5) and First Year Writing Seminar (5 on AP English Lit or Lang). If you receive AP credit, you may not subsequently enroll in a similar course as outlined in Courses of Study for credit at Cornell unless the AP credit is removed.
Q: What if my AP credits aren't accounted for at all?
A: This most likely means we haven't received official notification of your scores. If this is the case, an original score report should be requested from the College Board to be sent directly to Cornell, or you may bring your original student copy to 180 Statler Hall.
Q: What is the First-Year Writing Seminar?
A: The First-Year Writing Seminar will be waived for those transfer students who have attended two semesters at another accredited institution. If you have not attended two full semesters, the John S. Knight Institute coordinates the First-Year Writing Seminar program, which serves the vast majority of first-year students at Cornell.
Q: How many credits can I transfer to the School of Hotel Administration?
A: You can transfer up to a total of 60 credits, but only 18 transfer credits can be substituted for core courses.
Q: I've already worked in the industry. Can my work experience be applied to the required 800 hours (2 credits) of required Practice Credit?
A: You can get up to 1 credit of Practice Credit (up to 400 hours) applied to your Practice Credit by following the standard Practice Credit guidelines.
Q: How do I know if I'm on the right track, taking the courses I need to take to graduate?
A: You will track your progress at Cornell by reviewing your Online Degree Audit. If you have any questions or concerns, make an appointment with an undergraduate advisor at the Office of Student Services.
Q: How do I know what courses to choose to fulfill non-HADM (distributive) electives?
Q: How do I schedule my classes?
A: The School of Hotel Administration will pre-enroll you into a set 'block' of classes for your first- and second-year core. To add electives, you will receive information with the dates for course enrollment, at which time you can sign up online through your Student Center. If there is an 'additional' core course that you want to add you may try to do that during the add/drop period. Core courses are usually full, but openings occur. You should contact the professor or his/her administrative assistant during the drop/add period prior to the first day of classes to see if there is a wait list, and/or you can bring a paper add/drop form to the first day of class, in case an opening occurs. Once classes begin, the instructor makes all decisions on managing course enrollment.
Q: If I have fulfilled all my non-HADM (distributive) electives and free electives, what School of Hotel Administration electives can I take that don't have prerequisites?
A: You can find SHA electives without prerequisites by looking at the SHA course descriptions. Any course prerequisites are noted, but if a course is marked 'permisson of instructor,' admission may be based on space and the student's experience.
Q: I haven't taken any physical education (PE) classes at another college. Do I need to take the two semesters of PE, as required by Cornell?
A: If you have attended two semesters at another institution (regardless of whether or not you took PE classes at your current institution), you are not required to take a PE class, nor do you need to take the swim test. If you have had fewer than two semesters somewhere else, you will be required to take physical education and take the swim test.
Q: I want to participate in Cornell Abroad. Is this possible?
A: It might be possible, but you need to carefully map out your time at Cornell, ensuring that all degree requirements can be fulfilled by your graduation date. SHA undergraduate students may make an appointment with the Study Abroad advisor by using our online scheduling tool or by calling 607.255.6376.
Q: As a transfer student, how do I know if I’m a first-, second-, third-, or fourth-year student?
A: On your Transfer Credit Allowance, your anticipated graduation date is determined by your remaining credits (average of 15 credits/semester). Work backwards to identify your standing. For example, if your anticipated graduation date is May 2018 and you've just joined SHA in Fall 2015, you're expected to complete six more semesters, making you a second-year student, first-semester (2-1).
Q: How many credits am I expected to take per semester?
A: We assume that you will average 15 credits per semester when we calculate your graduation date on the Transfer Credit Allowance you are sent before your arrival at Cornell. You can also look at your online degree audit for your credit summary. To calculate the number of credits you need to take each semester, divide the total number of credits you have remaining by the number of semesters you are scheduled to be on campus.
# of credits not yet taken / # of semesters = # of credits per semester
For example: If you arrive in fall 2015 and you plan to graduate in May 2018, you will be at Cornell for six semesters. If your online degree audit shows that you have 90 credit hours not yet taken, you would divide 90 (number of credits not yet taken) by six (number of semesters), and find that you will need to take 15 credits per semester in order to graduate in May 2018.