Courses of Study 2017-2018 
    Feb 20, 2024  
Courses of Study 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Academic Options

In the College of Human Ecology .

The Urban Semester Program in New York City

Sustainable Urban Human Ecologies

Sam Beck, Ph.D., director

Cornell in New York City provides students with many study options that focus on multicultural dynamics in urban affairs. The options available include internships, individual and group community service projects, research, independent study, collaborative learning, and mentorships. Students learn through reflection and action.  Courses of study enable students to seek out the relationship between theory and practice, apply theory to practice, identify and acquire professional practice skills, and learn about the impact of diversity on New York City. By applying ethnographic research techniques and methods, students learn to think conceptually, reflect on their actions, practice leadership, and be agents of change.

The Urban Semester Program is a set of courses spanning the entire year. Students choose either fall or spring semester and enroll in three classes in one of two sections, Pre-Professional Program in Health or Pre-Professional Program: Service, Professional Practice and Leadership.  Students focus on the opportunities and barriers that a multicultural society (diversity and disparities) presents and their relationship with professional, community, or public policy settings and concerns (15-credit residential program).

In the nine-week summer semester (3 credits), students carry out internships and community service in various settings. Students work with the program staff to locate internship placements. For information, contact the Urban Semester Program staff in 162 MVR, (607) 255-1846, or the Urban Semester Program in New York City at (212) 746-2273.

Pre-Professional Program: Service, Professional Practice and Leadership (academic semesters):

Students in the Pre-Professional Program work in a professional internship of their choosing three to four days each week.  In addition, there is a required Seminar Session each Thursday from 10am to 4pm, which includes seminar discussions, guest speakers and site visits throughout the city.  In addition to the Seminar each week, students are expected to engage with one of the Urban Semester Program community partners in an established or developing community engagement project.  Student must enroll concurrently in courses HE 4921, HE 4922 and HE 4923.

Pre-Professional Program (summer):

In the nine-week summer session (3 credits) students carry out professional internships four to five days per week, attend a one-day seminar each week, and participate in community engagement projects.

Pre-Professional Program in Health (academic semesters):

Students may explore a variety of health related careers in hospital settings and non-hospital settings in rotations that take place three days each week.  One day each week students participate in a community engagement project organized by the Urban Semester Program and one day each week students engage guest speakers and each other in student centered and directed seminars that involve their rotation and community engagement experiences.  Student must enroll concurrently in courses HE 4901, HE 4902, HE 4903.

Pre-Professional Program in Health (summer):

The Pre-Professional Summer Program in Health is similar to the academic semester except that it is only nine weeks long (3 credits). Students carry out rotations in hospital and non-hospital settings, participate in community engagement projects and engage guest speakers and each other in student centered and directed seminars that involve their rotation and community engagement experiences.

New York City offers a wide variety of internship settings. Many bilingual and bicultural internship settings are available in Chinese, Spanish, Creole, Russian, Yiddish, and other languages. Examples of internships follow:

Health and medicine—New York Presbyterian Hospital/New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York Queens Hospital, Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, New York Presbyterian Downtown Hospital and others.

Private and public law—NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, Agenda for Children Tomorrow, Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Lawyers for Children, DA’s Office, Legal Aid Society, AALDEF, Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence, Center for Immigrant Rights, NAACPLDEF, Dorsey & Whitney

Government and community agencies—Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Senator Charles Schumer’s office, NYC Housing Authority, Dept. of Aging, Women’s Action Alliance, NYC Commission on the Status of Women, NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs, The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Manhattan Borough President’s office, Central Park Wildlife Center, Attorney General’s office, The Parks Dept., Health Dept.

Wall Street firms and other private businesses—Bloomingdales, Prudential Securities, Merrill Lynch, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cairns & Associates, Burson Marsteller, Cushman & Wakefield, AIG-AI Underwriters, Salomon Smith Barney, Jane Clark Chermayeff Associates, DDB Needham, KCSA, William M. Mercer Consulting Co., MGM, Madison Square Garden, Gensler Architecture, Niedefhoffer-Henkel Century Group, American Management Association

Private not-for-profit organizations—City Lights Youth, Council on Economic Priorities, Planned Parenthood, Talbot Perkins, FEGS, National Resources Defense Council, Urban Youth Alliance Inc., Phipps Housing, The Door, Covenant House, Global Policy and International Law, UN International Assoc. of Religious Freedom, Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet, UN Child Care Center, WHEDCO, YAI, Families and Work Institute

Private and public schools—Beginning with Children, Banana Kelly High School, East Harlem School at Exodus House, The Hetrick Martin Institute, Nuestros Niños, Theodore Roosevelt High School, The Choir Academy of Harlem, El Puente, Genesis RFK Center, River East School, MS 118, Mott Haven Village

Design and arts organizations—Harlem Textiles Works, TADA!, NY Theater Workshop, Cynthia Rowley, Inc., Perry Ellis International, Museum of African Art, SOHO20 Gallery, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, The Gap, Liz Claiborne

Communications and media—Nickelodeon, Do Something magazine, NBC Dateline, CNN, CBS News–48 Hours, NBC News, ABC One Life to Live, MSNBC The News w/Brian Williams, The Village Voice, Good Housekeeping, The New Yorker, Essence, Children’s Television Workshop, Good Morning America, MTV, HarperCollins Publishing, Maxim Magazine, MTV Online International.

Other Off-Campus Programs

Capital Semester

Combine a full semester of 15 Cornell credits with a paid internship and a reduction in tuition. Students intern directly for a New York State legislator (Senate or Assembly) in Albany to explore their policy interests in greater depth. Interns attend hearings and legislative sessions, meet with lobbyists and constituents, write reports for legislation and possible publication, and generally help conduct the work of their legislator. All Cornell students, regardless of major, are encouraged to apply. The program is available during the spring semester only, and it is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Interns benefit greatly when subsequently applying for future employment, law school, graduate school, or business school. Information is available from the Career Development Center (162 MVR).

Cornell in Washington

Cornell in Washington is a fall or spring semester, or summer, program in the heart of Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital. This unique experience offers students in all colleges an opportunity to earn full academic credit for a semester or summer in Washington, D.C. Students take part in small seminars led by Cornell faculty, and gain work experience through an internship of their choosing. In the fall and spring semesters, students also have the chance to carry out individual research projects. Learn more about the Cornell in Washington Program .

Courses at Ithaca College and Wells College

Full-time undergraduate students at Cornell may petition to enroll in courses at Ithaca or Wells Colleges. Students pay regular full tuition to Cornell and only special fees to either Ithaca or Wells where applicable. Students are allowed to register for one course per semester and a maximum of 12 credits in four years. Exceptions will be granted to Cornell students enrolled in methods and practice teaching courses at Ithaca and Wells, and those students pursuing a concentration in exercise science through a specially arranged program with Ithaca College.

Cornell students are eligible to register only for Ithaca and Wells College courses that are relevant to their program and that do not duplicate Cornell courses. Ithaca and Wells College credit counts as Cornell credit but not as Human Ecology credit. Students are accepted on a space-available basis. Participation in this program is not guaranteed, and both Ithaca and Wells have the right to accept or reject students for any reason deemed appropriate. The program is available only during the fall and spring semesters. For further information, contact the college registrar (146 MVR, (607) 255-2235).

Double-Registration Programs

Cornell undergraduates from PAM and other fields across the college and campus are eligible to apply to the Sloan Program in their junior year for a five-year accelerated B.S./M.H.A. degree in health administration. In their senior year, these students will take the first-year Sloan courses, which will be counted twice to satisfy both undergraduate as well as graduate requirements. At the end of their senior year, students will graduate with a B.S. degree. Students whose grades are competitive will be notified during the spring semester of their senior year that they are invited to continue for the final year of Sloan as a graduate student. Those students accepted for the five-year program will participate in a health-care administrative internship during the summer after earning their B.S. degree and following the first year of Sloan academic course work. The following graduate year they will complete the second year of required Sloan courses and electives and will earn a master in professional studies, with Cornell certifying completion of the requirements for a graduate degree in health administration.

Students applying to the accelerated B.S./M.H.A. program need to complete the initial application to the Sloan five-year program through PAM in their junior year. In general, at the time of application, most of their undergraduate requirements will have been met. This application must include the GRE general test score, along with recommendations from the faculty advisor and at least one other source, as well as transcripts and the statement of purpose. During their final senior undergraduate year they also will have to submit a formal application to the graduate school. A sample schedule of the two-year curriculum for Sloan can be viewed at

Double-Registration Program for Law

A small number of highly qualified applicants may be admitted to the Cornell Law School after only three years of undergraduate education. The requirements for admission under these circumstances are more stringent than for acceptance after four years of undergraduate study. Applicants must present outstanding qualifications and strong professional motivation. The junior year applicant follows the ordinary application procedures for Cornell Law School admission.

Interested students should contact the Law School director of admissions (Myron Taylor Hall, 607-255-5141) to discuss the admissions criteria. Because students accepted to this program will be spending their senior year away from Human Ecology, they need to plan ahead to ensure that distribution and major requirements for the B.S. degree will be met. Successful applicants need the approval of the college registrar in Human Ecology.