Requirements for all students
In order to receive a Cornell degree, a student must satisfy academic and non-academic requirements.
A student’s college determines degree requirements such as residency, number of credits, distribution of credits, and grade averages. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the specific major, degree, distribution, college, and graduation requirements for completing their chosen program of study. See the individual requirements listed by each college or school or contact the college registrar’s office for more information.
Conduct Matters. Students must satisfy any outstanding sanctions, penalties or remedies imposed or agreed to under the Student Code of Conduct (Code) or Policy 6.4. Where a formal complaint under the Code or Policy 6.4 is pending, the University will withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the adjudication process set forth in those procedures is complete, including the satisfaction of any sanctions, penalties or remedies imposed.
Financial Obligations. Outstanding financial obligations will not impact the awarding of a degree otherwise earned or a student’s ability to access their official transcript. However, the University may withhold issuing a diploma until any outstanding financial obligations owing to the University are satisfied.
Additional requirements for undergraduate students
The University has two requirements for graduation that must be fulfilled by all undergraduate students: the swim test, and physical education courses. For additional information about fulfilling University Graduation Requirements, see the Physical Education website.
All incoming first-year students are required to take two credits (two courses) of Physical Education, one credit each semester of the first year on campus. Exemptions may be made for medical reasons, special circumstances, or by virtue of advanced standing on admission. Transfer students are not held to the Physical Education requirement. Credit in Physical Education may be earned by participating in courses offered by the Department of Athletics and Physical Education, by being a registered participant on an intercollegiate athletic team, or performing in the marching band.
Students with medical concerns should contact the Office of Student Disability Services.
The Faculty Advisory Committee on Athletics and Physical Education has established a basic swimming and water safety competency requirement for all entering first-year undergraduate students. Transfer students are not held to this requirement. Normally, the test is given at the Helen Newman Hall and Teagle Hall pools as part of their orientation process. The test consists of a feet-first entry into the deep end of the pool and a continuous 75-yard swim using any stroke or strokes of the student’s choice. Any student who cannot pass the swim test is required to register for PE 1100 - Beginning Swimming as his or her physical education course before electives can be chosen. Any student that does not complete their swim test during their first year will have to pay a $100 test fee.
A swim test hold will be placed on the student’s record until they have passed the swim test or fulfilled the requirement by satisfactorily completing two beginning swim classes (based on attendance requirements) and having the recommendation of the instructor. Students unable to meet the swim requirement because of medical reasons should contact the Office of Student Disability Services. Students who have religious or other reasons must petition the Faculty Advisory Committee on Athletics and Physical Education for a waiver of the requirement. When a waiver is granted by the Faculty Committee on Physical Education, an alternate requirement is imposed. The alternate requirement substitutes the following courses: PE 1400 - Body-Mind or PE 1626 - Wilderness First Responder for the original swimming requirement.