Once considered the “easiest” Ivy League school to gain admission into, Cornell today has a single-digit admit rate for freshman applicants. However, for anyone who wasn’t able to earn admission right from high school, the university admits 800+ transfer applicants every year. Even more encouraging, acceptance rates for transfers at this university are roughly double the rate for freshman applicants. The following blog will reveal the Cornell transfer acceptance rate as well other essential pieces of information like the Cornell transfer deadline, the requirements/checklist for applicants, the Cornell transfer decision date and much more.

Cornell Transfer Acceptance Rate

Below we present the most current available Cornell transfer acceptance rate as well as historical data.

In the fall of 2021, there were 5,908 transfer applicants and 929 individuals were accepted. This means that the Cornell transfer acceptance rate is 15.7%.

When trying to get the complete picture on how difficult it is to transfer into a given school, it is important to also look at historical data. Many schools have wild fluctuations in transfer acceptance rate from year to year. As you can see, the Cornell University transfer acceptance rate has indeed been somewhat variable in recent years, ranging from 13% to 18%.

Historical transfer rates are as follows:

Year Acceptance Rate
2020 18%
2019 13%
2018 17%
2017 18%

Cornell Transfer Deadline

The university offers both a fall and spring transfer admission cycle. The Cornell transfer deadline for fall applicants is March 15. The deadline for spring applicants is October 15.

Last year, the school enrolled 88 transfer students for the spring semester and 674 individuals for the fall semester.

Cornell Transfer Requirements

The Cornell transfer requirements are as follows:

Students who have the best chance to gain admission to Cornell have done the following:

  • Completed at least 12 credits of college coursework.
  • Earned exceptional grades in their first year at a community college or 4-year university.
  • Have completed the Cornell Transfer Required Coursework for their intended college.

Cornell Transfer GPA

The minimum GPA required to be considered for transfer is 3.0. That figure jumps to 3.5 for Econ or Biology majors. However, in our experience, you will need a GPA of 3.75 or above to be a truly competitive applicant to Cornell.

Cornell Transfer Writing Supplement

Academic Interest Essay (all applicants to complete)

Please address the topics below in an essay of approximately 650 words total.

Tell us what you’d like to major in at Cornell, why or how your past academic or work experience influenced your decision, and how transferring to Cornell would further your academic interests.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Applicants Only

Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a premier institution of scientific learning, tackling the complex challenges of our time through purpose-driven science. Please discuss how your past academic and/or work experience has influenced your choice of major and how transfer- ring to Cornell CALS would further your academic interests.

College of Engineering Applicants Only

Please make sure that complete course descriptions and/or syllabi are submitted by the application deadline and clearly labeled with your name and date of birth. We cannot evaluate your application without them. For submission instructions, please see www.engineering.cornell.edu/admissions/ undergraduate-admissions/transfer-applicants.

College of Human Ecology Applicants Only

How has your decision to apply to the College of Human Ecology been influenced by your related experiences? How will your choice of major impact your goals and plans for the future?

Cornell Transfer Decision Date?

The Cornell transfer decision date occurs over the course of May and June. Spring applicants will receive a decision in November.

Transfer Enrollments by College/School

School/College Number of Transfer Students Enrolled (2021-22)
College of Arts & Sciences 117
College of Engineering 37
SC Johnson College of Business, Hotel School 69
College of Architecture, Art & Planning 16
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences 272
SC College of Business, Dyson School 54
College of Human Ecology 68
School of Industrial and Labor Relations 129

Final Thoughts – Cornell University Transfer Acceptance Rate

In the most recent cycle, 14% of enrolled transfers came from community colleges, while 86^ hailed from 4-year universities. One-third qualified for New York State residency status, 12% were legacy admits, 13% identify as a member of an underrepresented minority group. Unlike some other Ivy League schools, transferring to this institution is an achievable goal if you bring a sparkling college transcript to the table.

If you are looking for information on how to apply to Cornell as a first year student, you may find the following blogs to be of interest:

Those searching for application info on other institutions may wish to visit our Dataverse pages:

Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).