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Cornell University Cornell Brooks Public Policy

Welcome to HCP

Welcome first-year Health Care Policy students!

We look forward to meeting you in August. Here are some ideas and guidelines to help you think about your fall classes.

First, we ask that you promptly activate your NetID and get in the habit of regularly checking your official Cornell email account. Important messages regarding orientation and course enroll will all be sent to your official Cornell email.

All Health Care Policy students will work through a sequence of coursework in economics, and statistics. To stay on track with these sequences, the first year fall schedule for HCP students is firmly set with the courses noted below. As you progress further into your time at Cornell you will have more opportunity to select elective coursework of interest, but for now it is important that you get started on these core prerequisite courses.

In the Fall Semester Health Care Policy First Year Students Must Complete:

PAM 1111 – Success in PAM and HCP (1 Credit)

This course will help students develop goals for their time as a Cornell Undergraduate, including introducing them to resources and strategies for success at Cornell. The registrar’s office will automatically enroll you in this course.

PAM 2350 – The U.S. Health Care System (3 Credits)

The U.S. Health Care System is a required class for all HCP students. It is taught by Professor Sean Nicholson in the fall semester only. All other HCP students will be taking this class, so it is a really good way to meet the rest of your major. The registrar’s office will automatically enroll you in PAM 2350.

ECON 1110 – Introductory Microeconomics (3 Credits)

Introductory Microeconomics is a required class for all HCP majors. Upper level HCP courses in general rely quite heavily on microeconomics. Completing this class early on will ensure you remain on track to take other courses later, as it is a prerequisite class for many. In order to move through the program, it is necessary to begin the economics sequence as early as possible. Professor Sanders, a Brooks faculty member, teaches the ECON 1110 course that meets on MW. If possible, you should try and enroll in his section of the course. Transfer students who received ECON 1110 credit do not need to repeat the course. You need to enroll yourself in ECON 1110.

First Year Writing Seminar (FWS) (3 Credits)

All Brooks School students are required to take a First Year Writing Seminar during their first two semesters at Cornell. Although you can take any FWS across campus, HCP majors may find PAM 1500 Reading and Writing in Public Policy of particular interest. FWS courses are small classes, so you are encouraged to select a few different options in case your first choice fills. If you do not take the seminar this fall you will receive a warning letter and you will be put on academic probation. More information about first year writing seminars is available on the Knight Institute Webpage. Transfer students who received credit for two FWS courses do not need to take an FWS. You need to enroll yourself in an FWS.


Additional Coursework Suggestions:

The above required coursework totals 10 credits. We recommend that you take somewhere between 14-16 credits this semester. To graduate on time you will need to take an average of 15 credits per semester. To maintain full-time status, students must enroll in at least 12 academic credits per semester. The maximum credits Brooks School students can enroll in per semester is 18 credits. Below are some additional course options to consider, all of which meet requirements on the HCP curriculum sheet:

CHEM 2070 – General Chemistry I (4 Credits)

All HCP majors are required to take an introductory chemistry sequence of CHEM 2070 and CHEM 2080. These courses are prerequisites for Organic Chemistry, which is a prerequisite for Biochemistry, both of which are required if you are a pre-health/pre-med student. In order to stay on track with the required chemistry sequence, it is critical that pre-health/pre-med students take CHEM 2070 their first semester.

To support your work in CHEM 2070 you may also wish to take CHEM 1007 – Academic Support for CHEM 2070. CHEM 1007 does not count towards degree requirements, but it is strongly encouraged to ensure success in General Chemistry.

Introductory Biology (3-4 credits)

All HCP majors are required to complete two introductory biology lectures and a biology lab before graduation. This fall you could start that requirement by completing BIOMG 1350, BIOG 1440, or BIOEE 1610.

Math Coursework (3-4 credits)

HCP majors are required to complete at least one MATH department course. (Note: MATH 1101, MATH 1710, and academic support courses do not meet this requirement).

Introduction to Sociology (3 credits)

All HCP majors are required to complete an introductory sociology course, SOC 1101 Introduction to Sociology or PAM 2250 Social Problems in the U.S., which will prepare you for the upper level social policy requirement. While SOC 1101 is offered every semester, PAM 2250 is only offered in the fall.

Other Notes:


The Brooks School has developed a team approach to academic advising and student support. This approach is designed to give you the best support possible as you make your way through the HCP major.

Dr. Brandon Tripp, lead HCP advisor, will be assigned as your faculty advisor. Dr. Tripp is an expert in his field, and can give you valuable insight as you select your electives, consider research opportunities, navigate challenging coursework, and think about your academic goals.

Your faculty advisor will work closely with the Brooks School’s Office of Enrollment and Student Services.This office provides personal and academic counseling, and is available to help you understand academic policies and requirements and think through course sequencing, while encouraging a healthy school-life balance.

The Brooks Office of Enrollment and Student Services partners with a shared Office of Student and Career Development that offers both Brooks School and College of Human Ecology students support in career planning and navigating off-campus opportunities. This office includes the career exploration center, which offers services like mock interviews, resume review, and internship guides.

If you have any advising questions throughout the summer, please do not hesitate to contact the Brooks Office of Enrollment and Student Services at

AP/IB Credit:

It is possible for you to waive certain HCP and Cornell requirements if you have taken appropriate AP/IB courses. There is more information available on the Brooks/CHE registrar’s website. If you receive AP/IB credit in place of one of above required courses, you do not need to repeat the course. You may instead select an alternate course from the requirements on the HCP curriculum sheet.

Transfer Students:

Each transfer student is on a unique path. As a general guideline, you should enroll in the core requirements, and the required courses that you have not yet completed. The registrar’s office sent you a list of transfer equivalencies. Compare these to the curriculum sheet to see what requirements remain. Please also schedule an appointment to meet with Instructor Brandon Tripp, Lead HCP Advisor either before classes begin or during the first week of classes to review your course schedule. Jen Wright, Undergraduate Advising Coordinator will also be available during the summer for phone or zoom appointments, if you would like to discuss your schedule.

We are sure that there remain many questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly at or at 607-255-1199. We look forward to meeting you soon!


Brandon Tripp
Lead HCP Advisor

Sharon Sassler
Brooks Director of Undergraduate Studies

Christie Avgar
Brooks Director of Enrollment and Student Services 

Jennifer Wright
Brooks Undergraduate Advising Coordinator