Skip to main content

Cornell University Cornell Brooks Public Policy

Welcome HCP Freshmen

Welcome to Health Care Policy!

Welcome to the Health Care Policy major! We look forward to meeting you in August. The following are some thoughts and guidelines to help you think about your fall classes. Please rest assured that after we meet during orientation you will have the opportunity to adjust your schedule. We also ask that you promptly activate your NetID and regularly check your official Cornell e-mail account. Important messages regarding orientation and course enroll be sent to your official Cornell e-mail.

Health Care Policy students will work through a sequence of coursework in economics, chemistry, biology and statistics. To stay on track with these sequences, the freshman 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. The below course schedule will total 14 academic credits, which we believe is the perfect amount for your first semester. In order to maintain full-time status, students must enroll in at least 12 academic credits per semester. New students are not permitted to enroll in more than 18 credits during their first semester.

In the Fall Semester HCP Freshmen Must Take:

  1. 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. In addition to demonstrating how to utilize advising tools, it will also review how to combine your new major with possible minors, study abroad in Washington, how best to integrate curricular and extracurricular activities, and begin exploring career options. Several classes are devoted to important topics all Cornell students should be aware of – the health and well-being offerings on campus, information about maintaining Academic Integrity – with specialized attention for HCP majors. The registrar’s office will automatically enroll you in this course.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 perquisites for Organic Chemistry, which is a prerequisite for Biochemistry, both of which are required for the HCP major. In order to stay on track with the required chemistry sequence, it is important to take CHEM 2070 your first semester. You need to enroll in this yourself. 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.
  4. ECON 1110 – Introductory Microeconomics (3 Credits)
    Introductory Microeconomics is a required class for all HCP majors. PAM 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 pre-requisite 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 PAM faculty member, teaches the ECON 1110 course that meets on MW. If possible, you should try and enroll in his section of the course. You need to enroll yourself in ECON 1110.
  5. First Year Writing Seminar (FWS) (3 Credits)
    All Human Ecology students are required to take a First Year Writing Seminar during their first two semesters at Cornell. If you do not take the seminar you will receive a warning letter and you will be put on probation. More information about freshmen writing seminars is available on the Knight Institute Webpage.

Other Notes Regarding Frequently cAsked Questions:

Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy: This is an exciting time for HCP majors, and for public policy at Cornell, with the recent naming of the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, and appointment of Colleen Barry as the inaugural Dean.  As HCP majors, you will be part of the Cornell Brooks School, while still maintaining your affiliation with the College of Human Ecology (CHE). Students will benefit from the educational programming and support of both the Cornell Brooks School and CHE. HCP majors matriculated in fall 2021 will complete requirements outlined in the 2021-2022 curriculum sheet.

AP Credit:  It is possible for you to waive certain HCP and Cornell requirements if you have taken appropriate AP courses. There is more information available on the registrar’s website. If you receive AP 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. You may wish to consider SOC 1101 Introduction to Sociology, a Cornell MATH course, an introductory biology lecture, or if you a pre-med the introductory psychology requirement.

Advising: During orientation you will meet with various Cornell personnel who will answer all of your questions. Instructor Brandon Tripp, Lead HCP advisor, will be assigned as your faculty advisor. He will be available to help with planning future endeavors and class schedules. Jen Wright, PAM Undergraduate Advising Coordinator, will also be available to help you navigate curriculum planning, procedures, and policies.

Transfer Students: It is difficult to give concise advice for transfer students since there is so much heterogeneity. 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 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.

More information about enrollment procedures, college policies, and the orientation schedule is available via the College of Human Ecology New Student Page.


Brandon Tripp
Lead HCP Advisor

Sharon Sassler
PAM Director of Undergraduate Studies

Jennifer Wright
PAM Undergraduate Advising Coordinator