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Internal Transfers

If you are currently a Cornell University first-year student or sophomore interested in internally transferring to the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy from another Cornell University college/school you should thoroughly review the university internal transfer website.  This website includes details about Cornell University internal transfer admissions criteria, deadlines, and eligibility. You should also thoughtfully consider your academic interests and strengths as you explore the Brooks School and our majors.

If you are currently a student at another college or university outside of Cornell, interested in transferring to the Brooks School, please review our external transfer page.

Brooks School student wearing a red pullover talking to a professor at a table.

Information for Current Brooks School and Human Ecology Students:

Our partnership with the College of Human Ecology allows Human Ecology students to switch to a Brooks School major using a streamlined change of major process. Current Brooks School students can switch between the Public Policy and Health Care Policy majors using this process as well. Please contact the Brooks School Office of Admissions, Student Services, and Career Management with any questions.

Information for All Other Cornell Students:

Internal Transfer Eligibility

Currently enrolled/matriculated Cornell University first year and sophomore students can apply for an internal transfer. Students must have two semesters at Cornell before they are eligible for an internal transfer.  Juniors are considered only under exceptional circumstances.

You must be in good academic, character, and disciplinary standing with Cornell University and your home college, and not have pending status inquiries at the time of application. All required preparatory coursework must be completed or in progress at the time of application.

If you are a pre-med/pre-health candidate, you should make every effort to apply by the end of your first year. High performing pre-med/pre-health sophomores may be considered.

Internal Transfer Preparatory Coursework

The following preparatory courses must be completed or in process when you submit your Brooks School internal transfer application. Courses must be taken for a letter grade. These are the minimum requirements. Completing these courses does not guarantee admission into the Brooks School.

Please review the curriculum sheet for your target major to more fully understand the requirements listed below. If possible, complement the required preparatory courses with coursework that meets other requirements on the curriculum sheet. Please note that the Brooks School adheres to our own AP/IB rules, please refer to the curriculum sheet or the Brooks School pre-college credit page for more information.

Required Preparatory Coursework listed here

First-Year Writing Seminar

(3-6 credits, 1-2 courses)

  1. A Score of 5 on the AP English Literature and Composition OR AP English Language and Composition exam can place students out of one FWS course in the Brooks School. At least one FWS must be completed at Cornell.
  2. Applicants who are currently sophomores must have both FWS courses completed or in progress before application.

Quantitative Course

(4 credits, 1 course)

  1. PUBPOL 2101 Statistics for Public Policy (Strongly Recommended)
  2. Any Cornell MATH Department course (except MATH 1101 and  MATH 1710). Pre-med/health students should take calculus.

Natural Science (Biology/Chemistry/Physics) Coursework

(3-8 credits, 1 -2 courses)

  1. See curriculum sheet for target major for more information about accepted courses.
  2. Pre-med/health students MUST complete BOTH CHEM 2070 and CHEM 2080 before applying.

Introductory Major Coursework

(3-4 credits, 1 course)

  1. PUBPOL 2350 The U.S. Healthcare System is required for prospective HCP internal transfers
  2. At least one of the following is required for prospective Public Policy internal transfers:
    1. PUBPOL 2300 Introduction to Policy Analysis
    2. PUBPOL 2301 Introduction to Public Policy
    3. PUBPOL 2000 Intermediate Microeconomics
    4. PUBPOL 2030 Population and Public Policy
    5. PUBPOL 2250 Social Problems in the U.S.
    6. PUBPOL 2370 Race, Racism and Public Policy

ECON 1110 Introduction to Microeconomics

(4 credits, 1 course)

Internal Transfer Selection Criteria

The internal transfer process is highly selective and competitive. You should:

  • Have a minimum Cornell University cumulative GPA of 3.0, with “B” or better grades in courses for your target major;
  • Have taken or are enrolled in required coursework for the major and school;
  • Provided evidence of a strong, well-considered connection between your interests, extracurricular engagements, and your target major via the application essay.

Internal Transfer Application Process

The Brooks School of Public Policy brings together leading faculty and scholars across disciplines to tackle society’s most pressing policy issues. In your application please discuss how your past academic and/or work experience has influenced your choice of major and how transferring to Cornell Brooks would further your academic interests. Responses should be no longer than 3000 characters.

The Brooks School requires submission of your resume. Be sure to include your resume in online application form. Resume development resources can be found on the Cornell Career Services website.  NOTE: We are not able to accept links to resumes in the application.

The application and deadlines can be found on the Cornell Internal Transfer website.

Internal Transfer Admissions Decisions

Internal transfer application decisions are made after final grades for the current semester have been received. Decision letters will be sent to the contact information noted on your application. There is no appeal process.

Conditional Transfer Requirements

See below for the requirements of the Conditional Transfer semester. Your potential admission to the Brooks School for the following semester is contingent upon successfully completing the listed requirements.

Your Conditional Transfer semester course schedule must be approved by a Brooks School Admissions Counselor by the end of the first week of classes.

  • All courses should be consistent with the requirements in your proposed major.
  • At least half of your academic credits must be Brooks School courses and must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Any changes to your academic schedule throughout the semester must also be pre-approved.
  • Complete 12 – 15 academic credits and earn a minimum semester grade point average of 3.0 with B+ or better grades in courses related to your Brooks School major.
  • You must remain in good academic and character standing.




Or call us at 607-254-3451