International Students

At Cornell, we celebrate the great diversity and globalism of our university, its faculty, and students and we are excited that you are considering Cornell for your education. We invite you to explore what it is like learning at Cornell and living on our historic, beautiful campus in Ithaca, New York. 

Our applicants are an eclectic group, including international students who have moved between several countries or schools, U.S. citizens who have lived most of their lives abroad, or non-U.S. citizens completing school in the U.S. We read applications based on where you currently attend school, rather than by your citizenship status. Your application will be read with others from the school you attend and those from the same state (U.S.) or country.

Our international students follow the same application process as our first-year applicants or our transfer applicants.

Credentialing services or other forms of paid professional assistance:
Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents or credentialing services.

The use of such services violates University policy, and may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.

Test Requirements

All international students must meet the same test requirements as our first-year or our transfer applicants.  SAT or ACT and SAT Subject Test requirements cannot be waived based on the completion or submission of IB, A-levels, or other international credentials.

TOEFL and IELTS Requirements

International freshman and transfer applicants for whom English is not the first language must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

The recommended minimum scores are:
TOEFL - Score of 100 (Internet-based exam) and 600 (paper exam)
IELTS - Score of 7

Policy exemptions:
The TOEFL and/or IELTS requirement for international applicants is waived for students achieving a score of at least 670 on the Critical Reading section of the SAT exam OR for students who have studied for at least four years in the U.S. or other nations where English is an official language. You can request a TOEFL waiver.

Application Tips:

  • We want to review at least 3 years of secondary school records that list subjects you studied and marks received for each subject. State or national tests or other external exams taken should be included also (G.C.S.E., Hong Kong Certificate of Education, ICSE, etc.). If there is a provincial, national or other board exam you will take on completing school (A-Levels, Higher Secondary Certificate, I.B., German Abitur, etc.) please ask the school official who completes your secondary school report to include predicted marks.
  • All transcripts and certificates must be official and must be translated into English. If you have attended more than one school, you should request a separate transcript from each school.
  • Do not send supporting documents until you have sent your application.
  • Please do not send materials in plastic covers or multiple envelopes and do not bind application materials together in any way. Lengthy bound documents cannot be included with applications. If you have completed a special project, submit a one-page summary and letter of recommendation from the teacher or other person who supervised the project. Do not send copies of individual awards or distinctions. These personal accomplishments should be summarized on one page.
  • Although some colleges and universities require a statement or certification of finances as part of the application, Cornell University does not require this information during the application process. Please do not send this information with your application. If you are admitted to Cornell University, we will then request this information from you.

Check out the international questions section of our FAQs for more information.

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