The Department of Computer Science exists as a department within Computing and Information Science at Cornell. Cornell's Department of Computer Science typically ranks among the top five in the world, and it ranks fourth in the quality of the graduate education.

The Computer Science department at Cornell has led the nation in teaching, research, and discovery for more than four decades. Cornell faculty and computer scientists are at the forefront of robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, computer vision, and research into phenomenally powerful next-generation computers. Our students conduct and study research with faculty who are leaders in the field, compete in national and international competitions with fellow students, and participate in projects that help improve the lives of millions around the world.

Computer Scientists are more in demand today than ever before. In fact, more and more fields, from the arts and humanities to music, medicine, linguistics and communication, architecture, and the natural sciences rely on CS to advance their inventions and powers of discovery. And where we are today is just the beginning.

Prospective Students

Prospective students apply to Cornell University through the Cornell Undergraduate Admissions Office and request admission to a College. Students who want to major in Computer Science can apply to either the College of Engineering or the College of Arts and Sciences. The Computer Science courses and major requirements are the same in both colleges; it's the non-CS courses and distribution requirements that vary. First year students are not admitted directly to a major. Instead, they are accepted into a College, and apply to a major after completing core requirements of the College.

Cornell Students

Cornell Students apply to a major after completing core requirements of their College. A Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. The two degree programs are similar in that they have the same Computer Science Major Requirements. For detailed listings of the course requirements, see the Computer Science Engineering Checklist and the Computer Science Arts Checklist.


To be considered, students must be in academic good standing and have completed the following prerequisites:

  • CS/ENGRD 2110/2112* Object-Oriented Programming & Data Structures
  • CS 2800 Discrete Structures
  • Math 1120 or 1220 or 1920 Calculus

*alternatively, ECE 2400/ENGRD 2140 accepted if student also completed CS 3110 


Students usually apply to the CS major (or "affiliate") in their sophomore year. All potential affiliates are reviewed on a case-by-case basis relative to the the criteria listed at the Computer Science Affiliation Website.

Transfer Students

Transfer students apply to the College of Engineering (COE) or to the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and request admission to the Computer Science Department.

Transfer students to Engineering are admitted directly into a major upon acceptance to the COE at Cornell. See Engineering Admissions for information on transfer requirements.

Transfer students to Arts & Sciences, who will have completed two years of study before transferring to Cornell must qualify for direct admission to the major (students will need to have completed the course equivalents to CS 2110, CS 2800, and at minimum calculus 2 (up to linear algebra is preferred). Students transferring to CAS with fewer than two years of study prior to transfer, may be admitted to the college without a declared major - giving students additional time to complete major admission requirements. See A&S Admissions for information on transfer requirements. 

Application Process

Transfer students submit an application to the Cornell Undergraduate Admissions Office. To learn about the application process, visit the Cornell University Transfer Student website.

Transfer Credit

Applicants will have transfer credits evaluated as part of the admissions process. We are unable to evaluate transfer credits for non-applicants. In general, basic, college-level science, math, and liberal studies credits will transfer directly to Cornell. Advanced courses and specialty courses may require closer analysis. 

We believe that there is strength in diversity

We especially welcome candidates from under-represented groups. Traditionally under-represented groups in CS include: women and African, Latino, and Native Americans. Cornell and the CS Department strongly support the advancement of women and minorities in computer science. From the Cornell Mission Statement: "In keeping with the founding vision of Ezra Cornell, our community fosters personal discovery and growth, nurtures scholarship and creativity across a broad range of common knowledge, and engages men and women from every segment of society in this quest. We pursue understanding beyond the limitations of existing knowledge, ideology, and disciplinary structure. We affirm the value to individuals and society of the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit."

For more information, e-mail the Undergraduate Office.