Skip to main content

External Transfers

Transfer students are an important part of the Brooks School community.

Cornell University students interested in transferring to the Brooks School should instead review our internal transfer page.

More details about general Cornell transfer admissions criteria, eligibility, and processes can be found on the university transfer admissions website. This includes a helpful checklist of all university transfer application requirements, details about the application fee/fee waiver request, application deadlines, transcript requirements, and more.


How to Apply

To apply as a transfer student to the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, you will need to complete the Common Application.  Select the “Brooks School of Public Policy” as your  Cornell program of interest on the Common Application, then indicate either “Public Policy” or “Health Care Policy” as your major of interest.

Preparatory Coursework

Successful Brooks School transfer applicants will demonstrate that they have completed rigorous coursework and have received a strong grade point average in their collegiate coursework, and especially in the required preparatory coursework.

Transfer applicants must complete the required preparatory coursework with a letter grade at their current institution. Fulfilling the requirements is a minimum and does not guarantee admission. A GPA of 3.5 or above, with “As” and “B+s” in required preparatory coursework, increases an applicant’s competitiveness.

Know that Cornell University and the Brooks School adhere to our own policies regarding placement out of requirements due to Advanced Placement or other related credits. Advanced standing at another institution does not guarantee that Cornell will accept that credit. The Advanced Placement Equivalencies information outlines how AP credit may be used. A maximum of 15 pre-college credits from APs or other sources may be applied.

Courses that are strongly recommended for applicants who plan to enter as juniors are marked with an asterisk (*). These courses are important to complete by the end of sophomore year to ensure a timely graduation.

The following preparatory coursework is required for all Brooks School Transfer Applicants

Required preparatory coursework

  • English composition coursework/writing intensive coursework (6 credits, 2 courses) This requirement can be completed across the disciplines. Visit Cornell University’s John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines to review the criteria that courses need to meet to satisfy this requirement.
  • Introductory Microeconomics (3 credits, 1 course)
  • Quantitative coursework in statistics* and/or calculus (3 credits, 1 course)
  • Major specific coursework:
    • Prospective health care policy students must take 4 credits/1 course of introductory chemistry with labs, and 4 credits/1 course of introductory biology with a lab 
    • Prospective public policy students must take introductory sociology (3 credits, 1 course) and a non-English language course (3 credits, 1 course)

Additional suggested coursework for Public Policy Majors

  • Intermediate Microeconomics*
  • Introductory Government
  • Ethics
  • A second quantitative course*
  • Natural Science Coursework with labs (Biology, Chemistry or Physics)

Additional suggested coursework for Health Care Policy Majors

  • Introduction to Sociology*
  • A second introductory biology course*
  • Ethics
  • The U.S. Health Care System
  • Intermediate Microeconomics*
  • A second quantitative course*

Decision Timeline

Transfer decisions are made on a rolling basis. Delays in midterm grades or other information will delay a decision. We sometimes need final grades for the current semester’s classes. Please inform us if you have impending deadlines by which you hope to have an admissions decision.


Transfer Credit Policies and Processes

Transfer students who matriculate, are eligible to transfer up to 60 credits of college level academic coursework previously completed at an accredited institution. Transfer students must spend at least four semesters in residence on Cornell’s Ithaca campus.

Please note that the Brooks School does not currently offer articulation agreements with other colleges. Prospective students may request review of the required preparatory coursework by sending a syllabus to  Additional coursework may be reviewed after acceptance. For coursework to transfer to a Brooks School requirement, it must cover approximately 80% of the content covered in the equivalent Brooks School requirement and must have comparable reading lists and assignment requirements.

Accepted students will receive a transfer credit evaluation one to three weeks after receiving their acceptance letter. The credit evaluation will outline how the transfer credits will meet Brooks School degree requirements. Accepted transfer students may review the evaluation with a Brooks School advisor before matriculating. Occasionally syllabi and reading lists are needed to finalize the transfer credit evaluation. You are encouraged to keep copies of all your course syllabi and readings lists. Please note, we do not accept transfer physical education coursework, or transfer mathematics coursework below the level of calculus one.




Or call us at 607-254-3451