Graduation Requirements

Credit Hours

Slightly varies for different Colleges in Cornell, but for A&S, the requirement is 34 courses total and 120 credits total.


Distribution/breadth requirements also vary for different colleges, but they usually involve taking classes requiring specific skills/about specific topics.


There are usually some fun/interesting classes to fulfill distribution requirements, and every senior will have a story to tell

First-Year Writing Seminar (FWS)

First-year writing seminar. Writing classes that most people take in the freshman year. 2 required to graduate. These range from very boring to very fun, very easy to very hard. Consult people with experience.


It is very possible to graduate in less than 4 years. There are many pros and cons that you will hear about once you get here, but it’s never too early to consider your options and form an opinion!

PE Classes and Swim Test

Two PE classes are required to graduate. Some are free, most cost money. The variety of PE classes is one of the greatest things about Cornell, and makes full use of our location (read: our Ulu-ness).

All PE classes are SU, so don’t be worried and just try new things!

In addition to PE requirements, students will have to pass a swim test to graduate. Usually, it just involves swimming 3 half-laps using any stroke you want, and as long as you manage it without touching the floor or the sides, you pass. You will have to schedule a swim test slot that will be held sometime during orientation.