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Cornell Engineering and Switching colleges

Yaycollege2020Yaycollege2020 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
I applied and was accepted to Cornell's College of Engineering. I thought engineering would be a good fit for me, but since applying I have discovered that I am not a huge fan of AP Physics C and I hate computer science. I imagine this will be a big problem for me in engineering.

So, the question becomes, how does switching to a different Cornell college work? I think I am interested in majoring economics/finance. What are the chances I'll be accepted into a different college as an internal transfer? Can I take any classes towards an econ major within the engineering college?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
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Replies to: Cornell Engineering and Switching colleges

  • monydadmonydad 7958 replies160 threads Senior Member
    edited March 28
    Back when I attended COE I took lots of courses in CAS, including Econ courses. But that was ages ago, and I don't want to presume about where things stand now..

    Check the engineering college underclassmen program of studies , it will be on line someplace. Make sure you have free electives during the first two years. If so, use them to take some of the courses someone pursuing your intended major in the college you want to switch to would take. Do well.

    If you've done pretty decently overall, and at least reasonably well in the courses you've taken at the target college, you have a good chance for a successful transfer, IMO. Except: if you are targeting an impacted major- ie AEM- the standards may be much higher.

    Engineering to CAS is a well-worn path. I did this transfer myself, a zillion years ago. But CAS is a proud institution with its own standards; they are not there to take COE's dregs. If you've done ok then it should be fine. But if you've done poorly , then possibly not.

    Back then, I had to: submit an application for internal transfer, get approval from my COE advisor, and from an advisor in the major department of the college I wanted to transfer to. The application basically consisted of an explanation of why I wanted to transfer. They already had my grades and other data. I did have to wait months for the decision.

    These days, there is an adminstrative unit that handles internal transfer applications: the "Office of Internal Transfer and Concurrent Degrees". You should touch base with them to coordinate the process.

    AFAIK there will be no way for you to avoid physics, it is an essential part of the underclassman engineering curriculum.

    As an alternative to transferring, suggest look into a major in ORIE, with a minor at Dyson.
    edited March 28
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  • nmcormnmcorm 35 replies0 threads Junior Member
    There are two paths here. Going to college can trigger new passions and interests in topics that you found uninspiring in high school. I second the @monydad recommendation that you take a look at ORIE, which I got a degree in. Sort of applied mathematics (no physics) with many ways to take that in to the business world, albeit with plenty of applied computer science work. I took a couple of Economics classes in CAS, which I found I did not like. I also took several other CAS classes in History, Astronomy and Anthropology, which I all loved. You can certainly get a minor in CAS and other Cornell colleges as an Engineer. My CAS daughter has engineering friends, and they take CAS classes with her, so the opportunities are still there.

    If you really think you will hate core engineering topics though, you might want to reconsider attending Cornell Engineering and go to one of your other admissions options. Transferring internally at Cornell, especially with control over the target college/degree that you want, is probably dependent on getting OK grades. That's a risky path to take if you think you will struggle academically in your first year, since I doubt you can transfer before you start your engineering classes. Do contact the Transfer office to see what options you have. Doing well in school is not just a function of intelligence, which I'm sure you have, but also interest.
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  • monydadmonydad 7958 replies160 threads Senior Member
    edited March 29
    I agree with nmcorm. With the addition that success in college is also heavily dependent on study skills.
    edited March 29
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  • hubchubhubchub 1 replies0 threads New Member
    edited March 30
    It's very simple if you want to go to arts and sciences. I started in engineering with no intention of staying. In engineering, you're not automatically enrolled in courses, so I took all arts and sciences classes, had above a 3.0, and transferred to arts Economics after my first semester. Don't let this deter you from going to Cornell; it's generally pretty easy to transfer.
    edited March 30
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  • nmcormnmcorm 35 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @hubchub That sounds pretty easy, but why didn't you just apply to Arts &.Sciences?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9753 replies108 threads Senior Member
    Usually transfers at Cornell are very straight forward, especially out of engineering. The only exception would be trying to transfer to Dyson.
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  • Yaycollege2020Yaycollege2020 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @nmcorm @monydad Thank you both for your insight! I appreciate it. I have decided I will attend Cornell with an open mind and I am confident that I will meet the grade requirements necessary to transfer through hard work and studying. I contacted the office of internal transfers and they assured me that I could take classes in CAS instead of some core engineering classes to make the transferring process easier

    @momofsenior1 @hubchub I am pleased to hear this, thank you both
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