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Upperclass Admissions Application Process

Faculty members: Send letters of recommendation to
Sophomores: If you wish to review a preview of the application, please send a request to with the following subject line: "UC application preview".



A student must:

  • be a Cornell sophomore (or a 3rd year student in 5-year AR program);

  • have at least one semester of research, scholarly study, or creative experience with a faculty mentor;
  • have a 3.5 GPA or higher; and
  • be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate at Cornell and be in Ithaca for at least 3 of their 4 remaining semesters. Students who plan to study abroad for a full academic year or graduate a year early are ineligible.
    • Note: Students in the arts, architecture, and humanities are encouraged to apply.  Please contact the RCPRS office if you have any questions about student eligibility or the applicability of their project.


The process entails the following:

  • The student must have a letter of recommendation from a faculty mentor with whom they are already working, with intention to continue with research proposal being submitted for application.  Faculty can submit letters to

  • Student applications include a statement of interest and a research proposal.  The complete application is due in early May.
  • After all of the materials are received, the committee makes its selections based on the number of openings the program has for the upcoming academic year. 
  • Students receive notice of their acceptance or denial over the summer.

Selected Students

A student who is selected:

  • will begin receiving program benefits and services in the fall semester of junior year;

  • must be engaged in research throughout their junior and senior years; and
  • will have access to up to $5,000 in a research support account.
  • In addition, students receiving financial aid may receive up to $4,000 of their award from RCPRS each year.


  • Early March: The application process for rising juniors begins
  • Early May:
  • July:
    • Selection decisions communicated

Sophomores may begin the application here