Skip to main content

Cornell University

Moving In On Campus

Spring 2021

We are excited to welcome you to on-campus housing for Spring Semester 2021. We're also pleased to welcome back our continuing students and our graduate and professional students.

Guidelines for arrival testing and check-in appointments for all students:

As announced in a message to students on Nov. 18, New York state issued new guidelines to allow travelers arriving from non-contiguous states and international locations to “test out” of the mandatory 10-day travel-related quarantine. This requires that travelers obtain a test within three days prior to arrival in New York state. This does not eliminate the need for travelers to quarantine, but rather reduces the amount of time needed in quarantine, pending two negative test results within a five-to-seven-day period.

In addition to New York state guidelines, Cornell has instituted additional testing and quarantine requirements. Arrival requirements for testing and quarantine are determined by the location that you are traveling from (contiguous state, non-contiguous state, international, or within NYS), as well as whether you will be living on campus or off. Arrival requirements are outlined on the University's COVID-19 website.

Students must schedule an arrival testing/move-in timeslot in the housing portal by noon on January 6, 2021.

Additional instructions for students living in on-campus housing:

Please note that students are responsible for all aspects of their pre-arrival testing and quarantine requirements. Financial support for pre-arrival testing costs may be available for qualifying students. 

In general, regardless of where you'll be arriving from, we encourage you to continue following all public health guidance (e.g., mask wearing, physical distancing, avoid travel and large gatherings), as well as self-quarantine for one week prior to your arrival.

All arrival tests must be completed through Cornell’s testing program. Testing at non-Cornell testing sites (i.e., the Ithaca mall sampling site) will not satisfy arrival testing requirements and will delay your ability to resume campus activities. After completing arrival testing, all students will be entered into Cornell’s surveillance testing program. Students who have remained in the Ithaca area since December and have continued with surveillance testing will not be required to undergo additional arrival testing; they will continue with routine surveillance testing. Any student who tests positive will be contacted by health department with instructions for isolation and care.


For students unable to obtain a pre-arrival test

If students are unable to obtain a pre-arrival test three days before arriving in New York, they should plan their own full 10-day quarantine period as required by New York state, before coming to campus or utilizing Cornell’s testing program. Cornell Housing will not provide any 10-day travel quarantine accommodations for students.

Cancel Spring Semester Housing

The deadline to cancel spring semester housing without penalty is January 1, 2021. If your plans to return to campus for spring have changed, please request a cancellation by January 1 through the housing portal. For students who have cancelled their contract for spring and need to return to campus to pick up belongings, you may arrange a time to arrive to pack and move out between 8:30am-4:30pm on January 16, 17, 18, or 19. Please log in to the housing portal to arrange your time.

Cornell Dining

Cornell Dining has been hard at work planning to bring us closer to a ‘normal’ residential and retail dining experience. Each residential dining room's offerings will be differentiated by their own operational styles and available equipment, and they'll have more customizable options than we've been able to offer this fall. Our retail locations will be adding back some favorites that we've heard students miss, like the Trillium salad bar and bowls. And Martha’s will reopen at the beginning of the semester with an exciting new menu.


Visit Cornell's coronavirus webpage for the most current campus updates and FAQs.