Part Time Study (formerly Extramural Study) FAQ

Quick Facts:


  • Eligibility: Upon being hired into a benefits-eligible position
  • Credit Limit: Up to 4 credits each semester
  • Class Subject: Does not have to be job-related
  • Supervisory involvement: supervisor’s approval is required
  • Pay: Supervisors have the discretion to either grant release time from work to attend class, or to require that all or part of the time be made up if the absence interferes with the department’s operational requirements.  If your supervisor has requested that you take a course, you are not required to make up time. Release time that is granted for part time study (formerly extramural study) will be recorded as leave with pay. Part-time employees are generally expected to take courses outside of regular working hours.


Frequently Asked Questions:


How soon after being hired can I take a class? As soon as you are a benefits-eligible Cornell employee, and depending upon registration dates, you can enroll in a class.

Is there a deadline to register? Yes. See the academic calendar for your term’s dates and deadlines.

What if a class requires a lab and is over 4 credits? Many language, chemistry, physics and biology classes have a lab requirement. Benefits Services can approve up to six credits if necessary.

Will credits I earn be acceptable by a degree program at Cornell? That’s a decision for the college to which you apply.

How do I enroll for a class? Enrollment is done by paper through the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. For instructions, see the registration page for Cornell Employees and Retirees.

Can I use the Part Time (formerly Extramural) and Tuition Aid benefits together? Yes, but you cannot receive reimbursement for more than 4 credits per semester.

Can I get a degree by taking Part Time (formerly extramural) classes? No. The School of Continuing Education is not a degree-granting college.

Do audited courses count toward the four credits? Yes.