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FWS Ballot Submission

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Students should aim to satisfy their First-Year Writing Seminar requirement during their first year. Balloting for FWSs is open only to freshmen, sophomores, and first-semester transfer students; juniors and seniors are not eligible to enroll in First-Year Writing Seminars, neither by ballot nor through electronic add/drop.

The FWS electronic ballot can be accessed by clicking hereBallot submissions are currently closed for the 2016-17 academic year. Check back for updates on ballot submission for the Fall 2017 semester.

Those without a NetID may view current FWS offerings by clicking here.

Transfer studentsEnglish 2880-2890, a cluster of writing courses for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, may fulfill a First-Year Writing Seminar requirement for those who need it. Students enroll for these sections through Student Center.

Important Dates

  • Electronic Add/Drop for FWS starts Monday, August 21st.  See directions below.
    *This date applies to freshmen, sophomores, and first-semester transfer students.
  • Writing seminars begin Tuesday, August 22nd.
  • The last day to add an FWS is Tuesday, September 5th.

Ballot Submission Details

To enroll in a First-Year Writing Seminar for, go to the above URL (during a submission period) and select five (5) choices for your ballot. There will be pull down pick-lists sorted by Department and by Day/Time.

If you submit a ballot and then decide to cancel your ballot submission, please delete your ballot. You may change your ballot as many times as you like during the submission period; only the last submission will count.


If you do not submit a ballot, you may add an FWS beginning at the start of the add/drop period.

If You Are Unable to Enter a Ballot

Matriculated Students: If you are or will be a matriculated freshman, sophomore, or first-semester transfer student in one of the seven undergraduate colleges/schools at Cornell, but the system does not recognize your NetID, e-mail Donna Newton (dlo1) no later than 4pm on the last day of the submission period (you may be in the University's system, but not in the locally-kept database). Be sure to include your NetID (Cornell email address), CUID (7-digit number), Class (freshman, sophomore, or transfer student), and College.

Continuing Education Students: Extramural students must receive permission from the Knight Institute to add a First-Year Writing Seminar starting August 22nd, at the Office of Continuing Education, B20 Day Hall.

Electronic Add/Drop for First-Year Writing Seminars

To find open First-Year Writing Seminars during the Add/Drop period, go to Student Center. At the search screen, click on “Additional Search Criteria,” then choose “FWS Session” from the “Session” field. This will show you all open FWS classes.