Visit the Cornell Housing website to learn about more about the different types of housing available here at Cornell.

View our Frequently Asked Questions about housing!

Read more about religious observance housing accommodations at Cornell.

What are disability-related housing accommodations?

A disability is defined as a condition that substantially impacts one or more major life functions (such as walking, breathing, learning, hearing, thinking, etc.).

Examples of disability-related housing accommodations:

  • A wheelchair-accessible room
  • A ground floor room, or a room near an elevator
  • Access to a private bathroom, or a low-use shared bathroom
  • Strobe alarms in the room

What to know about Cornell housing

The residence halls on campus vary widely in features.

  • Not all buildings have elevators.
  • Most do not have air conditioning.
  • Many are carpeted.
  • Only some are newer buildings.
  • Single-occupancy rooms are limited.
  • Bathrooms are generally shared with other students in your suite or on your floor (numbers vary).
  • Pets are not allowed (emotional support animals allowed by prior permission only).

It is so important that we hear from your early if you think if you have specific disability-related needs around housing. If we hear from you after the Housing Office has made their housing room assignments, there likely will not be a room that meets your need(s) available and you will need to be placed on a wait list for something to open up later.

If you have a religion-related housing request, visit Cornell's page on Religious Observance Accommodations to make that request.

Requesting Disability-Related Housing Accommodations

Step 1: Apply for Campus Housing

  • For new students: complete the Housing Application process outlined by the Housing Office. You must do this to secure housing on campus, even if you need disability-related housing accommodations.
  • If you currently live on campus, make sure you follow all directions from Housing and meet deadlines about securing a room for the upcoming year. See "Important Info" below.
  • On-campus housing is limited for juniors/seniors/grad students. If you are a current student who does not currently live on campus, but is seeking to move on campus, we recommend contacting us about your disability-related housing concerns as soon as possible. 

Step 2: Determine What to Request

Step 3: Request Disability-Related Housing Accommodations

Step 4: Await Communication from SDS and/or Housing Office

  • Monitor your Cornell email for communication. 


It is best for us to receive complete information from you by a certain date in order to facilitate the accommodation process: 

Newly-admitted freshmen

  • Fall admits: May 15
  • Spring admits: December 15

Rising sophomores

  • New and additional requests: February 1
  • Students with current disability housing accommodations: see "Important Info" below

Rising Juniors/Seniors

  • See "Important Info" below for deadlines

Summer students

  • May 31

Transfer, graduate, and professional students:

  • Housing options are limited. Start the registration process with our office as soon as you have confirmed your admission to Cornell.

If we hear from you after your deadline, we can still communicate your approved accommodations to Housing for them to try to identify an appropriate option, however availability will be more limited or even sold out. You may be put on a waiting list to be reassigned to a room that meets your needs, but we cannot guarantee when or if one will become available. 

If you are looking to continue existing housing disability accommodations, please see important info below for those timelines.

Important Info to Continue Housing Accommodations for Next Year

What You Need to Do

You should check your current accommodations by logging into SDS Online Services and clicking on “Housing Accommodation” on the left side of the webpage.

If your listed accommodations meet your disability access needs:

If your listed accommodations do not meet your disability access needs, and you need to request new or additional accommodations:

What You Need to Know About On-Campus Housing for Sophomore Year

  • Second year students are required to live on campus. Learn about the on-campus residential options for rising sophomores on the Housing & Residential Life - Upper-level Undergraduate On-Campus Housing page.
  • All students, including those with approved SDS Housing accommodations, must complete the Residential Application via the Housing Portal. Housing will be sending out several emails. Make sure to follow all the instructions and meet all the deadlines given by Housing.
  • Your currently approved housing accommodations carry over to your sophomore year (with the exception of Emotional Support Animal accommodations). 
  • Current first year students approved for SDS Housing accommodations will receive an SDS-facilitated room offer for Fall 2024 Housing directly from Housing in early March 2024.
  • Accepting a housing offer via this process means that you would NOT participate in the general room selection/time slot/blocking process that happens in mid-March. You will receive your SDS-facilitated room offer/assignment prior to the general room selection process so you will have the opportunity to decide which you’d rather do: accept the SDS facilitated offer, or decline and participate in general room selection instead. Please understand that the SDS-facilitated room offer will be a room that meets your disability-related needs, but not necessarily your roommate, room type and building preferences. Housing will do their best to meet your preferences if you follow their directions.  
  • If you do not accept the SDS-facilitated room offer, you are declining accessible housing and you will need to live in whatever room you select during rising sophomore room selection. You will not receive a second offer after room selection if you decline an SDS-facilitated offer prior to selection. Accepting the SDS-facilitated room offer is the only way to guarantee placement in a room that meets your disability access needs. 

If you have any questions about your accessible housing for next year, please contact us as soon as possible. Please remember to monitor your emails from the Cornell Housing Office for important messages and reminders.   

What to Know

What you need to know about choosing on-campus housing and disability housing accommodations:

  • On-campus housing is not guaranteed for juniors and seniors
  • You won't be placed ahead of room selection. Instead, you must self-select a room during the process that is open to all students currently living on campus.  
  • If your current room assignment meets your disability access needs, your best chance at securing a room that meets your needs is to participate in "Same Room Selection" and/or "Same Building/Community Selection."  
  • You are responsible for self-selecting a room and contacting the Housing Office if it does not meet your disability access need. You do not need to re-apply for disability-related housing accommodations through SDS (unless your accommodation needs have changed). 
  • If you do not secure a spot on campus through the room selection process, you will need to arrange to live off campus. 

How to Continue Using Disability-Related Housing Accommodations

Follow these steps if you are already approved for a housing accommodation through SDS and you wish to live on campus next year: 

  1. Participate and sign a contract through one of the following processes:
    (See Housing’s website for dates)
    • Same Room Selection and Roommate Pull-in
    • Same Building/Community Selection and Roommate Pull-in
    • General Room Selection
    Note: If your RHD/HAD lets you know that your current room is not eligible for Same Room Selection, please email the Housing Office ASAP for instructions.
  2. Should you select a room that does not meet your access needs, please email the Housing Office no later than 5pm on October 5 to be placed on a priority waitlist for reassignment.

The Housing Office will be sending out emails and has information on their website; please review that information and your responsibilities carefully. Please note that all students must complete the Residential Application via the Housing Portal.  


If you are requesting to bring an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) to live with you on campus, or need to renew an ESA previously approved by Cornell University SDS, please review Emotional Support Animal page on our website for more information.
Unlike other disability-related housing accommodations, approval to have an ESA in campus housing has to be approved by SDS and renewed on a yearly basis. Approval does not carry over from one year to the next.

If you have been approved for this accommodation at Cornell before, SDS will reach out to you over the summer to see if you desire to renew that accommodation. Watch your Cornell email for communication and please follow up with any requests from our office for forms or information.