Attending the Program

The Professional Development Program is a multi-day in-person program at the Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, NY, consisting of individual 3-day hospitality courses. Participants may take a single course in Session 1 or Session 2, or participate in both sessions. Each course will earn a Cornell certificate. You can earn two certificates by attending all six days, or choose an individual 3-day certificate.

  • Participants must have been employed full time in the hospitality industry, or a related field, for a minimum of two continuous years prior to enrolling in the program.
  • While many cultures enrich the Cornell experience, English is the language of instruction for this program. We do not require a TOEFL score; however, participants must have well-developed English-language communication and reading comprehension skills to participate in and benefit from the courses. If a participant’s English-language skills preclude active and full involvement in the classroom sessions, they may be removed from the program.

There is no deadline to enroll.

Course materials are not for sale. They are available only to those who attend the specific classes.

By enrolling, you agree to pay the program fee. You have several payment options, including payment in full at time of registration via credit card. You may also request an invoice for payment via check or wire transfer. If you require the option of payment by check or wire transfer, please contact your Enrollment Counselor for details. Payment in full is required prior to the start of the program.

  • You may cancel your participation at least 45 days before the first day of the program and receive full reimbursement. You will forfeit US$750 if your notification of cancellation takes place less than 45 days prior to the start date.
  • You will receive no reimbursement if notification of cancellation takes place within seven days of the start of the program. Alternatively, the balance less a transfer fee of US$500 can be applied to another eligible participant or to the next offering of the program.
  • If participation is not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions, you will have the option to transfer to a future session or receive a refund for your enrollment.

Pre-program assignments for your program will be posted online via Canvas, our learning management system. You will receive a username and password to access your Canvas account no later than 10 days prior to the start date of the program.

  • We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and share updates as we approach the start of the program. Refer to the Cornell COVID-19 Response page for the most current information.
  • Please review your country’s guidelines regarding travel and visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for information related to visiting the U.S.
  • Please remember to book refundable airline tickets to prevent cancellation fees in the event the program is not available for the dates you have chosen.
Class Schedule

No. Each course consists of three days of interactive classroom learning. You may choose one course in Session 1 and one course in Session 2, but it is not possible to choose two courses in Session 1, or two courses in Session 2. We encourage you to return to Cornell to take additional courses in subsequent years.

  • 8.30 – 12.30: Class
  • 12.30 – 13.30: Buffet networking lunch
  • 13.30 – 17.00: Class
  • 17.00 – 18.30: Networking Reception (only on the first day of class)
  • Evening: Individual or group assignment (not on the final day of class)
  • You are expected to attend each day of your 3-day course. Cornell certificates are presented only after successfully completing your course(s), and you must be present to receive your certificate. We reserve the right to withhold certificates from participants who miss any portion of the course.
  • Prior to your arrival at Cornell, we will provide you with information regarding your stay and getting the most out of your experience.
  • Registration and continental breakfast will be held at 7.30 on the first day of class in the atrium at Statler Hall. There you will receive your welcome bag containing information. Classes will begin promptly at 8.30.

Classes begin at 8.30 and end at 17.00. You should also plan to be available in the evenings for homework or group work. Because of the intensive nature of these courses, those who arrive late or leave early will not earn a certificate.

Fees and Payment

Each 3-day course costs US$3,699. We encourage you to attend the entire 6-day program and save by taking two courses for $6,999.

The course fee includes three days of on-campus classes at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Your fee includes all course materials, articles, case studies, notepaper, pens, etc. A daily continental breakfast, buffet networking lunch, and refreshment breaks are also included. You are invited to attend an opening welcome reception on the first day of class.

Payment is due upon enrollment. If you need to pay via check or wire transfer, please contact an Enrollment Counselor for details.

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, check (made payable to “Cornell University” in U.S. funds), and wire transfer.

Travel and Lodging for the Professional Development Program
  • Ithaca has many hotel options to choose from, or you may choose to stay on-campus in one of Cornell University’s dormitories – please review our recommendations.
  • Participants are responsible for making their own arrangements for accommodations and paying for them at their own expense.
  • There are several ways for you to get to your hotel once you arrive in Ithaca. Please remember that you are responsible for making your own transportation arrangements at your own expense.
  • From the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport.
  • By taxi: Ithaca Dispatch (+1-607-277-7777).
  • By courtesy car: Some local hotels provide complimentary transportation to and from the airport. Use the courtesy phones located at the airport in the baggage claim area to call your hotel and have them send a car to pick you up.
  • If you are arriving by bus: Call a taxi from the bus station using the number above.
  • Ithaca is also serviced by Lyft and Uber.
  • Once you have been accepted to the program, we can email you a Visa Certification Letter upon request, which you can then submit to the U.S. Embassy. This document is sufficient in most instances, but you should check with the U.S. Embassy in your country as early as possible to be sure.
  • The Professional Development Program is a non-credit program; your attendance does not qualify you for a student visa. You will be a professional attending seminars at the university, not a matriculated student.

Attire for classes is strictly casual. Please note that all PDP classroom facilities are on a central air-conditioning/heating system. If you come from a warm climate, you may want a light jacket or sweater to wear in the classroom. If you are more comfortable in attire that is customary or traditional in your country, by all means dress accordingly.


Yes. Participants working in Europe may apply for the Leif Torne Scholarship. Please visit the link for more information.

Beyond the Professional Development Program
  • Yes — both an in-person degree and an online degree:
  • In person, full time: The Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) program is targeted at individuals early in their hospitality careers. Interactive, hands-on learning takes place over three semesters at the Nolan School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. A summer internship is a critical component of the program.
  • Online, part time: The Executive Master of Management in Hospitality (EMMH) program is targeted at working hospitality professionals with significant experience. Interactive online courses with synchronous live weekly sessions connect you to Cornell faculty and industry peers in this 20-month degree program. Two 1-week on-campus residencies are included.

Once you have completed a certificate in the Professional Development Program, you may add it to your LinkedIn profile under Education. Select “Cornell University” as the school, then under “Degree,” list “Professional Development Program , Nolan School of Hotel Administration.” You may list “Certificate in [insert certificate name]” under “Field of Study.” Select the year of completion under “To Year (or expected).”

Once you have completed your program, you may add it to your résumé or CV by including the following information:

    • Cornell University Nolan School of Hotel Administration
    • Professional Development Program
    • Certificate name
    • Completion month and year