For NCAA athletes
The Sports Clearance Process is required for students who will be participating in intercollegiate/NCAA sports teams at Cornell.
Intercollegiate student athletes must receive a formal medical clearance from Sports Medicine each year. Your coach will provide you with complete details.
A note to "walk-ons": Only student athletes who are listed on the official team roster may go through the medical clearance process. If you are interested in participating in a varsity team and are not a recruited athlete, please contact the team's coach.
New (first-year & transfer) student athletes
Before coming to Cornell, you must:
- Complete all of your New Student Health Requirements and items on your myCornellHealth Medical Clearance list.
- Follow the Sports Clearance Instructions/Form (pdf) to complete your Sports Clearance requirements which include:
- a physical exam (since March 1, 2023 for fall 2023 entrants and August 1, 2023 for spring 2024 entrants); please include supporting documentation* from your health care provider
- completion of the Sports Clearance Form (by you and your health care provider)
- for student athletes on medication for ADHD/ADD, completion of the Medical Exception Form (by you and your health care provider); see below
- completion of an ImPACT Concussion Baseline Test (by you): please follow the instructions on page 3 of the Sports Clearance Instructions/Form (pdf)
* Since August, 2010 the NCAA has mandated testing for sickle cell trait among new (first year or transfer) Division 1 college athletes. Please ask your health care provider to include a copy of the actual test result with your Physical Examination Form. If you do not get tested before coming to campus, you will have to get tested at Cornell Health. Learn more on our Athlete Testing for Sickle Cell Trait fact sheet (pdf).
After you arrive on campus in August
You will receive instructions about whether/when to report to Cornell Health with your team at a scheduled time to complete your sports clearance.
Returning student athletes
You must receive a medical clearance from Sports Medicine each year before participating in intercollegiate athletics. Your coach will instruct you about completing the online Sports Clearance Form, through which you will provide complete and up-to-date information about your health.
A physical examination from your health care provider from home is not required for returning athletes.
Substance use / mental health release of information (recommended): It is also strongly recommended that student athletes sign and submit the Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Health Information: Substance Use / Mental Health Care each year (can be revoked at any time). Signed forms may be uploaded through myCornellHealth > Medical Clearances > “Athlete: Doc. Upload,” or may be given to your athletic trainer.
When you return to campus in the fall, you will report to Cornell Health with your team at a scheduled time for your sports clearance.
Athletes with ADD/ADHD
The NCAA requires that all athletes on stimulant medication for the treatment of ADD/ADHD provide adequate documentation of diagnosis and treatment. Stimulant medications are banned for use by NCAA athletes unless medical necessity is clearly documented by their university.
To provide documentation, ask your health care provider to complete the required ADHD/ADD Medical Exception Form (pdf), and follow the instructions carefully. Submission of this information is required every year in order to participate in intercollegiate athletics.
If you have questions or concerns about the sports clearance process, please feel free to talk with your athletic trainer and/or with us. [See Contact Us]