Please click here to access the online application.

Mortar Board / Der Hexenkreis Senior Honor Society taps between thirty and forty undergraduate students in their junior (third) year during the spring semester. Prospective members must apply in order to be considered. The application requires a written essay, transcript, and letter of recommendation.

Please Note: the application asks if you are on the Ithaca campus in the Spring 2018 semester. This information is for our records only and will not affect your application.

***Please Note – Application Extension: The deadline to submit your application has been extended to 4:59 PM on Friday, February 23, 2018.***

Application Checklist:

      • Cornell transcript, submitted to with your last and first name in the subject line (Membership Chair will be the only member to view the transcript)
      • Resume, submitted to with your last and first name in the subject line (optional)
      • Letter of Recommendation from a Cornell Staff or Faculty member, submitted to with the recommended student’s last and first name listed in the subject line (Letters of recommendation are strongly encouraged, but not required. Strong letters of recommendation can help an application, but applicants who submit applications without letters of recommendation will not be penalized)
      • 75-word summary of two primary extra-curricular involvements at Cornell.
      • Two 250-word essays, submitted in the application

(2018 Prompt: Mortar Board Der Hexenkreis’ three pillars are scholarship, leadership, and service. Choose two of the following three essay questions (at a maximum of 250 words each): (A) How have your studies molded your personal ambitions? (B) Reflect on how you have failed and/or succeeded as a leader. (C) How do you define service? Please elaborate with your personal experiences.)

Applications materials are submitted with the online application. An application is not considered complete until we have received your letter of recommendation and transcript. Please contact should you have any questions.

Common Questions:

  • I’m studying abroad (or at a domestic Cornell program away from the Ithaca campus) this semester, Spring 2018. Will that affect my application? No.
  • Can I take a screenshot of my transcript on StudentCenter? No. Please use the “Request Official Transcript” feature to send yourself a PDF of your official transcript. That PDF can then be emailed to
  • Can I ask my recommended to send in their letter now? Please have your reference prepare the letter of recommendation as early as possible. However, the letter must be submitted via email as instructed above.
  • Can I ask a summer employer to submit the letter of recommendation? Because we are primarily interested in your contributions to our campus, we require that the letter of recommendation comes from a Cornell University faculty or staff member. 
  • What if the Faculty or Staff member I had in mind has since left the University? Generally, we require your recommender to have an active NetID. However, we will evaluate situations such as these on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us via email for further information. 
  • What if I used an incorrect email or made a mistake in filling out the initial registration form? Please contact us via email and we will reset your account. 
  • The academic program that I am enrolled in is five years. Am I eligible to apply? All students in their third year of study are eligible to apply. Please feel free to include a note of clarification in your essay if your enrollment circumstances are not standard. We are also happy to answer any questions sent to us by email.
  • Are there dues associated with membership? Dues are approximately (and possibly below) $75 during the Senior year. We work with any accepted applicant for whom this poses financial difficulty to make membership possible.