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, resume, and letter of recommendation.

Please Note: the application asks if you will be on the Ithaca campus in the Spring 2017 semester. This information is for our records only and will not affect your application.

The deadline to submit your application is 11:59 PM on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

Application Checklist:

  • A minimum of a 3.0 Grade Point Average 

    • With an official transcript to verify
      (Membership Chair will be the only member to view the transcript)
    • Applicants not meeting this requirement due to extenuating circumstances can explain this in the space provided in the application
  • Résumé (1 page limit)
  • Letter of Recommendation from a Cornell Staff or Faculty member, submitted to mortarboard@cornell.edu with the recommended student’s last and first name listed in the subject line.
  • 75-word summary of extra-curricular involvement at Cornell
  • 400-word essay, submitted in the application and sent to mortarboard@cornell.edu
    (Prompt: Reflect upon your time at Cornell. In a response of 400 words or fewer, address the following two questions. You may choose to answer the questions separately or in a single narrative, provided your total submission does not exceed 400 words. a) In what respects have you succeeded and/or failed to meet your goals as a scholar and/or leader at Cornell? b) In your remaining time at Cornell, what do you see as your goals and how will you leverage MBDH’s campus-wide network of leaders to achieve these goals??)

All applications materials are submitted with the online application. An application is not considered complete until we have received your letter of recommendation. Please contact mortarboard@cornell.edu 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 2017. 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 uploaded to the online application.
  • 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 the your recommended 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.