Cornell has always done things a little differently. In the mid-19th century, for example, when Ezra Cornell founded this “institution where any person can find instruction in any study,” he brought into being a university that offered instruction to all who were qualified, regardless of race or gender.
It welcomed rich and poor. It offered courses in agriculture and the mechanic arts, as well as American history and modern literature, on an equal footing with the classics. And it encouraged students to choose their own programs. In short, Cornell fundamentally altered the character of American higher education.
An exceptional learning environment
Cornell is still a place where you can take intellectual risks, explore the unfamiliar, and follow unconventional but promising ideas through to their conclusions. Why is the learning environment so exceptional here? Maybe it’s because Cornellians live with so many stimulating paradoxes.
For example, Cornell is a member of the Ivy League, and it’s also the land-grant university for New York State. We’ve managed to unite on one campus the rigorous intellectual tradition of the Ivy League and the democratic spirit of the other great state universities. Another paradox: Cornell is without question one of the nation’s most comprehensive research universities. Yet teaching still comes first. The faculty members who teach graduate courses also teach undergraduate courses—even the Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners.
Outstanding academic programs
Cornell encourages intellectual freedom, and the variety and flexibility of our educational programs give real meaning to the concept of student choice. Our seven undergraduate schools—Agriculture and Life Sciences; Architecture, Art, and Planning; Arts and Sciences; Business (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and School of Hotel Administration); Engineering; Human Ecology; and Industrial and Labor Relations—allow you to concentrate on the field of your choice while making it possible for you to study in areas of interest outside your “home” college or school. We offer nearly 80 formal major fields, as well as dual-degree programs and a score of interdisciplinary majors that give you unusual opportunities to cross traditional departmental boundaries.
Outside the classroom
You’ll find lots of ways to get involved at Cornell outside the classroom as well. Among the 1,000+ student organizations—political action groups, social clubs, athletic teams, musical groups, and the like—are the student-run Cornell Daily Sun, the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, the Renewable Energy Society, the Whistling Shrimp Comedy Improv Troupe, the Society of Women Engineers, and 37 intercollegiate athletic teams, as well as one of the largest intramural sports programs in the country.
Join the more than 500 students who participate in Cornell Abroad each year, studying in countries such as Australia, China, Egypt, France, Kenya, Nepal, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. Through Cornell in Washington, you can spend a semester taking courses, conducting research, and completing externships in Washington, DC. Also, you will be encouraged as a Cornell student to participate in original research efforts with faculty members who enthusiastically welcome student collaboration on projects across the curriculum.
You can visit what many people consider America’s most beautiful college campus year-round. Take a tour, attend an information session, and talk with students. You are also welcome to spend some time with a Cornell student and stay overnight in a residence hall at select times during the school year.
Enrollment: Fall 2016 undergraduate enrollment was 14,315; 52% women, 48% men; 41% of our students identify as coming from a multicultural background; 10% from abroad; from all 50 states and more than 120 foreign countries
Where in the world: Cornell’s 2,300-acre main campus is located in Ithaca, a mid-sized college town in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
Admission: Highly selective—typically more than 44,000 students apply for 3,182 spaces in Cornell’s freshman class; Early Decision option.
Faculty: More than 1,600 full-time members on campus; 99% have a PhD or the professional degree awarded in their field.
Costs for 2016–2017:
• Tuition/fees for endowed colleges (Architecture, Art, and Planning; Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Hotel Administration): $50,953
• Tuition/fees for state-assisted colleges (Agriculture and Life Sciences; Human Ecology; Industrial and Labor Relations):
New York State residents: $34,209
• Housing and dining (for all colleges): $13,900
Financial aid: Need-based (Our admission process is completely need-blind.)
Graduation rate: 92% within five years
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