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Diversity Profile

long tradition of diversity

Along tradition of diversity
Cornell University didn’t just start thinking about student diversity in the 1960s when many other colleges and universities decided it might be a good idea to take a closer look at their admission policies. Cornell was founded in the 1860s as an institution where, in the words of Ezra Cornell, “any person can find instruction in any study.”

Even in the 19th century, classes at Cornell included women and men, blacks and whites, poor and wealthy, and students from farms as well as cities—not to mention from Brazil, China, and Russia. Admittedly, members of multicultural groups didn’t come to campus in great numbers in early years, although some did: Cornell’s first African American student graduated in 1894. The point is that Cornell affirmed, as a founding principle, that its doors were open equally wide to all qualified applicants. And we understand today that the University must continue to enroll a dynamic, multicultural student body to remain true to Ezra Cornell’s vision.

Outstanding academic programs
The most important thing Cornell can offer you is the chance to participate in some of the finest academic programs anywhere, with outstanding professors committed to teaching undergraduates. The University encourages intellectual freedom, and the variety and flexibility of the educational programs give real meaning to the concept of student choice. Our seven undergraduate Colleges and Schools—Agriculture and Life Sciences; Architecture, Art, and Planning; Arts and Sciences; Business (the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the 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.

Cornell’s commitment to a multicultural environment is also reflected in our development of some of the nation’s leading ethnic studies programs: Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, Latin American Studies, and Latino Studies. In addition to offering courses, these programs promote multicultural understanding on campus by supporting lectures, conferences, seminars, exhibits, publications, and research projects. And it almost goes without saying that, as one of the world’s foremost research universities, Cornell can give you (and hundreds of other undergraduates each year) unparalleled opportunities to participate in original research projects with faculty members. Cornellians also acquire real-world experience through extensive participation in professional internships in the United States and abroad. Formal internship opportunities are built into the Cornell in Washington Program, the Urban Semester Program in New York City, and the Capital Semester in Albany.

Come visit
You can visit what many 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. If you’d like to learn more about Cornell’s outstanding academic programs, comprehensive financial aid program, student services and activities, admission policies, or anything else about the University, please contact us.


Cornell in 200 Words or Less . . .

Enrollment: 14,453 undergraduates; 51% women, 49% men; 40% African American, Asian American, Latino, Native American, or Multicultural; 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  3,275 spaces in Cornell’s freshman class; Early Decision option

Faculty: More than 1,600 full-time members on campus; 99% have a Ph.D. or the professional degree awarded in their field.

Financial aid: Need-based (Our admission process is completely need-blind.)

Cornell Majors
• Africana Studies
• Agricultural Sciences
• American Studies
• Animal Science
• Anthropology
• Applied Economics and Management
• Archaeology
• Architecture
• Asian Studies
• Astronomy
• Atmospheric Science
• Biological Engineering
• Biological Sciences
• Biology and Society
• Biomedical Engineering
• Biometry and Statistics
• Chemical Engineering
• Chemistry and Chemical Biology
• China and Asia-Pacific Studies
• Civil Engineering
• Classics (Greek, Latin)
• Communication
• Comparative Literature
• Computer Science
• Design and Environmental Analysis
• Development Sociology
• Economics
• Electrical and Computer Engineering
• Engineering Physics
• English
• Entomology
• Environmental Engineering
• Environmental Science and Sustainability
• Fashion Design and Management
• Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
• Fiber Science
• Fine Arts
• Food Science
• French
• German Area Studies
• German (Literature and Culture)
• Global and Public Health Science
• Government
• History
• History of Art
• Hotel Administration
• Human Biology, Health, and Society
• Human Development
• Industrial and Labor Relations
• Information Science
• Information Science, Systems, and Technology
• International Agriculture and Rural Development
• Italian
• Landscape Architecture
• Linguistics
• Materials Science and Engineering
• Mathematics
• Mechanical Engineering
• Music
• Near Eastern Studies
• Nutritional Sciences
• Operations Research and Engineering
• Performing and Media Arts
• Philosophy
• Physics
• Plant Sciences
• Policy Analysis and Management
• Psychology
• Religious Studies
• Science and Technology Studies
• Science of Earth Systems
• Sociology
• Spanish
• Statistical Science
• Urban and Regional Studies
• Viticulture and Enology

Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives
Cornell’s Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives implements programs established through the Committee on Special Educational Projects (COSEP), including:
• Counseling
• Campus-wide advocacy
• Job development programs
• Referral service for summer research projects and internships
• Culture-specific co-programming
• Leadership training
• Pre-freshman summer program
• Freshman orientation program

Summer Learning Opportunities for High School Students
Cornell’s Summer College for High School Students offers award-winning pre-college programs for talented sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Earn credit, explore careers, and study with top-notch faculty during one-, three-, four-, and six-week programs on campus. For information, visit the website: