cornell university

Cornell University is one of the most frequently searched colleges in the United States, according to a recent internet keyword search of American universities. 

Established in 1865, the university was intended to make contributions to ALL fields of knowledge. Today, Cornell is a private research university that currently maintains an enrollment of around 23,000 students. Cornell is one of only three universities that is a member of the Land Grant, Sea Grant, Space Grant, and Sun Grant programs. Students at Cornell can study abroad on any of six continents. 

Cornell is considered an "Ivy League school," and usually ranks in the top 10 on college reports. In fact, the school's Bachelor of Architecture degree program consistently ranks Number 1 in the nation. 

Cornell offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and is one of the most selective universities in America. The acceptance rate at Cornell for undergraduate freshmen is around 10 percent. The SAT scores of entering freshmen generally averages above 1400. The average student faculty ratio is approximately 9 to 1. 

Notable graduates of Cornell University include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, novelist and Princeton professor Toni Morrison, Bill Nye ("the science guy"), actor Christopher Reeve, President of Taiwan Lee Teng Hui, author E.B White, and David Starr Jordan, the founding President of Stanford University. Among the quarter million Cornell alumni alive today are numerous Nobel laureates, countless CEOs, and more than a dozen billionaires. Eight Cornellians even became astronauts. 

Cornell is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Shown above: A view of McGraw Tower at Cornell. 

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Above: A scene from the campus of Cornell in spring


Cornell University Q&A

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Cornell University.

1. Where is Cornell University?

The main campus of Cornell is located on the eastern edge of Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is situated at the southern tip of the Cayuga River, approximately 50 miles southwest of Syracuse, and roughly 200 driving miles west of Albany. 

Cornell also has 10 locations in New York City, as well as other locations in Geneva, New York, Washington DC, Rome, Italy, and Doha, Qatar. 

Here is the official physical address of Cornell's main campus: 

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York


Here are the physical addresses of some of Cornell's other locations: 

Weill Cornell Medicine

1300 York Avenue

New York, NY


Cornell Tech

2 West Loop Road

New York, NY


Cornell DC

2148 O Street NW

Washington DC 


2. What is the organizational structure of Cornell University?

Each of the colleges and schools of Cornell University admits its own students and provides its own instructors. Cornell consists of the following 16 divisions: 

  1. College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  2. College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
  3. College of Arts and Sciences
  4. College of Business 
  5. College of Engineering
  6. College of Human Ecology
  7. College of Veterinary Medicine 
  8. Cornell Law School
  9. Cornell Tech
  10. Graduate School
  11. School of Computing and Information Science 
  12. School of Continuing Education 
  13. School of Industrial and Labor Relations 
  14. Weill-Cornell Medicine (NYC)
  15. Weill-Cornell Medicine (Qatar)
  16. Weill-Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences 

3. What undergraduate studies are offered at Cornell University?

Undergraduate course offerings at Cornell cover many hundred topics.  

Here is an alphabetical list of 75 undergraduate majors (Bachelor degree programs) offered at Cornell:

  1. Africana Studies
  2. Agricultural Sciences
  3. American Studies 
  4. Animal Science
  5. Anthropology 
  6. Applied Economics and Management 
  7. Archeology 
  8. Architecture
  9. Art
  10. Asian Studies
  11. Astronomy 
  12. Atmospheric Science 
  13. Biological Engineering
  14. Biological Sciences
  15. Biology and Society
  16. Biomedical Engineering
  17. Biometry and Statistics 
  18. Chemical Biology
  19. Chemical Engineering
  20. Chemistry 
  21. Civil Engineering
  22. Classics
  23. Communication
  24. Comparative Literature
  25. Computer Science 
  26. Design and Environmental Analysis 
  27. Developmental Sociology 
  28. Economics
  29. Electrical and Computer Engineering 
  30. Engineering Physics 
  31. English
  32. Entomology 
  33. Environmental Engineering
  34. Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  35. Fiber Science and Apparel Design
  36. Fine Arts 
  37. Food Science 
  38. French
  39. German
  40. Global and Public Health Sciences
  41. Government 
  42. History
  43. History of Architecture
  44. History of Art
  45. Hotel Administration 
  46. Human Development
  47. Human Ecology
  48. Industrial and Labor Relations 
  49. Information Science, Systems, and Technology 
  50. International Agriculture
  51. Italian
  52. Landscape Architecture 
  53. Linguistics
  54. Materials Science and Engineering 
  55. Mathematics
  56. Mechanical Engineering 
  57. Music
  58. Near Eastern Studies 
  59. Nutrition 
  60. Operations Research and Engineering 
  61. Performing and Media Arts
  62. Philosophy
  63. Physics
  64. Plant Science 
  65. Policy, Analysis, and Management
  66. Psychology
  67. Religious Studies
  68. Russian Literature 
  69. Science and Technology Studies
  70. Science of Earth Systems
  71. Sociology 
  72. Spanish
  73. Statistics
  74. Urban and Regional Studies
  75. Viticulture and Enology 

Cornell also offers well over 100 outdoor education courses, such as tree climbing, rock climbing, caving, hiking, mountain biking, and Wilderness First Aid, to name only a few. In fact, Cornell's Lindseth Climbing Wall is the largest natural indoor rock climbing wall in all of North America. It is 160 feet wide and 30 feet high. 

Above: An aerial view of the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. 


4. What graduate programs are available at Cornell University?

Here is a list of fields of study (majors) for Masters degrees at Cornell Graduate School:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • American Indian (Indigenous) Studies
  • American Studies
  • Animal Science
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Economics and Management 
  • Applied Physics
  • Archeology
  • Architecture 
  • Art
  • Asian Studies
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Biological and Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • City and Regional Planning
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Classics
  • Comparative Biomedical Sciences
  • Computer Science 
  • Demography 
  • Design and Environmental Analysis 
  • Development Sociology
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Education  
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering 
  • English Language and Literature 
  • Entomology
  • Environmental Toxicology 
  • Epidemiology
  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 
  • Fiber Science and Apparel Design 
  • Film and Video Studies 
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Geology
  • Global Development 
  • Horticulture
  • Hotel Administration
  • Human Development 
  • Industrial and Labor Relations 
  • Information Science
  • Landscape Architecture 
  • Management
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Music
  • Natural Resources
  • Near Eastern Studies
  • Nutrition
  • Operations Research and Information Engineering 
  • Peace Studies
  • Plant Breeding
  • Plant Pathology
  • Policy Analysis and Management
  • Public Affairs 
  • Real Estate
  • Regional Science
  • Risk Analysis, Communication, and Policy 
  • Sociology 
  • Soil and Crop Sciences
  • Statistics
  • Systems Engineering
  • Theoretical and Applied Mechanics 

PhDs are available in most of the above-mentioned disciplines, as well as in the following subjects:

  • Africana Studies
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Asian Literature, Religion, and Culture
  • Astronomy and Space Sciences
  • Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cell Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Communication
  • Comparative Literature 
  • Computational Biology
  • Economics
  • Genetics, Genomics, and Development
  • Germanic Studies
  • Government
  • History
  • Immunology and Infectious Disease
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Medicine
  • Mathematics
  • Medieval Studies
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular and Integrative Physiology 
  • Neurobiology and Behavior
  • Pharmacology
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Plant Biology
  • Psychology
  • Romance Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Theatre Arts 
  • Zoology and Wildlife Conservation  

Here's a list of MD degrees offered at Cornell's medical college:

  • Biochemistry and Structural Biology
  • Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology, Biophysics, and Systems Biology

5. What programs are available at Cornell University Law School?

Cornell Law has J.D., Masters, and Doctoral degree programs in the field of Law.

Here is a list of the required first-year courses for the J.D. program at Cornell Law: 

  • Civil Procedure (I & II)
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts (I & II)
  • Criminal Law
  • Lawyering
  • Property Law
  • Torts

Optional concentrations for Cornell's J.D. Program include:

  • Advocacy
  • Business Law
  • General Practice
  • Public Law

The school features a full range of legal studies, which can be taken as electives. Here is an alphabetical list of the 25 most popular individual courses offered at Cornell Law, aside from the ones listed above: 

  1. Administrative (Corporate) Law 
  2. Antitrust Law
  3. Arbitration Law
  4. Business Law
  5. Commercial Law 
  6. Conflict of Laws
  7. Copyright Law
  8. Employment Law
  9. Entertainment Law 
  10. Evidence
  11. Federal Indian Law
  12. Financial Accounting
  13. Health Law
  14. Insurance Law
  15. Intellectual Property Law
  16. International Law
  17. Law Practice Technology
  18. Legal Research
  19. Legal Writing 
  20. Managerial Finance
  21. Negotiation and Facilitation
  22. Poverty Law
  23. Real Estate Law  
  24. Taxation Law
  25. Trusts and Estates 

Cornell Law School also features many dozen specialty student groups, such as the Art Law Society, the Business Law Society, the California Law Students Association, the Jewish Law Students Association, and the Mock Trial Board, to name only a few. 

Above: The powerful Gothic architecture of Cornell Law School.


6. How much does it cost to attend Cornell University?

According to the Cornell website, the total cost of tuition, fees, and other expenses for undergraduate enrollment for one full year is approximately $71,000. 

Graduate school tuition at Cornell varies by program. For Cornell Law, the tuition for the upcoming academic year is 

  • $65,456 in tuition
  • $91,207 estimated total expenses (including tuition). 

Other fees may also apply, such as application fees, parking fees, and activities fees, for instance. 

Financial aid is available to some, and may come in the form of Pell Grants, scholarships, and work study programs, among others. 

Above: Gates Hall, constructed in 2014, cuts a modern metallic silhouette against Cornell's historic campus architecture. 

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Above: Inside the stunning Sage Chapel on the campus of Cornell. 


7. What is the Cornell University campus like?

The main campus of Cornell occupies roughly 750 acres in a small city setting of upstate New York. In total, Cornell's campuses cover about 4,800 acres. Attractions near the main campus include the Cornell Botanic Gardens, which spans about 2,800 acres all by itself.

The Ithaca campus is home to almost all of the school's administrative buildings, academic buildings, libraries, and residence halls, as well as the beautiful Sage Chapel, among other structures, both modern and historic. The McGraw Tower has colored lights for holidays, and the clock on the tower plays music. Like most Ivy League campuses, Cornell also features outstanding athletic facilities, huge auditoriums, and several alluring museums. 

Like most very old institutions, the Cornell campus boasts a broad range of architectural styles, such as Collegiate Gothic, Victorian, Modern, and others. In fact, several buildings on Cornell's main campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Others have been built within the past few years. According to Travel & Leisure Magazine (not too long ago), Cornell's Ithaca campus is among the most beautiful college campuses in America. What's more, the campus sits on a hill, providing breath taking views of the surrounding area. 

Student services on campus include a daycare center, campus security, placement services, and health services, and an amazing dining program. Cornell has 30 on-campus dining locations, including 10 cafeterias. Sometimes they even invite top chefs from local restaurants to add to the atmosphere.  

The school colors are carnelian red and white. The varsity athletes at Cornell are commonly referred to as the Big Red. They play for the NCAA Division 1 - Ivy League. 

Varsity sports for men and women at Cornell include:  

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Equestrian 
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics 
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Polo
  • Rowing
  • Sailing 
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming (& Diving)
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Also available on campus are a number of club sports, such as some of the ones listed above, and many others. Aside form sports, the Cornell campus also features more than a thousand student organizations and activities, such as an a cappella club, an African dance group, a beekeeping club, a career club, a chess club, a cheerleading club, several scholarly publications, and countless others. 

Above: A member of the varsity polo team at Cornell


8. What are the distance learning options at Cornell University?

Cornell offers a broad range of online courses. Distance learning is a popular option at Cornell, especially in conjunction with on-campus classes. Online credit courses offered at Cornell for the upcoming winter semester include the following, among others: 

  • Accounting
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • American Prisons
  • Anthropology
  • Business Administration 
  • Classics
  • Communication
  • Earth Sciences
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Global Business Strategy
  • Government
  • Human Development
  • Human Resource Studies 
  • History
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Nutritional Science 
  • Political Science
  • Psychology

Click here for More Than 50 Top Ranked Online Colleges

9. What is the contact information for Cornell University?

To reach the undergraduate admissions office of Cornell, call 607-254-4636. 

To speak with someone at the graduate school of Cornell, call 607-255-5820. 

To contact the Cornell Law School, call 607-255-7190. 

For the Weill Cornell Medical Center, call 212-746-5454. 

To reach the DC campus of Cornell, call 202-466-2184. 

Above: Downtown Ithaca, New York.


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