Cornell University

300 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY

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Campus image of Cornell University

Cornell University is one of the top, public research universities in the United States. Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell is the State's Land Grant University. As such, it is dedicated to transferring and applying university-based knowledge for practical benefits and economic prosperity in the State.

Research at Cornell is cutting-edge, with research programs being highly interdisciplinary. The academic excellence of Cornell's programs is widely known, as is its renowned faculty. The Cornell programs receiving the highest reviews include its Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Humanities, Sustainability, Law and Technology, Information Science, International Programs and Weill Cornell Initiatives.

Cross college collaborations are the norm at Cornell, encouraging and enabling explorations into new areas that include genomics, advanced materials and nanoscience. There are countless options for majors and minors at Cornell, and students can pursue a course of study that marries diverse interests.

The Liberal Arts at Cornell are as vital as the sciences, with top programs in literature, art history, theatre, dance and music.


Cornell University was founded in 1865 as New York State's Land Grant institution. Two founders, Ezra Cornell and Andrew D. White, wanted to establish an institution that married scientific and technical education with instruction in history and literature. Cornell University opened in 1867 with Andrew White as its first president. The goal then, to be the best at whatever it undertakes, continues today.


The general academic calendar for Cornell University follows the semester format, with fall, spring and summer semesters. There is a 3-week Winter Session in January, and the summer semester is divided into three short sessions.

Colleges and Schools

Cornell University has seven undergraduate colleges in addition to its graduate school and professional schools. There are also specialized faculty units at Cornell, and nearly 100 academic departments offering a variety of programs. Academic units at Cornell include many centers, institutes and laboratories as well, and interdisciplinary programs, research and study units that help make Cornell distinctive.

Undergraduate Colleges:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • School of Hotel Administration
  • College of Human Ecology
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations 

Special Faculty Units:

  • The Faculty of Computing and Information Science 

Graduate and Professional Colleges and Schools:

  • Graduate School
  • Cornell Law School
  • S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management
  • Weill Cornell Medical College (New York City and Doha, Qatar)
  • Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences (New York City)
  • College of Veterinary Medicine 

School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Student Life

There are more than 500 student clubs and organizations at Cornell University, covering myriad interests for its diverse student body. For students interested in engaging in public service and social action, there are many opportunities available through the Cornell Public Service Center (PSC). Local chapters of sororities and fraternities are very active, offering additional opportunities for academic success, community involvement and networking.

Cornell offers a range of options for on campus living, from undergraduate and graduate housing on campus to residential initiatives and community centers.  Faculty leadership is part of the residential initiatives, enhancing the first-year residential experience. There are themed living communities that offer students the chance to live in a place where they can learn more about their interests, such as music, languages, cultures and more.

On campus dining offers a wide range of choices from dining halls to cafes, and off campus eateries in Ithaca offer a diverse range of options.


The traditional colors for Cornell University are red and white. These colors were established in 1868 on the banner used for decoration at celebrations for the University's Inauguration Day.  The football team has been nicknamed "Big Red" since the early days.

In 1898, the general manager for the Campbell Soup Company attended a Cornell University football game. He was so impressed with the red and white uniforms worn by the Cornell athletes that he insisted the design for Campbell's Soup labels be changed to red and white. The soup cans have had the iconic red and white labels since that time.

The Cornell University mascot is a bear. A university student wears a bear costume and, as "Big Red," performs for the crowds at varsity athletic events.


The Cornell University "Big Red" athletic teams compete in 36 intercollegiate sports, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Polo
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Sprint Football
  • Squash
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Wrestling 

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Polo
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Satellite Campuses

Cornell University has one primary campus in Ithaca, New York, but has medical schools in New York City and Qatar. It also offers the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) programs in 62 counties of New York State, including all five NYC boroughs. The goal of CCE programs is to make the Cornell academic experience and research widely available to improve lives and communities. Programs include agriculture, environment, community development, nutrition and health, and more.

Community Life

Although Ithaca, New York is a college town and often associated with young people, recent news articles have touted Ithaca as the ideal town for retirees. The median home prices are relatively low and retired people can take classes at Cornell University or Ithaca College. There are many activities available for you and old alike, including speeches, concerts, and sports events, day hikes along scenic trails to waterfalls and gorges, and bicycle paths throughout the Finger Lakes region. The Museum of Earth is just one of the many interesting organizations that are available to the public in this idyllic university town full of culture and stimulation.

Admission Requirements & Details

The admission details below may give an overview of the applicants Cornell University accepts. The details may include application requirements and recommendations, as well as any college credits that may be transferred.

College Credits Accepted

  • AP Course Credits

Student Enrollment

Total enrollment at Cornell University is around 22,000 students. The student body is made up of 65% undergraduate students and 15% graduate students.

Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The items listed below are for informational purposes only and may not represent current tuition, fees, and expenses.

Tuition & Fees Information

  • Annual tuition is estimated to range between $49,000-$59,000 for both in-state and out-of-state students
  • Per unit charges are around $1,400 for part time students

Financial Aid Details

The table listed below helps break down the types of financial aid students receive and the percent receiving aid, as well as the average amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid61%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships49%$34,941
Receiving Student Loans31%$7,453

Academics & Student Services

Student Services

To help students and recent graduates, Cornell University may offer services like:

  • Online classes
  • Academic counseling for students
  • Work study style employment
  • Assistance to find work

Graduation Rates

Cornell University has a very high graduation rate when compared to similar schools nearby.

Number of Year to GraduatePercent of Entering Class
Students Graduating in 4 Years87%
Graduating in 5 Years5%
Graduating in 6 Years1%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

  • Dietetics Program
  • Health Services Administration Program
  • Law Program (more info)
  • Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) Program (more info)

Intercollegiate Athletics

Cornell University is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports belonging to the NCAA Division I-AA classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:

  • Baseball (Ivy Group)
  • Basketball (Ivy Group)
  • Track and Field (Ivy Group)
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Football (Ivy Group)
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Other Sports
  • Equestrian

Programs Offered

The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.

Get more information about the programs offered by Cornell University by clicking the request information to the right.

(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)

Agriculture Operations


Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies

Communications and Journalism

Computer and Information Sciences



Engineering Technology

English Language and Literature

Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies

Family and Consumer Sciences

Foreign Languages and Literature

Health and Clinical Professions


Interdisciplinary Studies

Legal Professions and Studies

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mathematics and Statistics

Natural Resources and Conservation

Personal and Culinary Services

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Physical Sciences


Public Administration and Social Services

Social Sciences

Visual and Performing Arts

Other 4-Year Private Colleges

The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to Cornell University.

See a list of all the colleges and universities by clicking on one of the links below:

Data Disclaimer

Information displayed on this page has been obtained from Institution, State, and Federal data sources, including the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Survey 2010-2016. Information should be solely used for informational purposes only and may not be accurate for the current year. Contact Cornell University for official up-to-date information.

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