Ithaca, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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3 College Sophomore

Academics: Academics are very tough at this school.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Academics: I am a Development Sociology major and frankly, when I was going into it I was skeptical at first. But the classes can be interesting and the faculty is readily available and willing to help with questions.

3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: It's an Ivy-league school with a reputation to match. The lecturers are great, the homework is challenging. They want you to think. They want you to work hard. I think they want you to learn.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Definitely good. Very prestigious. If you put in effort you can learn alot.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Professors are sometimes horrible at teaching and disorganized, registration process is unnecessarily stressful, the workload is unspeakable, although the curriculum offered is plentiful. However, there are so many requirements that it is hard to take fun classes unrelated to your major without burying yourself in work.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 1st
    Best Course Variety
  • 24th
    Smartest Professors
  • 44th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 60th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 181st
    Most Available Classes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Mandy Kain and Radhika Arora
Hewlett, N.Y., and Ithaca, N.Y.
View all previous student authors

Cornell University provides access to many top-notch professors. Some professors are more focused on their research than on their students, but it varies considerably from college to college, and department to department. All professors are highly qualified and are experts in their respective fields of study, but not all are heavily invested in their students. TAs provide more hands-on, individual teaching and are generally very knowledgeable in their field, but not all are as proficient as professors.

Overall, it is up to the student to take the initiative to visit professors and TAs in office hours. Professors and TAs are happy to explain material in-depth, but getting their attention can be difficult in larger courses and majors. Cornell is notorious for its intense workload. Most professors are unsympathetic, and while willing to accommodate personal needs, they make sure their students are kept very busy. If you go to Cornell, be willing to work hard, weekdays and weekends.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 58%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 25%
  • 50 or More Students: 17%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human Ecology
  • School of Hotel Administration
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 3%
  • Business Administration and Management: 4%
  • Hotel and Resort Management: 2%
  • Labor and Industrial Relations: 3%
Special Study Options
Study abroad
Best Places to Study
  • Mann Library
  • Olin Library
  • Uris Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Consult the librarians for comprehensive information on indispensable research.
  • Don't ever fall behind.
  • Don't limit yourself to specific groups.
  • Explore everything Cornell has to offer.
  • Find an advisor you get along with and can talk to candidly.
  • Get involved in campus clubs/activities, but don't spread yourself too thin.
  • Plan ahead of time and develop a course of action first semester of freshman year.
  • Seek professors and TAs out in supplementary office hours.
  • Stay in touch with professors.
  • Study from your notes, not the textbook.
  • Take advantage of the Cornell career services office.
  • Take advantage of the many study areas, library stacks, and computer labs.
Did You Know?
  • Cornell is the only Ivy League university that is also in the state's federal land-grant institution. The motto in English is "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study" (Ezra Cornell). The board of trustees includes student, faculty, and staff voting members. It was the first among all U.S. colleges and universities to allow undergraduates to borrow books from its libraries.
  • On October 8, 1997, an astonishingly large, voluptuous pumpkin appeared nestled atop Cornell's McGraw Tower. The pumpkin was thought to weigh up to 60 lbs. and sat pinned to the 173-foot tower for several weeks. It was an incredible prank that made national news.
  • Cornell's Uris Hall displays brains in jars. One of the brains is of murderer Edward Rulloff (now the name of a Collegetown restaurant). Also among the 70 pickled brains is a pickled piece of the pumpkin mentioned above.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 12 responses

  • 20% Toni Morrison - author and Nobel laureate
  • 20% E. B. White - American essayist, author
  • 17% Ruth Bader Ginsburg - U.S. Supreme Court justice
  • 13% Bill Nye
  • 7% Bill Nye the science guy
  • 3% Joseph Coors - co-founder, Coors Brewing
  • 3% Adolph Coors - co-founder, Coors Brewing
  • 3% Colin T Campbell, author of The China Study
  • 3% Bill Nye- The Science Guy
  • 3% Kurt Vonnegut
  • 3% Bill Nye - Renowned Scientist
  • 3% Peter Eisenman - Architect
  • 0% Peter Yarrow - folksinger of Peter, Paul, and Mary
  • 0% Pearl S. Buck - Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • 0% William P. Rogers - former secretary of state
  • 0% Allen Funt - producer, created Candid Camera
  • 0% Janet Reno - attorney general under Clinton
  • 0% Keith Olbermann - news anchor, sportscaster
  • 0% Jeff Hawkins - inventor of the Palm Pilot
  • 0% Dave Edgerton - co-founder, Burger King

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 67 responses

Very poor
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 63 responses

Very poor
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants



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