Academics

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Academics

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4 College Senior

Academics: Classes can be hard, but there are also easy ones, so you can balance them in your schedule.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: Strong academics and education. Sometimes libraries fill up and there is no space to study.

1 person found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Amazing library, students, professors. Cornell is an outstanding academic institution geared toward research.

5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: It's very rigorous and enriching, I'm so glad I have the opportunity to study at Cornell!

5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics are what you make of it. If you're a Hotelie, you won't have any stress. The wide range of study means that there are geniuses here and not-so-geniuses. If you want to be surrounded by intimidating smart people, we have those. If you want to be surrounded by people who just chill all day and take the lightest workload possible, we have those. Don't be intimidated, you'll be smarter than someone here.

5 people found this useful Report
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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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
12:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,747
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
187
Total FT Faculty
2,701
Faculty with Terminal Degree
92%
Average Faculty Salary
$121,471
Full-Time Retention Rate
96%
Graduation Rate
93%
Programs/Majors Offered
145
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
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

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 121 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 69 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 69 responses

  • 35% This was my dream school.
  • 54% This was one of my top choices.
  • 12% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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