Academics

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Academics

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3 College Freshman

Academics: The tests are really hard sometimes.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: The professors have a lot of experience and are always looking to improve, which makes each year better than the last.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: As an engineering major, the classes are obviously challenging, but that's to be expected. The transition from high school to college is difficult, but there are plenty of resources on campus to help you with it.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: You can literally study almost anything you want at Cornell, and choose to major in almost anything out there. We have so many electives that you wouldn't think of-- Wines, Magical Mushrooms, Human Bonding... and many of our professors hold national awards, are ambassadors, world-reknown scientists, etc.

7 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: I'm just an idiot and didn't study, but Cornell is perfect for kids who come from loving homes with support or who are rich. If you're not the above, pick a different school.

6 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

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 27 responses

  • 21% E. B. White - American essayist, author
  • 18% Toni Morrison - author and Nobel laureate
  • 16% Ruth Bader Ginsburg - U.S. Supreme Court justice
  • 11% Bill Nye
  • 5% Bill Nye the science guy
  • 4% Joseph Coors - co-founder, Coors Brewing
  • 4% Bill Nye- The Science Guy
  • 3% Keith Olbermann - news anchor, sportscaster
  • 3% Bill Nye - Renowned Scientist
  • 1% Peter Yarrow - folksinger of Peter, Paul, and Mary
  • 1% William P. Rogers - former secretary of state
  • 1% Adolph Coors - co-founder, Coors Brewing
  • 1% Bill Nye - "The Science Guy"
  • 1% Colin T Campbell, author of The China Study
  • 1% Kurt Vonnegut
  • 1% Peter Eisenman - Architect
  • 1% Lee Teng-Hui - president of Taiwan
  • 1% Bill Nye - the science guy
  • 1% Kurt Vonnegut - wrote Slaughterhouse Five
  • 1% Carl Sagan

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 72 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 strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 68 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 18 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 18 responses

  • 39% This was my dream school.
  • 56% This was one of my top choices.
  • 6% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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