Degree options & courses
Cornell’s business major provides pathways to business careers in three high-demand fields. All Cornell business majors complete a common set of core courses in economics (macro and micro), accounting, and statistics. From there you choose from one of three concentrations in finance, business analytics, or actuarial science.
We also offer a major in economics and business, which provides a deeper foundation in social science integrated with business.
Printable fact sheets
Developing business leaders for the 21st century
Modern businesses require leaders with a range of skills, a broad worldview, and the ability to adapt quickly to new challenges and opportunities. Rooted in the liberal arts, our business program develops skills and experiences that are essential for your first job and that prepare you for greater responsibility as your career thrives.
In our business program you will:
- Apply mathematical ideas to a range of social and business problems, frequently using real-world business cases or simulations.
- Develop strong writing, teamwork and presentation skills in small classrooms.
- Learn multiple ways of framing problems, not just bottom-line calculations.
- Become a responsible decision maker, rooted in a complex understanding of our global community rather than a single course in business ethics.
- Become career-ready in emerging and high-demand business fields, while gaining solid preparation for nationally recognized business certifications.
Finance is a field that merges economics with accounting. It investigates the allocation of monetary assets and liabilities, particularly over time and under conditions of uncertainty. The finance concentration prepares you for careers in the financial sector proper as well as for careers in finance and accounting departments of organizations varying widely across the economy.
Business analytics blends economics, statistics, and computer science. With the rapid growth in data and low-cost computing, businesses are applying business analytics techniques to every business function, from operations to talent management to marketing. The business analytics concentration includes courses in areas such as data visualization, statistical analysis, database management, and modeling decision-making.
Actuarial science is a field that applies mathematics and statistics to the assessment of risk. Insurance companies, financial planners, and multinational corporations all rely on the deep analytical skills of actuaries. This concentration is ideally suited for students inclined to double major in mathematics.
If you wish to complete a business program with a more flexible set of electives, you may wish to consider the economics and business major. It is also possible to create an even more customized degree program related to economics and business with faculty approval.
One Course At A Time
Thanks in part to our One Course At A Time curriculum, you will have the opportunity to experience aspects of economic and business life that are outside the reach of most undergraduates.
- Off-campus courses allow you to meet the people, visit the places, and directly observe the processes being studied.
- Internships can be scheduled any time without affecting your coursework.
- Business leaders, best-selling authors, and scholars frequently join our classrooms.
- All upper-level business courses focus on real-world business cases.
Learn more about how the block plan benefits our students in Professor Santhi Hejeebu’s essay "The Business of One Course At Time."
Partnerships & academic support
Berry Center for Economics, Business and Public Policy
The Berry Center for Economics, Business, and Public Policy provides many exceptional benefits to our students, including support for internships, off-campus courses, distinguished visitors, research projects, and post-graduate planning.
- The Career Engagement Center provides innovative and purposeful career development opportunities, including the Cornell Fellows Program, which provides high-level opportunities at companies and organizations throughout the world.
- Students in our Economics Honors Society provide tutoring services for all of our introductory classes.
- We also work closely with Cornell's Center for Teaching and Learning, which offers customized guidance on writing and quantitative skills.
Careers & graduate study
Many of our alumni have moved directly into careers in business and government. Some have started their own firms. Others have found the economics and business major to be ideal preparation for graduate studies in business or law. And we regularly place students in top-rated Ph.D. programs in economics.