About Cornell College

Why Cornell?

We take a different approach to education here. Ingenuity is more than a curriculum—it’s a tradition. You’ll find a motivated community and progressive programs that keep the liberal arts relevant to you and the workplace where you’ll become a leader. Cornellians pioneer their own paths to success by following the rhythm of the block plan and allowing their curiosity to lead the way One Course At A Time.

Simply put, it means that when you graduate from Cornell, you’ll have a wealth of hands-on academic experiences to offer employers. You will be equipped to excel in the classroom and in your career, and you will have a network of Cornell alumni who achieved their goals and are eager to help you do the same.

Innovative then, Innovative now

Cornell College's history is rich in innovative thinking. In 1978, we adopted our distinct academic calendar, just 125 years after the college was founded. This new approach was a big shake-up from the traditional semester schedule, but it was worth it. The results? A powerful new way to educate students.

The block plan structure enables you to dive into your studies and explore your passions. You will bond with your classmates and form long-lasting mentorships with your professors. Every course allows for intensive engagement with the subject matter, in-depth discussion, and exciting fieldwork.

Cornell continues to offer an innovative core curriculum with Ingenuity, courses, and programs that transform the college experience. In fact, we’ve been featured in the book Colleges That Change Lives since it was first published in 1996.

Cornell College students travel for an 18-day course to the southwest for a geology course

One Course At A Time

Discover our distinctive block plan: For each 18-day block, you take only one class at a time. Immerse yourself in your studies, travel abroad, or even get hands-on experience in an internship. You can customize your Cornell experience to match your goals.

Learn more about One Course At A Time

Ingenuity at Cornell

The Ingenuity curriculum is designed to spark your creative and innovative ideas and shape them into the future success stories that our alumni are known for. It all starts with your First-Year Seminar during Block 1 when you’ll begin your journey—and it’s woven throughout the rest of your studies, no matter which academic path you take.

Ingenuity in Action is a graduation requirement that ensures you will have two fully-funded hands-on experiences to share on your resume. You may choose to explore even more.

Cornell College students and their professor work on the lighting for a theatre production

Where will Cornell take you?

“A block does not have to happen solely within the walls of classrooms and labs. You can go to surrounding areas for a day or travel abroad for 18 days. I like the block plan because of the community that is able to be built and fostered through those 18 days.” Tessa Stolz, B.A. in Psychology: Specialist Concentration & Anthropology

Cornell College has a history of being first

Cornell has a history of leading change and innovation, both in the classroom and beyond. We strive to be a model of progress to offer support to our campus community and to be good global citizens.

Cornell College outcomes

Cornell’s revolutionary spirit has always been driven by our community. You’ll find countless opportunities for hands-on learning and in-depth academics that will allow you to plan an education that will prepare you for a lifetime of careers. In other words, your Cornell experience is what you make it.

That’s what drove Raquel Ruiz. She had a love for both STEM and music—so she majored in both, graduating with a B.S.E. in engineering and a B.A. in music. Raquel was part of only the third class at Cornell to graduate with B.S.E. degrees, paving the way for future graduates in the program.

Or take Cali Pfleger who graduated from Cornell with a B.A. in geology and environmental studies, plus a passion for researching climate change.

“My biggest achievement while at Cornell was being able to start a research project my first year and then nurture it and have it grow into what is now my future,” Cali said. “It means the world to me that I was able to have the opportunity to conduct so much research as an undergraduate student.”

Now she’s onto her Ph.D. program at Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California Santa Barbara.

As a Cornellian, you will graduate with the confidence to achieve your dreams and lead change in the world around you.

How we know it works