Colleges, Schools, and Educational Paths (2024)

Choose Your Path

From Africana studies to environmental engineering, from human development to hotel administration, we offer nearly 80 majors and more than 120 minors, alongside challenging dual-degree programs. If your interests don't fit into a preexisting major, there’s even an opportunity to design an independent course of study. You can also take advantage of our pre-med, pre-vet, and pre-law advising programs.

Colleges & Schools

Cornell University is both a privately endowed university and the federal land grant institution of New York State. Each individual college and school has its own faculty, academic requirements, and programs. Our eight undergraduate colleges and schools offer more than 4,000 courses across 100 academic departments. Our faculty, numbering more than 2,900 worldwide, includes Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and recognized leaders in their respective fields.

Explore our Majors Browse Our Course Catalog

The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS)

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University is a pioneer of purpose-driven science. CALS has the broad and deep expertise needed to affect real change in the world. Choose from over 20 majors and 30 minors, and dive into your studies right away. CALS students apply to a specific CALS major and are chosen based on their academic and demonstrated personal fit for that particular course of study.

Agricultural Sciences
Animal Science
Atmospheric Science
Biological Engineering
Biological Sciences
Biology and Society

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Environmental Engineering
Food Science
Global Development
Global and Public Health Sciences (first-year students only)
Information Science
Landscape Architecture
Nutritional Sciences
Plant Sciences
Viticulture and Enology

The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP)

The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning teaches and practices architecture, fine arts, and city and regional planning as creative and powerful forces with the potential to improve the world. There are additional requirements for admission to AAP, so make sure to check their website for more information.

Fine Arts
History of Architecture (transfer students only)
Urban and Regional Studies

The College of Arts & Sciences

Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences is the university’s largest undergraduate college. Exploration and an uncommon diversity are the hallmarks of this college’s liberal arts approach. Design your education in over 60 areas of study, and with an Arts & Sciences education, be prepared to engage with the world.

Africana Studies
American Studies
Asian Studies
Biological Sciences
Biology and Society

China and Asia-Pacific Studies
Classics - Classical Civilization, Greek, and Latin
Cognitive Science
College Scholar Program
Comparative Literature
Computer Science
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

German Studies
History of Art
Independent Major
Information Science
Near Eastern Studies
Performing and Media Arts
Religious Studies
Science and Technology Studies
Statistical Science

The Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy

The Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy harnesses the university’s wide-ranging expertise in public policy teaching, research and engagement into a shared academic home, further elevating Cornell’s excellence and prominence in the social sciences. The school’s core areas of study are data science and technology policy; environmental and sustainability policy; health policy; human security; inequality and social policy; the politics and economics of development; and race, racism and public policy.

Public Policy
Health Care Policy

The College of Engineering

Cornell engineers are motivated, collaborative, compassionate, and intelligent. Students are emboldened to break the rules of conventional thought—to think independently and explore new ways to improve the quality of life on our planet. The College of Engineering offers incredible depth, with 14 majors and 20 minors you can explore before declaring your major as a sophom*ore.

Biological Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Science
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Engineering Physics
Environmental Engineering
Independent Major
Information Science, Systems, and Technology
Materials Science and Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Operations Research and Engineering

The College of Human Ecology

The College of Human Ecology at Cornell University examines human life from scientific, social, and design perspectives. Organized around the themes that profoundly affect individuals, communities, and the institutions that shape our lives, Human Ecology’s academic programs are interdisciplinary and flexible. Our students and faculty use their knowledge to connect the complex variables of life to identify, explore, and respond to contemporary and emerging human challenges.

Design and Environmental Analysis
Fashion Design and Management
Fiber Science and Apparel Design
Global and Public Health Sciences (first-year students only)
Human Biology, Health, and Society
Human Development
Nutritional Sciences

The School of Industrial and Labor Relations

The ILR School at Cornell University explores the most pressing issues that affect society, organizations, the economy, and international affairs. Industrial and Labor Relations students develop a solid background in the liberal arts and social sciences with required courses in management, economics, psychology, history, law, government, and statistics. They are problem solvers, community volunteers, and organization leaders. One major, endless possibilities.

Industrial and Labor Relations

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business houses two AACSB-accredited business schools that aid students in pursuing their passions in business. The Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration provides the most relevant, groundbreaking hospitality business education in the world by combining a traditional business foundation with industry expertise. At the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, students take on real global challenges through an immersive, collaborative learning experience. Through both of these schools, students receive the hands-on experience, knowledge, and skills to be successful in impactful businesses.

The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Applied Economics and Management

The Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration

Hotel Administration

Popular Interests and Programs

Learn more about pursuing research and popular fields of study here at Cornell.

Biology and Life Sciences

Our body of biological knowledge is expanding at a dizzying pace. Not only is Cornell where much of the knowledge is unfolding, but it’s also a place where the researchers who make the discoveries are teaching undergraduates. Cornellians learn from pioneers who increase our knowledge of the living world.

So, what is special about studying biology and life sciences at Cornell?

  • Hundreds of topflight biologists are engaged in teaching and research at Cornell.
  • Cornell’s Office of Undergraduate Biology (OUB) offers information, workshops, and advising for biology students.
  • Brand new courses are added every year in life sciences, replacing dated information with up-to-the-minute facts.
  • Graduates of the life science majors pursue many different career paths.
  • Advisors help you choose courses that suit your interests and also help you select and apply to graduate, medical, and veterinary schools.
  • Approximately 20% of students who major in biological sciences at Cornell go on to graduate study; approximately 30% go on to medical or veterinary school.
  • Biology majors are consistently competitive for prestigious fellowships from sources such as the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
  • Every year hundreds of students earn academic credit for their scientific work. The research done by undergraduates is frequently published in scientific journals (students are listed as authors or coauthors) and many present their findings at national scientific meetings.
  • You can take part in weekly department seminars in which speakers from Cornell, other research institutions, and industry reveal their own recent findings.

Student Research Projects

Research opportunities give you more than just a hope for a firsthand crack at the thrill of scientific discovery. Contributing to the creation of new knowledge is mighty impressive on your grad, med, or vet school application. And you can establish some rock-solid contacts for when you venture out into the real world.

Majoring In Biology

If you want to major in biological sciences at Cornell, you can apply to either the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Since courses, specializations, and requirements for the bio major are the same in both colleges, we advise you to make your college choice according to your secondary interests. It’s the nonbiology course options and requirements that vary from college to college.

Life Sciences Majors

There are over a dozen majors at Cornell that focus on different aspects of the science of life. Some are broader, others are more specific. Choose the one that best suits your passion and goals. Majors are offered in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Engineering, and the College of Human Ecology. Some of the majors are offered in more than one college. For majors offered in more than one college, the courses, specializations, and requirements for those majors are the same. Rather, it’s the college-level requirements and some co-curricular offerings that differ. If you are considering a major offered in more than one college, we advise you to make your college choice according to college-specific requirements and your secondary interests.

  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology and Society
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Entomology
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science
  • Biological Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Human Biology, Health, and Society
  • Environmental and Sustainability
  • Plant Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Human Development
  • Global and Public Health

Business at Cornell

Whatever your particular area of interest in business, chances are Cornell offers a surprising variety of ways to develop it.

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is home to two AACSB International-accredited undergraduate business schools offering a variety of majors.

The Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management: Accounting, agribusiness management, applied economics, business analytics, entrepreneurship, environmental, energy & resource economics, finance, food industry management, international trade and development, marketing, strategy. The Dyson School is also part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration: Hospitality management, entrepreneurship, finance, real estate.

Business-Related Minors

  • The Business Minoris intended for students majoring in subject areas other than business, to gain exposure to business concepts, frameworks, and methods.
  • The Undergraduate Minor in Real Estate prepares students for careers in the commercial real estate industry and is open to students regardless of major.
  • The Dyson Business Minor for Engineers (DBME) is specifically tailored to the educational and career needs of engineering students.
  • The Dyson Business Minor for Life Sciences Majors (DBMLS) offers business concepts in the context of nonprofit, research, pre-med, pre-dental, and pre-vet fields.
  • The Applied Economics and Management (AEM) Minoroffer specializations in food and agricultural business; applied economics; environmental, energy, and resource economics; and international trade and development.
  • The Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) minor builds on a rigorous interdisciplinary focus to describe and analyze public policy problems, particularly in the areas of health policy, regulatory policy, and social policy.
  • The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Minor (EI) offers students a more general approach to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking and problem solving.

Business Majors in Other Cornell Colleges and Schools

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Applied economics and management (Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management), communication.
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Economics, math, sociology, etc.
  • College of Engineering: Operations research and engineering.
  • College of Human Ecology: Fashion design management.
  • Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy: Public Policy.
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations: Human resource management and labor relations.


Entrepreneurship at Cornell is the hub for students to explore startup opportunities, enter business plan competitions, and engage with faculty, industry mentors and fellow students to create tomorrow’s business innovations today.

Each program offers a different approach to preparing for a business career. Whichever field you choose, you’ll leave Cornell more certain of where it is you want to go and very well prepared to get there!

Career Connections

You should know that J.P. Morgan Chase, Procter & Gamble, GE, Goldman Sachs, Google, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., and several hundred other companies routinely come to campus. Their recruiters are interested in talking with and hiring Cornell students because of the undisputed value of an employee with a Cornell education. A large number of not-for-profit employers also come to Cornell seeking students with business skills.

Cornell Career Services offices, in your undergraduate college or the university-wide career services office, are staffed with professionals who will be glad to suggest job-hunting strategies, discuss interviewing techniques, and work with you on putting together an effective resume. If you’re looking for advice about or insight into a field, tap into the Cornell alumni network through Cornell Career Services’ Cornell Handshake system, the CALS Alumni Mentor Network or one of Cornell’s formal job-shadowing programs.

With so many paths open to students interested in the business world, deciding which route to follow at Cornell sometimes can be difficult. The best advice we can give you is to do some additional investigating. Whatever your decision, rest assured that you’ll leave Cornell with thorough training in your field and a solid background in management preparation. That and your Cornell degree are a powerful combination!

Preparing for a Health Profession

Nearly one out of six Cornell undergraduates intends to pursue a career in either human or veterinary medicine. You will find these students in all undergraduate colleges and schools at Cornell, studying nearly every major, while also taking all the prerequisites for medical school, veterinary school, or other health professional program.

What Medical and Veterinary Schools Look For

Admission to schools of human or veterinary medicine is based largely on three factors: your academic record; your scores on standardized admission tests; and your individual qualities, as seen in part through faculty evaluations and interviews.

Prerequisite courses for medical school
  • Biology (with lab) 8 semester credit hours
  • Inorganic Chemistry (with lab) 8 semester credit hours
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab) 8 semester credit hours
  • General or Intro Physics (with lab) 8 semester credit hours
  • English Composition 6 semester credit hours
  • Mathematics (required by some schools; recommended by others)
  • Advanced Biology (recommended by most)
Prerequisite courses for veterinary school
  • Biology or Zoology (with lab) 8 semester credit hours
  • Intro/Inorganic Chemistry (with lab) 8 semester credit hours
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab) 8 semester credit hours
  • Biochemistry 4 semester credit hours
  • Physics (with lab) 8 semester credit hours
  • General Microbiology (with lab) 3 semester credit hours
  • English Composition 6 semester credit hours
  • If you’re set on a pre-med or pre-vet path from the start, you’ll probably be able to complete the minimum number of required courses at many health professional schools by the end of sophom*ore or junior year in most of the colleges or schools at Cornell.
  • You’ll be a much more attractive candidate for admission to schools of human and veterinary medicine if, in addition to your science courses, you’ve taken courses in the social sciences and humanities.
  • Cornell students with equivalent academic credentials from the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, or Human Ecology are equally successful in gaining admission to medical schools.
  • Most pre-vet students major in biology or animal science, applicants to veterinary schools aren’t required to complete a specific undergraduate degree program or a designated pre-vet major.
  • Veterinary medicine applicants should be prepared to present evidence of firsthand experience with animal care and some understanding of the duties and responsibilities of veterinarians and the scope of veterinary medicine.

The Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC)

The Health Professions Advising Centerserves as a centralized hub that provides academic and professional-development support and resources to assist students and alumni exploring healthcare professions, including preparation to apply to professional schools for medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, pharmacy, chiropractic, occupational therapy, nursing, physician assistant, veterinary medicine, or other health professions.

Other Resources for Students Interested in Health Professions

  • Cornell Career Services
  • Career Development Toolkit (Canvas)
  • Health Career Library

Attending Cornell as an undergraduate does not automatically guarantee you admission to either the College of Veterinary Medicine or Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Preparing for Law School

Cornell’s undergraduate colleges and schools offer you almost unlimited opportunities to explore different areas of the curriculum as you consider the direction of your future legal career.

A Prelaw Curriculum

At Cornell we agree completely with the Association of American Law Schools and the American Bar Association —both of which state, as policy, that there’s no ideal prelaw curriculum. Of course, if you have your sights set on law school, attending Cornell as an undergraduate is a great way to get there. You’re even welcome to call yourself a prelaw student. But if you look for a description of a prelaw major in our course catalog, you won’t find one.

Law schools look for people with good minds. To be a strong candidate for law school, we recommend selecting a major that you’re genuinely interested in and that develops your intellectual skills—particularly your skills in writing, research, problem solving, and analysis. A Cornell student planning to attend law school might consider pursuing one or more of the following opportunities:

  • Taking language or international studies classes in international studies to prepare for a career in international law.
  • Working in environmental science if your goal is to practice environmental law.
  • Studying industrial and labor relations if you’re considering a future in labor law.
  • Pursuing coursework in human development if your interested in family or advocacy law.
  • Studying engineering as a first step toward becoming a patent lawyer.
  • Participating in the six-week Prelaw Program in New York City during Summer Session, completing an internship while gaining an understanding of fundamental legal concepts and earning academic credits.

Prelaw Advising Resources, Programs and Events

  • Cornell Career Services
  • Cornell University Graduate and Professional School Day
  • Cornell University Prelaw Program and Internship in New York City
  • The Undergraduate Research Program
  • Law and Society Minor
  • Cornell in Washington
  • Capital Semester in Albany

Studying Computing and Information Science

The Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science (Cornell Bowers CIS) offers courses and programs campuswide in various academic disciplines and is committed to both developing state-of-the-art computing and information technologies, and in studying and understanding the societal and human impact of these technologies. It is home to three departments: Department of Computer Science, Department of Statistics and Data Science, and the Department of Information Science.

Students interested in computer science will apply to undergraduate programs either in the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Engineering.Both offer the same computer science major requirements but have different graduation requirements specific to each college. For detailed listings of the course requirements, see the Computer Science Engineering Checklist and the Computer Science Arts Checklist.

Students interested in undergraduate degrees in information science can pursue a Bachelor of Artsin Information Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Information Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, or a Bachelor of Sciencein Information Science Systems and Technology in the College of Engineering.

A minor in Data Science is now available to all students across all colleges and schools within Cornell University.

Colleges, Schools, and Educational Paths (2024)
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