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Cornell University Admissions

cornell university admissions

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About Cornell University Admissions

Cornell University, a private research university located in Ithaca, New York, was founded in 1856. It is currently ranked #17 in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of National Universities and boasts an undergraduate enrollment of 15,182, including students from over 140 countries. Cornell is a member of the Ivy League and is situated on a rural, 745-acre campus.

Applicants to Cornell must select one of the undergraduate colleges in which they hope to enroll. The most popular of these colleges, each of which provide their own faculty and admit their own students, are the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is the second largest undergraduate college at Cornell. Its students focus on research in food & energy systems, life sciences, environmental sciences, and social sciences. CALS students choose from over 20 majors and more than 25 minors, many of which are interdisciplinary.

Cornell College of Architecture, Art, and Planning

The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP) was established in 1871 by Andrew Dickson White, the first president of Cornell University to provide academic training in architecture. It consists of 55 faculty members, 276 graduate students, and 507 undergraduates. The mission of the college is to “teach and practice architecture, fine arts, and city and regional planning as creative and powerful forces with the potential to improve the world.” For undergraduates, AAP’s Department of Architecture offers a five-year program that culminates in a bachelor of architecture (B.Arch.) degree. 

Cornell College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences, the liberal arts college at Cornell, is the largest and most popular of the seven colleges. There are 40 majors and 59 minors offered, in addition to more than 50 foreign languages. Students are welcome to double major within the College of Arts and Sciences or minor in one of Cornell’s other colleges. The top 10 most popular majors, in alphabetical order, are Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Economics, English, Government, History, Information Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. 

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business unites the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Managements, the School of Hotel Administration (SHA) and the Johnson School of Business. Undergraduates may choose from two business programs:  a BS in applied economics & management through the Dyson School, or a BS in Hotel Administration from the School of Hotel Administration.

Cornell College of Engineering

Cornell’s College of Engineering is both the largest and highest ranked engineering program in the Ivy League. It offers 14 majors and 20 minors in addition to 29 student-led project teams. Every year, approximately 780 first-year students are admitted to this undergraduate program. Notably, 53% of the Class of 2022 was female, as is 50% of the College of Engineering overall. Prospective applicants to Cornell Engineering must complete 4 units of math (including calculus), 1 unit of physics, and 1 unit of chemistry before high school graduation. It is also recommended that applicants complete computer science and 1 unit of biology.

Cornell College of Human Ecology

The College of Human Ecology offers undergraduate programs that combine career-oriented skills with a liberal arts curriculum. These programs include: Design + Environmental Analysis, Fashion Design and Management, Fiber Science, Global and Public Health Sciences, Health Care Policy, and Human Biology, Health, and Society, Human Development, Nutritional Sciences, and Policy Analysis and Management.  Students are also encouraged to participate in independent research, directed studies, internships, and off-campus study programs.

School of Industrial and Labor Relations

The School of Industrial and Labor Relations (IRL) was established in 1945 and offers an interdisciplinary major for undergraduates that combines business, economics, government, history, international relations, labor relations, law, public policy, and social justice. The flexible curriculum includes required introductory courses on topics such as organizational psychology, economics, labor history, statistics, management, and law. Students then tailor the curriculum to their individual interests and select advanced electives, complemented by research, internship, and study abroad opportunities.

Applying to Cornell

For students who know Cornell is their first choice, there is a binding early decision plan available with a November 1 application deadline. Students are then notified in mid-December. Cornell uses the Common Application or the Universal College Application, both of which are completed and submitted online.

You must also submit a school report, official transcript, counselor recommendation, two teacher recommendations, standardized test scores, an application fee, and a midyear report, if applicable.

Students applying to the architecture program or the School of Hotel Administration are required to participate in a formal interview as part of the admissions process. For applicants to other programs, there are no interviews.

Cornell’s mandatory Writing Supplement asks applicants to provide a detailed explanation of their academic goals and intended areas of study. This question differs slightly by school:

Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Why are you drawn to studying the major you have selected? Please discuss how your interests and related experiences have influenced your choice. Specifically, how will an education from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and Cornell University help you achieve your academic goals? 

Cornell College of Architecture, Art, and PlanningWhat is your “thing”? What energizes you or engages you so deeply that you lose track of time? Everyone has different passions, obsessions, quirks, inspirations. What are yours?

Cornell College of Arts and Sciences: Students in Arts and Sciences embrace the opportunity to delve into multifaceted academic interests, embodying in 21st century terms Ezra Cornell’s “any person…any study” founding vision. Tell us about the areas of study you are excited to explore, and specifically why you wish to pursue them in our College.

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business: Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management: The Dyson School is unique by design. What motivates you to apply to Dyson and where do you plan to go from here?

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business: School of Hotel Administration (SHA): How have your interests and experiences influenced your decision to apply to the School of Hotel Administration? How does this decision relate to your future plans and aspirations?

Cornell College of Engineering: Tell us about your interest in engineering or what you hope to achieve with a degree in engineering. Describe what appeals to you about Cornell Engineering and how it specifically relates to your engineering interest or aspirations.

Cornell College of Human Ecology: How has your decision to apply to the College of Human Ecology been influenced by your related experiences? How will your choice of major impact your goals and plans for the future?

School of Industrial and Labor RelationsTell us about your intellectual interests, how they sprung from your course, service, work or life experiences, and what makes them exciting to you. Describe how ILR is the right school for you to pursue these interests.

Cornell Admissions Wrap Up

According to its Office of Admissions and Enrollment, Cornell received 49,118 applications for admission to the Class of 2023, down from the previous record of 51,328 applicants for the Class of 2022.

A total of 5,183 applicants were admitted for an overall admit rate of 10.55 percent, up from last year’s admit rate of 10.30 percent. Cornell admitted 1,395 early applicants from a pool of 6,159.  Of the students accepted, 32 percent of admitted students self-identify as underrepresented minorities, and 670 of those admitted will be first-generation college students. Cornell also accepts transfer applicants. Read more about Cornell’s transfer process here or get help from our experts.

Top Tier Admissions Can Help You Get Into Cornell University:

“Once again, I am so impressed with your program. I am amazed at the sheer 
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I know how hard each of you worked this week; I hope you get to enjoy some
 well-deserved R&R!” –N.G., Application Boot Camp parent
"G is excited to go to her first choice, the University of Miami! She continues to say that Application Boot Camp was the best investment we ever made for her education." –R.J., Application Boot Camp parent
"I liked the process of having multiple people read my essays before finalizing a draft. This made me confident that my essays were clear and concise while also captivating to a diverse audience. Everyone was also patient and encouraging. Boot Camp took away so much stress coming into Senior Fall, allowing me to focus on my academics and earning my highest term average ever." –S.A., Application Boot Camp student
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-Parent of Application Boot Camp (Dartmouth) students
"Thank you so much for your help and guidance. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you and the Top Tier Admissions Team! I'm still in between UPenn and Georgetown, but I will make sure to visit both." –S.I., Application Boot Camp student
"Clearly, Application Bootcamp and Top Tier took a lot of anxiety out of the whole situation. Our children know a number of kids who did not get into their top choice ED school, only to be devastated and stressed as they are without a plan for ED II and regular decision and have not worked on a range of essays for other schools. So while F & J’s EA-only strategy is not for everyone but made sense for them since they did not have a clear lead school when they were applying, being prepared made all the difference. The help Bootcamp provided in honing their voice and words into essays that reflect their intent was fantastic.In the end, it is all about having choices they are happy with, and I am happy to say they both have those now!"–F.A., parent of Application Boot Camp students
"E., I just wanted to let you know that I got into Barnard Early Decision! Thank you for everything you have done!!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you did for me! Thank You!!" - H.L., Personal Boot Camp student
Barnard, Class of 2023
"I wanted to say thank you again for all your help! I got into UPenn, Cornell, Barnard, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Tufts, University of Michigan, and Wake Forest, and am waiting to hear from Georgetown; I think I'm leaning towards UPenn. Thank  you so much for all your guidance; I don't think I could have done it without your help!" --I.R., Application Boot Camp student
"We are thrilled! Duke is absolutely fantastic and is the exact right fit for K. Application Boot Camp definitely helped her get into Duke during their most selective year in history, a year in which they turned away well over 2,000 Valedictorians. Thank you!" -Y.R., parent of ABC student accepted to 9 top-tier colleges
Y.R.
"Boot Camp was the most incredible experience. It made me push myself into thinking about my future and prepared me to send in all my applications. I am so thankful that I got the help I needed at Boot Camp because it made my application process effortless once I had completed my essays. I think that the colleges were able to clearly see my goals and ambitions through the writing of my essays. I believe this helped me have a very successful application process." –P.K., Application Boot Camp student
Barnard Class of 2022
"I just wanted to say thank you for all the help that I received during Boot Camp! I was able to do so much work and gain so much knowledge about the procedure of applying to college. I am so blessed to have had you as my best resources. I will definitely keep you posted when I start hearing from schools and thank you very much for all your help and feedback once again.” – L.L, Application Boot Camp student
"If there is any reference or feedback you ever want for a prospective client for Boot Camp, please send them my way. You and everyone handled the students so well - firmly, maturely, but with care and patience knowing this is a time of great pressure and anxiety for them. Having them finish with smiles, prepared for the next steps, and better yet - excited for the next chapter of their lives - is wonderful. I would tell anyone considering the program that for our children, they felt it was valuable, and for us, it delivers on what it promises - getting children ready, well-positioned, and less anxious for their application process." – S.P., parent of Application Boot Camp student
"I just wanted to send you a note of personal and heartfelt thanks for supporting B in Boot Camp. My wife was touched and very appreciative of your approach ('M. is a good soul.') and B left feeling challenged, but also confident, whole and supported. You probably figured out that she’s quite different from her brother! She talks about you warmly - you definitely made a fan and friend! Anyway, thanks for your personal, caring touch. She’s excited about what lies ahead." – J.T., parent of Application Boot Camp student
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"I just wanted to let you know that I was accepted ED to Tulane!!  J, I want to thank you for all the time and effort you put in to working with me both in Boston as well as over the last few months.  M., I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go to Boot Camp. It was incredibly valuable. In fact, the head of college counseling at my high school said my 'Why Tulane' essay was the best she has ever seen!" – C.T., Application Boot Camp student
Tulane Class of 2023
"We are so happy to report that R was just accepted ED to Williams College!! Thank you so much for everything that you did to help her over the past year! She is thrilled!!" –T.S. & F.S., parents of Application Boot Camp student
Williams Class of 2023
"I am emailing you to let you both know that I have been accepted to the University of Miami and will be attending there in the fall! It's been a dream of mine for a long time and I couldn't be happier about it. I wanted to thank you again so much for your help and guidance. I really don't think I could have done this without you guys and I will be forever grateful. Your program is truly amazing and I am lucky I attended. Thank you again." –P.T., Application Boot Camp student
University of Miami Class of 2023
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"We want to let you know that S was accepted into Brown. We are thrilled for him and grateful for all your help and support! He also got into UT Austin!" – W.L., parent of Application Boot Camp student

Brown Class of 2023

"K applied ED to Franklin & Marshall and was admitted thanks to your help. They told his high school dean that they were very impressed by the quality of his application. Thanks for your help and all you've done for our family. P continues to thrive at Haverford as a junior." – A.K., parent of Application Boot Camp student(s)

"I wanted to let you know that I have been accepted by my first-choice school — the College of William & Mary! Thank you for your guidance in this process. I couldn’t be happier!" – M.J., Application Boot Camp student

College of William & Mary, Class of 2023
"This is to let you know that H. was accepted at Cornell!!  Cornell was her early decision school, and we learned that she got in this week. Thanks again to M., M., K., M., and the amazing Top Tier team! We very much appreciate all your help and support." – Application Boot Camp parent
"I GOT IN ED to Dartmouth! I am so grateful for all your support and the amazing ABC you run. I hope that other ABC students got good news as well! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!! And a HUGE thanks all the TTA staff who helped guide me with my essays! I couldn't have done this without you guys! GO BIG GREEN!!!" - Application Boot Camp student
"R got accepted to Dartmouth! We are overjoyed. Thank you for all your guidance and prepping." – Application Boot Camp parent, Dartmouth
"P was accepted to Stanford (REA) last Friday! She attended ABC this summer as you know and couldn’t have done it without your team. Thank you so much for all your help. I have already referred my brother who has a 10th grader. Thanks again!" – Application Boot Camp parent, Stanford
"On behalf of S, I am pleased to share that she has been accepted to Dartmouth!  THANK YOU, for all you and your colleagues at Top Tier did to assist S with this accomplishment. Your guidance and counsel is truly invaluable. S is extremely happy and very excited about her future at Dartmouth College! She is both honored and humbled. Top Tier played a big part in her success!" – Application Boot Camp parent, Dartmouth
“We would like to personally thank you for your help in preparing P. and S. in the college admissions process. Boot Camp provided invaluable guidance. Those four days were a very productive and extremely worthwhile time. We are thrilled they are starting senior year stress-free in terms of the college application process. Finally, thank you a ton for helping them both from the very beginning and we feel extremely fortunate to have worked with you.” –A.R., Parents of two Application Boot Camp Students
“I am amazed at how much S. got done this week AND he was even smiling when we left!” –P.N., Parent of Application Boot Camp Student
“What a duo you are! Thanks again for your support, patience, and understanding this past week. C. is confident and rejuvenated but realistic. He will consider all that you have said when reaching his strategic decisions.” –T.A., Parent of Application Boot Camp Student
“My wife just texted me that R’s essays are fantastic! Thank you for all the great advice.” –A.F., parent of Application Boot Camp Student

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