Cornell Arts and Sciences
Cornell College of Arts & Sciences at a Glance
500k - A network of more than 500,000 alumni
40 - Choose from 40 different majors.
49% of undergraduates identify as minority and/or international students
4110 - Undergraduate students
1332 - Graduate Students
545 - Full-time Faculty Members
About the College of Arts & Sciences
The greatest challenges that our world faces today require skills that belie singular modes of understanding. As this era is defined by rapid social, technological and economic changes, the liberal arts model of education and inquiry is perhaps more relevant today than ever before. The education conferred by the College of Arts & Sciences is a recipe for creating an intellect that is well formed and highly versatile. It is also the best long-term training for innovation, entrepreneurship and civic leadership.
At Cornell, we embrace both heritage and invention. Our openness to intersecting paths is a deep part of who we are. Interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarship is at our foundation. We are a strong academic community continuously generating new ideas. We challenge our students to expand their imaginations while sharpening their critical and creative responses to all they encounter. We are independent and diverse students and scholars on our own paths toward discovery and transformation. Our college is the nexus of Cornell, offering humanity’s greatest opportunity for innovation, creativity and illumination of pathways to the future.
Pursue Your Own Path
Whether you like to travel, love spending time in a lab, or prefer to chart your own course of study, you'll find countless opportunities in the College of Arts & Sciences for engagement and learning, in the classroom and beyond. This includes:
Special Academic resources like the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines at Cornell University supports writing seminars and writing intensive courses in a broad spectrum of academic disciplines and at all levels of undergraduate education; it also engages in a variety of outreach activities.
College scholar program - allows If you are passionately focused on a particular type of problem, issue or singular aspect of a larger field and can function well independently, you may want to consider applying for the College Scholar Program after a successful freshman year. Arts & Sciences faculty developed the program to provide an unusual intellectual niche in addition to regular departmental majors.
Undergraduate research - Your advising dean can help at the beginning by talking with you about your interests and helping you narrow your focus. Each department has a director of undergraduate studies who can help and faculty members can provide advice guidance about doing research in their fields. You may also get credit or funding for your research.
The Peer advisory program- the program was developed to help incoming first-year students become acquainted with all that the college has to offer. Although they do not provide academic advice, peer advisors are there to offer a student's perspective of life at Cornell, to answer questions, and to help make the transition to college life a bit smoother.
Degrees in the College of Arts and Science
Biological Sciences Major
As a biological sciences major at Cornell, you’ll have novel opportunities to jump into engaging research projects. With more than 300 faculty, our undergraduate program, jointly run by the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is one of the most highly regarded in the country. You can choose a concentration from multiple areas, including animal physiology; biochemistry; computational biology; ecology and evolutionary biology; general biology; genetics, genomics and development; human nutrition; insect biology; marine biology; microbiology; molecular and cell biology; neurobiology and behavior; plant biology; and systematics and biotic diversity. http://as.cornell.edu/majors-minors-and-grad-fields
Biology & Society
The Biology & Society major is an interdisciplinary major that allows students to combine the study of the biological sciences with courses that explore the social and ethical aspects of modern biology. In addition to gaining a foundation in biology, students in the major acquire background in the social dimensions of modern biology and in the biological dimensions of contemporary social issues. The major is open to students in three colleges: Arts & Sciences, Agriculture and Life Sciences and Human Ecology.
The major is suitable for students seeking careers in law, medicine, public health, public policy, business, research and academia. http://as.cornell.edu/majors-minors-and-grad-fields
Alternatives biology degrees to pursue at Cornell (but not at the College of Arts and Sciences)
Neurobiology & Behavior
The Department of Neurobiology and Behavior is dedicated to exploring, teaching and understanding the neural underpinnings and evolutionary forces that shape animal behavior. The interests of our faculty and students span all levels of organization, from single neurons to complex circuits to whole organisms and societies thereof, and include the impact of hormones and stress on learning and memory, the emergent properties that define behavioral states and govern complex tasks, and the evolution of cooperation, conflict and communication from solitary to highly social organisms.
The department offers a wide range of research opportunities in cellular and molecular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, computational neuroscience, neuroethology and endocrinology, behavioral, sensory and cognitive ecology, sociobiology, sexual selection, chemical ecology and the evolution of species boundaries. Our teaching mission is to integrate most of these themes into two flagship courses, BioNB 2210 (Introduction to Behavior) and BioNB 2220 (Introduction to Neuroscience), and to explore them in greater depth in our upper level courses. These traditional strengths in research and teaching, combined with the recent hires of exciting new faculty members, have positioned NBB as a leader in the emerging science of the brain. http://as.cornell.edu/departments-and-programs
Molecular Biology & Genetics
The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics engages in cutting-edge research, training and teaching to solve basic questions in the life sciences and to apply biological knowledge to critical medical, agricultural and environmental problems. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of scientists, teachers and communicators by providing research mentorship and classroom instruction in biochemistry, bioinformatics, cell biology, genetics and molecular biology and by initiating and participating in collaborative research across the Cornell campuses.
The explosion of genome-scale data over the last decade offers unprecedented opportunities to understand fundamental principles of biology and to apply biological knowledge to critical medical, agricultural and environmental problems. Every day, faculty in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) engage in cutting-edge research, training and teaching to advance scientific discovery and answer basic questions in the life sciences. MBG faculty and students continuously deliver the highest standard of research because of their demonstrated excellence in linking genomes to gene and protein function in the context of cells, tissues, organisms, and the environment.
Our goal is to inspire and train the next generation of scientists, teachers and communicators by providing research mentorship and classroom instruction in biochemistry, bioinformatics, cell biology, genetics, molecular biology and related disciplines and by initiating and participating in collaborative research across the Cornell campuses.