Cornell University was founded in 1865 by two state senators in New York named Andrew Dickson White and Ezra Cornell. The pair used $400,000 in an endowment from Ezra to build the school and used land allotted through the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862. One of the unique features of the school’s founding was the size of its first class, which included 412 candidates who passed the entrance examination before the school’s official opening. The school was also groundbreaking in that it was one of the first to allow women to attend alongside men; however, the school didn’t initially provide housing for women on campus. Today, Cornell is regarded as one of the best schools in the nation and is a private Ivy League institution on par with other universities like Harvard and Yale.

Cornell University Accreditation Details

Cornell University has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Ed. for almost a century and was first accredited in 1921. The last time the school underwent an accreditation recheck was in 2011. Accreditation is an important factor to consider when selecting a university or college because it ensures the quality and excellence of a school’s programs through external and independent review. In addition to institutional accreditation, several programs and departments within the university are also accredited with specialized or professional accreditation. For example, the Landscape Architecture programs are accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). Similarly, the Hotel and Restaurant Administration degree is Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Cornell University Application Requirements

Cornell receives an extraordinary number of applications each year, but they only have an acceptance rate of around 14 percent. The school sees about 43,000 applications each year and accepts approximately 6,100. Interestingly, only around half of the students accepted to Cornell actually decide to attend. Some of the application materials and documents a student must submit when applying to Cornell include standardized test scores, a high school transcript, and recommendations. The lowest SAT composite score a student can expect to have and gain admission to Cornell is approximately 1390, but the average SAT composite test score for admitted students is more than 1460. For an increased chance of acceptance, students may wish to complete a college preparatory program and strive for the highest class rank possible in high school.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Cornell University is a private university; however, its status as a land-grant university in New York allows state residents to pay lower tuition than out-of-state students. An in-state student can expect to pay approximately $35,483 in tuition, and an out-of-state student can expect to pay $52,853 in tuition. Housing costs will add a further $8,564 to the total cost to attend, and a meal plan will add another $5,766. Other costs a student may need to cover include approximately $930 for books, $358 for health care, and $1,850 for personal expenses. The total for an in-state student comes to approximately $52,951, and the total for an out-of-state student comes to $70,321.

Cornell University describes its need-based financial aid offerings as “robust,” which helps to ensure equitable distribution of funds. Financial aid from Cornell is available to citizens of the United States, students with DACA status, and permanent residents. Some limited funds are also available for international and undocumented students. To assist with college costs, the university also provides work-study opportunities. The university points out that applying for financial aid is a separate process from applying to the university for entry into one of its educational programs. Students must fill out their FAFSA form to ensure eligibility for federal student loan aid.

Degrees Available

Students may choose from more than 80 different fields of study at Cornell, and the university also provides ample opportunity to enter into dual-degree programs, as well as study interdisciplinary majors. For example, the Biological Engineering program falls under the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, as well as the College of Engineering. Similarly, the Biological Sciences program falls under the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences. Students who aren’t yet sure which major they wish to focus on at Cornell University should investigate each option by exploring the official websites for each school department in which they have an interest.

Studying architecture at Cornell occurs within the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, and the department features one of the oldest architecture programs in the country. Students may choose from an undergraduate or graduate degree program that focuses on a wide range of foundational topics including the history and theory of architecture, as well as the practice of the profession in the modern era. Students benefit from a world-class library at the university, as well as the opportunity to study in various American cities like New York City, as well as abroad in cities like Rome, Italy. Undergraduate programs include a Professional Bachelor of Architecture, a Minor in Architecture, and available summer programs.

Students interested in graduate study can choose from the Professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch), the History of Architecture and Urban Development (M.A. & Ph.D.) program, or the Post-Professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.II) program. Students will experience a curriculum designed by a diverse faculty on topics like architectural theory, architectural design, and landscape architecture. Other topics will include architectural technology and representation, the history of architecture, and urban development. It’s important to note that the Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University is a five-year program; however, it’s not uncommon for college architecture programs to require five years of study.

During study of architecture at Cornell, students will enjoy a diverse curriculum and will bounce between classes within the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, as well as classes in other departments and within the university’s exclusive design studios. Students will need to complete ten semesters within the design studios to obtain their bachelor’s degree, and each semester will offer a significantly different experience regarding the conceptual skills, basic architectural elements, models and graphics, and technology utilized in the modern profession.

Related Resource: 50 Most Amazing University Botanical Gardens and Arboretums in the U.S.

Architecture is a demanding profession and requires focused dedication during a lengthy college education. However, receiving a degree from a university like Cornell does offer the student an excellent chance to receive an Ivy League education that can open the door to positive career advancement. Gaining entry into Cornell University is similarly challenging to the curriculum and study required of architecture students, and applicants should be prepared to offer the university exceptional grades, high standardized test scores, and excellent recommendations.