Who We Are: The Importance of Diversity

Diversity in all definitional forms is intrinsic to excellence in engineering. Indeed, devising the best engineered solutions to complex problems is often achieved by drawing from the diverse ingenuity of people from broadly different backgrounds, lived experiences, and identities.

The compositional diversity of our students, faculty, and staff is fundamental to delivering on Cornell University’s mission to “discover, preserve and disseminate knowledge, to educate the next generation of global citizens, and to promote a culture of broad inquiry throughout and beyond the Cornell community.” The depth, breadth, and quality of our collective diversity is foundational to Cornell Engineering’s mission to educate students of all backgrounds, create superb engineering solutions, and tackle the ever-evolving challenges of an increasingly interconnected and complex world. To this end, the College of Engineering defines diversity inclusively through a wide lens, fully acknowledging that it is at the points where differences respectfully collide, connect, or diverge that discovery, creativity, and deep learning are catalyzed and forged.

Cornell Engineering makes the implausible possible. This is what draws the brightest minds to Ithaca, New York. We value collaboration, innovation, and curiosity. It is a place of intellectual diversity and hands-on, up-close learning. Students and faculty alike are independently minded and deeply invested in the power of collaborative teamwork. Here you will find a supportive and caring network where no engineer walks it alone. Our community exemplifies kindness, empathy and passionate hard work. It is an engineering education for those with an entrepreneurial spirit, a multidisciplinary bent, and a passion for solving the world’s greatest problems.

  • The College of Engineering was founded in 1870 and is the largest and highest ranked engineering program in the Ivy League.
  • Our program has incredible depth with 14 majors and 21 minors in addition to the breadth of academic opportunities across the University. Around 450 undergraduate engineering courses are taught annually.
  • Cornell Engineering sponsors 34 student-led project teams.
  • International students compose 10% of our undergraduate engineers.
  • Cornell Engineering has over 250 faculty on board. All faculty in our college teach and advise undergraduate students.
  • Our students gain access to an unparalleled career network and over 46,000 alumni connections.
  • We provide outstanding support services from faculty, peers, and our advising and student services offices.

Group photo of students with their professor after having a snowball fight in physics class.

Students posing with their professor after having a snowball fight in physics class.

Cornell Engineering Students

Cornell Engineers are innovative, collaborative, and kind. They are engaged with one another, the greater Cornell community, and the world at large. Our program is distinctive in its unparalleled opportunities that allow students to obtain hands-on experience from the beginning. Even as a first year, you can apply theory learned in the classroom to substantive research and hands-on engineering projects. Meet our students and learn about their passions, their stories, and why they chose to become Cornell Engineers. Learn more about the student experience.

Faculty member, Marjolein van der Meulen, meeting with students.

Faculty member, Marjolein van der Meulen, meeting with students.

Cornell Engineering Faculty

Cornell Engineering is home to 247 faculty members who come from incredibly diverse academic and personal backgrounds. All faculty in our college teach and advise undergraduate students as well as engage in research. From their first year on campus, Cornell Engineers have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on cutting-edge research. Because our students are among the best in the world and our faculty are renowned masters of their fields, Cornell Engineering is uniquely collaborative, dynamic, and intellectually fertile terrain. Learn more about our faculty.

Cost and Affordability

A Cornell education is a worthy investment, perhaps one of the most important investments you will make in your life. By making a commitment to meet demonstrated financial need through a variety of financial aid components, including grants and scholarships, loans and student employment we help provide opportunity and access to students, regardless of economic circumstance. We encourage you to use the financial aid calculator to estimate your aid eligibility and explore all available aid options at Cornell. Learn more about Financial Aid.

Community and Student Life

The Cornell Engineering Community

Cornell Engineering peer advisor holding a sign that says, Engineers Follow Me!

Engineering peer advisor waiting to lead new students to orientation.

As an undergraduate engineer, you will have access to an outstanding professional staff through our Student Services Offices. These offices, including the Engineering Advising Office, the Cornell Engineering Career Center, and our award-winning mentoring program Diversity Programs in Engineering, offer many different services to help you navigate your college experience. Student Services are a key reason for our remarkable 86% 4-year graduation rate. Life as a Cornell Engineer is embedded within the supportive, diverse community of the College of Engineering. Students also have at their doorstep the tremendous opportunities and resources of the university at large, and the grandeur of the natural landscape, and rich cultural offerings of Ithaca.

The Cornell Community

Though Cornell is a large, diverse campus, you may be surprised by our caring and supportive community of 15,000 undergraduates and the faculty and staff who work together to enhance your growth and success. As a freshman, you will live on North Campus with about 3,000 fellow first year students. You will find everything you need in the immediate vicinity to enhance and support your life on campus. This includes the Tatkon Center, active community centers, award-winning dining and cafes, a convenience store, and athletic facilities. Each residence hall on North Campus has its own vibe—take some time to take a virtual tour. As an upper-level student, you’ll have the opportunity to explore additional living experiences both on and off campus. With over 1,000 clubs, 37 Division I varsity teams, plus intramural sports and recreations services, there is something for everyone at Cornell. Check out Life at Cornell.

The Ithaca Community

Students walking over a stone bridge along Beebe Lake

Students walking over a stone bridge along Beebe Lake.

Ithaca is home to spectacular gorges, waterfalls and lakes, thriving music and arts community, amazing food options and an invigorating climate year-round. The grandeur of the hills and gorges of our campus will take your breath away. As a regularly ranked top five Best College Town, Ithaca will keep you intellectually and socially refreshed through off-campus restaurants, music venues, galleries, and diverse theatre and museum offerings.