Cornell University
#13 Overall Influence#14 Desirability Rank

Cornell University

Private university in Ithaca

Admissions

What does this school look for?

Annual Applications

51,324

Acceptance

11%

Graduation Rate

94%

Median SAT Score

1465

Median ACT Score

33

Costs

How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)

$54,584

Fees (in-state)

$604

Net Cost for 60k Income

$13,653

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings

$101,200

Employed

92%

Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body

24K

Under-Grads

16K

Graduates

8K

The Campus

Where will you be attending?

Location

300 Day Hall, Ithaca NY 14853

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

12k per 100k

Violent Crime

0k per 100k

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

29k per 100k

Violent Crime

2k per 100k

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this school influential?

#7 World Rank #6 USA Rank
Engineering
#8 World Rank #7 USA Rank
Computer Science
#12 World Rank #7 USA Rank
Anthropology
#12 World Rank #11 USA Rank
Business
#12 World Rank #8 USA Rank
Biology
#13 World Rank #12 USA Rank
Political Science
#13 World Rank #9 USA Rank
Medical
#13 World Rank #7 USA Rank
Physics
#13 World Rank #8 USA Rank
Literature
#14 World Rank #8 USA Rank
Mathematics
#15 World Rank #10 USA Rank
Psychology
#15 World Rank #9 USA Rank
Chemistry
#15 World Rank #11 USA Rank
Economics
#20 World Rank #9 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#20 World Rank #14 USA Rank
Law
#21 World Rank #14 USA Rank
History
#21 World Rank #19 USA Rank
Communications
#23 World Rank #20 USA Rank
Social Work
#23 World Rank #18 USA Rank
Nursing
#26 World Rank #23 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#27 World Rank #9 USA Rank
Philosophy
#31 World Rank #15 USA Rank
Sociology
#48 World Rank #20 USA Rank
Religious Studies

Influential People

Who are Cornell University's Most influential alumni?

Cornell University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Engineering, Computer Science, and Anthropology. Cornell University’s most academically influential people include Toni Morrison, Kurt Vonnegut, and Thomas Pynchon.

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison

Afro-American writer

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Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut

American writer

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Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Pynchon

American novelist

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Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom

American literary critic, scholar, and writer

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Norbert Wiener
Norbert Wiener

American mathematician

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Steven Weinberg
Steven Weinberg

American theoretical physicist

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Freeman Dyson
Freeman Dyson

Theoretical physicist and mathematician

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Barbara McClintock
Barbara McClintock

American scientist and cytogeneticist

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Abraham Maslow
Abraham Maslow

American psychologist

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Isidor Isaac Rabi
Isidor Isaac Rabi

American physicist

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Frank Knight

American economist

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Jack Szostak
Jack Szostak

American biologist

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About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

Cornell University was founded in turbulent times. With the Civil War winding down, and less than two weeks after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the Governor of New York signed the school’s official charter in the state capital, Albany, where only the day before Lincoln’s funeral procession had passed through the city’s streets.

Two men were behind the drive to establish a first-class university in upstate New York: wealthy businessman Ezra Cornell, the founder of Western Union, who was originally from Ithaca (where the new school was to be located), and Andrew Dickson White, a prominent historian and educator, who hailed from nearby Syracuse. Later on, White would be best remembered as the author of A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896), and from the beginning he envisioned Cornell as a rigorously secular institution with a special emphasis on the natural sciences.

This lack of an original religious orientation, as well as its geographical isolation from the American center of cultural gravity on the East Coast, make Cornell a bit of an odd-man-out among the eight schools that make up the Ivy League. However, the university’s right to a place among that elite grouping is more than justified by the intellectual firepower of its faculty. Moreover, despite its rural setting, Cornell’s sprawling campus and its total university population of over 23,000 (more than twice the size of the town of Ithaca itself) easily make it a rival of the other Ivy League schools in scale.

One of Cornell’s areas of particular strength is medicine. The Weill Cornell Medical School, located in Manhattan, is one of the most selective in the nation. Cornell also runs the Weill Cornell Medical College located in Doha, Qatar.

An astonishing 50 Nobel laureates are connected with Cornell, not to mention many other highly influential thinkers and authors. For example, among Nobel Prize– winners in physics, we many mention:

  • Hans Bethe
  • Richard Feynman
  • Hannes Alfvén
  • Kenneth Wilson
  • Steven Weinberg
  • Sheldon Glashow
  • Pierre-Gilles de Gennes
  • Kip Thorne

Cornell-connected chemistry Nobelists include:

  • Peter Debye
  • Richard Ernst
  • Manfred Eigen
  • Roald Hoffmann

In physiology or medicine, we may mention:

  • George Beadle
  • Fritz Lipmann
  • Barbara McClintock
  • Peter Medawar
  • Harold Varmus
  • Jack Szostak

Four Cornell-connected economists have won the Nobel Prize in their field:

  • Amartya Sen
  • Robert Engle
  • Richard Thaler
  • Robert Fogel

No fewer than four Nobel Prize laureates in literature have studied or taught at Cornell:

  • American novelists, Pearl Buck and Toni Morrison
  • Mexican poet, Octavio Paz
  • Nigerian playwright, Wole Soyinka

However, perhaps the most distinguished of all Cornell-connected literary figures (and one of the Swedish Academy’s worst oversights) is the great Russian émigré novelist, Vladimir Nabokov, who taught here from 1948 until 1959, when the international succès de scandale of his novel Lolita (1955) permitted him to retire from teaching.

Among other distinguished Cornell-connected individuals (in addition to the above), we may mention:

  • Physicists, Freeman Dyson & Huber Reeves
  • Novelists, Kurt Vonnegut & David Foster Wallace
  • Novelist, short-story writer, and essayist, Junot Díaz
  • E.B. White, author of the beloved children’s book, Charlotte’s Web, and co-author of the ubiquitous writer’s manual, The Elements of Style
  • Philosophers, John R. Perry & Thomas Nagel
  • Psychoanalyst, Abraham Maslow
  • Political scientist, Benedict Anderson
  • Journalist, Raj Patel
  • Television personality, Bill Nye
  • Political author and columnist, Ann Coulter
  • Actors, Christopher Reeve & Gillian Anderson
  • Indian industrialist, Ratan Tata
  • Former President of the Republic of China, Lee Teng-hui
  • President of the Republic of China, Tsai Ing-wen
  • US Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg