The College of Arts and Sciences is a community of about 4,600 undergraduates and 670 faculty members that embodies Ezra Cornell’s founding motto of “any person could find instruction in any study.” In over forty departments, ranging from anthropology to economics to physics, the College’s faculty members teach their students, in over 2,000 courses, to analyze critically through various disciplinary lenses – an approach that shapes the ways in which our students perceive and creatively solve problems, not only as undergraduates but for the rest of their lives. Students also engage in cutting-edge research and scholarly and creative work in collaboration with faculty and postgraduate researchers. Our students acquire in their classes enables them to deal effectively with complex problems they encounter both here and in the world.
The College’s liberal arts and sciences curriculum combine immersion in elected majors and minors with exposure to broad, wide-ranging topics through distribution requirements, and electives. Arts and Sciences students learn to think critically and analytically, communicate effectively, and consider problems from many different perspectives in order to solve them in optimal ways.
Students and faculty members here are fortunate not only to be part of the intellectual community of the College of Arts and Sciences but to be part of the larger University community as well. Because Arts and Sciences faculty members teach core theoretical knowledge, most of the 15,000 undergraduates at Cornell take courses in our college at some point in their careers. This wider community provides depth and diversity of applied and professional studies beyond what a college of the liberal arts and sciences alone can offer. We are proud that the abundant variety and outstanding quality in many fields, including interdisciplinary fields, and emphasis on individual academic freedom and responsibility give the college and university their distinctive character.