The College of Arts and Sciences is a community of approximately 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. In these courses, students critically analyze issues through various disciplinary lenses – an approach that shapes the ways in which 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 researchers. Through a variety of educational experiences students acquire skills that enable them to effectively engage with complex issues they encounter both here and in the world.
The College’s liberal arts and sciences curriculum combines 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 are fortunate to be part of the intellectual community of the College of Arts and Sciences and the larger University community. 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 of the abundant variety and outstanding quality in many fields, including interdisciplinary fields. The emphasis on individual academic freedom and responsibility gives the college and university a distinctive character.