For Students


A curriculum that emphasizes culture, language, social difference & global citizenship

Beginning in Fall 2020, all incoming Arts & Sciences students began taking part in a new curriculum focused on exploration of humanity’s wide diversity of knowledge and culture. Changes to the curriculum included new distribution requirements of social difference and global citizenship, as well as a continued commitment to culture and language.

All of our departments in the humanities and social sciences offer courses that are specifically designed to meet these requirements, as well as diversity requirements in the curricula of other colleges and schools at Cornell. 

Academic programs dedicated to the study of identity

Arts & Sciences is home to most of the academic programs at Cornell that focus on the study of class, race, ethnicity, indigeneity, nationality, language, religion, gender, sexuality, and ability.

Our college is home to the first Africana studies program in the country, as well as the first women’s studies program and the first Asian-American studies program in the Ivy League.

The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program is housed in CALS; however, Arts & Sciences faculty teach in the program and our students can take courses or minor in AIISP. A&S students can also take courses through the Disability Studies Program in the ILR School.

Enhanced Opportunities

Enhanced opportunities & funding for historically underrepresented students

The college is committed to developing and supporting its myriad programs that provide enhanced academic opportunities for historically underrepresented and first-generation students.

Posse Scholars at a reception
Robert Barker The Posse Foundation founded the Posse program in 1989 to identify students from urban high schools with great academic and leadership potential who might have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes.

Get a head start on college by taking summer classes taught by Cornell faculty

Students in the Pre-Collegiate Summer Scholars Program walking past the Physical Sciences Building

The Pre-Collegiate Summer Scholars Program (PSSP) helps to prepare around 200 incoming first-year students, across the undergraduate colleges, for their first semester at Cornell University. During the program, PSSP provides the opportunity for students to engage in academic courses, connect with campus resources, while establishing a community with their peers. Students interact with faculty, staff, and their peers throughout the program.

Scholars are required to take courses and participate in weekly college activities that let students connect with offices and faculty across campus.  Courses for each student will be selected based on academic interests and information provided in a scholar’s Cornell application. Each Arts & Sciences PSSP participant will be assigned an advising dean and a program assistant, an undergraduate mentor that helps students navigate PSSP and Cornell. Additionally, scholars will be required to live on-campus for the duration of the program.  Students will be living in a residence hall on campus and have access to dining halls, libraries, laundry room, and study spaces.  All tuition, fees, room, and board charges are covered by Cornell. 

Click here for more details on the PSSP program.