As an Africana studies major, you’ll have the chance to explore the centrality of Africa and the African Diaspora to the modern world and previous eras in the fields of literature, history, philosophy, international relations, cultural studies, music, and the visual arts.
In American Studies, you’ll embark on an interdisciplinary study of the themes, trends and patterns that characterize the American past and present. You’ll use multiple perspectives and methodologies, learn to synthesize knowledge and develop the critical thinking skills needed for rigorous, complex analysis. American Studies majors have the flexibility to define their own area of concentration, such as visual studies, cultural studies, race and ethnicity, legal and constitutional studies, the American environment, American capitalism or class and social structure.
As an anthropology major, you’ll study the complex social and cultural relationships that define human communities and learn how to conduct engaged, collaborative, field-based research. You’ll be able to investigate topics ranging from identity politics and globalization to the origins of agriculture and the rise of empires. The settings you’ll explore can take you from the lowland rain forest of ancient Mesoamerica to the mountains of the Himalayas, from prisons in Latin America to a synagogue on New York City’s Lower East Side, from medical research centers in Tanzania to the colonial era Finger Lakes.
The undergraduate minor in Arabic is intended for Cornell students who wish to broaden and deepen their competence in the Arabic language and knowledge of Arab culture. Such linguistic competence and knowledge have helped Cornell students in the past obtain positions in government agencies and think tanks and to enroll in the most competitive Arabic programs in this country.
As an archaeology major, you’ll benefit from an interdisciplinary approach to a broad range of cultures, with courses in classical archaeology and art, Near Eastern studies, and the archaeology of Eurasia, the Americas and Africa. You’ll gain hands-on experience through lab-based courses in zooarchaeology, ceramics, dendrochronology and in the material cultures of Native Americans and Euro-Americans, and will have opportunities for fieldwork both in the U.S. and abroad. The Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS) is one of the leading archaeology groupings in the U.S. and offers one of the few majors in archaeology in the country.
With a minor in Asian American studies, you’ll examine the histories and experiences, identities, social and community formations, politics and contemporary concerns of people of Asian ancestry in the U.S. and other parts of the Americas.
As an Asian studies major, you will learn about the languages and literatures, religions, societies and cultures of East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, with courses in most of the disciplines of the social sciences and the humanities.
Our Astrobiology minor is designed so that to educate students interdisciplinary, covering a variety of scientific disciplines, which will contribute to their general understanding of the search for life in the universe, the origin of life on Earth, the evolution of life on Earth, possible life in the Solar System and on Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. The goal of this minor is to develop students' critical thinking, literacy in astrobiology so that they can critically evaluate news and claims related to this interdisciplinary field.
As an astronomy major, you’ll gain in-depth knowledge about the nature of the universe, with thorough preparation in physics and mathematics. Like nearly all majors, there are opportunities to engage in research projects in your junior and senior years — faculty and students have played major roles in space exploration, including a heavy involvement in NASA missions such as the Mars Rovers.
Research in astronomy is making rapidly increasing use of analysis methods that draw from developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning with a strong basis in Bayesian statistics. The overarching questions raised in astronomical science are attractive to students from a wide range of disciplines and can provide the motivation for learning the fundamentals of data science as they are applied to the astronomical domain.
Researchers in the Astronomy Department are involved with specific projects involving large empirical and simulation data sets: spacecraft imaging data from solar system missions, spacecraft survey data for exoplanets, sky surveys at radio, infrared, and optical wavelengths, data sets from gravitational wave detectors, and cosmological simulations of large scale structure in the universe. These data sets will provide attractive contexts for learning and applying modern analysis methods.
As a biological sciences major, you’ll have novel opportunities to jump into engaging research projects. With more than 300 faculty, our undergraduate program, jointly run by the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is one of the most highly regarded in the country. You can choose a concentration from multiple areas, including animal physiology; biochemistry; computational biology; ecology and evolutionary biology; general biology; genetics, genomics and development; human nutrition; insect biology; marine biology; microbiology; molecular and cell biology; neurobiology and behavior (neuroscience); plant biology; and systematics and biotic diversity.
The Biology & Society major is an interdisciplinary major that allows students to combine the study of the biological sciences with courses that explore the social and ethical aspects of modern biology. In addition to gaining a foundation in biology, students in the major acquire background in the social dimensions of modern biology and in the biological dimensions of contemporary social issues. The major is open to students in two colleges: Arts & Sciences and Agriculture and Life Sciences. The major is suitable for students seeking careers in law, medicine, public health, public policy, business, research and academia.
As a chemistry and chemical biology major, you’ll learn logical thinking and creative problem solving and can either dive deep following a traditional curriculum or pursue a flexible program that may be ideal for those with alternative career goals. The department’s research areas include inorganic, materials, organic, analytical and physical chemistry, as well as chemical biology.
The Brittany and Adam J. Levinson China and Asia-Pacific Studies program offers a unique approach to the study of contemporary China through a set of courses on China's language, history, politics, economy, society and foreign relations, and by providing students with experience both on-and-off campus, including three years in Ithaca, one optional semester in Washington D.C., and one required semester in Beijing.
With a minor in classical civilization, you’ll uncover the mysteries of ancient Greece and Rome. You’ll have the choice of any six classics courses (above 1000-level), which chart a coherent path through our offerings in ancient literature (in translation), history, philosophy, art history and archaeology. This minor does not include a language requirement.
As a Classics major, you can immerse yourself in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome through four different tracks (Classics, Greek, Latin, Classical Civilization) taking programs in ancient languages, literature, history, archaeology, history of art, science, linguistics and philosophy. Classics majors work closely with individual professors in their areas of expertise, often in small classes, and have many opportunities for independent research and travel. The rigorous analytical training characteristic of a Classics degree helps to develop skills that are valued in a wide variety of careers, as well as giving students a firm foundation for understanding the history of Western culture. With a minor in classics, you’ll conduct your own odyssey through the ancient Mediterranean world by taking any five coherent classics courses (above 1000-level) from one of four different tracks, acquiring proficiency in either Greek or Latin along the way: Classical literature Ancient history (with emphasis on either Greek or Roman) Ancient philosophy Classical art and archaeology
With a minor in cognitive science, you’ll study disciplines concerned with the fundamental capacities of the mind, such as perception, memory, reasoning, language, the organization of motor action and their neural correlates. This interdisciplinary study encompasses departments in the College of Arts & Sciences such as computer science, economics, linguistics, mathematics, neurobiology and behavior, philosophy, psychology and sociology; disciplines in the colleges of Engineering, Human Ecology and Agriculture and Life Sciences; and the Information Science Program and Johnson Graduate School of Management.
The College Scholar Program represents the pinnacle of the liberal arts experience at Cornell. The program is focused on a small group of stellar students whose interests transcend disciplinary boundaries. These students have demonstrated exceptional promise and maturity to plan and carry out a well-designed individualized program of study and research. Students design their own interdisciplinary major, organized around a question or issue of interest, and pursue a course of study that cannot be found in an established major.
College Scholars explore subjects with a broader integration of related disciplines than most students would attempt. They pursue their subjects using advanced, often graduate-level, techniques. As a capstone to their studies, all Scholars undertake an independent senior project, usually culminating in an honors thesis. It is a unique opportunity within the College of Arts & Sciences for engagement and learning, in the classroom and beyond.
As a comparative literature major, you’ll gain a critical and historical perspective on world literature and cultures, with the choice of two tracks. If you want to emphasize literature in your course work, take the comparative literary studies track; if you’re interested in studying literature and theory by integrating rigorous work in film, video or other arts and media, take the literary, visual and media studies track. The major’s broad range of courses provides a critical and historical perspective on world literature and cultures.
As a computer science major, you’ll learn algorithmic ways of thinking and study the elements of computing and information technology such as system design, problem specification, programming, and the modeling, analysis and evaluation of complex systems. You’ll also learn the many applications of computing in science, engineering and business, and have the opportunity to take classes and do research in such areas as artificial intelligence, robotics, computational logic, computer architecture, computer graphics, computer vision, computing systems, databases and digital libraries, machine learning, natural language processing, networks, programming languages and compilation, scientific computing, security and theory of computation.