Researchers using VR goggles to study teaching methods
Motivated by curiosity

Research, scholarship and creative works

The body of research, scholarship and creative works emerging from the College of Arts & Sciences is vast, with one common thread -- ALL of our research is curiosity-based. This model of inquiry confers intellectual flexibility, a precursor for innovation, creativity and discovery.

Foundational research

Foundational exploration at the center of a world-class research university

The College of Arts & Sciences is the home of foundational, theoretical and basic research at Cornell. Our researchers and scholars are all curiosity-driven and often collaborate across disciplines and colleges, partnering with applied scientists and researchers to tackle our greatest challenges. Faculty work side by side with postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students to explore the stars, our rural communities, our classrooms, and how humans and society affect the world in large and minute ways.

Below is a sample of the initiatives and projects that result when we collaborate to ask the big questions.


More than 100 interdisciplinary research organizations, 18 Cornell research centers and 2 national research centers


Of A&S students work closely with faculty in research & independent study.

Research and scholarly excellence

Research and scholarly excellence

Our faculty members, research scientists, postdocs and students are leading their chosen fields of exploration, receiving high honors, awards, fellowships and grants. Here are a few recent accolades.

Five people facing the camera, smiling
Ryan Young / Cornell University 2022 Cornell Campus-Community Leadership Award winners Claire Deng ’22 (left) and Temilola (Lola) Adepoju ’22
Benjamin Feldman

A&S student named Carnegie Fellow

Student honors
Geometrical ceiling design shining with gold
Another Believer/Creative Commons license 3.0 Interior of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.

Four elected to National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Sciences

Faculty research

Faculty research

A thriving research community

Arts & Sciences is a thriving environment for researchers to build on questions large and small, old and new. Faculty and postdocs in A&S are given the opportunity to ask big questions and the resources to follow through and make lasting impacts. 

Person takes notes, listening to people sitting on a floor
Provided Karim-Aly Kassam worked with farmers in Xinjiang, China, as part of his Einaudi-funded research to document Indigenous ecological calendars.
World map, color coded
Canuckguy et al./Creative Commons license 3.0 Fitch ratings of world countries
Interior of a building with arched ceiling and smooth floors; Soviet symbol carved into far wall
Mehrnaz Taghavishavazi/Unsplash Proletarskaya Station, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Is Russia headed for a return to Stalinism?

International politics
Stop motion images of a dragonfly turning over in flight
Provided This series of images, captured by three high-speed video cameras filming at 4,000 frames per second, track a dragonfly as it was released upside-down from a magnetic tether and rolled 180 degrees to reorient itself.

Sharing Indigenous stories through film

Jeff Palmer, assistant professor of performing and media arts and a member of the Kiowa Tribe, wants filmgoers to discover the untold stories of Native Americans that have been missing from American history. He’s been nominated for an Emmy Award and his documentary films have appeared in major festivals, from Sundance to the Berlin Independent Film Festival.

Filmmaker Jeff Palmer tells Native Americans’ untold stories

Pushing the limits of quantum nanoscience

Physicists at Cornell are pushing the edge of what can be done with microrobots, from using origami folds in graphene and glass to using magnets for self-assembling systems. In a TED talk, Paul McEuen, John A. Newman Professor of Physical Science, describes creating microbots the size of a single cell, showing how these machines could one day be "piloted" to battle crop diseases or study the individual neurons in your brain.

Paul McEuen, the John A. Newman Professor of Physical Sciencea and his former postdoctoral researcher Marc Miskin, who is now an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, give a TED talk on "microbots."

Undergraduate research

Undergraduate research

Let your curiosity expand your undergraduate experience

As an undergraduate student in the College you will have unique opportunity to do meaningful research in state of the art physics labs and ancient greek burial grounds. Your opportunities are endless.

Students conducting research in a lab

Nexus Scholars Program

Applications are now open for the new Nexus Scholars Program, which connects and supports undergraduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences with opportunities to work side by side with Cornell faculty from across the College over the summer on frontline research projects.

Open to first-year students, sophomores and juniors, the program also includes professional development workshops, career exploration events, and the chance to be part of a cohort from throughout the college who are passionate about learning.

Click here to learn more about the Nexus Scholar Program.

man outside brick building
Justin Wang ’22, a philosophy and economics major, studied philosopher and author David Boonin.
woman at podium
Chris Kitchen Anna Hu '22 presents her research project.
Explore Undergraduate Research Opportunities