Facts about Cornell

Five of Cornell's Nobel Prize winners standing in front of a red Cornell banner

Five of the 41 Nobel laureates who have Cornell affiliations: [left to right] Douglas D. Osheroff (1996 co-winner), Hans Bethe (1967 winner), David M. Lee (1996 co-winner), Roald Hoffmann (1981 winner), Robert C. Richardson (1996 co-winner)


Marks of Distinction

  • Forty-one Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Cornell as faculty members or alumni.
  • A total of six current Cornell faculty members were elected in 2011-2012 to the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences.
Cornell's modern Veterinary College building in the evening

College of Veterinary Medicine

  • In 2012 Cornell's engineering physics program was ranked number one by U.S. News and World Report, and biological/agricultural engineering, undergraduate engineering, and undergraduate business programs also were in the top 10. In addition, Cornell ranked sixth for academic reputation.
  • U.S. News and World Report also ranked seven of Cornell's graduate engineering specialties in the top 10.
  • In December 2011, Cornell's undergraduate program in architecture was named No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year in America's Best Architecture and Design Schools, an annual survey conducted by DesignIntelligence and the Greenway Group. The graduate architecture program was ranked sixth for a second year in a row.
  • Cornell ranks among the top U.S. institutions of higher learning in National Science Foundation funding.
  • The Biofuels Research Laboratory at Cornell provides cutting-edge technology for multidisciplinary studies of every phase of biofuel production, a method that frees sugars from perennial grasses and woody biomass and biologically converts them into fuels like ethanol, butanol, and hydrogen.
  • Through a sustainable campus initiative, the more than 30,000 members of the Cornell University community are committed to high standards that support, promote, and ensure sustainable futures in which all generations can prosper. Cornell meets this responsibility through educational, research, and outreach activities; improvements to the campus environment; and environmentally sound stewardship of its resources.
  • The Human Ecology Building and Milstein Hall, which opened in August 2011, are prime examples of Cornell's commitment to sustainability. The U.S. Green Building Council has certified the Human Ecology Building as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum–its highest rating for sustainable structures—making it the first building to achieve the distinction on the Cornell campus. Milstein earned LEED Gold. Seven other buildings on campus have been certified LEED Gold, and five others are pursuing certification.
  • Cornell was the first university to teach modern Far Eastern languages. Cornell's Full-Year Asian Language Concentration (FALCON) program provides comprehensive and intensive one-year study of Chinese or Japanese.
  • Cornell's Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization connects industry partners to technological innovations created by researchers.
  • Cornell awarded the world's first degree in journalism, the nation's first university degree in veterinary medicine, and the first doctorates in electrical engineering and industrial engineering.
  • Cornell established the first four-year schools of hotel administration and industrial and labor relations. It was the first U.S. university to offer a major in American studies.
  • Cornell endowed the nation's first professorships in American history, musicology, and American literature.
  • Cornell has one of the largest and most significant collections of Asian historical and literary materials in North America.
  • One of only five known copies of the Gettysburg Address handwritten by Abraham Lincoln is held in Cornell University Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections.
  • The solution to the Poincaré Conjecture, one of the most famous problems in mathematics, was first posted on arXiv.org, Cornell's online, open-access repository for scientific literature in physics, mathematics, nonlinear science, computer sciences, and quantitative biology.
  • Cornell is recognized for being a great place to work. In 2011 the university was recognized with an Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility and included on the following national lists: AARP's Best Employers for Workers Over 50, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption's Top Adoption-Friendly Workplaces, and Working Mother magazine's 100 Best Employers for Working Mothers.