Visiting Cornell

Welcome! We're glad to have you visit any time of year. While you're here you can get a feel for the campus culture, see many of our facilities, meet current students and faculty, and explore the university's lively community on and off campus.

Cornell's Ithaca Campus

A visit to Cornell's Ithaca campus, an expansive 2300 acres, will give you an idea of the opportunities to be found here.

At Cornell you'll experience the traditional college campus: eateries, residence halls, academic buildings, libraries, and research facilities. But its natural beauty—the nearby lake, natural waterfalls, and gardens—set the campus apart from others in the Ivy League. If you're looking for a city-campus feel, Cornell offers that, too. Collegetown is a short walk away and boasts award-winning restaurants and shops of all kinds.

Visiting an Individual College or School

Undergraduate Study
Cornell offers nearly 80 undergraduate majors and more than 70 minors. When you apply to Cornell as an undergraduate, you'll apply to the school or college that offers the major or field of study you're interested in. You can find detailed information about college-specific visits on these sites:

If you are looking for a more general visiting experience, try a walking tour or information session. Recommended activities for prospective students are outlined here.

Graduate and Professional Study
Advanced study at Cornell is diverse, with programs ranging from aerospace engineering to zoology and wildlife conservation. Some programs host pre-application information sessions while others organize visits for admitted students. To learn more about visiting your prospective program, look on the program's website:

Planning Your Visit

Many of our visitors are prospective undergraduate students. If you're thinking of applying to Cornell (or if you already have) we recommend spending at least a half-day visiting the Ithaca campus. During your visit you should:

If you have more time, are a prospective graduate student, or are visiting for any other reason, you might want to:

Getting Here

Cornell's Ithaca campus is located in central New York. There are many ways to get here.

By air

The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH) is a 10-minute drive from campus and downtown areas. Ithaca is serviced by Delta, Continental, US Airways, and United.

Once you arrive, a local taxi service or TCAT bus can bring you to campus.

From other regional airports:

  • Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR), Syracuse, NY: 90 minutes
    Transportation to campus from the Syracuse airport is available from Cornell Bus Service during certain times of year and from Ithaca Airline Limousine.
  • Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), Rochester, NY: 2 hours
  • Greater Binghamton Airport (BGM), Binghamton, NY: 85 minutes
  • Elmira-Corning Regional Airport (ELM), Horseheads, NY: 1 hour
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York City: 4 hours, 30 minutes
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York City: 4 hours, 20 minutes
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Newark, NJ: 4 hours

By train

The nearest Amtrak station is in Syracuse, NY, about 90 minutes from Ithaca. Syracuse is connected to the Empire (NYC–Niagara Falls), Lake Shore Limited (Chicago–Boston), and Maple Leaf (NYC–Toronto) lines.

Transportation to campus from the Syracuse Amtrak station is available from Cornell Bus Service during certain times of year and from Ithaca Airline Limousine.

By bus

The Ithaca bus terminal is located in downtown Ithaca at the corner of W. State Street and N. Fulton Street. The terminal is serviced by Greyhound, Shortline, New York Trailways, and Swarthout Coaches.

Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) buses can bring you to campus from the Ithaca bus terminal. TCAT also serves as Cornell's primary form of on-campus transportation.

By car

If you're driving, Cornell is approximately:

  • 2.5 hours from Albany, New York
  • 5 hours from New York City
  • 5 hours from Cleveland, Ohio
  • 3 hours from Buffalo, New York

For driving directions, please see our interactive campus map.


It may take you some extra time to get directions and find parking. Allow a minimum of 30–45 minutes to park and make your way to your destination.

Weekdays between 7:30 am and 5 pm
Stop at an Information Booth to receive a complimentary parking permit and directions to appropriate parking areas.

  • Booth 1: 165 Hoy Road, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • Booth 2: 360 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • Booth 4: 311 Campus Road, Ithaca, NY 14853

Evenings and weekends
Information booths are not staffed during this time. Free parking is available in some campus lots after 5 pm on weekdays and throughout the weekend. Read posted signs carefully to be sure lots are not permit-restricted during the time of your visit.

Dining on Campus

There are more than 30 places to dine on campus from buffets to a la carte and from cafes to coffee shops. Most accept cash and credit card. Go to for more information.


There is a range of options available from business class hotels to bed and breakfasts. To find overnight accommodations, go to or the Cornell University Travel Portal.

Walking Tours

Guided walking tours of campus take place throughout the year. Our tour guides are exemplary students who know the ins and outs of the university. Friendly and full of information, these students will do all they can to make you feel at home.

Please note that walking tours are different and separate from information sessions.

General Campus Tour

This tour will give you an introduction to Cornell's history, its seven undergraduate colleges and schools, student life, athletics, and some legend and tradition. You'll also learn about Cornell's combined roles as an undergraduate teaching institution, an international research university, and New York State's land-grant institution.

Reservations are not required. The tours are wheelchair accessible, are mostly outdoors, and last about one hour. We conduct tours rain or shine, so dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes.

General tours depart from Day Hall unless noted otherwise.

Freshman Experience Tour (FET)

This hour-long tour is designed for prospective students who have already taken the regular campus walking tour. Beginning at Day Hall and ending on North Campus, this tour will show you what you can expect during your first year at Cornell: residence halls, the Carol Tatkon Center for first-year students, dining halls, and the living-learning experience. This tour does not include academics or information about the colleges and schools.

Tour Schedule

April 2014

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    1 2 3 4 5
      1:25 pm   8:45 am  
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  8:45 am         9 am
10:30 am
1:30 pm
FET 1:30 pm
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            9 am
10:30 am
1:30 pm
FET 1:30 pm cancelled
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
      1:25 pm   8:45 am  
27 28 29 30      
  8:45 am   1:25 pm      

May 2014

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
        1 2 3
        1:25 pm 8:45 am
1:25 pm
3 pm
FET 3 pm
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  8:45 am
1:25 pm
3 pm
FET 3 pm
1:25 pm 1:25 pm   12 pm  
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
  8:45 am
1:25 pm
3 pm
FET 3 pm
1:25 pm 1:25 pm 1:25 pm 8:45 am
1:25 pm
3 pm
FET 3 pm
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
  8:45 am
1:25 pm
3 pm
FET 3 pm
1:25 pm 1:25 pm 1:25 pm    
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
    1:25 pm 1:25 pm 1:25 pm 8:45 am
1:25 pm
3 pm
FET 3 pm

Group Tours and Special Tour Arrangements

We are happy to discuss and help you navigate various visit options on the Cornell campus. Groups of 10 or more people must make special arrangements with our office. Special tours, including the Historical Tour, are not offered between the hours of 11 am and 1 pm and there is a $30 fee for each tour guide needed. Please contact us at least two weeks before your planned visit at 607-254-INFO (4636).

Information Sessions

University information sessions are designed for prospective undergraduate students. They are offered at select times throughout the year and reservations are required. Groups of 10 or more should contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office (607-255-5241) at least two weeks in advance.

Please note that information sessions are different and separate from walking tours.

General university information sessions are about Cornell University, student life, and overall admissions requirements. Information sessions for all prospective undergraduate students are listed on the undergraduate admissions events calendar.

College-specific information sessions are focused on any of the seven undergraduate colleges and schools. You can view the scheduled information sessions on the undergraduate admissions events calendar. To learn more about planning a visit to a college or school, explore the links to their visiting sites here.

Ithaca: Something for Everyone

Take some time to explore the surrounding area—Ithaca is one of the best college towns in the country. The vibrant community that extends beyond campus will welcome you as soon as you arrive.

Located in central New York at the south end of Cayuga Lake (the largest of the Finger Lakes), Ithaca boasts unsurpassed natural beauty in its gorges, state parks, and waterfront. Head to the Ithaca Commons or to Collegetown and you'll instantly feel like you're in a bustling city. Between urban life and alluring countryside, there's something for everyone to see and do.

Ithaca's Accolades

Ithaca has been named one of the:

  • top 100 places to live
  • top 10 recreation cities
  • foodiest towns in America
  • best green places to live

Where Will You Go?

Whether you're here for a few hours, a couple days, or for your entire academic career and beyond, Ithaca has much to engage and refresh you. Most places are accessible on foot or by TCAT bus.

  • professional theaters
  • festivals year round
  • the Ithaca Farmer's Market
  • more restaurants per capita than NYC
  • handmade crafts and art supply stores
  • award-winning coffee
  • outdoor recreation
  • book and record stores
  • gardens and parks
  • local music
  • museums for the sciences and arts
  • vintage clothing
  • popular retailers
  • a community of people from around the world

For additional information go to

Live Views

If you can't see the live view, try the still image.

The live view only gives you a few minutes to drop in on life at Cornell but, if that's not enough time, click the Refresh or Reload button on your browser toolbar.

To change the view, click the Start Control button. If there are others in control or waiting, the timer will count down the seconds until your turn. When the timer turns green, it's all yours.

McGraw Tower

Cornellians may not know every word of the alma mater's six verses, but they certainly know the tune, thanks to the 21 chimes in McGraw Tower. Student chimesmasters climb the 161 stairs to the top of the tower where they play three concerts daily. Here, Uris Library and McGraw Tower sit atop Libe Slope, with West Campus and Cayuga Lake in the distance.

Ho Plaza

Located at the crossroads of campus, Ho Plaza serves as Cornell's town square. On any day you'll find students emerging from the Cornell Store, walking past Willard Straight Hall, and strolling down Ho Plaza on their way to and from the center of campus.

Hi, Mom!

Looking for someone? Zoom in on the benches outside the Cornell Store to see your friends and loved ones up close and personal. No squinting necessary.

Other Live Views at Cornell