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In addition to these programs, Cornell Abroad offers a large number of programs and research opportunities in every continent on the planet.

Student helping to pull in a line on a small boat at sea

Cornell and the University of New Hampshire jointly operate Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore Island off the coast of Maine.

Main detection machinery suspended over a huge radio dish

Cornell operates the world's largest radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Student touching hot lava with a stick

Hawaii is a living laboratory for students in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Professor pointing out details in an old building in Rome

Cornell in Rome gives students the opportunity to live and study in the Eternal City.

Students riding an elephant

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers unique international exchange opportunities for undergraduate students.

Aerial view of buildings on Appledore Island with sea in the background

Shoals Marine Laboratory

Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) offers a unique opportunity to study marine science in the field with exceptional faculty from institutions throughout North America.


Students Approximately 200 a year, including high school, college, and adult continuing-education students
Founded 1966
Faculty Approximately 40 from Cornell, the University of New Hampshire, and other institutions across the United States
Chief administrator Willy Bemis, director

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Program participants live in four modern dormitories. Kiggins Commons has showers, dining and lecture halls, a darkroom, and a recreation area. The main laboratory, Palmer-Kinne Laboratory, has bench space for 60 students, compound and dissecting microscopes, and sea tables with continuously running seawater for maintaining organisms. Three smaller laboratories are in the Grass Foundation Laboratory, Kiggins Commons, and Laighton House. The library, classrooms, infirmary, and administrative offices are in Laighton House and Hamilton House. Computer labs are located in Palmer-Kinne and Laighton House. In addition, SML has vessels including inflatables; Boston whalers; a 19-foot sailboat, the S/V Mako; and the pride of the fleet, the 47-foot R/V John M. Kingsbury. The Kingsbury was built to the laboratory's specifications and is used as an integral component of many courses to provide students with working experience aboard a coastal research vessel. A new addition to the fleet is the R/V John B. Heiser, a state-of-the-art 36-foot jet-drive vessel.


SML is on 95-acre Appledore Island, about 10 miles out from Portsmouth Harbor, Isles of Shoals, in the Gulf of Maine. This near-pristine environment allows students to study many aspects of intertidal and subtidal ecology. The nine islands of the Shoals, with names like Smuttynose and Duck, abound with legends and lore about early explorers, pirates, and ghosts. White Island has an abandoned lighthouse suitable for daytime exploration. There is also a well-known flower garden open for day trips in season. The isles can be reached by ferries operated by the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company.


The primary program goal is to give undergraduate college students a chance to do marine science in the field. SML also offers courses in ornithology and illustration, adult education courses in the history of the area, geology courses, courses specifically for teachers, and courses in nature photography. Total immersion in their studies is the hallmark of SML's success. Students take only one course at a time; class, lab, and fieldwork amount to about 10 hours of work a day.

Student feeding a cabbage plant

New York State Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva

The Agricultural Experiment Station seeks to advance a sustainable plant agriculture and food system through state-of-the-art research and outreach programs that address local and worldwide needs.


Students 25 - 90 graduate students at any given time
Founded 1882
Faculty 40 professors, plus approximately 15 visiting scientists, 10 postdocs, 20 research associates, and 6 extension associates at any given time.
Chief administrator Thomas J. Burr, Director and Associate Dean, CALS

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The central campus consists of 20 major buildings, several smaller buildings for storage and similar purposes, and two houses with five rooms each rented to graduate students, visiting scientists, and employees. The station has 11 farms for experimental plot work close to the Geneva campus with a total of 870 acres. There is also one acre of glasshouse space on the campus.


Geneva is at the northern end of Seneca Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes. The region is a place all its own, carved by ancient glaciers leaving long, deep-blue lakes studded by rolling hills and dotted with vineyards. Rocky gorges abound, spectacular with their waterfalls and scenery. Cities and villages and a myriad of cultures and history all blend in a unique harmony of colors and sights. Along with world-class universities, "Main Street America" is found in village after village.

Academic Departments

Academic programs are housed in four departments:

  • Horticulture
  • Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology
  • Entomology
  • Food Science

The focus is on improving the genetics, cultivation, protection, post-harvest handling, and processing of fruit and vegetable crops. Two pilot plants at the station provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, processors, and wine, beer, and cider makers to add value to New York State's raw products: the Fruit and Vegetable Processing Pilot Plant and the Vinification and Brewing Technology Laboratory. The station also is home to the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship (NECFE), a joint program with the University of Vermont. The station is the headquarters for the college's statewide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Also on the Geneva campus is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU), responsible for the U.S. collection of apple and cold-hardy grapes and selected seed-propagated crops such as onion, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, and winter squash. The station has a strong commitment to strengthening New York State's fruit and vegetable industries, "from the farm to the fork."

Three students on the U.S. Capitol steps

Cornell in Washington

The aim of the Cornell in Washington Program is to offer students an opportunity to take advantage of the rich resources of the national capital.


Students Approximately 50 per semester
Founded 1980; in current building since 1983
Faculty The associate director teaches the core courses each semester, with elective courses varying on a semester basis and taught by Ithaca-commuting Cornell faculty members and Washington experts.
Chief administrators Robert Hutchen, Director; David Silbey, Associate Director; Carol Fields Hagen, Director of Operations

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One four-story building at the corner of 22nd and O Street NW. The first floor has seminar rooms, a conference room, a computer lab, offices, and a reading room. The upper floors have 27 apartments.


Cornell in Washington is located near Dupont Circle, about one mile from the White House, in the heart of the city. It is a lively neighborhood, with easy access to students' externship sites, and is well served by public transportation. It is within walking distance of museums and the National Mall, with many sites of national interest nearby.


There is both a semester and a summer program. Cornell in Washington (CIW), the program offered during the fall and spring semesters, has two study options, Public Policy and the American Experience. Students choose one of these options, which includes a research project for 8 credits, plus one or two electives of 4 credits each. Public Policy students tend toward generalized social science research, while American Experience students produce humanistic research in both a descriptive and thematic form. The program requires working at an externship 20 hours a week. CIW encourages students to set their own goals for the semester, and many of them report that CIW was their favorite semester at Cornell. The Summer in Washington (SIW) program, offered in conjunction with Cornell's Summer Session, began in 1998. Summer Session students take two or three courses for 6 or 8 credits and work at internships during an eight-week period.

The main Arecibo dish set into the top of a jungle-covered mountain

Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico

As the site of the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, the observatory is recognized as one of the most important national centers for research in radio astronomy, planetary radar, and terrestrial aeronomy.


Students Approximately 200 scientists a year visit the observatory facilities to pursue their research project, and numerous master's and doctoral students conduct their thesis research there. In addition, the observatory hosts more than 100,000 visitors a year, about 30 percent of whom are schoolchildren.
Founded 1963; renamed the National Astronomy and Ionospheric Center (NAIC)
Faculty Approximately 16 scientists and 125 engineers and technicians
Chief administrators Robert Brown, director of administration; Sixto Gonzalez, Director, Arecibo Observatory; Daniel R. Altshuler, Director, Office for the Public Understanding of Science (OPUS)

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Arecibo Observatory is the site of the world's largest radio telescope. In addition the complex has optical labs, electronics control rooms, offices, residences, a recreation area, and the 10,000-square-foot Angel Ramos Visitor Center, which contains about 3,500 square feet of displays.


The beautiful, breezy island of Puerto Rico was chosen, in part, for its relative proximity to the equator. Close to the observatory complex are two oceanfront beaches, Das Bocas Lake, the Caverns Rio Camuy, the Taino Indian Ceremonial Park, and the Rio Abajo Forest.


Arecibo has programs in radio astronomy, the study of natural radio energy emitted by galaxies, erupting stars, clouds of gas, pulsars and quasars; atmospheric science, the investigation of the earth's gaseous envelope; and radar astronomy, which studies the celestial bodies in our solar system: planets, moons, asteroids, and comets.

Student reading a book outside a building in Rome

Cornell in Rome

The Cornell in Rome Program allows students to study some of the world's greatest treasures of art and architecture, and to see and understand the power of ancient Rome, the brilliance of the Renaissance, and the beauty and complexity of the modern European city.

Students 55 - 60 a semester
Founded 1986
Faculty Varies by semester; includes invited guest lecturers in the fields of architecture, art, and city and regional planning
Chief administrators Anna Rita Flati, administrative director (Rome); Margherita Fabrizio, program coordinator (Ithaca)

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Campus and Location

Cornell's facility is located in the handsomely restored, 17th-century Palazzo Lazzaroni, only minutes away from such well-known Roman landmarks as Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the famous outdoor market at the Campo de'Fiori. Furnished student apartments are provided within easy walking distance of the palazzo, in the heart of one of the most historic cities in the world.


Cornell in Rome offers more than 25 undergraduate and graduate courses in the fields of architecture, art, city and regional planning, and Italian language and culture. Field trips throughout Italy are an integral part of the program. Admission is restricted to undergraduates who have completed two years of college and graduate students.