As New York State 's land grant college, Cornell operates a cooperative extension service with 56 offices spread out across the state, each staffed with extension educators who offer programs in five subjects: Agriculture and Food Systems; Children, Youth, and Families; Community and Economic Vitality; Environment and Natural Resources; and Nutrition and Health. Cornell is a non-profit organization governed by a member Board of Trustees consisting of both privately and publicly appointed trustees.
Martha E. Pollack was inaugurated as Cornell's fourteenth president on August 25, Cornell is decentralized , with its colleges and schools exercising wide autonomy. Each defines its own academic programs, operates its own admissions and advising programs, and confers its own degrees. The only university-wide requirements for a baccalaureate degree are to pass a swimming test, take two physical education courses, and satisfy a writing requirement. A handful of inter-school academic departments offer courses in more than one college. Seven schools provide undergraduate programs and an additional seven provide graduate and professional programs.
Students pursuing graduate degrees in departments of these schools are enrolled in the Graduate School. The School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions offers programs for college and high school students, professionals, and other adults.
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By student enrollment, the smallest of the seven undergraduate colleges is Architecture, Art, and Planning , with 3. Several other universities have used Cornell as their model, including Stanford University , the University of Sydney in Australia, and the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom; the last did so on the recommendation of one of its financiers, Andrew Carnegie , who was a Cornell Trustee.
The university also operates eCornell , which offers both certificate programs and professional development courses online. In , Cornell ranked fifth among universities in the U. Cornell is a large, primarily residential research university with a majority of enrollments in undergraduate programs.
Admission to the university is highly competitive.
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For Fall , Cornell received over 51, freshmen applications; 5, were admitted, a As of Fall , Cornell enrolled students from all 50 U. Section 9 of the original charter of Cornell University ensured that the university "shall be open to applicants for admission Starting in the s Cornell coordinated with other Ivy League schools to provide a consistent set of financial aid. However, in , a consent decree to end a Justice Department antitrust investigation ended such coordination.
On January 31, , Cornell announced a new financial aid initiative to be phased in over the following two years. It also cooperates in agricultural research with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. In the Middle East , Cornell's efforts focus on biology and medicine. The Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar trains new doctors to improve health services in the region.
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The innovative program includes both on-campus and videoconferencing -based, interactive virtual classroom sessions. Cornell University is member of the United Nations Academic Impact aligning institutions of higher education to the United Nations and promoting international cooperation. In the survey, the program ranked first and the Master of Architecture program ranked sixth. Cornell's international relations offerings are also ranked in Foreign Policy magazine's Inside the Ivory Tower survey, which lists the world's top twenty of such programs at the undergraduate, Master's and Ph.
The Cornell University Library is the 11th largest academic library in the United States, ranked by number of volumes held. The archive has changed the way many physicists and mathematicians communicate, making the e-print a viable and popular means of announcing new research. The Cornell University Press, established in but inactive from to , was the first university publishing enterprise in the United States.
Cornell's academic units and student groups also publish a number of scholarly journals. Physical Review , recognized internationally as among the best and well known journals of physics, was founded at Cornell in before being later managed by the American Physical Society. Cornell, a research university, is ranked fourth in the world in producing the largest number of graduates who go on to pursue PhDs in engineering or the natural sciences at American institutions, and fifth in the world in producing graduates who pursue PhDs at American institutions in any field.
Since , Cornell has been involved in unmanned missions to Mars.
Cornell's Steve Squyres , Principal Investigator for the Athena Science Payload, led the selection of the landing zones and requested data collection features for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. The rovers, both of which have operated long past their original life expectancies, are responsible for the discoveries that were awarded Breakthrough of the Year honors by Science.
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The project discovered that improved door locks, energy-absorbing steering wheels, padded dashboards, and seat belts could prevent an extraordinary percentage of injuries. In , the National Science Foundation began work on establishing five new supercomputer centers, including the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing , to provide high-speed computing resources for research within the United States.
In the s, Cornell developed scheduling software and deployed the first supercomputer built by Dell. Most recently, Cornell deployed Red Cloud, one of the first cloud computing services designed specifically for research. Cornell scientists have researched the fundamental particles of nature for more than 70 years.
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Cornell physicists, such as Hans Bethe , contributed not only to the foundations of nuclear physics but also participated in the Manhattan Project see also: List of Cornell Manhattan Project people. In the s, Cornell built the second cyclotron in the United States. In the s, Cornell physicists became the first to study synchrotron radiation. During the s, the Cornell Electron Storage Ring , located beneath Alumni Field, was the world's highest-luminosity electron-positron collider. Wilson took a leave of absence to become the founding director of Fermilab , which involved designing and building the largest accelerator in the United States.
The International Linear Collider, to be completed in the late s, will complement the Large Hadron Collider and shed light on questions such as the identity of dark matter and the existence of extra dimensions. In the area of humanities and social sciences, Cornell is best known for being one of the world's greatest centers for the study of Southeast Asia.
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Therefore, the SEAP is nationally prominent in promoting advanced foreign language training, area and international knowledge in the liberal arts and applied discipline focused on Southeast Asia. As part of its research work, Cornell has established a number of research collaborations with universities around the globe. For example, a partnership with the University of Sussex including the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex allows research and teaching collaboration between the two institutions.
For the academic year, Cornell had over 1, registered student organizations. These clubs and organizations run the gamut from kayaking to full-armor jousting, from varsity and club sports and a cappella groups to improvisational theatre, from political clubs and publications to chess and video game clubs. The Cornell University Mock Trial Association regularly sends teams to the national championship and is ranked 11th in the nation.
The Cornell Catholic Community is the largest Catholic student organization on campus. Student organizations also include a myriad of groups including a symphony orchestra,  concert bands,  formal and informal choral groups,  including the Sherwoods , the Chordials  and other musical groups that play everything from classical, jazz, to ethnic styles in addition to the Big Red Marching Band , which performs regularly at football games and other campus events. The university is home to the Telluride House , an intellectual residential society.
The university is also home to three secret honor societies called Sphinx Head ,  Der Hexenkreis and Quill and Dagger   that have maintained a presence on campus for well over years. Alpha Zeta served the wealthy international Latin American students that came to the United States to study.
This organization led a movement of fraternities that catered to international Latin American students that was active from to Cornell's connection to national Greek life is strong and longstanding. Many chapters are among the oldest of their respective national organizations, as evidenced by the proliferation of Alpha-series chapters. The chapter house of Alpha Delta Phi constructed in is believed to be the first house built in America solely for fraternity use, and the chapter's current home was designed by John Russell Pope.
As with all student, faculty or staff misconduct, more serious cases are reviewed by the Judicial Administrator, who administers Cornell's justice system.
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The Cornell student body produces several works by way of print and radio. Student-run newspapers include The Cornell Daily Sun , an independent daily; The Cornell Review , a conservative newspaper published fortnightly; and The Cornell Progressive newspaper , a liberal newspaper published every month. Other press outlets include The Cornell Lunatic , a campus humor magazine; the Cornell Chronicle , the university's newspaper of record; and Kitsch Magazine , a feature magazine published in cooperation with Ithaca College.
The Cornellian is an independent student organization that organizes, arranges, produces, edits, and publishes the yearbook of the same name; it is composed of artistic photos of the campus, student life, and athletics, and of the standard senior portraits. Other student groups also operate internet streaming audio sites. University housing is broadly divided into three sections: North Campus , West Campus , and Collegetown.
Cornell University began experiments with co-ed dormitories in , and continued the tradition of residential advisors RAs within the campus system. In , new students could be found throughout West Campus, including at the historic Baker and Boldt Hall complexes; since a residential initiative, West Campus houses transfer and returning students, whereas North Campus is almost entirely populated by freshmen as well as sorority and fraternity houses.
The options for living on North Campus for upperclassmen are the program houses and co-op houses. By , the university aims to add 2, beds on North Campus. Five new dorms and a dining hall will be created, three of which will be located in Appel Field and will be exclusive for freshman.
Sophomores will have two new dorms located in the current CC Parking Lot. Additionally, Cornell has several housing areas for graduate and professional students. Of these, Schuyler House which was formerly a part of Sage Infirmary  has a dorm layout, while Maplewood Apartments, Hasbrouck Apartments, and Thurston Court Apartments are apartment-style, some even allowing for family living. Off campus, many single-family houses in the East Hill neighborhoods adjacent to the university have been converted to apartments.