Cornell College

Cornell College students walk to class on a sunny fall day

“In my book there is no better college, and it produces much more than its share of writers, scholars, and executives. 
Colleges That Change Lives

Cornell College
600 First Street SW
Mount Vernon, Iowa 52314
⋅ More than 1,000 students
⋅ Students from 45 states and 18 foreign countries
⋅ More than 80% of students come from outside of Iowa.
⋅ Applications for Fall 2015 admission came from 47 states and more than 75 countries.
⋅ Tuition, Fees, Room, and Board for 2017-18: $49,900
⋅ Recognized as one of the most affordable private colleges based on the quality of the academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance, Cornell offers a variety of merit scholarships in addition to need-based financial assistance.
⋅ Scholarships are awarded, regardless of need, to students with high academic ability or special talents in music, theatre, or art.

Cornell College students have a classroom discussion

Cornell College students walk across campus on a spring day

Cornell College students perform in a band together

Cornell College student looks into a monitor

Cornell College students hang out in a residence hall room


Cornell College is set on a wooded hilltop in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and offers a classic and beautiful collegiate setting. Known as the Hilltop, the campus features a pedestrian mall linking modern facilities with numerous stately buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is more than simply a beautiful place; however, its location in Mount Vernon — chosen as one of the 10 coolest small towns in America by Frommer’s — provides a college town atmosphere connected to the growing Cedar Rapids-Iowa City metro area, also known as the Creative Corridor.

Worth Noting

At the heart of a Cornell College education are boundless opportunities for experiential learning. The One Course At A Time curriculum frees faculty to explore new ways to teach — they can take entire classes on field trips for a day or an entire block — in whatever venues best suit the subject of the class. Cornell’s distinctive academic calendar immerses students in full-time internships, research, or other hands-on opportunities, producing substantial real-world experiences. Cornell’s pre-professional programs provide hands-on experiences, resources, and professional development to students interested in health professions, law, literary arts, and economics, business, and public policy.

Faculty & Academics

Cornell College’s well-known One Course At A Time curriculum takes a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by offering students a life-changing immersion experience in a single academic subject for each of eight academic blocks. This intense focus lays the foundation for a student’s entire Cornell education: a shared intellectual experience that provides students true breadth, enabling them to draw relevant connections among ideas, disciplines, and life. This approach mirrors real life working environments in which employees work on a project-by-project basis. It grounds students in substantial critical thinking skills that will be useful throughout their lives.

Areas of Study
For the most current listings, please check the college website.

Cornell College Majors & Minors
Art – Studio
Art History
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Civic Engagement
Classical Studies
Computer Science
Economics & Business
Education, Elementary
Education, Secondary
Engineering Sciences
English & Creative Writing
Environmental Studies
Ethnic Studies
Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
German Studies
International Relations
Latin American Studies
Mathematics & Statistics
Medieval & Early Modern Studies
Russian Studies
Sociology & Anthropology
Theatre & Dance

Pre-Professional Programs
•    Architecture
•    Dentistry
•    Engineering
•    Forestry & Environmental Management
•    Health Administration / Management
•    Law
•    Medical Laboratory Science & Medical Technology
•    Medicine
•    Occupational Therapy
•    Pharmacy
•    Physical Therapy
•    Physician’s Assistant
•    Public Health
•    Social Work / Human Services
•    Theology
•    Veterinary Medicine

At Cornell College, you have the option to create your own major, to make sure that your education takes you exactly where you want to go. Recent majors Cornellians have designed include:

•    Archaeology
•    Environmental Chemistry
•    Drama / Art Therapy
•    Women and International Public Policy
•    Sports Psychology
•    Anthropology and the Marketing of Multinationals
•    Grassroots Economics and Entrepreneurship in Developing Nations
•    Nutrition, Health, and Wellness
•    Psychology of Health and Wellness
•    Sports Information
•    Integrative Physiology and Psychology
•    Market Research
•    Medieval and Early Modern Studies
•    Biomechanics
•    Persuasive Economics in the Community
•    Political Economy

Campus Life

Cornell attracts unique and motivated students who lend their character to the campus community and actively define it. Cornell students represent a diverse, multi-talented, and engaged student body from across the nation and around the world. They quickly become involved in campus life, living in a common rhythm due to their focused academic calendar schedules that brings them closer together as a community on a socially, culturally, and politically engaged campus. As they pursue their passions in music, theater, athletics, service, leadership, and other co-curricular interests, they bring vitality to campus and build relationships and learning experiences throughout their college careers.

Varsity Sports

NCAA Division III Midwest Conference

Baseball (Men)
Cross Country
Football (Men)
Softball (Women)
Track & Field (indoor and outdoor)
Volleyball (Women)
Wrestling (Men)

Life After College

Cornell’s distinctive curriculum within the liberal arts provides a solid path to financial independence, professional achievement, and personal fulfillment. Consistently described as a “Best Buy,” Cornell is committed to meeting the financial needs of qualified students. Cornell’s extensive academic opportunities and engaged campus community provide our graduates the tools to enter the workforce or advanced study with confidence, thrive in fast-paced and rapidly changing environments, and lead significant and productive lives. Every course provides both course content and specific communications and problem-solving skills essential for excelling in professional and personal life. Fifty-five percent of Cornell alumni complete a graduate degree. The value of a Cornell education is lifelong.

Academic Profile of Entering Class
Class of 2020

  • From 34 states and 13 foreign countries
  • 25% students of color
  • Middle 50% ACT composite scores: 23-29
  • Middle 50% SAT composite scores: 1035-1270
  • Middle 50% GPA: 3.14-3.84