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 offers both individual visits and group visit events. Schedule a visit here.


Cornell College
600 First Street SW
Mount Vernon, Iowa 52314
⋅ More than 1,000 students
⋅ Students from 45 states and 13 foreign countries
⋅ More than 76% of students come from outside of Iowa.
⋅ Tuition, Fees, Room, and Board for 2020-2021: $54,438 before aid
⋅ 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, dance, art, and Esports.

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

Cornell follows the Ingenuity curriculum, embracing the power of creative imagination.  Ingenuity encourages the qualities of being thoughtful, original, and inventive, using the strengths of a liberal arts education to apply ideas to solve problems and meet challenges through hands-on experience in learning.

One Course At A Time is a style of learning where we cover the same ground as a semester school, but the way we get there allows students and faculty the freedom to intensely explore one subject together in a micro-community for 18 school days (3.5 weeks.)  One Course makes it possible for students to incorporate full-time internships, undergraduate research, and off-campus study into their schedule without missing out on other class work or creating schedule conflicts, and allows students to personalize their schedule each semester.

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.

Majors & Minors
American Politics
Art: Studio
Art History
Behavioral Neuroscience (Psychology)
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Business: Actuarial Science
Business: Analytics
Business: Finance
Business: Management
Business: Personnel Management
Civic Engagement
Classical Studies
Computer Science
Education: Elementary
Education: Secondary
Engineering (BSE)
Engineering Sciences
English: Creative Writing
English: Literary Studies
Environmental Studies
Ethnic Studies
Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies
German Studies
International Relations
International Relations
—    & Comparative Government
Kinesiology: Exercise Science
Kinesiology: Physical Education
Latin American Studies
Mathematics & Statistics
Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Music (BA)
Music (BM): Performance
Music (BM): Music Education
Musical Theatre (BFA)
Political Thought
Psychology Specialist
Psychological Services
Russian Studies
Sociology & Anthropology
Statistics (Applied)
Theatre & Dance

Health & Medical
MPH: Community & Behavioral Health
MPH: Epidemiology
MPH: Occupational & Environmental Health
MSN: Master’s of Science in Nursing
Medical Laboratory Science
—   & Medical Technology
Pre-Dentistry Pre Dentistry
Pre-Health Administration / Management
Pre-Medicine Pre Medicine
Pre-Occupational Therapy Pre Occupational
Pre-Pharmacy Pre Pharmacy 
Pre-Physician’s Assistant Pre Physician
Pre-Physical Therapy Pre Physical
Pre-Social Work / Human Services Pre Social
Pre-Veterinary Pre Veterinary

Targeted Pathways
Pre-Law Pre Law
Pre-Theology Pre Theology

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 2023

  • From 31 states and 3 foreign countries
  • 25% students of color
  • Middle 50% ACT composite scores: 23-29
  • Middle 50% SAT composite scores: 1105-1315
  • Middle 50% GPA: 3.22-3.87