Extracurricular Activities at Cornell

August 11, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Extracurricular Activities at Cornell

Cornell is a community that embraces people from all walks of life, values critical thinking, and provides opportunities for self-discovery through its different extracurricular activities at Cornell. It is all encircled by the natural splendor that will encourage students’ creative endeavors and help them concentrate more intently. We are going to gain a deeper understanding of a variety of extracurricular activities at Cornell that are made available to its students.

What is Cornell Known For?

What is Cornell known for, and where exactly is it situated? Cornell University is a prestigious private institution with a vast campus that spans 745 acres and is situated in a rural environment. It can be found in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca has a population that is relatively stable at 30,715, and the school has a total undergraduate enrollment of 14,743, which is approximately equal to half of that number.

View of library at Cornell University.

Cornell University is the only land-grant university in the Ivy League. It also has several other distinguishing characteristics, such as the fact that it is composed of colleges and schools that specialize in a variety of subfields and industries.

It is essential to be aware that each school and college within the university has its own admissions process and requirements, despite the fact that Cornell University is well-known for having academic standards that are considered to be more “relaxed” than those of the other members of the Ivy League. Admission to Cornell University is extremely competitive due to the institution’s consistent placement in the top 20 national university rankings.

The school has a very low acceptance rate (only 11 percent), making it an extremely difficult place to gain entry. As a direct consequence of this, obtaining admission to this prestigious university calls for outstanding academic credentials. Students who participate in activities outside of school that are both focused and relevant are often sought after by more specialized educational institutions.

In the meantime, the academic requirements for admission to the College of Engineering are among the most stringent and are on par with those of the other Ivies.

At Cornell, students have the opportunity to study under renowned faculty members such as Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, and Pulitzer Prize winners, and they can choose from more than 120 minors and 80 majors.

Students who wish to enroll at Cornell must submit their applications to one of its individual schools or colleges rather than to the university as a whole. The following educational institutions are open to undergraduate applications:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (School of Hotel Administration and the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management)
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human Ecology
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR)

Transferring within the university is possible, but doing so involves going through a lengthy application process and meeting additional requirements. It is still possible for students to enroll in classes offered by the university’s other schools.

Cornell is well-known for a variety of programs, particularly those relating to engineering, architecture, and hotel management. (The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University is the only hospitality management program in the United States that offers a full four years of study.)

Some students pursue dual degrees, called concurrent degrees, across multiple schools and colleges. Students must already be enrolled in a college or school at the time of application to the second college or school, in addition to meeting the requirements for both programs. This option is not available at all colleges and universities.

A student could, for instance, earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Arts and Sciences in addition to a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Engineering. The completion of multiple degrees at the same time typically takes five years.

There are additional dual-degree options available, such as the Five-Year MBA Program, which is offered in conjunction with the Johnson Graduate School of Management. Participants in this program have the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in just five years.

There are many students who end up attending law school, medical school, or veterinary school, and Cornell is one of the few universities in the country that has its own veterinary school. The university provides advising resources and tracks for students who are interested in attending these types of schools.

Participation in international programs is offered to more than a third of Cornell’s undergraduates. Cornell Global Programs, College Exchanges (with top schools in the selected region), Faculty-Led Programs in the winter and summer, and approved programs with institutions located outside of Cornell are some of the available options.

The acceptance rate for Fulbright applicants at Cornell University is higher than the national average of one in six, which stands at one in six. Cornell’s rate is one in four.

What’s it like to attend Cornell?

What’s it like to attend Cornell as a student? Students who attend Cornell describe its campus as being quite large, and the student body at Cornell is extremely diverse. There are a great number of people learning a wide variety of subjects. If you can think of a hobby or interest that you want to pursue while at Cornell, chances are the university offers it. Even though the campus is large, it does not have the atmosphere of a large space.

Male student answering an exam with his fellow classmates.

There is not one college that does not have a stellar reputation. There is a fantastic balance between working hard and having fun. Some dormitories offer much more space, are much nicer, and have many more amenities than others. It has the most extensive range of majors that I have ever come across. On the other hand, I feel obligated to tell you that you ought to exercise the utmost caution in selecting your classes and your majors.

A student’s grade point average can take a serious hit if they enroll in a course that is either too challenging for them or not aligned with their personal interests or professional goals. In addition, Collegetown is one of the most appealing aspects of the University of Cornell. The majority of people choose to live in Collegetown during their junior and senior years because of its proximity to the university.

It includes everything that is necessary for a college student to have (coffee, bars, barbers, grocery stores, liquor stores, etc). Undergraduates don’t spend much time exploring Ithaca outside of Collegetown, but Ithaca common is home to a wide variety of excellent dining options for those who do venture out.

What Extracurricular Activities are Available at Cornell?

What extracurricular activities are available at Cornell for its students to take part in? Students travel from all over the world to attend Cornell University. By the time they graduate, they have gained knowledge, developed both personally and intellectually, and forged meaningful connections with other students and faculty that will compel them to return to campus for the rest of their lives.

Participation in student organizations, opportunities for living and learning, participation in New Student Programs, and a wide variety of leadership and engagement experiences are just some of the ways that Cornell is committed to assisting its students in achieving success throughout their time at Cornell.

Different sports equipments placed

The activities that take place in the classroom, the laboratory, and the library are only a small part of the student life at Cornell. You will have countless opportunities to pursue your favorite activities, discover new interests, improve your skills, and build friendships that will last a lifetime while you are also expanding your academic horizons and furthering your education.

More than a thousand student organizations, hundreds of opportunities to serve the Ithaca community, sixty different sororities and fraternities, intramural and club sports teams and leagues, opportunities to cheer on Cornell Big Red student-athletes, outdoor adventure and climbing trips, and a great deal more are all available to students at Cornell.

Arts and Culture

Cornell is a place that encourages the exploration and discovery of one’s creative side, whether that be in the form of taking in an art exhibit or beginning a dance troupe.

Johnson Museum of Art

Visitors are encouraged to experience original works of art spanning a diverse range of global traditions, time periods, and media at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art for the purposes of gaining knowledge, finding inspiration, and having a good time.

Through exhibitions, programs, teaching, and research—all of which are offered at no cost to visitors—the museum fosters connections to the thriving intellectual and cultural life at Cornell University as well as a public audience.

Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts 

The Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts is a beautiful building that serves as home to the Department of Performing and Media Arts on campus. The Schwartz Center is a cultural facility that is well-known in the surrounding area, and each year it welcomes 20,000 visitors to participate in its many events.

Ivy League students gathered around a room preparing for an activity.

The school’s four performance spaces, dance and theater rehearsal studios, scenery, costume, prop shops, sound, and lighting design studios, and film editing and production suites are all contained within the marble walls of the building.

At Cornell, there are many talented students, faculty, and staff members, and the Schwartz Center acts as a catalyst for the creative and intellectual endeavors of these individuals.

Cornell University Library Collections and Exhibitions

The printed volumes, digital resources, maps, media, and archival materials that makeup Cornell University Library’s collections comprise a vast and varied universe of information. The library has more than 8 million physical books and more than a million digital books.

The Library’s digital collection is expanding at a breakneck speed, with nearly 5 million journal articles being downloaded annually and nearly 91% of the 120,000 current serial titles being made available online.

The Library has been well-known for a very long time for its nationally prominent collections in Southeast Asia studies, industrial relations, viticulture, and Old Norse and Icelandic materials, as well as for its solid research-level collections in agriculture, astronomy, chemistry, classics, French history and literature, human development, mathematics, medieval studies, microbiology, North European language and literature, physics, and western European social sciences.

These collections have been known as “nationally prominent.” The physical and digital collections of the Library are both managed by a large team of librarians with specialized knowledge in their respective fields.

AAP Gallery and Exhibition Spaces

The current faculty, departments, and programs on campus are highlighted in the AAP exhibitions, which feature projects that have been internally curated. Following evaluation by the AAP Gallery Committee, the Bibliowicz Family Gallery and the John Hartell Gallery will host the exhibitions that have been chosen from the pool of applicants.

Zalaznick Reading Series 

Because of the generosity of Barbara and David Zalaznick’s endowment, the Creative Writing Program is able to bring to campus each semester a number of writers. These writers range from those making their debut as poets and novelists to those who are nationally and internationally renowned for their writing.

When making our choice, we take into account how the authors would have an effect on our curriculum, our faculty, and our graduate and undergraduate students studying literature and writing. As a direct consequence of this, the reading series has developed into an essential and important component of the education that our students receive. Because they are open to the general public and do not cost anything, the readings are also beneficial to the artistic community as a whole.

After each reading, there will be a book signing and reception, during which the audience will have the opportunity to meet the visiting writer. Students pursuing graduate degrees, such as an MFA or a Ph.D., will be invited to attend a separate, more casual gathering with the visiting writer. Writers may also be asked to visit classes or participate in events involving a wide variety of student groups. In addition, we host a continental breakfast that is open to undergraduate students who are interested in attending.

Art Clubs at Cornell

Here are some of the art and culture clubs that make up the extracurricular activities at Cornell.

Cornell Chimes

The Cornell bells, also known as the Cornell Chimes, are considered to be the “heartbeat” of campus life because they are used to indicate the hours and chime daily concerts. At the opening ceremonies of the university on October 7, 1868, Jennie McGraw gave the institution its first set of nine bells as a gift.

Those bells were the first to be rung. The chime has been redesigned and now has a total of 21 bells over the course of its history. During the time that classes are in session, there are three concerts held each day.

Chimes are rung by chime masters who are either current students or graduates of the institution. The small staff puts on a concert every day during the academic year, but during the summer and during semester breaks they perform fewer concerts and instead focus on putting on a variety of specialty concerts.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a chimes master must first participate in a challenging competition that lasts for ten weeks every spring. There is no electronic support for the playing mechanism; the player is responsible for all of the labor involved in the game. In the 1940s, a chimes master was recognized for his efforts and given credit for physical education!

Cornell University Chorus

The Cornell University Chorus is a completely student-run organization that was established in 1920. Since then, it has garnered a reputation as one of the most distinguished treble choirs in the United States. The Chorus is made up of fifty-four different students who come from all of the different colleges on campus and represent a wide variety of academic disciplines.

They perform a repertoire that spans eight centuries and more than a dozen different languages. This repertoire includes everything from masses and motets to spirituals, folksong, world music, jazz, and a wide variety of other classical and contemporary pieces.

Cornell Fashion Collective

The Cornell Fashion Collective, which was formerly known as the Cornell Design League, is an organization that is run entirely by Cornell students and gives members of the Cornell community an opportunity to express their creative side through the realms of fashion and fashion management.

Stage of a fashion show with the audience on the sidelines.

As part of the extracurricular activities at Cornell, the organization puts on a professional fashion show every year in the spring, showcasing the talents of students who both design the clothing worn by the models and run the backstage operations of the show. Students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are offered the chance to hone their design skills, showcase their talents, and gain experience in organizing high-profile fashion events through participation in this organization.

Sports and Athletics 

Both the campus and the surrounding area provide a plethora of opportunities for both indoor and outdoor activities throughout the entire year. These opportunities range from intramural leagues and NCAA Division I athletics to the Cornell Botanic Gardens and scenic overlooks.


There are 37 varsity athletic teams at Cornell, but the men’s ice hockey team is by far the most well-known and well-liked of all of them. The Big Red competes in NCAA Division I, as well as the Ivy League and the ECAC, which is comprised of 12 teams.

They are the only team in NCAA history to have ever completed a season undefeated and have won two national championships from the NCAA. Additionally, Cornell has been victorious 12 times in the ECAC Championship and 24 times in the Ivy League Championship.


As part of the extracurricular activities at Cornell, the purpose of organizing enjoyable, risk-free, and constructive activities for all different kinds of people is what we call “intramural sports.” There are opportunities for participation in both unstructured and organized play that are available. There will be a variety of competitions, including meets, leagues, and tournaments, to choose from.

The following is a list of the sports that are played at Cornell.

Men’s sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Polo
  • Rowing (heavyweight)
  • Rowing (lightweight)
  • Soccer
  • Sprint Football
  • Squash
  • Swimming & diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling
  • Volleyball

Women’s sports

  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Polo
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming & diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field

Best Clubs at Cornell

It can be nerve-wracking to get involved in something. You are in luck because there are hundreds of clubs to choose from. As part of the extracurricular activities at Cornell, it is certain that one of them will pique your interest. Nevertheless, picking just one can be an ordeal. The following is a list that has been compiled of the best clubs at Cornell University.

Archery Club, Cornell

Have you ever been curious about what archery actually is? Learn alongside us, won’t you? Students will gain knowledge of the techniques involved in shooting arrows and bows at targets during the weekly meetings of the Archery Club.

Glee Club, Cornell University

Have you ever watched the television show Glee? Do you want to give it your all when you sing? The purpose of the Glee Club is to bring together students who are interested in enhancing their knowledge of the art of music and performing it in a group setting.

Food Micro Minutes Podcast

Do you listen to podcasts? Do you like food? Then you should definitely join this club! On the air, the hosts of the Food Micro Minutes Podcast discuss all things related to food in an honest manner. Come contribute your thoughts to the discussion!

Economics Society, Cornell

Are you interested in the rise of stocks or the general direction of the economy? Students who share an interest in gaining a deeper understanding of the dynamic nature of today’s economy can connect with one another through the Economics Society. Come and get some information about the current use of your money.

Male student typing in his laptop.

Building Community at Cornell

What exactly is meant by the term “building a community”? Building Community at Cornell is an initiative that works toward the goal of making Cornell a more welcoming community. Having said all of this, any student who wishes to participate in the conversation and take part in the growing movement is more than welcome to do so.

Art Beyond Cornell

Do you have any knowledge of art? What exactly is art? Students will be able to travel outside of Cornell to attend art-related events thanks to this club. Visit us to view artwork from around the world and to gain an understanding of the myriad ways in which people express their creativity through art.

Rock & Roll Club, Cornell

Do you love rock & roll? Students are able to bond over their shared love of rock and roll music thanks to this club. Students will have the opportunity to gain knowledge regarding rock and roll and some of its most well-known performers.

Kung Fu at Cornell

Kung-Fu fighting! Students have the opportunity to learn about various forms of martial arts through this club. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with one another and even with faculty members, which will assist them in the development of their individual fighting skills.

Best Buddies Cornell

Do you have any interest in doing volunteer work? This club has everything imaginable! Join us as a volunteer and assist those who are afflicted with a disability. Who knows, maybe you’ll strike up a friendship with someone new!

Investment Banking Club

Are you thinking about making a purchase with your money? Everyone who decides to become a member of this club will end up ahead. Students will learn how to build their savings and build their portfolios by investing in stocks, and their bank accounts will grow as a result!

Why Are Extracurriculars Important?

Why Are Extracurriculars Important to Cornell students? Student learning, the exercise of leadership, social responsibility, the development of interpersonal skills, and the cultivation of self-awareness through experiential learning are all encouraged and fostered through the various opportunities provided by Campus Activities, which are both dynamic and supportive.

A ball that got shoot in the basket of a court.

Cornell brings its students and the communities of its students together to do the following:

  • Encourage or instill a feeling of belonging.
  • Acquire an awareness of, as well as an appreciation for, the concept of diversity
  • Encourage a state of good health and well-being
  • Encourage self-awareness and responsibility
  • Take an active role in preparing for their roles as global citizens, as well as actively participating in those roles

Participation in events, programs, workshops, and training is just some of the ways that Cornell encourages students to be actively engaged in Cornell University. Other ways include registering student organizations, providing opportunities for students to volunteer or find employment, and offering employment and volunteer opportunities.

If you need help putting the finishing touches on your early applications, or want some advice on whether or not applying Early Decision or an Early Action is a good option for you, at AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.


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