Student Experience

At Cornell, living is learning. Cornell Engineers are engaged with one another, the greater Cornell community, and the world at large. Our program is distinctive in its unparalleled opportunities for real world problem solving. Even as a first year, you can apply theory learned in the classroom to substantive research and hands-on engineering projects.  

Project Teams

Cornell Engineering Project Teams mimic real-world engineering by bringing Cornell students, faculty, and staff together to solve complex problems as a team. Breaking the rules of conventional wisdom is a guiding motto of our engineers—the spirit of innovation thrives in our state-of-the-art labs and workshops. Many of our teams compete regionally, nationally and internationally in engineering design and build competitions and travel the globe for service learning projects.

  • 34 teams
  • Largest program of its kind in the country with over 1,400 student participants
  • Project Teams receive over $1 million in funding annually
  • Competition, service and/or client focused teams
  • Representation across the 14 Engineering majors
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration across Cornell’s other undergraduate colleges/schools

Cornell Engineering Undergraduate Research

Extreme Talent. Radical Collaboration. Results that Matter.

  • Undergraduate engineering research is encouraged and accessible. Learn more about the undergraduate research opportunities available
  • 50% of undergraduate engineers participate in research each year (volunteers, for pay, or for credit)
  • Innovation engine: Cornell annually ranks among the top 10 universities in innovation and number of patents issued
  • Undergraduate engineers contribute to the research community across all 14 engineering majors and Cornell’s other colleges and schools

Public Engagement

Central to its mission since its founding in 1865, Cornell University has a deep commitment to public engagement. There are countless ways in which the College of Engineering and its students are making positive changes in the world. Below are just a few examples of how our students are engaged in public service.

AguaClara is a multi-disciplinary program at Cornell University that designs sustainable water treatment systems committed to long-term environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Water treatment plants built using AguaClara technologies provide clean water to approximately 50,000 people.

Encourage Young Engineers Scientists (EYES)
Encouraging Young Engineers and Scientists (EYES) is a student-run volunteer organization at Cornell University dedicated to promoting scientific literacy by advancing engineering and the sciences as potential career choices. EYES brings engaging activities and demonstrations to local elementary, middle, and high school students. They encourage and inspire these students with projects that present science and engineering in a hands-on and exciting way!

Engineering World Health
Cornell Engineering World Health (EWH) chapter was founded by a group of undergraduates who wanted to make a meaningful impact in the world, even as students. This mission has become the core foundation of EWH as a project team that seeks to make innovative and low-cost medical devices for developing countries and low-resource communities.

Engineers for a Sustainable World
Engineers for a Sustainable World is a student project team at Cornell University that strives to improve campus and local sustainability through biofuels initiatives and implementation.

At the university level, Einhorn Center for Community Engagement offers many community-engaged activities for university students and faculty. See how you can engage at Cornell.

Engineering Leadership Program

Cornell Engineering realizes that technical skills alone are not enough. Turning ideas into solutions, bringing innovations to life, influencing governments and societies: these require engineers to step up as team members and leaders. The mission of the Engineering Leadership Programs is to grow powerful leaders who take on our world's biggest challenges with knowledge, skill, insight and courage. We achieve this through classes and seminars, supplemental instruction in design courses, the Engineering Leadership Certificate Program, and other means. Because we believe great leadership development engages the heart and the mind, we emphasize empirically derived knowledge combined with personal inquiry and growth.

Entrepreneurship at Cornell

As an active participant in the university-wide Entrepreneurship@Cornell program, the College of Engineering has a wide range of courses, events, and experiential learning activities designed to help students begin their journey of business creation and success in any engineering discipline.

Cornell Engineering Project Teams: A Quick Overview

In this short video, Lauren Stulgis, the Swanson Director of Student Project Teams, provides a short overview of the student-led project teams.

Student Life

The Cornell Engineering Community

As an undergraduate engineer, you will have access to an outstanding professional staff through our Student Services Offices. These offices include: the Engineering Advising Office, the Cornell Engineering Career Center, Engineering Learning Initiatives, and our award-winning Diversity Programs in Engineering, and offer many different services to help you navigate your college experience. Student Services are a key reason for our remarkable 86% 4-year graduation rate.

The Cornell Community

Though Cornell is a large, diverse campus, you may be surprised by our caring and supportive community of 15,000 undergraduates and the faculty and staff who work together to enhance your growth and success. As a freshman, you will live on North Campus with about 3,300 fellow first years students. You will find everything you need in the immediate vicinity to enhance and support your life on campus. This includes the Tatkon Center for New Students, active community centers, award-winning dining and cafes, a convenience store, and athletic facilities (dance studios, basketball and tennis courts, sand volleyball court, bowling alley, swimming pool, outdoor playing fields and extensive state-of-the-art workout areas). Each residence hall on North Campus has its own vibe—take some time to take a virtual tour (YouTube video). As an upper-level student, you can join a fraternity, sorority or co-op, stay on North Campus in a themed residence hall, move to West Campus or venture off-campus to the apartments in Collegetown or the greater Ithaca area. With over 1,000 clubs, 37 Division I varsity teams, plus intramural sports and recreations services, there is something for everyone at Cornell. Check out Life at Cornell.

The Ithaca Community

Ithaca, regularly ranked in the top five for Best College Towns, will keep you intellectually and socially refreshed. The grandeur of the hills and gorges of our campus will take your breath away. Enjoy off-campus restaurants, music venues, galleries, and diverse theater and museum offerings.

Cornell engineering student Segun

I started working in the Space Systems Design Studio under Professor Peck my sophomore year. I didn't really have much prior experience when I joined, but I was extremely driven and he took a chance on me. The lab has a number of projects going on, mainly with CubeSats. I personally work on the OAAN (On-Orbit Autonomous Assembly of Nanosatellites) Project, working on autonomously docking two 3U+ CubeSats in low Earth orbit. Joining the lab was one of the best decisions I made during my time at Cornell and my experiences taught me things that I would not have learned in a classroom setting.

— Segun '17
Cornell engineering student Saie

As a student here I had the incredible opportunity of being a part of the Cornell Engineering Leadership Certification Program. This year-long program provided me with tools that I didn't even know were available. This program challenged me, asked me to reflect on my experiences, and taught me life lessons in ways that no other engineering class can. It is something that I consider one of the best decisions I have ever made and cannot imagine my Cornell experience without it.

— Saie '18