One Course At A Time

Dive in.

Amazing things happen when you’re only studying one course at a time. No other classes means less time spent reviewing, and more time learning. You can become a geologist for one three-and-a-half-week block, then become a playwright  the next with the freedom to explore each newly discovered passion to its fullest.

Focus intensely.

Students are completely focused on the subject at hand in every course. Just as importantly, so are their professors.

As one of our professors said, “The way we use our time in class deepens our relationships, and in a very short period of time we see how far we can go, together.” Each class becomes a community built around one subject, and the shared learning process pays enormous dividends.

Learn authentically.

Off-campus study, extended labs, group projects, research presentations, and many other forms of hands-on learning are an essential part of a Cornell education.  Your economics professor might invite a successful entrepreneur to evaluate your block-long business simulation. Your art history professor might take you to a regional museum for your final. Or your biology professor might guide you into local wetlands or Costa Rican forests. Cornell professors make each course a true learning adventure, without being limited by clocks or other demands on their students' attention.

Student, faculty & alumni perspectives

So what's it really like to learn one course at a time? Some of our students, faculty and alumni offer their perspectives.

Ellen Wrede, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Majors: religion and education

“One Course At A Time is the ultimate career preparation. I go to class at the same time every day, and I have to be prepared, participatory, and responsible. My work is due in days, not weeks. Now, I'm better at working to deadlines, managing my time, and getting things done. I know myself better.”

Read more student perspectives

Craig Allin, professor of politics

“Real education has more to do with developing intellectual skills than with memorizing facts. In my experience, students learn more if they are involved, and you couldn't possibly get more involved than with One Course At A Time.”

Read more faculty perspectives

Laura Arnold Bernier ’04, freelance editor, LA

Formerly editor, HarperCollins Children's Books, New York

“One Course At A Time authentically teaches you to focus in on one thing, even in the midst of a multitude of extracurricular activities. In an always-bustling office, prioritization is the most important skill to have.”

Read more alumni perspectives

One Course At A Time in Action

Learn about the variety of ways professors and students are learning in dynamic and creative ways—One Course At A Time.