Engineering Majors

Designing solutions for real-world applications

Engineering and physics students transform their innovative ideas into actual objects using 3D printers in the Fabrication Lab inside West Science.
Engineering students transform their innovative ideas into actual objects using 3D printers in the Fabrication Lab inside West Science.

At Cornell, you will work in teams, writing reports, and giving presentations from your first engineering course on campus. These skills are important to employers. You will do hands-on projects in your courses that you can highlight on your resume.

Faculty will work one-on-one with you to review application materials and find internship opportunities, which then lead to job offers. We've had great success in placing our students in industries to pursue their specific engineering passions.

“Today’s engineers need to be equipped to solve problems that do not yet exist. Engineering education provides the technical skills to solve the issues of today, but the liberal arts foundation will enable students to conquer the great challenges of tomorrow.” Professor Brian Johns
Cornell engineering students design gesture-controlled piano
Engineering students design gesture-controlled piano

Engineering includes many subcategories.

Electrical, civil, and mechanical, to name a few. All these are governed by a set of fundamental concepts. In our program, we provide a clear understanding of the fundamentals and opportunities to apply them to solve problems. Once you are comfortable with the fundamentals, you can build upon them and be successful in any engineering field.

Engineering is strongly linked with environmental, economic, social, and political contexts, so a broad knowledge of engineering and a strong liberal arts background will be helpful in your career. It is a special skill to be able to communicate between specialties, a skill that many specialists don't have, but you will develop this skill in your coursework.

Many students arrive at Cornell anticipating that they will go into a specific type of engineering. After several years of coursework and internships, their interests often change. At Cornell, students are not set back like they would be if they chose a specialty. They do not need to change majors or take other introductory courses; instead, they continue on the path to graduate in four years.

3-D PrinterIn our Fabrication Lab, you will have the opportunity to work with 3-D printers, an umbrella term often used for the fused deposition modeling machines in the Fabrication Lab. The nozzle heats up to nearly 600 degrees F, and the plastic filament is pushed through the nozzle. The machines deposit a paper-thin layer of plastic at a time. The hot nozzle that extrudes plastic is precisely controlled moving left, right, up, and down by motors. 

Small prints can be as fast as a half-hour; large-detailed prints can run overnight or up to several days. The machines are capable of printing something as large as a cube that has a side length of 1 ft. Larger designs can be completed by printing several pieces and attaching the pieces through mechanical and gluing methods.

Engineering internships

Faculty will work with you, one on one, to connect you with an internship in an engineering field that aligns with your interests. Some recent engineering internships include positions at: 

  • Illinois Department of Transportation, Peoria, IL
  • Sentera, Minneapolis, MN
  • Pilkington NSG, Naplate, IL
  • Microtek, San Diego, CA

Engineering Club

You can join Cornell's Engineering Club to further cement the relationships you'll be building with your fellow engineering students in the classroom and out of the classroom while focusing your time on activities that are relevant to the career you want to pursue.

Cornell engineering students in the classroom
Peek inside the engineering classroom at Cornell
Cornell engineering students design and test
Creating a virtual reality surgical simulator for a procedure that repairs hip fractures
Cornell engineering students work on a project
Engineering project helps students see beyond the classroom
Tour of West Science Hall and the Fab Lab
Tour West Science Hall and the Fab Lab with Prof. Johns!

Raquel Ruiz

B.S. in engineering & B.A. in music

"My favorite thing about the block plan is the deeper relationships you develop with your professors. I feel that the professors at Cornell really care about their students and go out of their way to help them succeed."

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