Ithaca/campus life

University housing

Department blueberry pick

A variety of university accommodations are available for both single students and students accompanied by another adult and/or children. The graduate student residences provide a comfortable atmosphere for study and recreation and a place to mingle with others in a multicultural graduate student community. Accommodations vary in size and location, and include cooperative residences, furnished studios, furnished single rooms, and furnished and unfurnished one- and two-bedroom apartments. In addition, several residential program houses are open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

University housing arrangements may be made through the Housing Office. (For both university housing and off-campus housing: Campus Life, Cornell University, 119 Robert Purcell Community Center, Ithaca, NY 14853-6001; Phone: 607-255-5368). Information and application forms are automatically sent to all applicants who are accepted. Arrangements for housing should be made as soon as the decision to attend Cornell has been made. For more information about university housing Housing Office website.

Summer housing

Graduate students working with a thesis advisor are expected to spend their summers in the place where their research must be conducted, e.g., in Long Island, Geneva or Hudson Valley. Free transportation is provided between Geneva and Ithaca. During the summer months the Geneva Experiment Station provides fleet cars which leave Ithaca at 7:00 a.m. each workday and return to Ithaca by 6:00 p.m. Once class requirements are fulfilled, the student usually moves to Geneva or other facility for the remainder of the program.

Off-Campus Housing

Several types of non-university, off-campus housing are available, including; apartment complexes, multiple-unit houses, single-unit houses, individual rooms, mobile homes, and cooperative living units. Much of the housing is within walking distance of campus or served by public transportation.

The Off-Campus Life Program maintains a list of accommodations available in communities near the university, as well as a listing of local hotels and motels. Extensive information about off-campus housing is available at their website. Housing Solutions is a private service available to help locate off-campus housing and can be contacted by phone: 607-272-6091 or email: info@housingsolutions.com.

Geneva Housing

The Geneva Station maintains several houses that are available to graduate students and visiting scientists. Most of these residences are divided into apartments. There is frequently a waiting list to get one of these apartments and recipients are not permitted to occupy these facilities for more than fourteen (14) months. Requests for housing can be made to the Human Resources office at 315-787-2210. In addition, the Station maintains a list of private homes in the area that have apartments or rooms for rent.

Health Insurance

It is university policy and mandatory that all graduate students are enrolled in Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Most students will receive SHIP as part of their funding. Those that are not (fully) funded by university funding must pay their own insurance. Further details will be sent to those accepted to the program.

Motor Vehicle Regulations
Cornell has limited parking on campus. All students, staff, and faculty must register their vehicles with Transportation Services, 116 Maple Ave., 607-255-4600. A complete list of traffic and parking regulations is available on the website as well as parking maps.

On-site parking is available to all graduate student residences for a fee. Other types of parking permits are available at a higher cost. Student vehicles are not allowed to park on central campus between 7:30a.m. and 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday, without a permit. Campus bus service connects to many points across campus, one stop being the Plant Science building. City bus service is available between campus and downtown. There is unrestricted parking at the Geneva campus.

The Cornell Campus

Gorges and waterfalls run through the Cornell campus.

The Cornell campus includes 2,800 acres of woodlands, trails, and streams, and boasts an arboretum, as well as wildflower, peony, azalea, alpine, rhododendron, herb, and even weed gardens. (see Cornell Plantations website for more information about the public gardens, arboretum and natural areas of Cornell.) Central campus encompasses deep gorges with waterfalls and old European-style buildings and modern structures.

The campus overlooks the 38-mile-long Cayuga Lake with its surrounding hills. Sunsets over the lake rival those of the Southwest U.S.. At the north end of Cayuga Lake is a wildlife refuge that serves as a temporary home to thousands of migrating waterfowl. Taughannock Falls State Park, the highest waterfall (215 feet) in the Northeast, is within 10 miles of campus and is only one of the more than 150 scenic waterfalls in the area.

Ithaca is a cosmopolitan town with many social and recreational opportunities. Its population of 30,000 makes it the largest town for many miles around. Larger cities are Syracuse, Rochester, Utica and to the north; Elmira and Binghamton to the south; and New York City only 200 miles away. Ithaca has many advantages of a larger city but without the population. It provides excellent ethnic restaurants, shopping malls, performing arts theaters, numerous bookstores, at least 15 movie screens, and a central shopping area downtown that is closed to traffic. Ithaca has an opera company, ballet troupe, concert band, community chorus, and several city and state parks. Cornell has an outstanding lineup of national concert tours.

Cornell is also home to North America's largest indoor rock climbing wall. Wind surfing, skiing, sailing, camping, golf, hiking, biking, and tennis can be enjoyed within minutes from the Cornell campus. Thousands enjoy visiting the local wineries along established "wine trails" of the nation's second largest grape-growing state. The Ithaca/Tompkins County Visitors Bureau (904 E. Shore Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850; Phone: 607-272-1313 or 800-284-8422) can provide information on recreational opportunities in the area.

Ithaca's climate is as changeable season to season as it can be from day to day. In general, spring is mild and wet, summer is spectacular, autumn is crisp and clear with breathtaking foliage, and winter is generally overcast, but with enough snowfall to make winter recreation enjoyable.

Cornell provides a challenging environment, attracting bright, energetic faculty who expect the best from students. World scholars visit campus on a regular basis and offer many special seminars. The graduate student body is also diverse, with about 4,300 graduate students from around the world in a total student population of 19,000. Thirty-six percent of the graduate students are women and one third are from outside the United States. Fifteen percent of U.S. students are members of minority groups and this cosmopolitan mixture greatly enhances campus life.

Horticulture students play an essential role in the life of the university and the state. Their research often addresses problems of agricultural sustainability and food production, as well as basic plant science and biotechnology. The students help teach undergraduates about science, generate new ideas, and challenge old paradigms.

If independent research, a stimulating multicultural environment, and interactions with international scholars seem appealing, then Cornell is the place for you.