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Cornell College

Cornell College has been changing lives and changing educational norms since 1853.Located in Mount Vernon, Iowa, Cornell was the first college west of the Mississippi to grant women the same rights and privileges as men, and, in 1858, to award a degree to a woman.

Bachelor's programmes

Humanities (1)



Cornell College was founded in 1853 by George Bryant Bowman, a Methodist minister from North Carolina with a passionate belief in higher education. Bowman was aided by a group of prominent Mount Vernon citizens who wished to provide educational opportunities for their children beyond the one-room schools that operated for no more than a few months each year.


Freed from the constraints of the traditional class period, our professors go beyond lectures to create meaningful projects, lead off-campus adventures for a day or a whole block, and devise many other types of hands-on learning. You’ll also have the flexibility to pursue full-time internships, research, and other real-world experiences as part of your normal curriculum. And our pre-professional programs allow you to engage with professionals in the areas of health and medicine, law, literary arts, and economics, business, and public policy.

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards


Student services

Office of Student Affairs

As the main office for the division, we are staffed by the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Dean of Students, and an Administrative Assistant.  The office oversees the various departments that make up the division, and directly assists students in numerous ways, including: 

  • providing advice and guidance for all students
  • advocating for student and campus community interests
  • overseeing and supporting programs, services and staff in the Division of Student Affairs
  • maintaining and distributing the Compass student handbook
  • investigating complaints of inappropriate behavior and administering the student judicial system

Housing services

Cornell's residence halls are more than just places to sleep -- they're where students live, learn, play, and grow together.  As a liberal arts institution committed to the concept of a residential community, Cornell College endeavors to develop a climate in its residence halls where students grow and mature to the full extent of their abilities. Living and interacting with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures provides residents with an opportunity to learn not only about new lifestyles and philosophies, but also about their own history and values.

Library services

The Bookstore on campus is located on the second level of the Thomas Commons. You can shop for Cornell College apparel of all kinds, including that must have Rams t-shirt.

Medical services

The mission of Cornell College Student Health Services complements the mission of the college by promoting the optimal well-being of students.  We do this by:

  • providing and coordinating quality health care services
  • advocating for students in their pursuit of health and wellness
  • preparing students to be their own health advocates and informed consumers of appropriate health care services

Student Life

Campus life

The college is located in Mount Vernon, Iowa, a town whose urban fringe atmosphere brings the best of the city into a small town venue with art festivals, popular local restaurants and cafés, and quirky boutiques. Mount Vernon’s mix of historic buildings and creative flair earned it accolades as one of “America's Coolest Small Towns” by Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travelmagazine.

Student clubs

Finding balance, having fun, and being an active part of the community are important to the Cornell experience. Students organize and lead dozens of varied groups each year.

The following groups are currently active:

  • Archaeological Society
  • Chemistry Interest Group
  • Cornell Financial Group
  • Art Interest Group
  • Dance Team
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Chess and Games
  • Computing Club
  • Environmental Club

Student Reviews

Never did, do, or will regret
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

Cornell College is truly a college that changes lives. Studying here, I meet wonderful professors who are not only knowledgable but also caring, kind and patient. Going to Cornell makes you feel like you are home away from home. Everyone is friendly and respects each other. Cornell has many on-campus resources that are always available to help students. Although Cornell is...

Marion, Iowa, United States