Cornell College

600 First St. SW - Mount Vernon, IA 52314
  • Region: Plains States
  • Campus Setting: Small Town
  • Size: Small

Cornell College, a highly selective liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, is recognized as one of 40 colleges featured in “Colleges That Change Lives.” Characterized by the life-changing academic immersion of its One Course At A Time curriculum, this distinctive approach allows students to focus on a single academic subject per 3.5-week block.

The One Course curriculum mirrors the pace of working environments where employees are expected to handle tight deadlines and high expectations on every project, every day. Since there is never more than one course to focus on, faculty can take classes on field trips for a day or an entire block.

The academic calendar also immerses students in full-time internships or research, and the college provides hands-on experiences, resources, and professional development in healthcare, law, literary arts, economics, business and public policy.

Cornell’s residential campus attracts a student body from 47 states and 17 foreign countries. Together, they experience a vast array of off-campus opportunities designed to take them into the world to fulfill their academic and personal goals. 93% of Cornell graduates complete their degrees in four years, and 55% go on to complete an advanced degree.

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About 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. In 1978 Cornell faculty adopted the One Course At A Time curriculum, transforming the way teaching and learning happen at Cornell. With the 1996 publication of Loren Pope’s Colleges That Change Lives, Cornell’s life-changing education was formally recognized. Cornell continues to be recognized with each new edition.

Mission Statement

Cornell College offers an innovative and rigorous learning community where faculty and staff collaborate with students to develop the intellectual curiosity, creativity, and moral courage necessary for a lifetime of learning and engaged citizenship.