First-Year Experience

Orientation: Getting Started at Cornell

During New Student Orientation you’ll have time to become familiar with Cornell, learn about campus resources, get to know other students, meet your advisor, and begin learning how to get involved on campus. You'll meet student volunteers who plan activities and mentor small groups of new students. They remember what it's like to be new on campus and are excited to welcome and guide you. 

Orientation is just the start of your Cornell experience. We encourage you to continue attending student programs, and to ask questions throughout your time at Cornell. Learn more about orientation

The Tatkon Center: Resources and Support for New Students

The Tatkon Center is for all new students—first-year and transfer—throughout their first year on campus. At Tatkon you'll find social, academic, wellness, and career-related programs; information and referral services; drop-in tutoring; study spaces; and professional counseling hours. Upper-level student staff know Cornell well and are ready to answer questions and share information about opportunities on campus and beyond. All new students receive a weekly e-newsletter with information about Tatkon's diverse program offerings. Learn more about Tatkon.

Living and Learning on Campus

Wondering where you’ll live? Whether you move into one of our themed program house communities or into a traditional residence hall, you’ll be in close proximity to community centers, dining halls, fitness and recreation facilities, and other resources.

All of Cornell’s residence halls have live-in student and professional staff members who offer support and a wealth of social and educational programs to facilitate your transition to Cornell. They will help you learn about yourself and those around you, and will assist in building an inclusive community. Interested in being part of shaping this community from the beginning? Consider joining your community’s Hall Council!

Getting to Know Faculty

Faculty-in-Residence and Faculty Fellows are committed to building community with new students. They'll help you explore intellectual topics, find research opportunities, navigate your first year, connect with others, discover the Ithaca community, and meet faculty and others who support the student experience.

As a first-year student, you will participate in First-Year Writing Seminars and have the opportunity to take a Learning Where You Live course. These are small, seminar-style classes, usually taught without letter grades, with a focus on building relationships, innovative teaching, and fascinating topics.