Cornell CAS vs. Engineering Admission Difficulty

<p>I truly cannot decide between studying engineering in undergraduate or acquiring a broader, liberal arts education (perhaps something still quantitative like Economics).</p>

<p>So for applying to Cornell, I am thinking of applying based on chance. So...the deal with Cornell (and many other schools) is that the Engineering school has a larger acceptance rate than CAS.</p>

<p>Is this because the Engineering applicant pool is mostly self-selected (all with high GPA's, math-science awards & EC's, high test scores, interested in engineering as a discipline), or is the Engineering school genuinely easier to gain acceptance to than the College of Arts & Sciences, even for someone applying simply to increase max chance of acceptance.</p>

<p>If anyone knows, how is the deal with Dartmouth, Upenn, Columbia, and Duke? Are the engineering schools TRULY easier to gain admission into or are they mostly SELF-SELECTED?</p>

<p>Thanks CC</p>

<p>Why don't you apply to both? Cornell allows you to apply to two of its colleges.</p>

<p>Cornell engineering is definitely self-selected applicants to a great degree, and they value how well a student fits the engineering path in admissions. Dartmouth though, doesn't care what your major is, admission there is same for all applicants (unless of course, you have some hook).</p>

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Why don't you apply to both? Cornell allows you to apply to two of its colleges.

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<p>not really, you aren't applying to both simultaneously like some other universities allow, the primary college only forwards the application to the secondary college if they think the applicant is a really good fit for that school, and that only happens in a few rare cases a year.</p>

<p>So, just to confirm, Cornell does NOT allow you to apply to two of it's colleges?</p>

<p>And also, would the final consensus be that the ENGINEERING school at Cornell be harder to get into or the ARTS & SCIENCES?</p>

<p>you apply to a primary and a secondary if you wish, but the secondary usually doesnt get looked at</p>

<p><a href="http://admissions.cornell.edu/downloads/PrimaryAlternateAdmission.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://admissions.cornell.edu/downloads/PrimaryAlternateAdmission.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>The answer to your real question is complex, it's hard to determine which one is definitively harder to get into. CAS has a lower admit rate, but then Engineering applicants have higher scores and are more self selected (fewer applicants). </p>

<p>If you aren't even sure yet that you want to do engineering, stick with CAS. The engineering program is pretty locked-in...you have a lot of requirements to get out of the way before you have the freedom in class choice like CAS does.</p>

<p>come on now let's not start a flame war in the same university.. it depends on where your strengths are.</p>

<p>lol where's the flame war?</p>

<p>Think really carefully before you apply. My friend is going to be a freshman in COE and was really upset when she realized that most of her courses are automatically chosen for her. She was hoping for a more open curriculum and wasn't even sure that engineering was the right path for her.</p>

<p>I guess what I mean is, do your research before you make a decision, and don't just base it on acceptance rates. If you're certain that the engineering curriculum is for you, then go for it! Otherwise, CAS might be a better option for you.</p>

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And also, would the final consensus be that the ENGINEERING school at Cornell be harder to get into or the ARTS & SCIENCES?

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<p>That is really debatable. You are right that Engineering is more self-selective, but considering over twice as many people apply to Arts and Sciences, it is going to be more difficult to stand out in that applicant pool. </p>

<p>I take it you see yourself as a good fit for both colleges? Would you say you are a better fit (or maybe that your extracurricular activities might suggest you are) for either college? If you have good enough stats, I would imagine your extracurricular involvement and essay would play a much bigger role in your admissions.</p>

<p>Neither.</p>

<p>Go to the Hotel School. That's what smart people do.</p>

<p>But otherwise, stick with CAS. Engineering is a lot more painful to go through if you're not committed/sure.</p>

<p>I applied to CAS only when I was applying for computer science.</p>

<p>The freedom to take the classes that I want to take and the ability to take many classes that are more liberal arts based and less physics based drew me in to CAS rather than COE. A few Cornellian schedules I've seen of COE seem to be all engineering, math, and physics classes while I get to meddle in psychology, foreign languages, and etc.</p>

1 Like

<p>Hmm...explain the greatness of the Hotel School and why "smart" people do it?</p>

<p>Well, commitment I can surely muster if I get accepted into either. For now, I just want to get in. HOWEVER, I am POSITIVE that I do NOT want to be a practicing engineer. If I do get an engineering degree, it is for the skills acquired and job placement. Therefore yes, I am leaning toward CAS as the better fit.</p>

<p>Tchaikovsky THANK you for mentioning the Extracurriculars. I was thinking about bringing that up as well. I am on Math Team (no awards) and have very slight involvement in the Robotics Club, but nothing technical beyond that. However, I will be taking a very rigorous math course-load (AP Calc BC junior year and a Georgia Tech math class senior year) and will have taken 4 or 5 AP sciences by the end of high school. However, I will be credited with being a co-founder for a couple political and economics clubs. And I am an officer in Student Government and possibly a couple other service organizations. And I am also in MODEL UN....</p>

<p>What do my EC's fit more toward?</p>

<p>It's fine if you're studying engineering for the skill set and opportunities that come with an engineering degree, but are you going to be happy if you aren't particularly passionate about what you're learning? </p>

<p>Which engineering discipline are you interested in? Courses beyond your freshman year will become very specific to your major. Do you really want to spend four years learning all about circuits, physics, thermodynamics, chemical processes, mechanics, etc if all you're really interested in is the skills you might gain in doing the work? Sure, a lot of people with engineering degrees don't end up practicing engineering, but do you like engineering enough to make your undergraduate experience intellectually meaningful? I think that, especially for such an important decision, you should think carefully about what you want in your undergraduate education and how it'll help advance you. </p>

<p>I ask this because, just by my own observation, most of the kids who were not initially that excited about engineering have either switched colleges or are hating the work. Admittedly, I'm not all that interested in becoming a practicing engineer either (more into research), but I happened to know from an early age that I have an inexplicable love for machines. It helps keep me sane and focused. </p>

<p>As for your extracurricular involvement, from an admissions standpoint you might have a better shot with Arts and Sciences. But this should not discourage you from applying to Engineering if you really like it. It's a matter of how well you can convince everybody that you will make the most out of the intellectual opportunities offered to you by the college, as well as Cornell as a whole.</p>

<p>Bear in mind that it is often easier to transfer, within a university, out of the engineering school than into it. With engineering, if you do not take all of the freshman technical/math/basic science prerequisite courses, you may have to make up work over summer to graduate on time, or take and extra semester or year. Freshman year is a "weed-out" year at many top colleges of engineering.</p>

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Hmm...explain the greatness of the Hotel School and why "smart" people do it?

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<p>Party with hot chicks for 4 years and then make a pretty amount of money after?</p>

<p>The only people stupid enough to turn that down are people like me. :(</p>

<p>Hotel school? Seems pretty limited...And I can't see the money getting TOO high unless you become like Executive of Hilton Hotels or something...</p>

<p>You are right Tchaikovsky. I am in no intellectual position, when I look at myself, to be studying math and circuits for four years. My interests are more broad and diverse, and I really am not the greatest at math (never close to an award in mathTEAM).</p>

<p>However, as dirty as this sounds, I was thinking to get into the Engineering school, learn a bit more about engineering while AT the school, then transfer out if I see fit. What is the difficulty in doing that?</p>

<p>Thank you for evaluating my extracurriculars as well. If anybody else can spare the time to travel to the last post on Page 1 of this thread and do a quick run-through of my EC's and then comment on them, i would greatly appreciate it. Thanks CC...</p>

<p>I always thought Hotel School was sort of an alternate business major, not necessarily limited to the actual hotel industry.</p>