Milstein Program composite image of Cornell Tech and Cornell's Ithaca campus

About the Milstein Program

The Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity is for students who want to combine a superb liberal arts education in Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences with the cutting-edge programs at Cornell Tech in New York City. Milstein students understand the necessity of a diverse set of skills to tackle today’s most challenging issues. They might love studying Chaucer or capital markets, but they’re also fascinated with technology. The interdisciplinary learning experience of the Milstein Program helps students become innovative leaders across a broad spectrum of fields—leaders who are both tech-savvy and steeped in humanistic values. Students in the Milstein Program will spend their academic years at the Ithaca campus, pursuing a broad and rigorous course of study in the liberal arts and sciences, and participating in all the opportunities and activities afforded to undergraduates at Cornell. Two summers will be spent living and learning at Cornell Tech in New York City, with access to leading thinkers and practitioners in technology, industry and design, and all that the city offers. 

“The Milstein Program is about the core values of a liberal arts and sciences education combined with a specialized tech curriculum." --Amy Villarejo

The Milstein Program office is located in Rockefeller Hall, rooms 123 and 125. 

Milstein students jumping in the air at Cornell Tech

​Is the Milstein Program for me?

As a student in the Milstein Program, you understand that you’ll need a diverse set of skills to tackle today’s most challenging issues. You might love studying Chaucer, capital markets or Chinese, but you’re also fascinated with technology and data and can see the intersections between all of your interests. You are curious about the world, willing to take risks in your academic exploration and show leadership and a breadth of activities.

How it Works

  • Twenty-five students in each class in the College of Arts & Sciences will be accepted into the Milstein Program: the majority at the time of application to the freshman class and balance at the end of the freshman year. Students in the Milstein Program meet weekly for talks, workshops, and performances.
  • Milstein students choose amongst 40 majors in the College and pursue a broad and rigorous course of study in the liberal arts and sciences. Milstein Program students participate in workshops, project meetings and other special events during the academic year in Ithaca. They also have priority enrollment for other Milstein Program courses. New Milstein Program seminars are developed each year. 
  • During their first two years, students in the Milstein Program are encouraged to take courses in math, computer science, statistics and data analysis to prepare for their summer sessions at Cornell Tech. 
  • During the summers after the sophomore and junior years, students will live and learn at the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. There, they will have access to leading thinkers and practitioners in technology, industry and design, and all that the city offers. Check out the Milstein Summer Program at Cornell Tech website for more details.

Benefits for Students

  • A small cohort experience within the College, which fosters team building, collaborative learning and lifelong relationships
  • Milstein seminars designed especially for Milstein Program students
  • Student projects designed and developed by Milstein Program student teams
  • Mentoring from Milstein Program faculty fellows and faculty directors at the Ithaca and NYC campuses
  • Courses at the Cornell Ithaca campus designed especially for Milstein students
  • Workshops at Cornell Tech designed especially for Milstein Program students and lodging at The House on Roosevelt Island
  • Access to ground-breaking speakers and ideas through a campus speaker series
  • Special activities and events for Milstein students, including a student-run mentorship program
  • Engaged learning opportunities in Ithaca and NYC based upon student-created projects and teams 
  • Opportunities for research, internships and study abroad opportunities
  • Access to a special equipment and software for project work including audio, video, podcasting and Virtual Reality equipment and software
  • Special events and activities for Milstein Program students, from BBQs and a ropes course to sessions on intergroup collaboration

Frequently asked questions

How can I find out what current Milstein students are doing?

There are plenty of places where you can see Milstein students and what they're doing on and off campus. You can visit any of our social media pages, check out our events, or take a look at our student projects!

How many Milstein program students will be selected each year?

25 from each class, for a total of 100 students in the program when it reaches full capacity.

What kind of students are you looking for?

Milstein students will come from a broad array of majors, but with a common interest in integrating their studies with technology and the digital world. We are looking for dedicated scholars who have excelled in a variety of subjects, have strong math skills, and who show leadership and a breadth of activities.

How will participants be selected?

Applications will be reviewed by admissions deans, as well as a committee of faculty.

What are the benefits of the program?

Students will choose from among the 40 majors offered in the College of Arts & Sciences but they will also receive access to a special computer science and technology curriculum while in Ithaca. Two summers will be spent at the Cornell Tech campus in New York City, learning from leaders in the technology, industry and design spaces.

Will I take special classes only for Milstein students?

Yes, Milstein students will take advantage of customized introductory and capstone courses, connecting them to emerging fields and new university projects.

Will there be other undergraduates studying at Cornell Tech?

For now, this is the only formal program that connects undergraduates at the Ithaca campus to the resources at Cornell Tech, which focuses on graduate study.

What if I'm not sure of my major?

Most students declare their major at the end of their sophomore year and the college encourages you to use your first two years to explore the possibilities. All first-years start as undecided/undeclared students.

Where will I live during the summers at Cornell Tech?

Milstein students will live together in The House at Cornell Tech, a dormitory on Roosevelt Island and the tallest and largest Passive House residential building in the world.

Can I do another job or internship while participating in the summer program?

The summer program at Cornell Tech is designed to be an immersive, full-time program. As such, you will not have time to take on an additional job or internship while the summer program is in session.

Do I have to participate in the summer program? Are there any alternatives to participation?

As a Milstein student you are required to participate in the summer program at Cornell Tech.

The Milstein Program will make its way not just into the humanities, but into thinking about science and technology in relation to other questions of values and ethics and images and design, all of which are fundamental questions about the relationship between the digital environment and our collective future.

— –Amy Villarejo Milstein Program Director

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