About the Milstein Program
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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.
Students in the Milstein Program take three tailor-made courses described below; design their own collaborative, civic-minded project that unfolds over their junior year; select two elective courses; attend the virtual summer workshop program and do an internship in residence at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in New York City; and present at the annual Milstein Expo. Students who fulfill these program requirements receive a certificate that recognizes them as College of Arts & Sciences Milstein Program Scholars.
1. Milstein Core Courses: AS 1111 (Milstein Advising Seminar), AS 3111 (sophomore seminar), and AS 4111 (Milstein Capstone)
AS 1111 is offered each fall and is an advising seminar especially designed for first-year Milstein Program scholars.
AS 3111 is offered each spring and is designed for sophomores. This applied “methods” course focuses on iterative design, problem-seeking/problem finding, and innovation.
AS 4111 is offered each fall and is designed for seniors. This culminating course in the program focuses on interdisciplinary practice and career development.
2. Milstein Elective Courses: Choose two courses from among this approved list, including two Milstein Faculty Fellow seminars. These courses study the social, cultural, economic, environmental, physical and psychological impact of technology.
Electives may be taken at any time during the Milstein Program.
Students may petition to include other courses outside the approved list.
3. Summer Workshops at Cornell Tech: Attend the virtual workshop program and do a mentored project in residence. Second year scholars attend an 8-week summer residency at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in New York City.
4. The Junior Year Project (AS 3112): Students undertake an original, collaborative research project focusing on the theme of innovation and change; partner with a local non-profit, institution, student or community group; work closely with another Milstein Program scholar; present their research at the end of their junior year (or senior fall). Each junior in the program receives $1,500 to fund their research.
5. Milstein Capstone (AS 4111): A pre-professional, cross-disciplinary seminar designed exclusively for Milstein students.
The Milstein “Collab” offers regular speakers and professional development workshops for Milstein Program scholars. See our “Events” page for recent programs. Additionally, occasional Independent Study courses offer students the opportunity to build their technological skills (e.g. AR/VR Unity development).
How to Apply
There are two points of entry into the Milstein Program – as high school seniors when applying to Cornell and current students in the spring of your first year. We welcome students from all A&S majors. Approximately one half of the Milstein cohort are from Computer Science and Information Science; the other half come broadly from the Humanities.
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 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 (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), check out our events, or take a look at our student projects!
What kind of students are you looking for?
We are looking for dedicated students who have excelled in a variety of subjects, have a passion for cross-disciplinary education, and who show leadership and a breadth of activities.
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. One summer will be spent at the Cornell Tech campus in New York City, learning from leaders in the technology, industry and design spaces. A second summer is optional.
Will I take special classes only for Milstein students?
Yes, Milstein students participate in the "Collab", the "design thinking" seminar their sophomore year, and can take advantage of the capstone course, connecting them to emerging fields and new university projects.
Where will I live during the summer 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 first summer will be a specialized virtual program that will be offered in the evenings and will allow you to do another job or internship. The second summer is a residential program in NYC and 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 first summer program. The second residential summer is optional but students are encouraged to participate if they can.