New York State College of Human Ecology

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The Cornell University College of Human Ecology a statutory college at Cornell University. The College of Human Ecology is a unique compilation of studies on consumer economics, nutrition, health economics, public policy, human development and textiles in the Ivy League.

The College of Human Ecology comprises several departments:

  • Human Development (HD)
  • Policy Analysis & Management (PAM)
  • Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS)
  • Design & Environmental Analysis (DEA)

Students at The College of Human Ecology delve into biology and chemistry, economics, psychology, and sociology, applying their expertise in fields such as health, design, nutrition, public policy, and marketing. Stuides done professors and students vary from studying the financial impacts of tax legislation to the design safer workplaces and facilitating healthy growth of premature infants.



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MVR Bulding, Home of The College of Human Ecology

The beginnings of the College appeared in the year 1900, when a reading course for farm women was created. In 1907, the Department of Home Economics was created within Cornell's College of Agriculture. In 1919, the Department of Home Economics becomes a school. In 1925, the school was converted to the New York State College of Home Economics, the first state-chartered college of Home Economics in the country.

The focus of the college at the turn of the 20th century was home economics. The field was a critical pathway for women to obtain higher education. From its inception, home economics was multidisciplinary and integrative with an emphasis on science applied to the real world of the home, families and communities.

Eleanor Roosevelt played an integral role in the development of the College of Home Economics from the 1920s to the 1940s. As the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the governor of New York from 1928 to 1932, and later as First Lady, from 1933 to 1945, she employed her fame and influence in ways that resulted in greater financial support for home economics programs and increased publicity for the College. It was with Eleanor Roosevelt's support that in February 1925, that the New York State legislature passed a bill, which made Cornell's School of Home Economics the New York State College of Home Economics.

In 1949, the College was recognized as a partnership college of the State University of New York. The College's name was changed in 1969 (coinciding with an administrative reorganization of the College) to its present name -- the New York State College of Human Ecology -- to reflect a more "modern" focus of the College beyond "domestic arts."


Several academic units are housed within the College of Human Ecology. A prominent unit within the department is the Department of Policy Analysis and Management. The focus of the department is research, teaching, and outreach in economics, family and social welfare, health, and consumer policy in terms of its application through program planning, management and evaluation. Faculty bring expertise in the areas of economics, sociology, anthropology, political science and demography.

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Front View of HumEc Quad

The college enrolls approximately 1,200 undergraduates and 200 graduate students.

Admission is extremely competitive. Applications for the College of Human Ecology usually run around 1200. The college's acceptance rate as of 2004 is 35% as compared to the average of 29% for Cornell University in general. About 89% of the entering students are ranked in the top 10% as compared to the average of 85% for Cornell.

HumEC awards the following degrees: B.A., B.S., B.A.S., M.S. and Ph.D..

The college has approximately 300 faculty members.

Noted alumni/academics

Other Prominent Alumni/Professors

  • Richard Burkhauser
  • Alan Mathios
  • David Sahn

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