CAU Summer 2024

Week one: July 7 – 13  |  Week two: July 14 – 20

Featuring an expanded Course Roster, 11 new-to-CAU Faculty, new Premium Courses with exciting inclusions, complimentary courses week over week, & more!


Chart your course at CAU Summer

  • Immerse yourself in an inspiring course taught by leading Cornell faculty on the gorgeous Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. Stay on campus or commute from nearby. In addition to your engaging course experience, enjoy the vibrant intellectual community, stunning natural beauty, and an abundance of summertime activities on campus and in the surrounding Finger Lakes Region.

What kinds of courses do you offer?

  • Week-long seminars, hands-on experiential courses, and outdoor adventures—there's so much to choose from!

  • Stimulating and informative seminar-style and lecture-based courses offer you a platform to contribute to the conversation or simply listen and reflect. Out-of-class assignments in the form of supplemental readings or writing exercises are occasionally assigned, although completion is never a requirement. In 2024, look for entrepreneurship, literature, sustainable design, and more!

  • Hands-on experiential courses encourage you to design, construct, and experiment as part of the learning process. Instructors allow time for you to work on your projects in the studio, laboratory, or workshop space. Field trips and excursions around campus are often integrated into these classes, along with guest speakers or visiting experts. In 2024, look for photography, cooking, wine and food pairing, and more!

  • From mastering your golf swing, to learning the fundamentals of sailing, summer in the Finger Lakes Region is a great time to be outdoors. Active courses will help you to learn something new or perfect a skill beyond the classroom. In 2024, look for yoga, archery, creative movement, golf, sailing, and more!

  • CAU Summer
    How many courses can I take?

    One each week. Each week-long class typically meets from 9:00-11:30 a.m., takes a break for lunch/leisure time, and meets again from 1:30-3:30 p.m., which leaves plenty of time for further study, connection with new friends, and relaxation.

  • CAU Summer
    What’s the class schedule?

    A few weeks prior to your arrival, there will be a CAU Summer zoom session including all participants and faculty for your week. You'll learn useful information, meet your faculty, and have you the chance to start getting to know each other.

    Monday - Friday, 9-12 and 1:30-3:30, except Wednesday afternoon. (Unless otherwise noted per course.)

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    "Spring Break"

    Courses do not meet on Wednesday afternoons, affectionately referred to as "Spring Break," so you can take advantage of the other learning opportunities and optional excursions available on and off campus.

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    Many participants register for both weeks

    The course selection varies per week. When you register for both weeks, you get to learn more, deepen relationships with those staying on, and enjoy independent excursions and adventures between sessions.

How much does it cost and what's included?

  • CAU Summer

    Pricing is listed per course on the Course Roster Your course fee includes your course of choice + All specific course costs + Class trips + Sunday Night Welcome Reception + Sunday Night Community Dinner with Keynote Speaker + Daily coffee breaks & snacks + Daily Social Lounge/Happy Hour refreshments and beverages + Monday Night activity TBD + Tuesday Night Community Event + Tuesday Night Lecture + "Spring Break" Bingo + Thursday Evening Tour + Guided Stargazing + Friday Night Farewell Banquet + A one-week parking pass + A one-week bus pass + A one-week Gym & Pool pass (Housing and dining apart from community meals are not included.)

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    Extracurricular Offerings

    Beyond your classroom experience, CAU Summer includes a rich set of educational and social offerings throughout the week and during the evening hours.

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    Who will I meet at CAU Summer?

    CAU Summer is open to alumni, family, and friends of Cornell, as well as anyone with an interest in learning from leading Cornell faculty on the beautiful Cornell campus. Participants from all backgrounds and abilities are welcome in CAU Summer courses. Many CAU Summer participants love it so much they return year after year!

  • Jacqueline LeVoir P ’18 of Lakeside Park, KY, and Mark Nottingham P ’22 of Philadelphia, PA, first met in July 2023, when they were both on campus for CAU Summer 2023. This summer, they'll celebrate a year together—by returning for CAU Summer 2024.

Your CAU Summer experience

  • CAU Summer

    Whether you're commuting in each day or staying on campus, every day is full of opportunities for connection. Meet up in the evening in the Social Lounge, get inspired at the Evening Lecture, exercise your competitive spirit at Trivia Night, and more! Take this chance to rediscover the fun of learning, really dive into what fascinates you, and build new friendships with fellow participants all along the way.

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    What's it like to check in?

    3:14 Pull into Cradit Farm Drive and spot the CAU sign right away.
    3:19 Unpack your car with the help of CAU’s friendly team wearing CAU Summer 2024 T shirts, thinking “Very cool shirts! How can I get one?”
    3:23 Head to the Welcome Desk to check in. Enjoy a welcoming lemonade as you get your dorm room keys.
    3:34 In the elevator, meet someone in your same course also staying on your same floor. Make plans to walk to class together tomorrow.
    5:38 Dinner is delicious and there was a good selection of gluten-free options! Conversation at your table is warm. So far so good!
    6:45 Thoroughly inspired by the Keynote Speaker, walk up the gentle incline to the dorm to taste Cornell’s famous ice cream in the lounge.
    9:12 After a spate of journaling to capture all the details, settling into bed thinking how clean and well organized the dorm room space is. And the ergonomic desk chair?!
    9:17 Time for sleep: tomorrow’s first day of class is going to be amazing!

  • Your week at a glance

    Opening Reception: Gather together at a casual reception, mingle with past acquaintances, and get to know some new faces. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as snacks, will be provided.
    Sunday Night Welcome Dinner: Begin to feel the camaraderie that characterizes CAU Summer and it's just a taste of what's to come throughout the week!
    Keynote Address: Get inspired by the Sunday night Keynote Address, a new feature in 2024!
    Social Lounge & Ice Cream: Gather at the Social Lounge in RBG Hall. Featuring an open wine and beer bar, a great playlist, and good company, the Social Lounge is a daily CAU Summer favorite.

    Daytime: Class in session
    Evening: Visit the daily Social Lounge in RBG for included drinks, snacks, and a rousing trivia contest.

    Daytime: Class in session
    Evening: Join fellow participants for a Community Dinner featuring Dinosaur Barbecue (vegan options always available) and special entertainment. More details coming soon!

    Daytime: Class in session until noon.
    Afternoon: Spring Break/no class
    Evening: While Wednesday night is technically "Spring Break," a.k.a. free time, if you happen to be on campus, there will be a rousing Bingo game going on!

    Daytime: Class in session
    Evening: Join a tour of a select part of campus led by Cornell's architectural historian, take a guided walk through Cornell's Botanic Gardens, or set out on your own adventure during this pocket of time. Later tonight, if the skies are clear,don't miss stargazing with Cornell astronomy students at Fuertes Observatory, an annual CAU Summer highlight.

    Daytime: Class in session
    Evening: Celebrate your CAU Summer experience with friends and faculty at tonight's Farewell Banquet. Many participants enjoy dressing up a bit for this special evening together.

    SATURDAY: Check out day. See you next summer!

  • Can my guest attend community events?

    Guests who are not taking a CAU course pay an activity fee to access the full week of CAU community offerings, including: Sunday night welcome reception + Sunday night community dinner with keynote speaker + Daily coffee breaks & snacks + Daily social lounge/happy hour refreshments and beverages + Monday night activity + Tuesday night community event + Tuesday night lecture + Wednesday "Spring Break" bingo + Thursday evening tour + Guided stargazing + Friday night farewell banquet + One-week bus pass + One-week gym & pool pass

    Activity fee for over-21 year old guest not registered for a course: $500
    Activity fee for under-21 year old guest not registered for a course: $250

Book Your Stay On Campus

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) Hall, located on Cornell's North Campus, is Cornell's newest dormitory.
    The CAU Summer Welcome Desk and Social Lounge are located on the ground floor of RBG.
    Book your stay on-campus in the dorm separately from course registration.

  • Another on-campus option is Cornell's Statler Hotel. Use code CAU when booking by phone or online to enjoy a 10% discount on your Week One stay at the Statler.

  • CAU Summer
    What's it like to stay in the dorm?

    7:23 Grab your shower caddy and get the day started.
    7:37 Think “Dorm rooms have changed for the better!” for the hundredth time as you easily practice a move you learned at last night’s square dance session while getting dressed.
    8:02 After a friendly hello to the Welcome Desk staff person, refill your water bottle at the hallway station, and stroll downhill to Toni Morrison Dining Hall. What a beautiful summer day in upstate NY!
    8:13 The breakfast buffet spread is beyond expansive. You could do just fruit as you planned but…the vegan cookies are calling your name, and what about grits and hashbrowns?
    8:17 Settle into the optional CAU Summer table section with an oat milk latte and quickly get engrossed in a chat about perennial gardening.
    8:33 Head back up to RBG to meet your class shuttle bus. It’s field trip day!

Commuting to Campus

  • CAU Summer is fun whether you stay in the dorm, commute from one of Ithaca's many local options, or commute from home! Here are some additional options for accommodations in and around Ithaca during the summer: VisitIthaca and Visiting Cornell

  • CAU Summer
    What's it like to commute in?

    8:00 Commuting in with a cuppa’ joe and NPR.
    8:20 Easily park the buggy in A Lot with the included parking pass.
    8:28 Stop by the Welcome Desk in RBG Hall to sign up for the stargazing session later in the week. Run into new friend from dinner last night.
    9:53 Mind blown by connections your professor is drawing that track back to something you were just researching.
    12:15 Impromptu lunch with the new friend thinking “This person is truly incredible. What are the chances I’d have ever met them if not at CAU Summer?”
    5:32 Community Dinner with everyone from the week. It’s a scene and the barbeque is top notch!
    7:07 Smiling all the way home! Excited for tomorrow!

Eating on campus

  • Cornell has one of the finest dining programs in the Ivy League. CAU Summer participants can enjoy meals at a variety of campus eateries.

    While most meals are "on your own" at CAU Summer, there will be a designated, but optional, CAU-space in Toni Morrison dining hall reserved throughout the program. Keep your eyes open for pop up content in that space throughout each week!

    Click the link above for a list of on campus eateries with summer hours. You can sort the list by checking the box "open today" and "nearest first." You can pay by credit card at all Cornell eateries.

  • Click the link above to fill out the Cornell Dining form to share your particular dietary needs and arrange for accommodation during CAU Summer.


  • CAU provides parking passes for North Campus, where CAU has its headquarters, dormitory, and social lounge. Most classes are held on Central Campus.

    Do you need a ride to class? Participants who need on-campus, door-to-door drop-offs and pick-ups can arrange these rides in advance by contacting Cornell's Accessible Red Runner Transportation:
    Red Runner
    Phone: 607-254-8293

    Do you want to park closer to your class? Participants who need an additional Central Campus parking pass can get it by contacting Cornell Transportation.
    Cornell Transportation:
    Phone: 607-255-4600

    Do you need an accessible parking space on Central Campus? visit Facilities and Campus Services to learn more.

    Cornell University is committed to providing universal access to all university programs. Contact to request any needed disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

Everything else you might want to know

  • Arriving

    Arriving by air
    Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is 10 minutes from Cornell's Ithaca campus. Taxis and car services are available at the Ithaca airport to bring you to campus.
    Syracuse Hancock International Airport is about an hour from campus. There is no public transportation between the Syracuse Airport and Ithaca, but limos and Ubers are generally available.

    Arriving by bus
    Buses arrive and leave from various downtown locations. Coach USA Shortline will also pick up and drop off on campus. Campus can be reached from downtown by taxi, car services, and local TCAT buses.
    Ithaca is served by Coach USA Shortline (800.631.8405), Greyhound (800.231.2222), and OurBus (844.800.6828).

    Arriving by car
    Detailed driving directions will be emailed to you in your Welcome Packet after you enroll in CAU Summer. For general directions to the Ithaca campus, see the university's Maps page. Once you arrive on campus, look for CAU signs to best direct you to our Program Headquarters and the CAU Hospitality Desk at Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall.

  • On-campus parking

    Your program fee includes a week-long parking pass! When you arrive on campus to unload and park, you will drive to Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall (RBG) via Pleasant Grove Road. Our designated parking area will be next to the Appel Commons and Barbara McClintock Hall. Upon arrival you will be given a parking pass. If you want to park on central campus, you can park in a metered spot and pay as you go. Please visit Short-term Parking Options to learn more about the system used for metered parking on central campus. No passes are needed on Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Getting around by bus

    You will be provided with a free week-long bus pass to ride the TCAT (Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit) which provides bus service to all parts of the Cornell campus. There is a TCAT stop conveniently located outside of the Appel Community Center, which is adjacent to Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall. The TCAT map of routes, schedule, and instructions are available at the CAU Hospitality Desk in the Program Headquarters at Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall. Visit the TCAT website for more information.

  • Swimming

    Your program fee includes a one-week Gym & Pool pass for campus pools. There are a number of options for safe and legal swimming in the Ithaca area. Please note that swimming in the gorges is prohibited.
    Note: All campus fitness centers require you to show a photo ID and your one-week CAU Gym & Pool pass to participate.

  • Gyms & Sports Centers

    With four summer locations around campus, Cornell Fitness Center provides an extensive variety of cardio and weight equipment and group exercise classes.

    Note: All campus fitness centers require you to show a photo ID and your one-week CAU Gym & Pool pass to participate.

    Helen Newman Gymnasium
    Helen Newman Hall offers a range of facilities and activities, including basketball, volleyball, swimming and bowling. Phone: 607.255.4261

    Reis Tennis Center
    Indoor and outdoor courts can be reserved at the Reis Tennis Center. (607.272.0037)

    Robert Trent Jones Golf Course
    Located just across Pleasant Grove Road, the golf course provides an excellent opportunity for golf enthusiasts. Call for reservations. Phone: 607.254.6531

  • Off-campus resources

    Cornell's main campus is in Ithaca, New York, one of the best college towns in the country. Located at the south end of Cayuga Lake in the heart of the beautiful Finger Lakes region, Ithaca offers a breathtaking landscape of deep gorges and thundering waterfalls, rolling hills with farms and forests, and a lively community with shops, art galleries, and great places to eat (including the world-famous Moosewood Restaurant). For information about things to do in the area—music, dance, cinema, sports, hiking, swimming, shopping, and more—check out these resources:

    Cayuga Lake Wine Trail
    Finger Lakes Beer Trail
    Finger Lakes Discovery Trail
    Ithaca Food & Drink
    Nearby State Parks
    Seneca Lake Wine Trail

  • Visit the Tompkins County Summer Camp Guide for additional Ithaca-area options for youth.


  • How do I cancel my enrollment?

    To cancel your enrollment, send written notification of your wish to withdraw to Your official date of withdrawal will be the date on which this email is sent. (If you booked your stay at RBG, the Statler, or another accommodation, you must cancel those reservations separately.)

    Course Refund and Guest Activity Fee Refund Schedule:
    If you cancel by Monday, April 1, 2024: Full refund
    If you cancel by Monday, May 20, 2024: 50% refund
    If you cancel by Monday, June 10, 2024: 25% refund
    If you cancel after Monday, June 10, 2024: No refund

    If CAU cancels a course, you may enroll in an open course or receive a full refund.
    If CAU must cancel the program, you will receive a full refund.

    While previously CAU has provided refunds for COVID-related cancellations, CAU is no longer able to accommodate those requests. Instead, we encourage you to purchase the insurance of your choice to protect your investment in CAU Summer programming.

Register Now

  • “The breadth of courses given, and the depth of the courses are excellent. The organization of the entire event was also excellent. It was a well-run activity.”
    —Ron Livecchi '70

Contact us

  • CAU Summer 2023

    Cornell’s Adult University
    Cornell University Alumni Affairs and Development