Best Places to Study on Cornell’s Campus



Sadly but surely, those lazy days spent basking in the sun on the slope have turned into frantic afternoons cramming for prelims. If you have a loud roommate or are like me and can’t focus in your room, then you’re on the hunt for the perfect study space. Here’s a list of some well-known and some less popular places where you can hit the books effectively.


1. The Johnson Museum

With a beautiful view of the slope, the first floor of the Johnson is a great place to get work done. There are a few tables and chairs, facing the magnificent windows. This is the perfect spot for you if you don’t mind ambient noise (patrons entering and exiting the museum). If you need a break, you can pop your backpack into one of the cubbies and explore the many amazing exhibits.


2. Nevin Welcome Center

If you love the outdoors and don’t mind a walk, the Nevin Welcome Center might be the ideal study spot. The building is located in the heart of Cornell’s scenic Botanic Gardens. With a couple tables indoors and some outside, you have the choice whether or not you’d like to catch the last fews rays of summer sun.  Though you can often see people strolling through the gardens, the study spaces are usually available and quiet.


3. Gates Hall

Gates Hall’s modern exterior, with floor to ceiling windows and metal panels, is quite fitting to house the computer science and information science departments. Nestled between classrooms and interactive work spaces, you can also find a Gimme! Coffee to satisfy your caffeine cravings. This building is often crowded, but there are plenty of comfy couches, high tables, and desks, many of which have an amazing panoramic view of the baseball field.


4. Olin Library

Olin Library is, of course, a wonderful place to hit the books. You can study while looking at the Arts Quad from the first floor panoramic windows, nestle into a comfortable chair in Kroch, or grab one of the desks in the stacks upstairs. Olin is known for its breathtaking 7th floor view of Cayuga Lake. Coffee is readily available at Amit Bhatia Libe Cafe, making Olin Library one of the greatest study spaces on campus.


5. Uris Library

Situated on the top of slope like an omnipotent protector, Uris Library is easily the most famous building at Cornell. Almost every brochure shows a picture of the AD White Library, which feels like a little piece of Hogwarts in Ithaca. This beautiful building is also home to the cocktail lounge cozy couches, the Kirby Room desks that are drenched in light, and the traditional stacks. Working in Uris Library makes you feel like you truly are a young academic, studying at an Ivy League University.


No matter where you end up studying on Cornell’s magnificent campus, remember that your mental health comes first. Prelim season can be stressful, but your grades don’t define you. Good luck!