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Our history

The Cornell University Summer Session traces its roots to summer courses in geology, zoology, and entomology that were presented in the late 1870s. The University offered these courses in the summer to take advantage of the season's natural outdoor classrooms and to allow elementary and secondary school teachers, in particular, to further their education while their schools were not in session.

Since that time, Cornell summer offerings have grown to comprise hundreds of classes and special programs, on and off campus and through online learning, for thousands of students from around the world. The Cornell University Summer Session, now 120 years old, is believed to be the longest (continuous) running summer session in the world.

Read more about the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions.