Our undergraduate students take advantage of a variety of opportunities beyond formal coursework.

Participation in national and international design competitions, as well as mentored independent projects, is encouraged. Undergraduate students regularly participate in and win prestigious scholarships and design competitions, attend conferences, and participate in student professional organizations.

Additionally, students in HCD are active members of many other Cornell extra curricular activities including the campus sustainability initiative, athletics, political groups, theater and the arts, and social organizations.

Research provides valuable practical knowledge while broadening students’ interests. There are opportunities for students to join faculty research groups, to work and conduct research, or to pursue independent research projects with faculty mentorship.  Students can apply to the Honors program to pursue an independent research inquiry under the guidance of a faculty member as seniors.

Many students spend a semester studying abroad in international fashion centers such as London, Paris, and Florence, or take part in Cornell exchange programs in Hong Kong, Paris, Seoul, or New Zealand. There are programs geared to the interests of design, fashion business, and fiber science.

Fashion Design and Fashion Design Management students generally pursue summer internships with fashion industry firms such as: Malia Mills, The Row, MBF Trend Consulting, Nike, Inc., Marios Schwab LTD, Prabal Gurung, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, JS International, Mara Hoffman, Under Armour, and Saks Fifth Avenue.  Fiber Science students may engage in summer internships in technical apparel or personal care, as well as in product development and testing labs. Additional field experiences include National Science Foundation funded Research Experience programs. 

Design + Environmental Analysis students can find internships in conjunction with staff in the Career Development Office. Students are provided assistance with internship searches and in developing resumes and preparing for interviews.

Our students participate in internal and external competitions such as the SAE Collegiate Baja Design Series, Cooper Lighting’s Annual Student Competition, AIA-AAH STERIS Student Design Charrette, Global Wellness Summit, and the Aging Innovation Challenge. A few of these are described below.

AIA-AAH STERIS Student Design Charrette

This is an annual competition between design schools focused on healthcare environments. A three-day charrette is held at the annual Center for Health Design Healthcare Conference and Expo and is adjudicated by design professionals. Students are required to analyze a site, create a program and provide schematic design solutions.

Barbara L. Kuhlman Fiber and Wearable Arts Scholarship


Design + Environmental Analysis Challenge


Fashion Scholarship Fund


Geoffrey Beene fashion competition


SAE Collegiate Baja Design Series 

In this annual competition, 40 Cornell students build and race an off-road vehicle. The competition requires students to balance design and cost with dynamic performance while following a strict set of safety guidelines and standardized rules. There are three North American competitions annually, each with 100 competing teams.

Students are encouraged to participate in national and international conferences. Often this happens as part of a class, but occasionally, students will independently submit papers and engage in presentations. Center for Health Design Healthcare Conference and Expo and International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, International Textiles and Apparel Association and The Fiber Society are examples of such conferences. 

In addition to many university-wide student organizations, there are several student organizations based in the Department of Human Centered Design.

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is a community of people driven by a common love for design and a commitment to the belief that interior design as a service to others, is a powerful, multi-faceted profession that can positively change people’s lives. Through education, advocacy, community building and outreach the society strives to advance the interior design profession and, in the process, to demonstrate and celebrate the power of design. For more information, email asidcornell@gmail.com.

Cornell Fashion Collective 

The Cornell Fashion Collective (CFC) is a Cornell student-run organization devoted to production of an annual spring fashion show, showcasing student design, student models, and student event management. Involvement from any Cornell student interested in Fashion is invited. Representatives from the Fashion Industry often attend the show. Due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the 2020 Cornell Fashion Collective Runway Show was cancelled.  We were granted permission to show our level 4 designers work at a closed show in Barton Hall. Only the designer and their models were able to be in the space.  Watch the show here.

Cornell Fashion Industry Network

CFIN: Cornell Fashion Industry Network is a student-run organization at Cornell University. CFIN works to bring members of the fashion industry to Cornell to discuss their career paths and industry experiences. Students are able to connect with these speakers to gain insight about entering the fashion world.

Cornell University Healthy Futures (CUHFG)

Cornell University Healthy Futures: Graduate Chapter (CUHFG) is the graduate division of the first academic institute in the country to combine hospitality, environmental design, and health policy and management to improve patient and customer experience.

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES)

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) has a Cornell chapter that consists of a group of students and faculty interested in human factors and ergonomics. The organization, based in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, plans and coordinates events and activities that include invited speakers, practical demonstrations of ergonomic design principles, and field trips. The chapter contributes to the CUErgo website and has established an information library in the DEA Resource Center

International Facility Managers Association (IFMA)

International Facility Managers Association (IFMA) helps students who are interested in the field of facility planning and management explore the profession and stay current with the latest issues in the field. Chapter activities include speaker events, field trips, and joint meetings with other professional association chapters. Student members also have access to the IFMA research library, scholarships, educational events, and IFMA publications. For more information, call the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at 607-255-2144.

The Thread Magazine

The Thread Magazine is an independent student publication that focuses on fashion, lifestyle, and art at Cornell. The Thread represents a conglomeration of student-made fashion, art, photography, styling, and design and publishes an issue each semester to showcase the interdisciplinary talents of individuals within the Cornell community through compelling visual and written storytelling.