Frequently Asked Questions

Please keep in mind that these statistics may change at any time. The numbers stated here reflect those of the fall of 2012.

For the convenience of our visitors, we've gathered the most frequently asked questions about the admissions process at Cooper Union. Read the following material to see if your question is addressed before contacting us.

Of course, if your question is not addressed below, feel free to e-mail your question to admissions@cooper.edu.

1. How many students attend The Cooper Union?
2. What is the size of a freshman class?
3. How many students apply and how many of those are accepted?
4. When are applications due?
5. What does "Early Decision" really mean?
6. What are the requirements for international students to apply to The Cooper Union?
7. What tests and documents do I need to apply to The Cooper Union?
8. Does Cooper accept the GED?
9. What is the "home test" in Architecture and Art?
10. What is a portfolio? Do I need one?
11. Does The Cooper Union accept transfer students? What do they need to apply?
12. How are transfer credits reviewed?
13. When can I visit The Cooper Union?
14. What classes should I be taking in high school to better prepare myself for The Cooper Union?
15. Which Advanced Placement (AP) examinations can I receive credit for?
16. How much does it really cost to attend The Cooper Union?
17. What clubs and activities are offered at The Cooper Union?
18. Further requests for information

 

1. How many students attend The Cooper Union?

Approximately 900-950, which includes about 150 in The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, 270 in The School of Art, and 450 in The Albert Nerken School of Engineering. We also have about 40 students in our graduate engineering program and 10 in our graduate architecture program.

2. What is the size of a freshman class?

About 20-35 in Architecture, 65 in Art and 115 in Engineering.

3. How many students apply and how many of those are accepted?

Usually we have about 3,500 applicants (900 for Architecture; 1,400-1,500 for The School of Art, and 1,100 for Engineering). We admit about 260 students (30 in Architecture, 65 in Art and 165 in Engineering).

4. When are applications due?

The deadlines for submitting Part I of your application are as follows:

Early Decision 
· School of Art: December 1, 2014 
· School of Engineering: December 1, 2014
 
First-Year 
· School of Architecture: January 12, 2015 
· School of Art: January 12, 2015 
· School of Engineering: January 12, 2015 
 
Transfer 
· School of Architecture: January 12, 2015 
· School of Art: January 12, 2015 
· School of Engineering: January 12, 2015
 

5. What does "Early Decision" really mean?

If Cooper Union is truly your first choice, you might consider applying "Early Decision" to Art or Engineering (there is no "Early Decision" application to Architecture). Your application will be evaluated earlier than those of the regular application process and if offered admission, you must agree to enroll at The Cooper Union and withdraw your applications to all other colleges. If you are planning to apply early decision, you should send all supporting documentation and test scores to The Office of Admissions and Records before December 1st, 2014. If you are not accepted under the early decision process, you may be reconsidered during the regular decision process. Although most applicants are "rolled-over" into the regular decision pool, re-evaluation is not guaranteed.

Transfer applicants to the School of Art may apply early decision. However, this application option is not available online. To apply Early Decision as a transfer, complete the online application before the December 1, 2014, deadline and wait for an email communication from the Office of Admissions. Students who are admitted during the Early Decision process must withdraw all applications to other institutions.

6. What are the application requirements for international students?

· TOEFL (if you have less than three years of study in English).  We do not accept the IELTS. 
· SAT I/ACT
· SAT II in Math AND Chemistry or Physics (Engineering only)
· Official High school transcripts
· Official College Transcripts (if you have taken any college level courses)
 

7. What tests and documents do I need to apply to The Cooper Union?

Architecture details

· Application
· $70 application fee
· Official high school transcript
· SAT I/ACT score
· Completed home test

Art details

· Application
· $70 application fee
· Official high school transcript
· SAT I/ACT score
· Portfolio of work
· Completed home test
· Recommendation letters (forms are sent to applicants with the home test)

Engineering details

· Application (you must choose a major)
· $70 application fee
· Official high school transcript
· SAT I/ACT score
· SAT II in Mathematics AND Physics or Chemistry
· Part II (Completion of short answer essay questions sent to every applicant)
· Recommendation letters: 2-3 in any format (recommended)

Under certain circumstances, we will waive the SAT/ACT requirement. Generally, only transfer students and/or non-traditional students' requests to waive the standardized testing requirement are considered. You must be able to prove you have had at least one year of college-level math and college-level English to apply for the waiver. The Admissions staff will then consider your request and notify you if you can waive the SAT/ACT requirement. Please email admissions@cooper.edu for more information.  

8. Does Cooper accept the GED?

Yes, we will accept the GED (General Equivalency Diploma) in lieu of the high school diploma.

9. What is the "home test" in Architecture and Art?

The "home test" is different for Architecture and Art. Each one consists of a number of visual projects to be completed in approximately 3-4 weeks and returned to The Cooper Union for review. Each "home test" contains its own instructions to be followed explicitly.

The hometest will be sent to all applicants via email. The hometest will be sent to everyone on the same day in late January, after the online application deadline.

10. What is a portfolio? Do I need one?

Portfolios should be included when you submit the home test if you are a transfer applicant to Architecture or Art and if you are a first-year applicant to Art. A portfolio is a collection of a cross-section of your best recent work. It should include enough pieces to demonstrate your degree of interest. Generally, between ten and twenty pieces should be included. Art students are encouraged to include sketchbooks. All pieces should fit into a 13"x17" envelope; otherwise, include slides.

Art applicants are encouraged to attend one of our four open houses or one of the National Portfolio Days which we attend. A list of these National Portfolio Days can be found here.

11. Does The Cooper Union accept transfer students? What do they need to apply?

The Cooper Union admits a limited number of transfer students. Transfer applicants in Architecture and Art are required to submit the following: official high school and college transcripts, a portfolio and a completed home test. Transfer Engineering applicants must submit high school and college transcripts and respond to a list of essay questions (Part II). Please refer to the Applying to Cooper - Transfers section for the definition of a "transfer" student.

12. How are transfer credits reviewed?

Transfer credits are reviewed on an individual basis only upon admission to The Cooper Union.  Courses taken at the college level are evaluated by the department at Cooper Union for which you seek transfer credit.  For example, if you seek transfer credit for a math course, the Math Department at Cooper Union will evaluate your transcript and decide if credit will be granted.

13. When can I visit The Cooper Union?

Please check the Visiting Cooper Union section for further information.

14. What classes should I be taking in high school to better prepare myself for The Cooper Union?

  All applicants should take a well-rounded high school program, preferably in advanced coursework (e.g. AP, IB, Honors Level etc). Engineering students should also be well prepared in calculus, chemistry and physics. Art and architecture applicants should also take visual art classes (drawing, painting, design, sculpture, etc). Architecture applicants should have at taken pre-calculus prior to entering at Cooper Union.  

In addition, all students should take courses that provide a solid grounding in the liberal arts, which is a basis for your humanities and social science study at Cooper Union. For more information, see our brochure "Think Big: What to do if you are interested in studying Architecture, Art or Engineering."

15. Which Advanced Placement (AP) examinations can I receive credit for?

Please refer to our catalog for a detailed description of credit granted.

16. How much does it really cost to attend The Cooper Union?

Tuition for the academic year 2013–2014 is $39,600. Every student receives a full-tuition scholarship.

Cooper Union students are responsible for living and miscellaneous expenses. These include mandatory student fees (totaling $1,800 per year), room and board (about $15,000 per year), books and supplies (about $1,000-1,800 per year), and general living expenses (about $2,000-3,000 per year), totaling approximately $21,000 per year. In addition, international students are assessed an annual fee of  $1,910. All students must prove medical insurance coverage or participate in our medical insurance plan for an annual health services fee of approximately $1,100.

Starting in the Fall of 2014, all incoming students will receive a half-tuition scholarship.  The value of this scholarship is approximately $20,000 per year ($10,000 per semester).  Additional financial aid will be provided to the neediest students to help cover tuition, housing, food, books, supplies, etc.  The amount of additional aid will be based upon a student’s demonstrated financial need.  Students must file both a FAFSA and CSS profile form to be considered for additional financial aid.  Please note that Cooper Union will also offer merit scholarships to exceptional students.   Also, Cooper Union will continue to use a need-blind admissions process meaning that a student's ability to pay will not impact our admissions decisions.

17. What clubs and activities are offered at The Cooper Union?

Please visit our Student Services Web site for more information:

· Clubs
· Athletics

18. Further requests for information

If you have specific questions, you can e-mail us at admissions@cooper.edu or call our office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time at 212-353-4120. 

The admissions office is located at 30 Cooper Square; New York, New York 10003.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.