The campus is closed and staff will work remotely at least until the governor announces the reopening of the New York City Region. See the Coronavirus / COVID-19 Updates page.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 FAQ

This FAQ will be updated as information changes. Last updated April 22.

Specialized FAQs

Coronavirus & Remote Learning FAQ for Faculty

COVID-19 & International Students FAQ

Cooper-specific Questions and Answers

  • Are you still reporting cases of infection among students and employees?

    We are a close-knit community, and so while we are not required to update the community, we feel it is important to keep everyone at Cooper Union informed. We will continue to update the community via this COVID-19 FAQ page unless the scale of the pandemic makes it impractical to do so.

  • Should students, faculty or staff continue to self-report infections?

    As a close-knit community, we would like to stay informed regarding the development of COVID-19 cases in our community even though the campus closed on March 22.  Given the March 22 closure, we are well beyond the 14-day incubation period for the virus in terms of any in-person, on-campus contact; however, we will continue to provide updates  unless the scale of the pandemic makes it impractical to do so. Please email healthandsafety@cooper.edu if you would like to alert us of your situation. Additionally, any students who test or are presumed positive should contact the Dean of Students Chris Chamberlin, who will inform professors at your request. Faculty and staff should inform their immediate supervisors or Director of Human Resources, Mary Ann Nissen.

  • Do we know if any individuals who were on campus prior to the closure on March 22 have been diagnosed with COVID-19?

    There are five known cases of individuals within the Cooper community who either are presumed or confirmed positive for COVID-19. A “presumptive positive case” means that the individual was not actually tested but is exhibiting the same or similar symptoms as an individual in their household who has tested positive and has been told by a medical professional to assume that they are positive as well.

    • A staff member was confirmed positive on April 17.  The employee has not been on campus since March 19, and, therefore, no trace contact was initiated at Cooper as the timing fell beyond the 14-day window for incubation and self-isolation.   
    • A student was confirmed positive on April 8.  This student has not been on campus since March 22 and, therefore, no trace contact was initiated at Cooper as the timing fell beyond the 14-day window for incubation and self-isolation.   
    • A student reported a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 as of April 3.  The student had not been on campus since March 12, and, therefore, no trace contact was initiated at Cooper as the timing fell beyond the 14-day window for incubation and self-isolation.   
    • A member of our contract security company, Allied Universal, informed us of a positive test result for COVID-19. His last day on campus was Tuesday, March 17. This individual self-isolated and recuperated at home as his symptoms fortunately did not require hospitalization. Another contractor, who was the only person with potential contact, was informed immediately about the diagnosis.
    • The first known case was a visiting professor in the School of Architecture. He was last on campus on March 10 and had no symptoms at that time. We directly informed those students, faculty, and staff who had the potential to be in contact with this individual.

     As we receive notice of new confirmed or presumed positive cases, we will report them here.

    For any student with a confirmed case: Please email Dean of Students Christopher Chamberlin

    For any employee with a confirmed case:  Please email Director of Human Resources, Mary Ann Nissen

  • I’m concerned I was exposed to COVID-19. What do I do?

    Seek prompt medical evaluation if you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

    For students: Through Cooper Care, you have 24/7 online access to medical professionals who can assess and diagnose your concerns, prescribe medication/treatment, and/or refer you to in-person medical visits, as necessary. Cooper Care is a telehealth service that is accessible via an app on your mobile device or computer. To access Cooper Care, you must be registered at www.cooper.care. There is no cost for this service to Cooper students, and you do not need to use health insurance for this. You can also visit local Urgent Care Centers, including: Mount Sinai Doctors, City MD, and Northwell Health Urgent Care.

    For faculty and staff: Contact your medical care provider.  If as an employee, you participate in The Cooper Union’s healthcare plan, please know that testing for COVID-19, and any physician/emergency care visits for the purpose of testing for COVID-19 are 100% covered under the plan.  There are no copays, co-insurance or deductible costs associated with this testing.  If you feel that you need to be tested, please contact your healthcare provider.  Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.  If you have questions about your medical coverage, please contact Mary Ann Nissen at maryann.nissen@cooper.edu   or Christine Rodrigue at christine.rodrigue@cooper.edu.

  • Is Cooper Union cancelling classes or closing campus?

    Cooper Union moved to a remote work environment with all buildings closed to non-essential personnel as of Saturday, March 14. All administrative departments and staff will continue working remotely until Monday, May 18, although this date may be extended.

    Online teaching and learning began Monday, March 30 and continues for the remainder of the spring semester.

  • Why was the decision made now to go online for all classes through the end of the semester? Isn’t there a possibility that we could have finished some part of the semester on campus?

    We understand this desire, and this has been a difficult decision to make. The reality is that health experts and local, state, and federal governments are suggesting that limitations on travel and gatherings of even reasonably small groups of people may last at least eight weeks, putting us at the end of the semester. Even if the guidance from experts and government changes, and restrictions on gatherings and travel are lifted, a transition back to on-campus teaching will create even more disruption for the vast majority of faculty and students. We are also cognizant that, as we are moving to online learning, many of our students would prefer to travel home and be with family during this time. Transitioning fully to distance learning will eliminate their difficult decisions about whether to stay or leave at this time and provide a bit of certainty in these uncertain times.

  • I am having issues with my technology (or difficulty accessing remote work or classes). Who should I contact?

    Many answers to online learning issues may be found on the IT Resources page. If you still need assistance please contact itsupport@cooper.edu.

  • I need to get materials/work/supplies/etc. from my office/studio/lab/dorm at Cooper. How and when can I do that?

    Buildings are closed to all but key personnel per the New York State "pause." Uncollected materials will be left in place, unless they pose a health or safety risk by being unattended, until access is allowed.

  • I have Cooper-related travel planned, or am planning Cooper-related travel in the future. Should I cancel, or hold off?

    We are temporarily suspending all Cooper-related travel through at least April 15. As airlines have increased flexibility on cancelation policies, you may continue to plan for travel after this date, provided there are no cancelation fees.

  • My studio and/or lab work won’t transfer well to an online learning format. I want to have access to my studio and/or labs. Can that still happen?

    Buildings are closed to all but key personnel per the New York State "pause." Uncollected materials will be left in place, unless they pose a health or safety risk by being unattended, until access is allowed.

  • I am a work-study student who relies on that income. I am worried that these adjustments will affect my job.

    At the current time, we anticipate that student work hours will not be interrupted and that students will continue to be paid as planned. Students should check with their supervisors to verify their work hours during this period. Students will be notified as soon as possible should any change in work hours be necessary.

  • Are events continuing on campus?

    Given the changing guidance of health experts and local, state, and federal officials, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel all on-campus events for the remainder of the spring semester. This includes Commencement, End of Year Show, Senior Shows and Exhibitions, and all public programming. We are working to reschedule Senior Shows and Commencement.

  • Why has Commencement already been canceled? Isn’t there some possibility that we could come back in time for this special day?

    Canceling the traditional, in-person Commencement in May was among the most difficult decisions we have had to make to date as part of our college’s response to COVID-19. The reality is that health experts and local, state, and federal governments are suggesting that limitations on travel and gatherings of even reasonably small groups of people may last at least eight weeks, putting us at the end of the semester. It is just impossible to predict how or if that timing may change, which means making travel plans to get to campus for a commencement ceremony will likely be equally unpredictable. Additionally, our ability to fully produce the special event that is a traditional commencement is also hampered by our building closures at this time.

    Please watch for details coming later this semester on how we will celebrate the Class of 2020.

  • I am enrolled in your Continuing Education, STEM, Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers Program, and/or Saturday Program. What is the status of those?

    We will be suspending all of these programs and will evaluate the ability to restart any or all of the programs in the coming weeks.

  • I live in the Residence Hall but am moving out. Will I receive a refund on my housing payment?

    You will receive a prorated refund. See details.

  • I’m an international student. What should I do?

    See the COVID-19 & International Student FAQ

  • Is Cooper still offering summer housing in the residence hall?

    Yes. Currently, we expect to offer our summer housing program as planned. The building will be available, from May 24, 2020 to August 16, 2020, for current law students who are completing a summer associateship or internship in New York City. If you have already signed a summer housing agreement with The Cooper Union, or if you are considering signing an agreement, but are concerned about what will happen should your summer associate program be cancelled, please know that The Cooper Union will cancel the housing agreements of, and offer full refunds to, any summer residents whose summer programs are cancelled. Should that situation arise, you will be asked to provide proof of the program’s cancellation via an official communication from your summer employer, and then you will be released from your housing agreement.

General Coronavirus FAQ

The below answers are per the Center for Disease Control.

What is a coronavirus?

How is it spread?

What are the symptoms of this coronavirus (COVID-19)?

What is the incubation period?

I have an underlying health condition that puts me at greater risk for COVID-19 complications. What should I do?

How can I protect myself against COVID-19?

If I have cold or flu-like symptoms, what should I do?

Should I self-isolate?  What is self or home isolation?

Are there any special cleaning protocols I should follow?

Should we be wearing masks?

For more information, check out the CDC’s resources.

  • 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.