First Year Profile

Latest data is from Fall 2016.

In 2016, The Cooper Union received 2,654 first-year applications; 344 students were admitted (13%) and 215 of those students accepted our offer (63%). The School of Architecture received 612 applications; 24 students were admitted (4%) and 22 of those accepted our offer (92%). The School of Art received 900 applications; 74 students were admitted (8%) and 62 of those students accepted our offer (84%). The School of Engineering received 1,141 applications; 246 students were admitted (22%) and 131 of those students accepted our offer (53%).

Geographically, 36 percent of the first-year architecture students lived in New York State; 34 percent of the first-year art students lived in New York State; and 46 percent of the first-year engineering students lived in New York State. In all, 41 percent of all Cooper Union first-year students came from New York State.

Twenty-one percent of all Cooper Union first-year students identify as Asian, 10 percent as Latino, and 3 percent as Black. Twenty-seven percent self identify as Caucasian, Non-Hispanic. Seven percent self identify as being Multi-Ethnic of which some are minority students. Four percent self identify as "other" and 6 percent did not self report a race or ethnicity. Thirty-three percent of all Cooper Union first-year students identify as women.

High School Grades/Test Scores Standardized test scores do not significantly enter the decision-making process for the Schools of Art and Architecture, but are important components of the engineering admissions criteria. The middle 50 percent of architecture freshmen achieved a high school average between 91 and 94, SAT scores between 1230 and 1360 and ACT composite scores between 26 and 30. The middle 50 percent of art freshmen achieved a high school average between 87 and 93, SAT scores between 1070 and 1260, and ACT composite scores between 25 and 28. The middle 50 percent of engineering freshmen achieved a high school average between 93 and 97, SAT scores between 1390 and 1510, and ACT composite scores between 32 and 34.

Retention and Graduation Rate Eighty-six percent of the Fall 2015 School of Architecture first-year students returned for Fall 2016 and 68 percent of first-year students entering the School of Architecture in Fall 2010 graduated within six years. Architecture students may expand their professional options with outside experience (foreign or domestic) for up to one year during their course of study at The Cooper Union. Therefore, approved leaves of absence often affect the six year graduation rate.

Ninety-nine percent of the Fall 2015 School of Art first-year students returned for Fall 2016 and 83 percent of first-year students entering the School of Art in Fall 2011 graduated within five years. Similar to architecture, art students may take time away from their studies before graduating.

Ninety-four percent of the Fall 2015 School of Engineering first-year students returned for Fall 2016 and 80 percent of first-year students entering the School of Engineering in Fall 2011 graduated within five years.

Overall, 94% of first-year students returned to study for their second year and 80% of our students graduated within one year of their expected date.

Note that first-year retention rates do not include students currently on approved leaves of absence (e.g. military, medical, etc.).

  • 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.