2017 Profile of First-Year Students

October 12, 2017

In 2017, The Cooper Union received 2,574 first-year applications; 336 students were admitted (13%) and 205 of those students accepted our offer (61%). The School of Architecture received 587 applications; 35 students were admitted (6%) and 24 of those accepted our offer (69%). The School of Art received 903 applications; 64 students were admitted (7%) and 62 of those students accepted our offer (97%). The School of Engineering received 1,084 applications; 237 students were admitted (22%) and 119 of those students accepted our offer (50%).

Geographically, 29 percent of the first-year architecture students lived in New York State; 31 percent of the first-year art students lived in New York State; and 51 percent of the first-year engineering students lived in New York State. In all, 43 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, 5 percent as Latino, and 4 percent as Black. Thirty-eight percent self identify as Caucasian, Non-Hispanic. Four percent self identify as being Multi-Ethnic/Multi-Racial of which 3 percent are historically-represented minority students. Eight percent did not self report a race or ethnicity. Twenty percent are classified as international students. Thirty-six percent of all Cooper Union first-year students identify as women.

High school grades and standardized test scores while considered in the review processes for architecture and art applicants, are not weighed as significantly as the respective studio and home tests. For engineering, high school grades, course selection, responses to essay questions and performance on standardized tests are important factors used as applicants are considered for admission. The middle 50 percent of architecture first year students achieved a high school average between 89 and 97, with SAT scores between 1190 and 1410 and ACT composite scores between 26 and 32. The middle 50 percent of art first year students achieved a high school average between 89 and 94, SAT scores between 1080 and 1330, and ACT composite scores between 24 and 30. The middle 50 percent of engineering first year students achieved a high school average between 93 and 98, SAT scores between 1460 and 1540, and ACT composite scores between 33 and 34.

Retention and Graduation Rate: Ninety-two percent of the Fall 2016 School of Architecture first-year students returned for Fall 2017 and 80 percent of first-year students entering the School of Architecture in Fall 2011 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 their six-year graduation rate.

Ninety-eight percent of the Fall 2016 School of Art first-year students returned for Fall 2017 and 85 percent of first-year students entering the School of Art in Fall 2011 graduated within six years. Similar to architecture, art students may take time away from their studies before graduating.

Ninety-four percent of the Fall 2016 School of Engineering first-year students returned for Fall 2017 and 83 percent of first-year students entering the School of Engineering in Fall 2011 graduated within six years.

Overall, 95% of first-year students returned to study for their second year and 83% of our students graduated within six years. Please note that since architecture students are expected to complete their programs in five years the figures above provide graduation dates within one year of expected date of graduation whereas in art and engineering, the figures measure degree completion within 150% of expected date of graduation. This is consistent with IPEDS (Department of Education) reporting,

Also, please 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.