Academic Standards and Regulations

Credits
Satisfactory Progress Toward Degree
Transfer Credit
Grades
Academic Probation/Final Probation
Change of Grade
Change of Program
Attendance

Leave of Absence
Readmission
Residence
Graduation

Credits
Only those students who are officially registered in a course (i.e., by approval of the dean of the School of Architecture or a faculty adviser and notification of the Office of Admissions and Records) will have grades and credits entered on their records.

Satisfactory Progress Toward Degree
The bachelor of architecture degree program is a rigorous course of study that seeks to prepare students intellectually and professionally for the investigation and making of architecture. The privilege of studying at The Cooper Union, with the benefit of a 50%-tuition scholarship for all admitted students, brings with it important responsibilities. For students in the School of Architecture, these responsibilities include meeting the requirements of a demanding professional curriculum. All students who accept our offer of admission are expected to fully commit themselves to completing the degree requirements in accordance with the curriculum, which has been designed with great attention to sequence, prerequisites and the relationships between course work and the goals of each design studio. All classes that comprise the curriculum are essential to the education of an architect, and must be successfully completed by each student in the order intended. Students admitted as freshmen will complete the program in five years; transfer students will complete the program in accordance with their placement in the design sequence.

Students who do not successfully complete required courses as outlined in the curriculum will not be permitted to advance to the next year of study until the missing requirement(s) is/are completed. Since make-up classes are not offered at The Cooper Union,missing requirements may need to be fulfilled through coursework taken outside The Cooper Union.The intention to complete requirements outside The Cooper Union requires a meeting with the appropriate academic adviser or faculty member in order to obtain advance approval of the potential substitute course, and to confirm the minimum grade required in order for transfer credit to be awarded. It is the responsibility of the student to locate an eligible course at a college/university that allows part-time/summer study, which will be taken at the student’s expense. Students making up courses in this manner will be permitted to register for Cooper Union classes in September only after the Office of Admissions and Records receives a transcript showing the successful completion of these courses. It is in the best interest of each student to complete his or her coursework here at Cooper Union in conformance with the approved curriculum.

Each year of the five-year B.Arch curriculum consists of a carefully calibrated required coursework including classes which may be part of a larger sequence. Students must complete required courses in the appropriate semester/year of the curriculum plan. Failure to do so not only disrupts the student=s academic advancement but also potentially places the student at a disadvantage in the following semester/year. Scheduling conflicts may also arise. All of these factors make it essential for students to complete their required coursework according to the curriculum plan. Students who do not complete their required coursework according to the curriculum plan may be placed on a required leave of absence in order to complete missing requirements outside of The Cooper Union, at their own expense, before being permitted to resume their studies.

Students must pass a sufficient number of credits each semester to complete his or her degree requirements within five years of study. When dropping or adding courses, a student must follow all degree requirements for their particular year of study. The normal course load is 16–19 credits per semester. Students are required to be registered for a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree may be grounds for dismissal. Students are eligible to register for more than 18 credits per semester, but not more than 20, if they have received at least a 3.0 rating for the previous semester.

Transfer Credit
Incoming students who have completed college level academic work outside The Cooper Union may be eligible to receive transfer credit. Approval of transfer credit will be made by the appropriate dean or faculty based on transcripts from other schools and additional materials, including a course description, a course syllabus with topics and course requirements, a reading list and any quizzes, examinations, papers or projects, etc., that demonstrate the level, content and requirements of the course,as well as the student’s proficiency with the course topics. If necessary, a proficiency/placement exam may be administered in certain subject areas. Transfer students must be prepared to present these and other requested materials for each course for which transfer credit is sought.Transfer credit evaluation must be completed by the end of the first semester of study.

When admitted, transfer students are offered admission into a specific year of the five-year design sequence. This decision is final, and acceptance of the offer of admission represents agreement on the part of the admitted student with this decision.

Placement in the Design studio sequence is the only transfer credit evaluation made at the time of the offer of admission. Independently of Design studio placement, transfer students must fulfill all of their B.Arch degree requirements either through transfer credit or by completing required and elective coursework here. Transfer credit evaluation for required and/or elective coursework in the B.Arch curriculum, other than the Design studio, is the responsibility of the individual transfer student. Transfer students are required to seek transfer credit for all other eligible coursework. It may not be possible for transfer students to complete all academic coursework simultaneously with their Design studio requirements. It will be necessary for the matriculating transfer student to successfully complete the design studio to which he or she is admitted, as well as all subsequent studios, as part of his or her degree requirements. The official academic transcript of a transfer student will be reviewed prior to the student’s first registration. This review will determine what, if any, additional coursework may be eligible for transfer credit.

Currently enrolled students who find it necessary to complete degree requirements at another institution for transfer credit to The Cooper Union must have appropriate advance approval. Credit may be granted for work done at another institution by any student upon examination by the dean. This credit is to be recorded after satisfactory completion of one semester’s work at The Cooper Union.

Grades
Grades used, with their numerical equivalents, are:
A (4.0), A-(3.7), B+ (3.3), B(3.0), B- (2.7), C+ (2.3), C (2.0), C- (1.7), D+ (1.3), D(1.0), D- (.7), F (0). The assigned numerical equivalents are used in computing semester and annual ratings by multiplying the numerical equivalent of the grade for each subject by the credits assigned to the subject. The sum of such multiplications for all the subjects carried by a student is divided by the total credits carried by him/her for that period to determine the average rating.

The official meanings for letter grades are as follows:
A Outstanding performance
B Above average performance
C Requirements satisfactorily completed
D Minimum requirements met; passing but unsatisfactory
F Failure to meet the minimum requirements of a subject
I The designation I indicates that the work of the course has not been completed and that assignment of a grade and credit has been postponed. An I designation is permitted only in cases of illness (confirmed by a physician’s letter) or documentation of other extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control.

The deadline for removal of an I designation will be determined by the instructor and recorded at the time the designation is given, but will not be later than two weeks after the start of the next semester. If the I is not removed within the set time limit, either by completing the work in the subject or by passing a reexamination, the I will automatically become an F unless the dean of the School of Architecture extends the time or the student withdraws from school. The designation of I will be granted only with the approval of the dean.

W The student has received permission from the instructor and the dean of the School of Architecture and has withdrawn from a course while passing the course requirements at the time of withdrawal.
This permission must be obtained before the end of the sixth week of the semester.The grade is not included in the calculation of the student’s semester rating but remains on the student’s transcript. (See Change of Program: Withdrawing from a Course, page 38.)

WF The student has received permission from the dean of the School of Architecture and the instructor and has withdrawn from a course while failing the course requirements at the time of withdrawal.
This permission must be obtained before the end of the sixth week of the semester. This grade is included in the calculation of the student’s semester rating, its numerical equivalent is 0, and it remains on the student’s transcript. (See Change of Program: Withdrawing from a Course, p.38.)
When appropriate, certain courses may be designated as Pass/Fail courses.

Pass Requirements completed. This designation is not included in the calculation of the student’s semester rating.

Fail Failure to meet the minimum requirements of a course. This grade is included in the calculation of the student’s semester rating; its numerical equivalent is 0.

Academic Probation/Final Probation
A semester rating below 2.0 and/or a grade less than C in Architectonics,Design or Thesis places a student on automatic probation and may be the basis for final probation or dismissal,as determined by the Academic Standards Committee.

A student who receives a grade of C- or below in Architectonics, Design or Thesis may be required by the Academic Standards Committee to repeat the studio. The student may also be removed from automatic probation as determined by the Academic Standards Committee.

A student who receives a grade of D+, D or D- in Architectonics, Design or Thesis will be placed on automatic probation and will be required to repeat the studio. The Academic Standards Committee may place the student on final probation. The Academic Standards Committee may also set further academic and/or grade requirements for the student.

A student who receives an F in Architectonics, Design or Thesis will be placed on final probation and will be required to repeat the studio.The student will be required to receive a grade of C+ or better in the repeated class. A student who fails to meet this condition may be dismissed by the Academic Standards Committee.

A second probation may result in final probation or the dismissal of the student. The Academic Standards Committee may place a student on final probation. A student placed on automatic probation may be subject to academic requirements as determined by the Academic Standards Committee.

A student on final probation who receives a semester rating below 2.0 and/or a grade less than C in Architectonics, Design or Thesis at any point in the remainder of his or her academic career in the School of Architecture will be immediately, automatically and permanently dismissed from The Cooper Union with a forfeit of the right of appeal. Automatic dismissal on final probation unconditionally and irrevocably terminates a student’s academic career in the School of Architecture.

A student on probation may not carry more than 18 credits per semester.

Each student is responsible for his or her total accomplishment and for being continuously aware of the standards defined in the preceding paragraphs. Students whose work by mid semester indicates possible failure to meet the minimum standards of a course, including excessive absences, should arrange to meet with their respective faculty to address the matter in detail.

A student must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better in order to graduate from The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.

A student may not repeat any Design studio (or Architectonics or Thesis) more than once.

Any student who fails Arch 151 (Thesis) twice will be dropped automatically from the program.
Additional credits for repeated Design studio (or Architectonics or Thesis) do not count towards the 160 credits required for the B.Arch degree.

Change of Grade
A change in an official grade of record cannot be made by the dean of Admissions and Records without the express consent of the dean of the School of Architecture. The dean of Admissions and Records will automatically convert an I designation to an F if an official change of grade is not submitted within the two-week deadline after the start of the following semester. Grade changes will not be accepted after one calendar year has elapsed from the completion of the course.

Change of Program
Adding a Course A student is permitted to add a course only during the first week of a semester, during the drop/add period, and only with the dean’s approval. Adding a course after the drop/add period is not permitted even if the student has been attending the class.

Dropping a Course A student may drop a course during the first week of the semester, during the drop/add period, with the dean’s approval. A student who wishes to drop a course may be required to add equivalent credits in another course as needed to maintain satisfactory progress towards the degree. A course dropped during the first week of the semester will be deleted from the transcript.

Withdrawing from a Course After the drop/add period a student may withdraw from a course through the sixth week of the semester, with the dean’s approval. If the student is passing the course at the time of withdrawal, a grade of W will appear on the transcript. If the student is failing the course at the time of withdrawal, a grade of WF will be recorded. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the necessary permission from the school and to notify the instructor in order to withdraw from a course.

Failure to attend a class does not constitute withdrawal; a student who fails to attend a class without formally withdrawing will earn a grade of F in the course. A student may not withdraw from a course to avoid receiving a failing grade.

A student is not permitted to drop or withdraw from a course if doing so would impede satisfactory progress towards the degree.

Change of Section Students are permitted to transfer from one section to another of the same course before midterm if they are passing the course at that time. Permission of the dean is required for the change of section.

Attendance
Classes and studios are scheduled Monday through Friday between 9 am and 10 pm. Studio facilities usually are available to students on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the academic year. Each student is required to be punctual and to attend each scheduled class. In the case of unavoidable absence, the student should, on his or her return, report to the instructor to explain the absence and inquire about making up the lost work.

All architecture students are provided with studio space and are expected to work in the studio during regular building hours.
 

Leave of Absence
Students who have completed at least one year of study and need to interrupt their studies may be granted a leave of absence for up to one year by permission of the dean. Only students in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward the degree may request a leave of absence. A leave of absence is generally granted between the second and third years or the fourth and fifth years of study. A meeting with and permission from the dean of the School of Architecture is necessary.

Required Leave of Absence
A student who fails Architectonics, Design or Thesis will have his/her academic record reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee. If the student is permitted to continue, the student will be required to repeat that semester of studio (Architectonics, Design or Thesis) as well as meet any other conditions set by the Academic Standards Committee. If it is not possible for the student to make significant progress towards the degree requirements in the semester prior to repeating the studio course (as determined by the Academic Standards Committee and/or the dean), the student will be placed on a mandatory leave of absence for one semester and will resume his or her studies in the following semester by repeating the required studio and enrolling in other classes for a total registration of at least 12 credits. The student’s registration must be approved by the dean.

Discretionary Leave of Absence: Students who have completed at least one year of study may request an interruption of their studies for a Discretionary Leave of Absence. A written request for the Leave must be submitted to the student’s academic dean or associate dean. A Discretionary leave of absence for up to one year (2 semesters) with an automatic guarantee of reinstatement may be granted to students in good academic standing who are making satisfactory progress toward the degree.

A request for a Discretionary Leave beginning in Fall semester must be made before April 15. A request for a Discretionary Leave beginning in Spring semester must be made before November 15. Approval for a Discretionary Leave is neither automatic nor guaranteed.

Returning from a Discretionary leave of absence: Students on a Discretionary Leave must notify their academic dean of their intention to return at least four (4) weeks prior to the registration period for the semester of their intended return. The dean must notify the registrar to reactivate the student record.

Readmission
Students who have withdrawn from the School of Architecture after having completed at least one year of study at The Cooper Union must reapply to the school to be considered for readmission as a transfer applicant.

Students who have withdrawn from school before they have completed one year of study at The Cooper Union must reapply through the freshman admission procedure.

Students who have been dismissed for academic deficiencies and are eligible for readmission must apply within two years to the chair of the Academic Standards Committee before May 15 for admission in September and before November 15 for admission in January.They should be prepared to demonstrate a change from the circumstances that warranted their dismissal.

Former students who have been dismissed due to academic deficiencies and who have been out of The Cooper Union for more than two years (four semesters) at the time of anticipated return must apply through the regular admission procedure. If offered admission, previous Cooper Union credits earned may be evaluated for transfer credit.

Residence
A candidate for a degree must be enrolled and in residence during the entire academic year immediately preceding the granting of the degree.

Graduation
To be eligible for graduation, a student must complete the minimum number of credits listed for his or her curriculum and must spend a minimum of four semesters in full-time resident study at The Cooper Union. Students are responsible for their total accomplishment and for being continuously aware of the standards for graduation. Graduation requirements as outlined in this catalog are guidelines that are subject to change.

 

  • 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.