Introduction to Architecture Online: Summer 2021

Watch our Summer 2020 public information session and get an overview of the program's curriculum, pedagogy, and focus. The session features the work of our alumni and presentations by faculty, Prof. Mersiha Veledar and Prof. James Lowder, followed by a live Q & A session including Assistant Dean Hayley Eber and administrative staff.


The admissions process for the 2021 online summer program session will begin in February.

In light of the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in New York City, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union will feature a virtual curriculum accessible to students worldwide. As an institution that is committed to the pursuit of excellence and learning, we view our current circumstances as an opportunity to advance our thinking through radical experimentation between various forms of online engagements, digital interface, virtual modeling and representation techniques. The pleasure of making and experimentation are fundamental to our discovery of architecture and the innovation of the discipline, as well as a deeply thoughtful form of social and cultural dialogue where the imaginary becomes possible. 


INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE ONLINE: Foundation Studies and Portfolio Development for High School Students

Start in early July - Early August, 2020 | 5-weeks | Live Synchronous Sessions Monday-Friday, 11AM-2PM EST

Student daily tutorial and desk-critique sessions will be assigned to either 9AM-11AM or 2PM-4PM EST to accommodate time zone differences.

Program participants are rising 11th and 12th grade students. Applicants do not require a portfolio or previous classwork in architecture. Students who attend the program and successfully complete all requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion from The Cooper Union. 


INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE ONLINE: Foundation Studies and Portfolio Development for College Students

Start in early July  |  4-weeks, 4 credits | Live Synchronous Sessions Monday - Friday, 11AM-2PM EST.

Student daily tutorial and desk-critique sessions will be assigned to either 9AM-11AM EST or 2PM-4PM EST to accommodate time zone differences.

Program participants have completed at least one year of college and are considering pursuing a professional degree in architecture at the undergraduate or graduate level. Some experience with the study of architecture or art is expected. Students will have the opportunity to develop a portfolio for use in applying to architecture school. Students who attend the program and successfully complete all requirements will receive 4 college credits from The Cooper Union.  


Applicants accepted to the program will be notified on a rolling basis beginning in late March. We recommend that applications be submitted as early as possible and before the end of June as the programs will reach capacity by then. 

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture offers two full-time, rigorous, online-based summer programs to introduce students to the discipline and practice of architecture. Introduction to Architecture: Foundation Studies and Portfolio Development for High School Students is a five-week program for students entering the 11th and 12th grades who are interested in exploring the fundamentals of design and thinking at the architectural scale. Introduction to Architecture: Foundation Studies and Portfolio Development for College Students is a four-week program intended for students at the college level who are considering applying to a professional degree program in architecture at the undergraduate or graduate level. The Introduction to Architecture programs are each full-time, intensive programs modeled on the unique curriculum that has distinguished the School of Architecture's five-year Bachelor of Architecture professional degree program for over thirty years. The program offers a comprehensive overview of the culture, practice and history of architecture. Students will engage in the iterative process of analysis and design as foundational for a critical approach to the study and making of architecture. Workshops in digital techniques support and extend the program as an online learning platform. Program faculty are graduates of professional degree programs in architecture, with experience in both teaching and practice. 


For additional information and questions, please email architecture.summer@cooper.edu.

  • 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.