Campus update: While we've worked hard to preserve the possibility that students could return, the remainder of the spring semester will be conducted online. Staff will work remotely until at least April 20. See the Coronavirus / COVID-19 Updates page.

Honors and Special Programs

Dean’s List The Office of Admissions and Records determines a Dean’s List twice a year, at the end of each semester, on the basis of the record of the completed grade in every subject at the official end of the grading period. To qualify, a student must have a 3.5 or better semester grade point average for a study program of at least 12 credits during that semester with no grade lower than C and no grades of Incomplete (I). Note: Students may petition the dean/associate for reconsideration in the Dean’s List after the Incomplete (I) has been made up.

Course Overload An overload in the first year consists of a credit total greater than the standard load for that semester in a student’s respective program. A student having a grade point average of 3.0 or better may take an overload of one course in any given semester with the approval of the freshman academic advisor and the written approval of the dean or associate dean. In all other cases, overload is any credit load over the designated load for that semester in the student’s program curriculum and requires approval of the student’s academic advisor(s). Overload beyond 21.0 credits also requires the written permission of the dean/associate dean and no overload is permitted for students with a prior semester G.P.A. of less than 3.0 or a cumulative G.P.A. of less than 3.0. Requests for overloads must be submitted to the dean/associate dean during the add period of that semester together with written advisor’s approval, and only after all grades from the previous semester(s) have been entered.

Graduation with Honors Each graduating senior in the School of Engineering who has achieved an overall cumulative rating of 3.8 or higher is awarded the degree with the notation summa cum laude. Magna cum laude requires a G.P.A. of 3.7 or higher and cum laude requires at least a 3.5 G.P.A.

Curricular Transfers A student wishing to change his or her major should first discuss the plan with his or her current advisor(s) in the current major and the chair of the new major. Transfer is at the discretion of the dean’s office and the receiving department. It may be affected by the student’s grades and availability of program resources. Students who request a change in major must consult with the policies of the department they wish to transfer into. It becomes effective when the required petition form, approved by the dean or associate dean of engineering, has been delivered to the Office of Admissions and Records. First-year students may not change their area of study until the end of the year when two semesters’ grades are available. A G.P.A. of 3.0 or better is required for approval to transfer curriculum.

Pre-Medical, Pre-Law or Pre-Business Studies Upon completion of the engineering degree, some graduates may decide to attend medical, dental, business or law school. Most of the prerequisites for such a course of action are offered at The Cooper Union. For medical school or dentistry, students are advised to take one year of organic chemistry and one year of biology. For law or business, additional economics, political science and professional ethics courses are useful. Students should consult their advisor(s).

Study Abroad The Cooper Union offers suitably qualified, approved students the opportunity to participate in research programs at various foreign universities during the summer. For example, students have attended universities in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, China, Japan, Italy, Spain, Ghana and France. Cooper Union credit (up to six credits at the 300 level) is granted upon successful completion of the research work, presentation of a written report and its approval by the Office of the Dean. Three credits are considered for technical credit and may count towards the elective science/engineering requirements for the student, the remaining three credits are non-technical credits that do not satisfy the HSS elective requirements of the degree. Applications are available in the dean’s office in mid-January. (Students on probation are ineligible for this program). Credit is only allowable for exchange programs authorized by The Cooper Union School of Engineering.

Professional Development Mastering the technical aspects of an engineering field is only part of being a successful engineer. There are many other areas that go toward building and continuing a professional career.

  • 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.