Summer STEM Program



We are no longer accepting applications for Summer STEM 2018. All decision letters were sent out on March 28th, 2018. Please email us at this link if you did not receive notification. 

No calls please.

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering at the Cooper Union has been preparing high school students to pursue undergraduate careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields for over 25 years.

The Summer STEM Program is a six-week intensive that immerses current high school sophomores and juniors in hands-on engineering design and problem-solving, thereby placing them on the right track for careers in technological innovation. Projects range broadly and include robotics, digital fabrication, computer programming and app development, biomedical and genetic engineering, improved urban infrastructure, and even racecar design. Faculty and teaching assistants from the departments of civil, chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering provide students with foundational knowledge and expert guidance to address real-world problems in their respective disciplines of expertise.

Students also attend workshops on oral presentation skills, technical writing, career counseling, and college admissions. They are given access to Cooper Union’s library resources, computer facilities, and laboratories to perform their research, design, analysis, and prototyping. Typically, projects include at least one field trip to a local museum, exhibition, or gallery to enhance the students’ experience. This program culminates with each group submitting technical writing assignment summarizing their research and presenting their work to an audience of invited guests. To recognize their successful completion of the program students will receive a certificate of achievement from the Albert Nerken School of Engineering.

Program Goals: We expect that many admitted students who spend their summer with us go on to pursue a STEM career simply because they are already interested in these fields.  We are also searching for students who may not be completely convinced that a STEM career is for them and just want to explore - that's great!  For a more detailed description of our program goals, please watch our 2017 Open House video found here.  The first 15 minutes answer frequently asked questions about student expectations, program objectives, and details about the daily schedule.

As part of Cooper Union's legacy, financial aid will be made available, up to 100% of the cost, for students who either meet criteria of need and/or who are otherwise underrepresented in the STEM fields.  We therefore encourage all students to apply for this enriching educational opportunity.

Projects Offered in 2018: Please review the descriptions of all the projects being offered at this following link carefully before you submit your application.  You will have to provide us with your first and second choice.  Project link here.

Program Period: Monday, July 9 through Thursday, August 16, 2018.

Application Deadline: March 9, 2018.

Application Link and Selection Criteria can be found here.

Daily Schedule: Monday through Thursday 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

2018 Tuition & Fees: $3,250 and a non-refundable $50 application fee.  Financial aid (up to 100%, including application fee) available to those who qualify.

If the application fee is prohibitive, have your guidance counselor contact us so that we can discuss a waiver (  Please make sure that you start (but do not submit) your application online before this discussion happens.  We do not process reimbursements if you have already submitted an application but qualify for a waiver.

Fee deadlines and financial aid details can be found here.

Transportation: At the discretion of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, all students may receive Metrocards to cover transportation costs.

This program is open to current high school sophomores or juniors spending the summer in the Greater NYC area.  Students must be sophomores or juniors during the period in which they apply (rising juniors and seniors in the summer they attend the program).  Admission to the program is selective; screening of applicants begins on the deadline.  All materials, including those from references, must be submitted by the deadline for full review and consideration.

We are looking for high-potential, hard-working, and creative students for whom this experience would be transformative in their lives.  These characteristics should be apparent in their transcript, personal essay, and letter of recommendation from a teacher in the STEM fields or a guidance counselor.  Grades are not the only criteria for admission.  We admit the best team of students for each specific section.

Note: Acceptance or rejection to the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program does not affect entrance to Cooper Union’s undergraduate program.

The Summer STEM program is supported through generous donations from the Pinkerton Foundation, The Henry Sterne Trust, and the New York Building Foundation.



  • 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.