Degree Requirements


Required Foundation Courses 
Basic Drawing (Analytical and Descriptive)61
2-Dimensional Design61
3-Dimensional Design61
4-Dimensional Design31
Color 21 
Introduction to Techniques11
Foundation Project11
Required Art History Courses 
Modern to Contemporary: An Introduction to Art History41
Art History Electives10*
Required General Academic Studies 
Freshman Seminar31
Texts and Contexts: Old Worlds and New31
The Making of Modern Society32
The Modern Context: Figures and Topics32
General Academic Studies Electives 
To be elected from Art History3, Foreign Language4, History of Architecture, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences12
Prerequisite and Advanced Studio Courses 
To be elected from any studio discipline54
Required Senior Presentation0
Free Electives 
To be elected from courses in any discipline at Cooper Union or at other institutions approved by the dean of the School of Art10

Total Credit Requirements for the B.F.A. Degree130

* Including 2 credits in prehistory through 17th century art and 2 credits in global perspectives on art

1 First-year requirement for all students
2 Second-year requirement for all students
3 Maximum of three credits
4 With permission of the dean of the School of Art

  • 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.