Admissions Numbers Announced for 2015

POSTED ON: June 8, 2015

Two hundred fifty-one students have accepted the offer of admission from The Cooper Union for the class of first-year students to enroll in the fall; these include 245 students applying to college for the first time, plus six transfers. Of the freshman cohort, 30 plan to enroll in architecture, 67 in art and 154 in engineering.

The preparation and talent of the new class continue to meet Cooper’s very high standards.

“Some of these applicants were among the best we have ever seen,” said Elizabeth O’Donnell, acting dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. “We drew exceptional talent from across the United States and internationally and are very excited about this new class.”

Said Saskia Bos, dean of the School of Art, “The quality of the work submitted by applicants for the home test was outstanding. The applicant pool was strong: the work demonstrated energy and potential. The School of Art faculty and alumni reviewed the portfolios of 80 percent of the admitted students during the recruitment process, and we are all looking forward to welcoming them next fall.”

“We are delighted that Cooper’s unique cohort pedagogy and its intensive instruction are attracting such accomplished students,” said Teresa Dahlberg, dean of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering.

In art and architecture, faculty reviews of portfolios submitted in response to specific artistic or design challenges form the primary criterion for admission. In engineering, evidence is sought of interest in problem-solving and project work, in addition to more routine measures of aptitude and achievement.

In engineering, mean SAT I math scores rose 17 points to 771, and math, chemistry and physics subject test scores rose 14 points to 771, nine points to 755, and eight points to 753, respectively. In art, critical reading rose 36 points to 615 and critical writing 13 points to 586.

The proportion of the incoming class—both first-time college applicants and transfers—who are eligible to receive federal Pell grants is 25 percent, as compared to 24 percent in last year’s enrolling class. These percentages place The Cooper Union among the most economically diverse of the nation’s highly selective schools, including Vassar and Amherst.

Students from New York City continue to comprise almost 30 percent of the class. Meanwhile, the proportion of students from outside the metropolitan area grew four points to 28 percent and international students five points to 20 percent.

Applications to Cooper from students attending college for the first time rose 29 percent overall, from 2536 to 3259, rebounding from last year’s drop to exceed the number received in 2013. Growth in the applicant pool was largest in engineering, at 66 percent. Art grew 6 percent, while architecture dropped 6 percent, a reflection of a national trend away from undergraduate study in the field. For all three schools, the proportion of completed applications—including the studio test in architecture, the home test in art, and 14 supplemental essay questions in engineering—rose as a percentage of the applicant pool, suggesting Cooper was a priority application for those students. In addition, yield in each art and architecture—that is, the proportion of admitted students who accept the offer of admission—rose seven and 13 points, respectively, to 91 percent. In engineering, yield dropped five points to 47 percent, reflecting external competition to attract top students from a pool whose size and preparation had improved materially in many quantitative measures.

Of these applications from first-time college students, 432 were admitted, for an overall selectivity rate of 13 percent (6 percent in architecture, 8 percent in art, 18 percent in engineering). An additional six students were admitted as college transfers into the first-year programs in art and architecture. These figures compare with 379 first-time college students admitted last year, for a 15 percent selectivity rate, with 11 additional transfer admissions.


NOTE: This data is accurate as of its posting on June 8, 2015. A updated statistical profile of the entering class will be published next fall, when the data is final. 

  • 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.