The Outreach Pre-college Program

Free art classes for NYC high school students 

Since its creation in 1992, The The Outreach Pre-College Art Program is a free program of studio courses, creative writing and art issues seminars for New York City area high school students interested in preparing a portfolio for college. Professional artists teach all courses, and Cooper Union undergraduates serve as teaching assistants. Classes are free, including materials, field trip transportation and museum admissions. Our classes sizes are small,16-18 students per section to ensure optimal learning.

New York City area high school students, grades 10–12, are eligible to apply. 5–8 week courses take place in the fall, winter, and spring. Classes take place on Saturdays from 9am-5pm.

All students take drawing classes, with additional workshops in printmaking, photography, 3D design and 2D design. A seminar on contemporary art issues encourages students to think critically, discuss and write about current issues. This seminar includes guest speakers and visits to art venues in New York City.

Winter 2019 Review

Saturday, December 8th 10:00AM–2:00PM

To apply, students must register online here, and attend a portfolio review on Saturday, December 8th 10:00AM–2:00PM at 41 Cooper Square, RM 101. Bring 10 to 20 pieces that you feel best represent your abilities. Please include drawings from observation and bring your sketchbook(s)! 10th—12th grade students are eligible.

Winter 2019 Program

Saturdays from January 5thFebrurary 2nd, 9:00AM5:00PM

Our partner, Ava’s Smile, contributes each year toward a special project in memory of Outreach Alumna, Ava Hecht. Ava was a multi-talented student of Stuyvesant High School and attended Outreach in the summer and fall of 2008.  We celebrate Ava’s achievements and artistic spirit with a guest artist and an innovative project in new media each winter. Ava lives on in the multitude of art works she inspires.


Drawing Intensive

Collage Explorations | Guest Artist Series
(Mixed media & Basic HTML)

Collage Explorations will be a course on finding ways to give conceptual ideas a visual life through collage. Along with the tactile nature of making collages, out guest artist, Wendy Qi, will be teaching students basic HTML which will utilize the collage images made in class. This is a great opportunity to diversify students portfolios as well as to learn new ways of seeing, new ways of thinking and new ways to work with different types of mediums.

For more information call 212-353-4202 or email

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  • 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.