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 to 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.


We are offering a number of Merit scholarships for New York City public high school students that will cover the full tuition of the program, including materials. In order to qualify, you must be a student in a New York City public high school and attend the portfolio review on March 17th ready to show your work. 

To apply, students must register online here, and attend a portfolio review on Saturday March 17th from 10am to 2pm at 41 Cooper Square, room 101. Bring 10 to 20 pieces that you feel best represent your abilities. Please include drawings from observation and bring your sketchbook(s)! 10th, 11th grade students are eligible.

The CUSAI program runs Monday -Thursday, 9am - 4pm, from July 2nd - 30th, with a student exhibition, animation screening, and poetry reading on August 1. 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.