Saturday Program Courses

Take a look back at our 2023-24 program year above.


  • Courses are free and students are able to take a single course for the year or they have the option of switching classes between the Fall and Spring term.
  • Courses are also taught in Cooper Union's art studios, which consist of large, well-lit spaces where students have room to experiment and explore materials.
  • Free MetroCards are provided to assist students with travel to and from classes.
  • Instructors are made up of currently enrolled undergraduate students and visiting professional artists, focusing on skill development and technique refinement.
  • Weekly writing workshops are integrated into the curriculum to bridge visual and written thinking.
  • Field trips to visit New York City museums, galleries, and artist studios.
  • Art career exploration opportunities are offered through our Creative Careers presentations, visits to artist studios and one-on-one mentorship sessions.
  • The annual Art Crawl is an open studio event held at the end of the Fall semester, offering students an opportunity to share in-progress or completed art projects with their peers. It's a celebration of the creative process.
  • Year End Show is the culmination of the program year, where we showcase students' work through an exhibition and poetry reading for friends and family. 


Open to 9-12th grade students

Architecture students making a basswood model.


This course serves as an introduction to architecture, focusing on its fundamental aspects. Architecture is both a science and an art, encompassing the design and construction of buildings. It involves the creative process of sketching, conceiving, planning, designing, and constructing structures. Architecture is distinguished from the skills associated with construction, emphasizing the artistic and technical aspects of designing and building. Throughout this course, we will explore the essence of architecture and its significance in shaping our built environment.

Two teen women drawing while standing in front of easels.


The drawing course delves into the core principles of drawing for individuals interested in learning or enhancing their understanding of this fundamental art form. We will focus on key concepts such as shape, shading, and color. Throughout the course, you will acquire various drawing skills, from contour lines to understanding perspective and size relationships, shading techniques, and color theory. Whether sketching a chair, depicting the corner of a room, rendering a portrait, or capturing the delicate details of a flower, the elements and principles of drawing remain consistent. Join us as we explore the foundational aspects of drawing and unlock your artistic potential.

Teens sitting in front of computers


This course will lead you through the fundamental steps of the graphic design process. This includes preliminary research, essential tools, selecting appropriate styles, crafting personal branding, and constructing your online portfolio. It's a studio-based course aimed at nurturing students' ability to comprehend and produce images. Throughout the course, students will seamlessly transition between two-dimensional and three-dimensional processes, exploring both material-based and digital projects. Graphic designers create visual content to convey messages effectively. By employing visual hierarchy and page layout techniques, designers utilize typography and imagery to fulfill users' specific needs. They also focus on the strategic placement of elements in interactive designs to optimize the user experience. 

Student exploring their camera in the Media Production class.


This course introduces both the technical and creative facets of media production. Students will receive training in various production techniques across photography, film, audio, and video. Additionally, the course introduces students to the study of media, culture, and communication. Media production is the art of visual storytelling through film and sound. Throughout the course, students will acquire foundational skills in shooting, producing, and editing video, along with basics in lighting and sound production.

teens sitting in a circle painting,


This course is designed to explore the fundamental principles of painting for individuals interested in learning or deepening their understanding of this art form. Throughout the course, participants will discover various techniques, including using color contrast to establish focal points, employing patterns to guide the viewer's eye, creating rhythm to lead across the canvas, achieving balance through mass, and using line to initiate visual journeys anew. Painting entails applying paint or another medium to a solid surface, typically a canvas. While paintbrushes are commonly used, artists may also utilize alternative tools such as sponges, spray paint, or knives.

Teen Age Student cutting plaster gauze while making a sculpture.


Our introduction to sculpture offers an initiation into representing the three-dimensional world through sculpture. The course includes various materials and techniques, from clay and plaster to mold making and upcycling. Students are guided in integrating visual elements like proportion, anatomy, gesture, and volume to craft three-dimensional images, which are fundamental in art and design. This class serves as a foundational exploration of sculptural concepts and issues pertaining to three-dimensional form. Instruction includes traditional modeling techniques utilizing materials such as plaster and woodcarving. 



Open to 11th and 12th grade students

Portfolio Pre students working on sculptures.

High school juniors and seniors may take a specialized Portfolio Preparation course and produce a competitive portfolio for the college admission process to art, design and architecture schools. Our Portfolio Prep program is designed to help students refine and showcase their artistic talents in preparation for college applications. Through a series of hands-on assignments and personalized coaching sessions, students will develop a comprehensive portfolio that highlights their skills, creativity, and artistic vision. The program covers various aspects of portfolio development, including selecting and organizing artwork, creating artist statements and preparing for portfolio reviews. With guidance from experienced instructors and access to professional resources, students will gain the confidence and expertise needed to present a strong portfolio that reflects their unique artistic identity and increases their chances of admission to top art schools and programs. This intensive studio course includes individual advisement and studio visits with professional artists. Applicants to Portfolio Prep must submit artwork for review before gaining admission.

  • 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.