Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not see an answer to your question below, please reach out to us at admissions@cooper.edu or chat with one of our student or staff ambassadors.

Another good way to learn about Cooper and current happenings is to join our mailing list. This fall we will be offering virtual information sessions and attending college fairs and portfolio days; please join us! 

Also, we've gone test optional.


General Information


Applying to Cooper Union


Learn More About Cooper Union


 How many students attend The Cooper Union?

Approximately 900-950, which includes about 120 in The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, 270 in the School of Art, and 475 in the Albert Nerken School of Engineering. We also have about 40 students in our graduate engineering program and 10 in our graduate architecture program.

 What is the size of a freshman class?

About 35 in Architecture, 75 in Art and 135 in Engineering

 When are applications due?

The deadlines for submitting your application for Fall 2021 undergraduate admission are as follows:

  • The Albert Nerken School of Engineering: Sunday, November 1, 2020
  • The School of Art and The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture: Tuesday, December 1, 2020

 What does "Early Decision" really mean?

Early Decision is available to undergraduate Architecture, Art and Engineering applicants. Applicants whose first choice is The Cooper Union might consider applying Early Decision. Early Decision applications are reviewed earlier than Regular Decision applications. If offered Early Decision admission, you must agree to enroll at The Cooper Union and withdraw your applications to all other colleges. Please click here for a list of current application deadlines. If you are not accepted under the Early Decision process, you may be reconsidered during the Regular Decision process. Although most applicants are "rolled-over" into the regular decision pool, re-evaluation is not guaranteed.

 What are the application requirements for international students?

  • TOEFLIELTS, or DET (if you have fewer than three years of study in English)  
  • Official High school transcripts
  • Official College Transcripts (if you have taken any college level courses)
Any international student accepted to Cooper Union will receive the same half-tuition scholarship (valued at approximately $11,000/per semester) that US citizens and Permanent Residents receive. However, international students are ineligible to receive state or federal aid. To learn more about International Applicants, click here.
 

What tests and documents do I need to apply to The Cooper Union?

The Cooper Union is test optional for the Fall 2021 and 2022 entering classes.

Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Applicants:

  • Common Application
  • $75 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official high school transcript(s)
  • Completed Studio Test
  • Recommendation letter strongly encouraged

School of Art Applicants:

  • Common Application
  • $75 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official high school transcript(s)
  • Portfolio of work
  • Completed Hometest 
    • For all Fall 2020 applicants, thank you for your patience in regards to the return of your Hometest materials. As soon as our campus reopens, we will be in touch with approximate timing for those returns. 
  • Recommendation letter

Albert Nerken School of Engineering Applicants:

  • Common Application (Engineering applicants must select a major when applying)
  • $75 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official high school transcript(s)
  • Completed Writing Supplement
  • 2-3 Recommendation Letters, with at least one from a STEM course instructor  

 Does Cooper accept the GED?

The Cooper Union will accept the GED (General Equivalency Diploma) in lieu of the high school diploma.

 What is the School of Art Hometest?

The School of Art Hometest consists of a number of visual projects to be completed in approximately 3-4 weeks and returned to The Cooper Union for review. The Hometest contains its own instructions to be followed explicitly, including a portfolio submission. The Hometest is sent to all School of Art applicants via email a week after the online application deadline closes. There is a different Hometest for Early Decision and Regular Decision applicants. All Hometest and portfolio materials must be submitted in the same box (exact box size will be indicated on the Hometest).

When will I receive the Hometest?

If you apply for Fall 2021 Early Decision admission (First Year or Transfer) you will receive the Hometest via email, Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

If you apply for Fall 2021 Regular Decision admission (First Year or Transfer) you will receive the Hometest via email, Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

The Hometest will be sent via email to the email address you submitted on your application. We encourage you to add admissions@cooper.edu to your email address book on your email account to avoid having your Hometest email go to your spam, promotions, or other folders. If you think you have not received your Hometest please first check your spam, promotions, and junk folders first for an email from admissions@cooper.edu. If you still cannot locate the Hometest email, please send an email to admissions@cooper.edu so we can assist you.

 What is the School of Architecture Studio Test?

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Studio Test consists of a number of visual projects to be completed in approximately 3-4 weeks and returned to The Cooper Union for review. The Studio Test contains its own instructions to be followed explicitly. The Studio Test is sent to all School of Architecture applicants via email (December for Early Decision; January for Regular Decision). All Studio Test materials must be submitted in the same envelope (exact envelope size will be indicated on the Studio Test).

When will I receive the Studio Test?

If you apply for Fall 2021 Early Decision admission, then you will receive the Studio Test via email, Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

If you apply for Fall 2021 Regular Decision admission, then you will receive the Studio Test via email, Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

The Studio Test will be sent via email to the email address you submitted on your application. We encourage you to add admissions@cooper.edu to your email address book on your email account to avoid having your Studio Test email go to your spam, promotions, or other folders. If you do not receive the Studio Test please first check your spam, promotions, and junk folders for an email from admissions@cooper.edu. If you still cannot locate the Studio Test email, please send an email to admissions@cooper.edu so we can assist you.

 What is the School of Engineering Writing Supplement?

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering Writing Supplement consists of a number of short answer questions to be completed by the application deadline (Sunday, November 1, 2020 for Early Decision applicants; Tuesday, January 5, 2021 for Regular Decision applicants) and returned to The Cooper Union for review. The Writing Supplement can be accessed through your Common Application account. The Writing Supplement must be submitted at the same time as the application. Completed Writing Supplements should be submitted directly through the Common Application. The Writing Supplement allows the admissions committee to get to know Engineering applicants beyond their test scores and transcripts. We read and evaluate your essays very carefully. We ask that you be thoughtful in your responses. 

When will I receive the Engineering Writing Supplement?

If you applied as a First Year student to the School of Engineering, you will have access to the Writing Supplement via the Common App as soon as you select an Engineering major for Cooper Union. 

If you applied as a Transfer student to the School of Engineering, you will have access to the Writing Supplement via the Common App once you select the Engineering academic program. The Writing Supplement will be found towards the end of the 'Questions' section on the application. Please note that you will have to submit your Writing Supplement at the same time that you submit your transfer application.

 What is a portfolio? Do I need one?

First Year and Transfer School of Art applicants and School of Architecture Transfer applicants must submit a portfolio of work for review with their Hometest or Studio Test, respectively. A portfolio is a collection of a cross-section of your best recent work. It should include enough pieces (generally ten to twenty pieces) to demonstrate your degree of interest. Art applicants are encouraged to include sketchbooks. All pieces should fit into an envelope of which the requirements will be outlined in the Hometest or Studio Test. Art applicants are encouraged to attend one of the National Portfolio Days which we attend. 

Does The Cooper Union accept Transfer students? What do they need to apply?

The Cooper Union admits a limited number of transfer students. Transfer applicants in Architecture and Art are required to submit the following: official high school and college transcripts, a portfolio, and a completed Studio Test or Hometest, respectively. Transfer Engineering applicants must submit high school and college transcripts and respond to a list of essay questions (Engineering Writing Supplement). Please click here for more information on the definition of a transfer student.

 How are transfer credits reviewed?

Transfer credits are reviewed on an individual basis only upon admission to The Cooper Union. Courses taken at the college level are evaluated by the department at Cooper Union for which you seek transfer credit. For example, if you seek transfer credit for a math course, the Math Department at Cooper Union will evaluate your transcript and decide if credit will be granted. We recommend holding onto all syllabi, reading lists, and work from the courses you wish to receive transfer credit.

Can I apply to more than one school at The Cooper Union?

Yes! Students are able to apply to more than one school at Cooper Union through the Common Application. Select the academic program to which you would like to apply then follow the prompts within the Common Application to make your additional selection.

Please note that you may only apply to one Engineering major within the School of Engineering. 

For each additional application, you are required to submit the $75 nonrefundable application fee. If you already submitted an application fee waiver with your Common Application, you do not need to submit another fee waiver. 

Please contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@cooper.edu if you have any questions or concerns regarding the application process. We only offer admissions decisions to your first-choice program. We will contact you to determine which program is your top choice. 

 When can I visit The Cooper Union?

The Cooper Union has regrettably suspended on-campus tours until further notice due to the potential threat of the COVID-19 virus. Please sign up here for updates on future tours, events, and when we might be visiting your neighborhood, or go here to sign up for a virtual information sessions. 

 What classes should I be taking in high school to better prepare myself for The Cooper Union?

All applicants should take a well-rounded high school program, preferably in advanced coursework (e.g. AP, IB, Honors Level, etc). Engineering students should also be well prepared in calculus, chemistry and physics. Art and architecture applicants should take visual art classes (drawing, painting, design, sculpture, etc). Architecture applicants should take pre-calculus prior to entering Cooper Union. In addition, all students should take courses that provide a solid grounding in the liberal arts, which is a basis for your humanities and social science study at Cooper Union.

 For which Advanced Placement (AP) examinations can I receive credit? This answer has been edited in response to the current pandemic/quarantine. Please check back for updates. 

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture may grant credit for mathematics courses. Please click here to review their credit evaluation policy.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) rarely grants AP credit. However, a student who has attained a grade of 5 on an AP exam may petition the dean for permission to waive a core requirement and to substitute an appropriate elective course.

The Cooper Union will consider granting credit for study in the Armed Forces, verified by U.S.A.F.I.

 How much does it really cost to attend The Cooper Union?

Tuition for the 2020–2021 academic year is $44,550 ($22,275 per semester).

All incoming students receive a half-tuition scholarship. The value of this scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year is $22,275 per year ($11,137.50 per semester). Additional financial aid may be provided to eligible students to help cover tuition, housing, food, books, supplies, etc. The amount of additional aid will be based upon a student’s demonstrated financial need. Students must file a FAFSA form to be considered for additional financial aid. Our FAFSA code is 002170 Please note that Cooper Union will also offer merit scholarships to exceptional students. Cooper Union will continue to use a need-blind admissions process meaning that a student's ability to pay will not impact our admissions decisions. For more information regarding Financial Aid at The Cooper Union, please click here.

Cooper Union students are responsible for living and miscellaneous expenses. Please click here to access our Budget Guide, which provides a more detailed description and estimate of these additional expenses.

 Once admitted what are the next steps?

This page is currently under construction. Please check back or email admissions@cooper.edu

 What clubs and activities are offered at The Cooper Union?

The Cooper Union offers a variety of clubs and organizations to its students, including: literary and performance groups, professional and honor societies, recreational sports, religious clubs, among many more and always welcoming more. Go here to find out more about our clubs.

The Cooper Union also offers varsity sports in men’s basketball, women’s and men’s volleyball, and men's soccer. Go here to find out more about our athletics.

Please note, due to the pandemic, all in-person athletics and organized events have been suspended until further notice. 

Internships and Career Development

The Center for Career Development offers effective programs and resources to an array of populations associated with The Cooper Union community, including students, employers, alumni, faculty and staff. The Center encourages creative partnerships and practical resource sharing within the Institution and with complementary external organizations.

Where can I find the Academic Calendar?

Go to the Registrar page to view out Academic Calendar.

 Further requests for information

If you have specific questions, please email us at admissions@cooper.edu.

We also encourage prospective students, parents of prospective students, and educators to join our mailing list to stay in touch. 

Please view or download an e-version of our publications: ViewbookAlbert Nerken School of EngineeringThe Irwin S. Chanin School of ArchitectureSchool of Art; and our fact sheet.

 

  • 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.