Course Listings

Undergraduate Required

  • Arch 103

    Calculus and Analytic Geometry

    Emphasis on topics that involve the mathematical approach to geometrical and physical relationships and on basic concepts and applications of calculus of functions of one and two variables.

    Credits: 3.00

  • Arch 106

    Concepts of Physics

    An introduction to physics with an emphasis on statics and dynamics. Additional topics include optics, waves and an introduction to structural analysis.

    Credits: 3.00

  • Arch 111 A-B


    Introduction to the study of architecture; investigation of the interrelationships of space, structure and visual composition. Exploration of the syntax of architecture. Models and orthographic drawing.

    4 credits per semester.

  • Arch 115 A-B

    History of Architecture I

    Semester I
    A broad introduction to the study of the concepts, designs and built examples of architecture from antiquity to the present. Selected projects from around the world will be analyzed in terms of planning, design, structure, technique, function, social context and meaning.

    Semester II
    An introduction to the study of the concepts, designs and built examples of architecture from approximately the 12th through the 17th century. Selected projects from around the world will be analyzed in terms of planning, design, structure, technique, function, social context and meaning.

    3 credits per semester.

  • Arch 117A

    Representation I: Geometry

    Introduction to various geometric logics; methods of graphic description, as well as an introduction to concepts and systems of projection and the two-dimensional representation of three-dimensional form and space. Emphasis on the control, precision, and rigor of the geometric description of form.

    3 credits per semester.

  • Arch 117B

    Representation II: Observation

    This course is an exploration of the visual and conceptual aspects of drawing from direct observation. Focusing on drawing in a variety of media; questions of figuration and abstraction, space and form, perception, and composition will be investigated.

    3 credits per semester.

  • Arch 121 A-B

    Design II

    Projects comprise elemental architectural programs wherein the student is required to sustain the formal investigations of first year while integrating the complexities of program, context and site. Spatial, structural, material, environmental and visual design are integrated. Emphasis is placed on communicating concepts through drawings and models.

    5 credits per semester.

  • Arch 122 A-B

    Structures I

    A qualitative examination of the behavior of structures. Characteristics and development of the stresses generated from the simple to the complex. A study of the materials of construction used in structures.

    2 credits per semester.

  • Arch 124


    Introduction of critical issues of the “natural” environment and the recognition of contemporary interior space as a complex environment both mechanical and passive. This class will provide students with a conceptual grounding in environmental issues at the urban and building scales in the second-year curriculum, when complexities of program, context and site are introduced in the studio. The class will be directly aligned with the Design II spring semester studio, through common faculty and shared projects.

    2 credits per semester.

  • Arch 125 A-B

    History of Architecture II

    Semester I
    An introduction to the study of the concepts, designs and built examples of architecture from approximately the 18th to the mid 20th century. Selected projects from around the world will be analyzed in terms of planning, design, structure, technique, function, social context and meaning.

    Semester II
    An introduction to the study of the concepts, designs and built examples of architecture from approximately the mid to the end of the 20th century. Selected projects from around the world will be analyzed in terms of planning, design, structure, technique, function, social context and meaning.

    3 credits per semester

  • Arch 127A

    Representation III: Analysis

    Introduction to the representational conventions of architectural analysis. Drawing modes to include plans, sections, elevations and axonometrics. Analytical readings of form, structure, space, program, and site will be explored. Students to achieve the ability to critically interpret architectural precedents through analytical representation.

    3 credits per semester.

  • Arch 127B

    Representation IV: Imaging

    This course will focus on the various techniques and methods of producing architectural images including photography, rendering, animation, and pixel manipulation. In addition to exposing students to advanced imaging methods, questions of aesthetics, composition, color theory and optical mechanics will be explored in relation to architectural representation.

    3 credits per semester.

  • Arch 131 A-B

    Design III

    Study and analysis of historical precedents followed by a sequence of design problems of increasing complexity. Emphasis on the planning of buildings and the interrelationships among form, structure, detail and technologies.

    5 credits per semester.

  • Arch 132 A-B

    Structures II

    The study of strength of materials is applied to the quantitative design procedures for wood and steel structures. Students complete individual projects in wood and lowrise steel structures.

    2 credits per semester. Prerequisites: Arch 103/104, Ph 165/166, Arch 122 A-B Structures I.

  • Arch 133

    Introduction to Urban History & Theories

    An introduction to Urban History and to the principles, concepts, and Theories of Urbanism, from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the 20th Century urbanism.

    2 credits.

  • Arch 134 A-B

    Environmental Technologies

    Environmental and life safety systems as they affect program and building form, including mechanical (heating, cooling, ventilating), water supply and disposal, electrical, lighting, acoustics, vertical transportation, communication, security and fire protection. Principles of sustainability. Passive and active systems.

    3 credits per semester.

  • Arch 135 A-B

    Building Technology

    Materials and methods of architectural construction, lectures, examination and discussion of classic as well as current building techniques. Students assemble full-size "mock-ups" of details for class study germane to their design classes. In general, this course does not separate "construction" from "design" but attempts to supplement, by a means of a more detailed study of design assignments. Field trips may be made to buildings under construction.

    2 credits per semester.

  • Arch 141 A-B

    Design IV

    Investigation of urban programs and sites requiring the integration of form, structure and space. Examination of the complexities implicit in the resolution of urban problems. Analytic studies and explorations generate specific programs for development of each project. Emphasis given to large-scale integrations and the impact of urban transformations upon existing fabric.

    5 credits per semester.

  • Arch 142 A-B

    Structures III

    The design of reinforced concrete using stress methods and plastic design is combined with individual projects in low-rise concrete structures. Elements of soil mechanics and soil investigations are included (Fall only) in foundations design.

    2 credits per semester. Prerequisite: Arch 132 A-B Structures II.

  • Arch 143 A-B

    Construction Management

    Introduction to construction management principles, techniques and methods including scheduling, cost-estimating, planning and controlling construction process.

    1 credit per semester.

  • Arch 151 A-B


    A synthesis of four years' educational experience. The choice of the area of study is the responsibility of the student. The scope of the problem is defined by each student, who also decides on his or her method of exposition. Problems are analyzed and studied with the aid of faculty from each discipline and by visiting critics.

    6 credits per semester.

  • Arch 152

    Structures IV

    Intensive seminars are completed on prestressed concrete, wind and earthquake design for tall structures and special structures, while the student becomes the structural consultant for individual assignments for the structural solution of real architectural projects covering prestressed, high-rise steel and concrete buildings and shells.

    2 credits. Prerequisite: Arch 142 A-B Structures III.

  • Arch 154 A-B

    Professional Practice

    The role of the architect in relation to the community, client, builder, worker and engineer. Societal, ethical, legal and personal obligations. Office organization and administration.

    1 credit per semester.

  • Arch 205

    Advanced Concepts

    This course is intended to be an advanced course dealing with the relationship between architectural space and some other discipline in the humanities. The course deals with an interdisciplinary approach toward a new poetic and the phenomenology, psychology and metaphysics of space.

    Prerequisite: permission of instructor

    After fulfilling the Arch 205 Advanced Concepts degree requirement, a student may enroll in other additional Arch 205 Advanced Concepts classese for elective credit.

    Credits: 2.00

  • Arch 225

    Advanced Topics in History, Theory, Criticism

    Advanced study in history, theory, criticism of architecture, urbanism and technology.

    Prerequisites: Arch 115 A-B, Arch 125 A-B and Arch 175 or permission of the instructor. 

    After fulfilling the Arch 225 Advanced Topics degree requirement, a student may enroll in other additional Arch 225 Advanced Topics classes for elective credit.

    Credits: 2.00

  • FA 100RA - FA 100RB

    Shop Tech

    An introduction to the physical aspects of working with wood, metal and plaster (mold making).

    1 credit per semester.

Undergraduate Electives

  • Arch 153

    Town Planning

    A modernist response to the problems of large metropolitan cities. Taking a historical perspective, the course will analyze town planning responses of specific architects and groups for cities such as Paris, London, New York, Vienna and Chicago, questioning the cultural determinants that made town planning a modernist stance.

    2 credits per semester.

  • Arch 165

    Analysis of Architectural Texts

    Introduction to analytical methods and techniques and their relationship to synthetic activity in the design process.

    2 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor

  • Arch 175

    Modern Architectural Concepts

    The concepts and generators of form and space relative to architecture of the 20th century are explored and investigated.

    2 credits. Prerequisites: Arch 115 A-B and Arch 125 A-B or permission of instructor

  • Arch 176

    Theory of Landscape Architecture

    Lecture/studio course explores the interrelationships of nature, site design and built form. Focus on basic elements of nature addressed ideologically, poetically, culturally and practically through an interdisciplinary study of works by selected artists, writers, landscape architects and architects. Work with landscape fundamentals, continue on to more complex issues of natural processes and aesthetics, such as atmosphere, ephemerality and time, and of site planning, such as site selection, topography, drainage, ecology and climate, especially as related to architecture and art in the land.

    Credits: 2.00

  • Arch 177

    Computer Graphics, Image Processing and Vision

    Introduction to basic concepts of spatial description and manipulation by computer enables student to use these techniques as an aide in problems of formal spatial drawing with a computer. Examination of the issues of "hand-eye axis" in computer-based drawing and "paint" systems as well as more abstract algorithmic methods of drawing. Image acquisition and transformation by computer, its relation to computer vision and control of robots and machines which build will be another area of emphasis. Survey of a wide variety of applications including typeface design, page layout and make-up, animation and interactive control of video systems.

    Credits: 2.00

  • Arch 178

    Advanced Drawing Seminar

    The course will focus on the dialogue between figuration and abstraction. Students will be expected to plan and elaborate an ongoing series of drawings. The class will meet on a seminar basis to critique work in progress and to discuss issues relevant to the language of drawing. There may be an open studio available for those students who wish to pursue drawing from the model. However, students will be encouraged to investigate a broad spectrum of imagery and materials.

    Prerequisite: permission of instructor

    Credits: 2.00

  • Arch 185

    Crossings, The Feltman Seminar

    This seminar will investigate the principles, aesthetics and methodologies of lighting perception and design. The Feltman Fund, a gift to the school, makes this seminar possible and supports its chairs.

    Credits: 2.00

  • Arch 185.12


    This project-oriented studio course will explore and investigate developments in architecture, art, literature and engineering that reinforce or reintroduce the interrelationships of these diverse disciplines including the implications of recent scientific developments that cross and disrupt established boundaries and foundations of compartmentalized disciplines, giving us new insights into the natural processes within the rich diversity of nature. A revitalized and stimulating field of inquiry is now offered to architects, artists and engineers, with technological and cultural implications.

    Prerequisite: permission of instructor

    Credits: 2.00

  • Arch 190

    Structures Elective

    The reason for the unique structural solutions for existing building structures is presented in depth. These studies will include structures of all sizes subject to gravity, wind and/or seismic forces. The path followed to arrive at the best solution is analyzed in open discussion. The correlation between the architectural, structural and mechanical needs, as well as considerations related to the actual erection of these structures, is presented.

    2 credits. Prerequisites: Arch 122 A-B, Arch 132 A-B, Arch 142 A-B, Arch 152 or permission of the instructor

  • Arch 193

    Experience in Practice

    Supervised experience in the practice of architecture or a related discipline in the built environment during the summer break from classes that will enhance the student’s knowledge and design skills. A minimum of 8 weeks/300 hours work is required for credit. The work experience must be approved a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the beginning of work. It is expected that the student will be compensated for work as required by law. May be repeated for credit up to a maximum of 3 credits.

    1 credit, Pass/Fail. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all second year requirements.

  • Arch 194

    Environmental Technologies Elective

    Advanced study in environmental issues to include such topics as cultural and environmental sustainability, resource allocation, new materials and methods, global networks, urban growth, etc., as they relate to architecture on many scales.

    2 credits. Prerequisite: Arch 134 A-B or permission of the instructor

  • Arch 300

    Computer-Aided Design and Descriptive Geometry

    Architecture-specific exploration into perception, methods and conventions of the geometric representation of space through the new perspective of computer applications. Introduction to concepts of projections, hinge and projector lines as well as absolute and relative coordinate systems through local deduction by considering parallel, axial, radiant and stereoscopic projections as variations of the same system. Introduction of CAD specificmethods such as Solid, NURBS and Parametric Modeling, hierarchical- and command-based programs. Critical comparison of computer capabilities and architectural tangible scale modeling methods to understand possibilities and limitations of computer-aided design in architecture. Critical exploration of methods and media for representation and design of specific works of architecture.

    2 credits.

Graduate Required

  • Arch 401


    An introduction to research in architecture and urbanism: theory, research (methods and techniques) and writing, for M.Arch. II degree students only. Selected readings in historiography, theory, criticism and design and methods. Includes lectures and seminars by faculty and visiting specialists in the fields of history and criticism, architecture and urban design methods, research in representational techniques, digital technology, etc. Presentations by each student in the program will encourage interdisciplinary comparison and shared knowledge.

    2 credits.

  • Arch 402

    Thesis Research Tutorial

    Individual thesis research conducted under the supervision of an adviser or advisers leading to the preparation of a Thesis Prospectus required for advancement to the third semester of the program.

    2 credits.

  • Arch 411

    Graduate Design Research Studio I

    The Design Research Studio 1 will establish a general problem incorporating aspects of architectural, urban and technological design research to be undertaken by the class, with each student contributing to his or her specific area of expertise. The studio will include seminars by invited guests on topics relevant to the program's principal areas of study.

    6 credits.

  • Arch 412

    Graduate Design Research Studio II

    Individual design projects within general guidelines established by the faculty, each emphasizing the special area(s) of research of the student.

    6 credits.

  • Arch 413

    Graduate Thesis

    The choice of the area of study is the responsibility of the student. The scope of the project and method of exposition is defined by each student in consultation with their thesis adviser and must be approved prior to the beginning of the summer term on the basis of a thesis prospectus presented to the group of faculty. Students will develop a mutually agreed upon schedule for meetings with their adviser and for regular project reviews.

    6 credits.

  • Arch 482

    Graduate Seminar in Technologies

    Selected topics in the advanced study of technological issues in architectural design, representation, materials, planning, production and construction.

    2 credits.

  • Arch 483

    Graduate Seminar in Urban Studies

    Selected topics in the advanced study of urban form including readings and case studies in urban analysis, global development, historic preservation and typological transformation. Open to undergraduate fourth- and fifth-year architecture students as an elective with permission of the instructor and the dean.

    2 credits.

  • Arch 485

    Graduate Seminar in Theory, History and Criticism of Architecture

    Selected topics in the advanced study of the theory and criticism of modernism and contemporary architecture, the philosophy and aesthetics of architecture, the mediatization of architecture and broader cultural and historical issues, through the critical readings of texts as well as case studies. Open to undergraduate fourth- and fifth-year architecture students as an elective with permission of the instructor and the dean.

    2 credits.

  • 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.