Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) Educational Exchange

ISMMS & Cooper Union signage

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art has partnered with the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) on a collaboration that includes joint research and an educational exchange.

At the Cooper Union the program is overseen by the Office of the Dean of Engineering with input from a Steering Council made up of faculty representatives from both institutions. The Council established guidelines and monitors all activities undertaken under the auspices of this agreement and makes joint recommendations. The primary contact in the Engineering School is Associate Dean Lisa Shay, co-chair of Steering Council. The Steering Council members are Professor Jennifer Weiser and Professor Eric Lima.

Educational Exchange


The Educational Exchange Program enables graduate students at The Cooper Union and ISMMS to take courses at the other institution. Presently, only matriculated graduate students are eligible to participate in this Educational Exchange Program at this time and must be in good academic standing at The Cooper Union.

Four Cooper Union graduate students may participate in the Exchange Program with ISMMS per academic year. Each graduate student may take up to two courses total at ISMMS. See the ISMMS course list for the full list of courses offered. Courses currently being offered each semester at ISMMS can be found by searching the course catalog. Instructions for navigating the course catalog can be found in the Application Instructions section below. The Cooper Union Steering Council members have identified a short list of courses that are recommended for Cooper Union graduate students.

If you are considering taking a course at ISMMS, please contact either Professor Lima or Professor Weiser as early as possible, well before the deadlines to register for the appropriate semester. The registration deadline is the last week of November for the ISMMS Spring 1 Semester, the last week of February for the ISMMS Spring 2 semester, and the last week of June for the ISMMS Fall 2023 semester. The ISMMS academic graduate school calendar can be found here.

Cooper Union graduate students should meet all of the ISMMS academic and institutional standards, as determined by ISMMS, including but not limited to proof of required immunizations and proof of sufficient health insurance. ISMMS reserves the right to make the final judgment on the admissibility of each student approved for the Exchange Program and the courses to which each approved student may enroll.

Application Instructions

First, determine which courses you would be interested in taking and which semester. Take a look at the ISMMS academic graduate school calendar, found here, and make sure you do this in advance of the ISMSS registration deadlines (see above).

To best search for courses within Mount Sinai, please follow these steps:

1. Click on the course catalog link here to enter the "Query Course Schedule" page.

2. In the drop-down "Term" menu, select the semester you wish to enroll in a course.

3. In the drop-down "Session" menu, scroll all the way down to and select "Graduate Session."

4. Now clicking on "Search" will provide you with a list of all available courses. Hovering your mouse over "Detail" on the right side of the screen will give you a pop-up screen that provides a more extensive description of the specified course.

Please note that the deadlines for registering for a course at Mount Sinai generally are as follows: The Spring 1 semester is late November, the Spring 2 semester is late February, and the Fall semester is late June. Please have your completed applications emailed out at least a week in advance. The instructions for that are in the next section below.

Second, you must reach out to the ISMMS course instructor and receive permission from them to take the course. You must receive an email confirmation from the instructor of the course that you are interested in taking. 

Third, you must fill out the relevant information in two forms, the Course Exchange Application Form and the Petition to Take a Course Elsewhere (PTC) Form. The Course Exchange Application Form enables the ISMMS registrar to enroll you in the course. It requires two signatures; one from your Advisor or Department Chair and one from the Associate Dean for Educational Innovation, Lisa A. Shay. The PTC form is needed to receive Cooper credit for the ISMMS course. The PTC form requires three signatures, one from your advisor, one from the Associate Dean and your own signature.  Once you have completed your portion of each form, please send them and a copy of the email approval (from step 2) to Beth Slack along with the name of your faculty advisor so that she can send the forms through Adobe Sign for signatures.

Fourth, email both completed forms and the instructor approval email in a timely manner (see deadlines above),  and a copy of your transcript to Dean Shay, Professor Lima and Professor Weiser. They will confer with Steering Council members from ISMMS and, after formal approval, submit your forms to the Registrar’s Office.

Fifth, upon successful completion of the ISMMS course(s), you must then request a transcript from ISMMS to transfer the credits to Cooper Union. Then fill out a Transfer Credits from Elsewhere (TCE) Form and send to Beth Slack to route through Adobe sign for signatures. The School of Engineering Dean's Office will forward the signed form to Cooper's Registrar's office for transcript credit. 


There is no additional cost for taking ISMMS courses. Cooper Union students will pay tuition and fees to Cooper Union only. ISMMS will not provide housing or any other benefits to Exchange Students with the exception of use of their library and/or other academic facilities necessary as part of the student’s enrollment in the ISMMS courses. Students are responsible for any course-related materials and other expenses related to the Exchange Program. Neither Cooper Union nor ISMMS will provide financial assistance to students for this program. Under no circumstances will the Exchange Students from The Cooper Union be considered full-time students of ISMMS.

Standards and Requirements

Cooper Union exchange students will be required to abide by the policies and performance standards of ISMMS and may be terminated from the course they are enrolled in at the host institution for failure to abide by the host institution’s policies. If any Exchange Student voluntarily withdraws or is dismissed for failure to abide by the ISMMS’ policies before the end of the course, such student will not be permitted to re-enroll in the exchange program. ISMMS and The Cooper Union reserve the sole discretion to require the withdrawal of any Exchange Student whose academic standing or conduct warrants such action.

Research Exchange Program

The research exchange program will provide opportunities for collaboration between The Cooper Union and ISMMS faculty and students, both undergraduate and graduate, through joint research projects. CU graduate and advanced undergraduate students engaged in approved projects may or may not choose to do it for course credit. The range of research areas may include bioengineering, biomedical engineering, proteomics, biomechanics, microbiome, and biomedical computational projects.

A collaborative research project would involve joint advising by at least one Cooper Union faculty member and one ISMMS faculty member with the Cooper Union faculty advisor retaining primary supervisory and grading responsibility for the student. A project can be graduate level or a single or multi-semester undergraduate project at the Cooper Union as long as the problem statement is agreed upon by the student and faculty at the two institutions. If the work is done for course credit (i.e. an independent study) all appropriate deadlines will apply. Any multi-semester projects undertaken by Cooper students for credit must be graded at the end of each semester based on milestones to be determines by the advisors and students.

The application for participating in the research exchange program can be found here.

The annual deadlines for submission are April 15, December 15, and August 15 for project start dates in the summer, spring, and fall semesters, respectively.

A joint annual one-day workshop will be held where faculty and students from both institutions will present their research results. 

  • 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.