Sustaining a Legacy of Innovation

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is one of the most prestigious and selective engineering schools in the United States, consistently ranked within the top ten undergraduate engineering programs among non-doctorate-awarding schools nationwide. Defining characteristics of our engineering curriculum include rigorous preparation in mathematics and natural sciences, emphasis on project-based learning, strong integration of undergraduate research, and rich opportunities for graduate-level coursework while an undergraduate.

We admit exceptionally talented students, nurture and develop their talents, encourage them to work and learn at their highest levels, and instill in them the desire and the ability to use their engineering background to fulfill their potential as knowledgeable, creative, and responsible leaders in society. Our faculty and staff are committed to Peter Cooper’s founding vision of providing an education equal to the best without regard to class, gender, or race in the promotion of an enlightened citizenship.

Educational innovation and our graduates’ successes and accomplishments have been foundational to the rich heritage and legacy that sustains our exceptional reputation in higher education. Among our graduates are a Nobel laureate, civic leaders, and innovators whose achievements range from developing the first Global Positioning System, to pioneering applications of artificial intelligence, to designing the infrastructures that support and shape everyday life here in New York City.

In our commitment to preserve this rich heritage and reputation while simultaneously positioning our school for the future, the Albert Nerken School of Engineering is now at an inflection point. The faculty and staff are envisioning a vibrant future in which we prepare our graduates to succeed in a dynamic and increasingly complex world. This includes a commitment to educational innovation and leading-edge pedagogies, integration of ethical design and leadership, and experimentation in the curriculum. We will actively pursue interdisciplinary approaches at the intersection of art, architecture, engineering, and the humanities and social sciences and collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to create innovative solutions to societal challenges. We seek to promote Peter Cooper’s proposition that civic virtue and harmony follow from education. We are committed to instilling a sense of social justice that translates into action by inspiring our community to apply their expertise and leadership for the benefit of society and humanity.

-- Barry L. Shoop, dean

  • 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.