Why Study Engineering at Cooper Union

ENG students in classroom

Engineering students come to The Cooper Union not only for its longstanding tradition of educating world-class thinkers —from Nobel prize winners to inventors to researchers at the world’s most important universities—but for the faculty’s extraordinary commitment to teaching. Small classes, paired with hands-on experiential learning, provide myriad opportunities to work closely with an expert in the fields of chemical, civil, electrical or mechanical engineering.

Because of the culture of vibrant learning and creativity at Cooper, students have the chance to conduct original research under their professors. Past projects have included a technology to recover energy from sewage sludge; computational quantum mechanics of nanoparticles; rotational control of three- dimensional graphic images; and a study of biomes from beehives across New York to understand the city’s microbial makeup.

Outside of the classroom, students can participate in a wide range of activities, from a team that builds a Formula SAE racecar to the Society of Women Engineers, culture and talent shows and hackathons. Additionally, our unique location in New York City’s East Village provides countless opportunities for students to experience the eclectic culture, inspiring architecture and rich history that is only found in NYC. Cooper students embrace all the city has to offer and utilize it academically, professionally and socially.

Undergraduate Studies

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering at The Cooper Union offers Bachelor of Engineering degrees in the following areas of study:

Chemical engineering requires a thorough knowledge of chemical structures, together with energy and kinetic relationships of chemical reactions and molecular transfer. The chemical engineer deals with the application of these principles to processes carried out on a variety of scales from micro-reactors to an industrial scale. In addition to the chemical and petroleum industries, chemical engineers are involved heavily in the biomedical, materials and environmental fields.

Civil engineering has a broad spectrum of specialties including structural, geotechnical, hydraulic, environmental, transportation, urban planning, construction, irrigation and drainage, waterways and harbors and infrastructure rehabilitation. Civil engineers also study and develop new materials, new structural systems and new systems procedures for optimizing design.

Electrical engineering comprises the physical systems, devices and processes that form the backbone for the Information Age, including: electronic devices and materials, integrated circuits, signal analysis and processing for communication and multimedia applications, computer architectures and processes, embedded and distributed systems and networks, and biomedical engineering.

Mechanical engineering, the broadest of the engineering disciplines, is concerned with the devices and phenomena related to the generation, transmission, application and control of power. Fields of interest include solid mechanics, materials, fluid mechanics, vibrations and acoustics, heat transfer and thermodynamics, combustion, control systems, manufacturing, CAD/CAM and robotics. Mechanical engineering is an ideal foundation for careers in the aerospace industry, ocean engineering, marine engineering, biomedical engineering, the automobile industry, the power and utility industries and virtually any area of activity that requires analytical abilities combined with a strong background in design practice.

General engineering, also known as BSE (Bachelor of Science in General Engineering), is a program is designed for students with a clear idea of their educational objectives which require a more flexible, interdisciplinary course of study. This program is suitable for students who desire a strong, broad-based, rigorous engineering background as preparation for fields such as: chemistry, mathematics, medicine, biomedical engineering, law, business, or entrepreneurship. The BSE program is not suitable for students who wish professional licensure.

Graduate Studies

Integrated Master’s Program

Cooper’s undergraduate degree programs are designed to allow students to enter the profession immediately after graduation or to pursue graduate study. The integrated master's program at Cooper offers the opportunity to earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in four or five years. An extraordinary number of Cooper Union graduates have gone on to earn Ph.D. degrees at the nation's most prestigious graduate schools.

  • 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.