Student Illness Procedures

It is imperative that students who become ill during the course of the academic year communicate with their professors about any absences. Students who seek medical assistance must submit documentation from their treating healthcare provider to the Director of Student Care & Support. The Director of Student Care & Support will then inform the appropriate faculty member(s) and academic school that medical documentation is on file for the absences in question. Under all circumstances, in addition to submitting medical documentation to the Dean of Students, students must communicate absences to their professors.

While medically-justified absences may be considered excused, students are still required to achieve a minimum performance within a course and receive a passing grade. Students’ absences are subject to the review of their faculty and any and all attendance policies. The Office of Student Affairs does not determine if an absence is excused. Such a determination is made by a student’s faculty member, based upon course attendance policies. Even if an absence is considered excused, students are still subject to all applicable attendance policies. Most classes at the Cooper Union require attendance at each course meeting, and even excused absences will not eliminate this requirement. Students should be in contact with their academic advisor / Academic School Dean's office to discuss absences as well as plans to complete their registered course requirements. Depending on the length of the absence period, a student may need to take a medical term withdrawal. Each situation is unique, and the Office of Student Affairs will work with the individual student and school to help and support the student through this process.

Students who are ill but do not seek medical attention should communicate directly with their professors about their illness and any absences. The Office of Student Affairs does not notify faculty of student absences, unless they are supported by documentation from the student’s healthcare provider.

The Director of Student Care & Support, Alex Fischer, can be contact via email at or

  • 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.