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 Dean of Students. The Dean of Students 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 with excused absences may be required to take a grade of Incomplete or possibly withdraw from a course and re-register for it in a later semester. Depending on the length of the absence period, a student may need to take a medical leave of absence. Each situation is unique and the Dean of Students will work with the student and their faculty and academic school to determine the necessary course of action.

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.

  • 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.