Welcome from Dean Shoop - August 18, 2020

TO: All First-Year, Transfer, and International Exchange Engineering Students

FROM:  Dean Barry Shoop (barry.shoop@cooper.edu)

SUBJECT:   A Summary of Policies and Regulations

Date:  August 18, 2020

Cc:  Associate Dean Ruben Savizky, Dean Chris Chamberlin, Nori Perez, Beth Slack, Betsy Quitugua, Engineering Student Council

On behalf of the entire faculty of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering, I want to welcome you to one of the best undergraduate engineering schools in the nation! Our curriculum is rigorous and challenging but you will find a community of faculty, staff, administrators and peers who will support you and help you navigate these next four years.

While freshmen classes will be online during the fall semester, I wanted to share with you some of the policies and procedures that remain relevant even during these exceptional times.

All school policies relating to code of conduct, alcohol, drugs, smoking, copyrights, sexual assault, non-discrimination, and anti-harassment can be found on the Cooper Union Website: cooper.edu/students/registrar/course-catalog/current. Please ensure that you read these policies before classes begin as you will be responsible for abiding by the rules and regulations found there.

E-mail: You should have received an e-mail with information about your new Cooper Union e-mail address with an @cooper.edu extension. If you have any difficulty please contact itsupport@cooper.edu for support. It is essential that you check your Cooper Union e-mail regularly as this is the primary way that we will communicate with you.

Registration: You will be automatically registered for your first semester and we will register you for your required second semester courses as well, sometime in November. You can access your educational plan (i.e., the list of courses you will be taking throughout your career at Cooper Union) through the Student Self-Service portal. As a Freshman, this plan requires Dean Savizky’s online approval before it can be accepted by the Office of Admissions and Records. For the subsequent three-years, you will be assigned a departmental advisor or advisors who will review and approve your annual plan.

Registration Changes are currently handled through an “Add/Drop” process that also requires the approval of Dean Savizky. The Office of Admissions and Records will process these changes. If a course is dropped between the second and eighth week of the semester, the letter “W” will appear next to the course on your transcript for that course. Please extend the courtesy of promptly informing the instructor by e-mail that you are dropping their course. After the eighth week of the semester, students cannot withdraw from a course unless a documented medical or other such extenuating circumstance exists.

Academic Advisement: Dean Ruben Savizky (ruben.savizky@cooper.edu) is the first-year advisor. In conjunction with your respective department chairperson, he will guide you regarding issues with scheduling, course sections, and any other aspects of your academic pursuits. Dean Savizky can be found in Room 413, on the 4th floor of 41 CS. He can be reached at +1.212.353.4372.

Departmental Advisor: After the first-year, your department chairperson (see table) will assign a full-time faculty member to be your advisor. Only a full-time faculty member may serve as an advisor. During your sophomore, junior and senior years, you will complete your course registration with the guidance and approval of your assigned faculty advisor before it is accepted by the Office of Admissions and Records. It is your responsibility to contact your advisor and set up an appointment in a timely manner before you register.


Chemical Engineering

Prof. Ogbonnaya Okorafor

Civil Engineering

Prof. Vito Guido

Electrical Engineering

Prof. Fred Fontaine

Mechanical Engineering

Prof. Melody Baglione


Dean Savizky


Changes of Major: First-year students will not be allowed to change majors until after their second semester grades are available. To be considered for a change of major, a minimum Overall GPA of 3.0 and an approval from the Chair of the department they wish to enter is required. Please note that each department has its own specific transfer policies and other factors may influence whether a department can accept a student transfer such as department class capacity. A “change of major” form is available in the Deans’ Office. Students will need to schedule a meeting with Dean Ruben Savizky to discuss their options. Ultimate approval of the change must come from the Dean’s Office.

Disability Accommodations: Students seeking accommodations due to a condition covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act are required to formally self-identify through the Office of Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will work with the student to clarify requested accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to speak directly with each of their faculty members to see how their accommodations can be met in each unique classroom and/or laboratory setting. The Dean of Students, Chris Chamberlin, can be reached by e-mail at christopher.chamberlin@cooper.edu.

Academic Standards: Academic probation is the consequence of unsatisfactory scholarship which may involve a compulsory reduction of academic load, interviews with an assigned advisor, and additional academic counseling. The Academic Standards Committee prescribes the conditions that a student must meet before being removed from probation. A student whose semester GPA is 2.0 or lower is on automatic probation and may be considered a candidate for dismissal by the Academic Standards Committee. Please refer to the section entitled: ‘Academic Standards and Regulations’ which can be found on the Cooper Union Website: cooper.edu/students/registrar/course-catalog/current

Students are responsible for seeking out the help they need in succeeding at Cooper Union. Please reach out to your faculty advisor and department chairs proactively. The rigorous curriculum at Cooper Union is unlike what is experienced in high school. Faculty and administrators are here to help, but require students to take the first step. Take ownership of this experience and take it seriously, as it will set you up for the remainder of your career in college.

Academic Integrity: Professors at Cooper Union are committed to preserving an environment that challenges every student to realize their potential. You are expected to provide your best efforts in your studies and will be supported to produce original work of the highest caliber. Firm guidelines defining violations of academic integrity are listed in the Course Catalog under ‘Academic Standards and Regulations’. If the definitions of Academic Integrity are unclear to you, it is your responsibility to review your professor’s policies or to ask your advisor to ensure compliance.

Leaves of Absence: A student who is obliged to leave school temporarily for one or two semesters must petition the Dean of Engineering for permission to take a leave of absence. A “leave of absence” form is available in the Deans’ Office. If a medical situation is a factor, a consultation with the Dean of Students, Chris Chamberlain (christopher.chamberlin@cooper.edu), is also required. The petition for a leave of absence must be made in writing.

A student who has taken a Leave of Absence may apply for readmission (reinstatement) provided that the absence has been for no longer than two semesters. A change in circumstances, which indicates that the educational program may be resumed with a probability of success, must be demonstrated. If a medical situation was a factor, a physician’s certificate of fitness to return is also required. Following a Leave of Absence of more than two semesters, the petition must be made to the Academic Standards Committee via the Dean of Engineering, or by letter addressed to the chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee.

Illness: We cannot accommodate you in terms of allowances, make-up examinations, etc., unless we have documented evidence from the treating medical professional concerning an illness. You must notify the Dean of Students (christopher.chamberlin@cooper.edu) so that your professors can be informed of your condition. Debilitating physical or psychological issues should be reported to the Dean of Students also, so that you can be advised about finding suitable help.

Medical Absences: Attendance policies are set for each course by individual faculty members. The expectation is that students will attend every class. Students who have medical excuses for missing class should contact the Dean of Students promptly. Students will be required to provide the Dean of Students with documentation from a medical provider justifying the absence. The Dean of Students will inform faculty when an absence is due to a valid medical issue/condition so that the absence can be considered excused. It is important to note that even with excused medical absences; a student is still responsible for completing all of the course requirements. For many courses, attendance is a vital component of the classroom learning experience. If, in the opinion of his or her faculty, a student’s absences have resulted in him or her missing vital components of in-class discussions and experiences, the student may be required to withdraw from a course and retake it even with valid medical excuses. In addition to communicating with the Dean of Students, students must remain in regular communication with their faculty when they need to miss a class. The Dean of Students, Chris Chamberlin, can be reached by e-mail at christopher.chamberlin@cooper.edu.

Resignation: A student may “resign” at any time in writing; a resignation is permanent and is accompanied by a separation notice that is placed in the student’s file. A “resignation” form is available in the Deans’ Office.

Class Schedules and Timing: Classes start on the hour and end ten minutes before the end of that hour. For classes of more than 50 minutes in duration, suitable breaks will be given. If a course is not following this timing, please contact the Office of the Dean of Engineering. Current class schedules can be found at the following link: http://cooper.edu/engineering/class-schedule. This link also contains a list of textbooks, which can be found at the Cooper Union library and NYU Bookstore (options may vary).

Club Hours: Club hours are between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm on Tuesdays and 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm on Thursdays. Use of club hours for academic purposes is strictly forbidden this includes makeup classes, examinations (except for placement exams), etc. If a class or other class activity is scheduled during club hours, please report it to the Office of the Dean of Engineering.

Credits for Internships and Research: The Cooper Union School of Engineering does not grant credit for programs of study or research or internships other than those specifically pre-approved by the appropriate department in the School of Engineering and the Engineering Dean’s Office. Credit for programs of study or research or internships is not granted retroactively. In addition, it is never possible for students to receive both academic credit and a salary/stipend (if one is offered) for such an academic program.

Courses Taken at Other Institutions: If you wish to take a course elsewhere and want the credit transferred to Cooper Union, the course must be pre-approved by the Chair of the appropriate Cooper Union department and Engineering Dean’s Office. A “transfer of credits” form must also be completed and submitted to the Office of Admission and Records. The form is available in the Deans’ Office. Please note that some required courses in many departments may not be replaced by courses taken elsewhere. In order to get a course pre-approved, bring as much course documentation (i.e., course syllabus and textbook) as you can to the Chair of the appropriate department to have the course assessed. These materials must also include your official transcript. The course must be judged to be equivalent to one taught at Cooper. Note that credits may be transferred only when a grade of “B” or better (not B-) has been achieved. The grade will not be factored into your GPA.

“Five-Year Plan”: Our undergraduate programs are designed to be completed in four years; extensions are uncommon and are only granted by the Dean in exceptional circumstances. In some cases, students may be required to complete courses elsewhere at their own expense, but only with pre-approval of the departmental chairperson in which the course is offered at Cooper Union.

“Full-Time Student” Status: You must enroll in at least 12 credits per semester to be considered a full-time student. Failure to maintain a 12-credit load has important consequences for your mandatory health insurance coverage and student loans. Medical insurance for international students taking less than 12-credits a semester may be affected as well, however, their F-1 status will not.

Humanities and Social Sciences: Cooper Union is comprised of four faculties—Art, Architecture, Engineering and Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). Adding, dropping, or section changes of humanities courses require the approval of the humanities faculty. The HSS Dean’s Office is on the 3rd floor of 41 Cooper Square.

Safety, Security, and Campus Emergencies: Cooper Union is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students, staff, and faculty. All laboratory personnel and professors will review safety procedures posted in their labs before you start working with them.

If you witness any safety violations while on campus, you are strongly urged to report them to the supervising staff member and/or professor. Anonymous reporting can be performed through an online link: https://safety.cooper.edu/. Important campus-wide safety and emergency guidelines are handed out to every student, but can also be found at: http://cooper.edu/students/safety. Remember, you are an integral part of keeping our campus safe and secure. Every active student will be provided with a photo identification card that must be swiped to gain entry into 41 Cooper Square, the Foundation Building, and the Residence Hall. Visitors can be signed in through the Dean’s Office; host students must accompany their guests at all times. Visitor(s) passes are issued in the Dean’s Office, Monday – Friday, 9 am-5 pm.

Visiting International Students: Visiting international students will receive their student handbook by e-mail, and an orientation meeting will be scheduled within the first two weeks of classes. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Beth Slack in the Engineering Deans’ Office at beth.slack@cooper.edu or 212.353.4287.

Course Substitutions (“Twelve Credit Rule”): In consultation with the student, a department may substitute up to twelve (12) credits of required courses with other coursework at Cooper Union. The intent of the faculty is to permit flexibility in the curricula and to allow for the possibility of tailoring a program to a student’s particular goals. A waiver request must be first approved by the corresponding department Chair and then countersigned by The Office of the Dean of Engineering. Note that engineering departments have varying policies regarding courses taken outside Cooper Union. Substitutions are not allowed for core courses.


Dean Shoop


Barry L. Shoop, Ph.D., P.E.


Albert Nerken School of Engineering

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

41 Cooper Square

New York, NY 10003-7102






  • 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.