Cooper Union
7 East 7th St.
New York, NY 10003-7120
(212) 353-4120
Accrediting Agency:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Cooper Union is a college that was founded in 1859 with the goal of providing public programs for the enrichment of New York City. Peter Cooper, the founder, provided free education to the working class and helped immigrant children get access to periodicals and newspapers. Cooper believed that education should be accessible for all people, regardless of race, gender, or social status. Today, Cooper Union acts as a school that promotes the advancement of science and art. It admits students based solely on merit, and every student that attends is given a full scholarship. Programs include architecture, engineering, art, and architecture. The college was ranked No. 1 in Newsweek‘s list of 25 Most Desirable Schools.

Programs Offered

Cooper Union has 150 undergraduate and 10 graduate specializations, all of which are separated into three schools of study. Architecture is the smallest school, which allows for a low student-to-teacher ratio. It employs a studio curriculum with combined focus on architecture and liberal arts, and usually takes five years to complete. The school of art provides the opportunity for students to study a wide range of artistic media, both traditional and contemporary. Students enrolled in this program engage in research and study the effect of art on urban communities. The school of engineering provides small classes and laboratory sessions, which allows for independent interaction with and support from faculty. The program prepares students for their careers and also allows students to transition from undergraduate to graduate study within a variety of fields, including engineering and medicine. Cooper Union also has many amenities available to students, such as a writing center, institutes of research, and fellowship opportunities.


In 1948, Cooper Union became accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Since then, it has continued to adhere to accreditation guidelines, and is therefore respected for the high quality of education it provides.


Admission requirements at Cooper Union vary based on the program and degree level. All undergraduate students must submit official high school transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores. The schools of art and engineering require recommendation letters, but the letters are optional for the architecture program. All programs send out a home test for undergraduate students to complete and submit. The school of engineering also requires two SAT II exams: math and either chemistry or physics.

Master’s students must submit proof of a bachelor’s degree and official transcripts, an application fee, GRE scores, three recommendation letters, a resume or curricula vitae, an essay, examples of written work, and a portfolio. After the admissions department reviews those materials, students will be required to complete a personal interview. Deadlines vary for each school of study, but only take place once a year.

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