Cooper Union

2014 Quick Stats
30 Cooper Square

New York, NY 10003

Phone: (212) 353-4100
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#1 Overall Score: 100 out of 100. Regional Colleges (North)

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Cooper Union is a private institution that was founded in 1859. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 880 and its setting is urban. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Cooper Union's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Colleges (North), 1. Its tuition and fees are $41,400 (2013-14).

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, commonly referred to as Cooper Union, is located in New York's East Village neighborhood. Cooper Union has a number of student organizations, ranging from special interest groups, such as the Culinary Society and the Outdoors Club, to religious and performance groups. The one university residence hall is intended to help students transition from living away from home for the first time to renting a private apartment. Cooper Union fields several intercollegiate athletic teams, including men's and women's basketball, soccer and tennis.

Cooper Union is made up of three schools: the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, the School of Art and the Albert Nerken School of Engineering. The schools are connected by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, which teaches a core curriculum to all students from each of the three schools. Bob Kane, creator of the "Batman" comic series, studied art at Cooper Union, though he left before graduating to join a cartoon animation studio.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Through outstanding academic programs in architecture, art and engineering, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art prepares talented students to make enlightened contributions to society. The College admits undergraduates solely on merit and awards full scholarships to all enrolled students. The institution provides close contact with a distinguished, creative faculty and fosters rigorous, humanistic learning that is enhanced by the process of design and augmented by the urban setting.
Founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper, industrialist and philanthropist, The Cooper Union offers public programs for the civic, cultural and practicable enrichment of New York City.

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture provides its students the finest professional education available within an intellectual environment that fosters and expands their creative capacities and sensibilities and establishes the foundation for a productive professional life. The School is committed to the belief that one of society's prime responsibilities is toward learning and education in the deepest sense: that the exercise of individual creativity within a willing community is a profoundly social act. Fundamental to the mission of the School is the maintenance of an atmosphere in which freedom of thought and exploration can flourish, where students can explore and utilize their special and individual talents, interests and modes of working, to their highest potential.

The mission of the School of Art is to educate artists in the broadest sense, both as creative practitioners engaged with a wide range of disciplines in the visual arts and as enlightened citizens of the world who are prepared to question and transform society. The program is structured around an integrated curriculum that fosters connections between disciplines, as well as between traditional and new media. The studio experience affords the opportunity for the development of individual artistic vision in dialogue with collective debates and experiments within an intimate community of artists. The study of history, theory and criticism in the visual arts and general studies in the humanities and social sciences are considered essential in intellectually grounding studio practice. Central to the school's philosophy is the advancement of the artist's role in initiating critical responses and alternative models in relation to the prevailing forms and institutions of cultural production. Students are challenged to expand their research and experimentation across The Cooper Union, as well as in the surrounding urban environment and in the wider public sphere.

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering will create an educational culture with
a commitment to excellence. We will bring together the best and brightest engineering students; we will nurture and develop their talents; we will encourage them to work and learn at their highest levels; and we will instill in them the desire and the ability to use their engineering background to fulfill their potential as knowledgeable, creative and responsible leaders in society.

Within the structure of our three professional degree-granting Schools, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is committed to providing a liberal arts education "equal to the best." Students from the three Schools join together in a required four-semester core sequence of humanities and social science courses, and then select electives on more specialized topics across a range of disciplines. Small class size and a rigorous emphasis on written expression and critical thinking are key elements in the program. Through their work in the humanities and social sciences, students gain a deeper awareness of the world and become attentive to the social and humanistic implications of their professional work.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1859
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $640,535,544


When applying to Cooper Union, it's important to note the application deadline is January 1, and the early decision deadline is December 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 1. The application fee at Cooper Union is $70. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 7 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 7.0%
Application deadline January 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 1

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Academic Life

Cooper Union has 69.5 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 93.5 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio N/A 4
4-year graduation rate 65%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Information not available

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Student Life

Cooper Union has a total undergraduate enrollment of 880, with a gender distribution of 63.3 percent male students and 36.7 percent female students. At this school, 20 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 80 percent of students live off campus.

Total enrollment 939
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association N/A

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Campus Info & Services

Cooper Union offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, and health insurance. Cooper Union also offers campus safety and security services like controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Cooper Union.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Cooper Union, 34.2 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $43,220.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $41,400 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,000 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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