Cooper Union

New York, New York

#37 National Colleges

15.45% Admission Rate
Very Selective

844 Undergraduates Enrolled

  • Private nonprofit
  • Baccalaureate Colleges: Diverse Fields
  • Four-year, full-time, more selective, lower transfer-in
  • Four-year, very small, primarily nonresidential

"The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 41 Cooper Square in New York City's East Village." by John Wisniewski is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, commonly known as Cooper Union and informally referred to, especially during the 19th century, as the Cooper Institute, is a private college at Cooper Square in New York City. Inspired in 1830 when Peter Cooper learned about the government-supported École Polytechnique in France, Cooper Union was established in 1859. The school was built on a radical new model of American higher education based on founder Peter Cooper's fundamental belief that an education "equal to the best technology schools established" should be accessible to those who qualify, independent of their race, religion, sex, wealth or social status, and should be "open and free to all."The Cooper Union originally offered free courses to its admitted students, and when a four-year undergraduate program was established in 1902, the school granted each admitted student a full-tuition scholarship. Following its own financial crisis, the school decided to abandon this policy starting in the fall of 2014 with each incoming student receiving at least a half-tuition merit scholarship, with additional school financial support. The school plans to gradually reinstate full-tuition scholarships for undergraduates by the 2028–2029 academic year.

The college is divided into three schools: the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, the School of Art, and the Albert Nerken School of Engineering. It offers undergraduate and master's degree programs exclusively in the fields of architecture, fine arts (undergraduate only), and engineering. It is a member of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).

"Cooper Union." Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 February 2022,

New York, New York

show map

City: Large (population of 250,000 or more)

Mid East (DE, DC, MD, NJ, NY, PA)


Predominant Degree Awarded
Predominantly bachelor's-degree granting

Highest Degree Awarded
Graduate degree

Most Popular Fields

Field % Students
Engineering 65.6%
Visual And Performing Arts 26.1%
Architecture And Related Services 8.3%



Percentage Students Receiving Aid

Average Net Cost After Aid


SAT Scores

1430 Composite Average
Percentile 75% 50% 25%
Math 790 723 655
Verbal 740 695 650

ACT Scores

33 Cumulative Average
Percentile 75% 50% 25%
Math 35 32 29
English 35 33 30