Cooper Union


The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, commonly referred to simply as Cooper Union, is a privately funded college located in Cooper Square in the East Village neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York City. Inspired in 1830 when Peter Cooper learned about the government-supported École Polytechnique, Cooper Union was established in 1859. The school was built on a radical new model of American higher education based on founderPeter Cooper's fundamental belief that an education "equal to the best technology schools [then] 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 previously granted each admitted student a full-tuition scholarship; as of April 23, 2013, due to financial concerns, that policy has been eliminated beginning with the class entering in the Fall of 2014.

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, 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 is considered to be one of the most prestigious colleges in the United States, with all three of its member schools consistently ranked among the highest in the country. Dr. Jamshed Bharucha has succeeded George Campbell Jr. as the college's twelfth president.

Cooper Union was one of very few American institutions of higher learning to offer a full-tuition scholarship – valued at approximately $150,000 as of 2012 – to every admitted student. Cooper Union has historically been one of the most selective colleges in the United States, with an acceptance rate typically below 10%. Both the art and architecture schools have acceptance rates below 5%. Cooper Union experienced a 20% increase in applications for the 2008–2009 academic year, further lowering the acceptance rate. The school also experienced a 70% increase in early decision applications for the 2009–2010 academic year. As a result of its record low acceptance ratio for the fall-2010 incoming class, Cooper Union was named by Newsweek as the "#1 Most Desirable Small School" and "#7 Most Desirable School" overall.