Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


Most classes are limited to a maximum of thirty students. Some classes have as few as fifteen students. The work is incredibly rigorous and you are expected to maintain a GPA above a 2.0 to remain in good standings, out of the eye of the academic review board. Engineers tend to have about 18 credits a semester, yet 18 credits usually means about 22 hours of class in a week since many 3 credit courses meet for 4 hours and many 4 credit courses meet for 5. In the art school it's similar. The architects are constantly at work, often staying more hours than the senior Electrical Engineering students. Most students are studying on a regular basis. Those who aren't are either genius or idiotic. My least favorite class was probably Principles of Physical Chemistry which is a required course for all of the engineering majors but is somewhat irrelevant to Civil and Electrical Engineers. It was a course that required concepts that were above the ability of most freshmen because there were things we should have learned in other classes first. All of the students have intellectual conversations outside of the class at one point or another. I don't believe there's anyone who avoids intellectual conversation at Cooper. Time spent with professors outside of class is usually during their office hours, which many students take advantage of with good cause.


All of my professors know my name. This has both helped and hurt me in the past. The curriculum is extremely demanding, as I often found myself taking 7 engineering courses in one semester. This has paid off in the engineering job market- I don't think any of my classmates have had trouble landing a job, and employers are generally very impressed when they see our transcripts. However, grading is pretty much curved DOWN, with the average GPA being around a 2.7. This was tough to get used to, as most of my class was the valedictorian of their respective high school. It's not a great feeling to work your ass off for mediocre grades.