Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the Outreach Program?
Students in both public and private high schools who live in the New York City area are eligible for the Outreach Program classes.

I am not a NYC public high school student. Am I eligible for your program?
Yes. Students in both public and private school are eligible for the Outreach Program classes.

I live outside of New York City. Am I eligible?
The Outreach Program accepts students from New York City and neighboring communities in Long Island, Westchester County, and New Jersey. We give preference to New York City public high school students. 

How do I apply to take classes?
You must fill out an online registration form for the season you are applying, then bring your portfolio to Cooper’s campus the date of the review. A link to the pertinent online registration form is available by clicking the red button (Register Now). Registration forms will be available on-site on the day of the review. 

What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of your artwork. The work included in your portfolio should reflect your artistic interests and strengths.

When applying to the program, what should I include in my portfolio?
Students should bring between 10 to 20 examples of their recent work, completed within the last year or two. If you have drawings you have done from direct observation and/or a sketchbook you should include those in your portfolio. The artwork does not need to be matted or framed. Feel free to bring a photograph of any especially large or site-specific artwork.

Does participating in the program improve my chances of being accepted to Cooper Union?
Students who have participated in the Outreach Program are not given special consideration during the application process, however by participating in the program, students improve their art skills and become stronger applicants.

How much does the program cost?
All students accepted to the Outreach Program receive a tuition free scholarship and art materials for the class. The only cost is transportation to and from Cooper Union and lunch.

Do you offer classes for engineering students?
The school of engineering offers the Summer STEM program for high school students.

Do you offer classes for children in grade school or middle school?

What type of writing do students create in the writing classes?
The writing class focuses on creative writing as a vehicle for self-expression. The curriculum is designed to draw parallels between the visual arts and written language.

Can I only take the writing class?
No, the writing class is offered as part of the visual art program. There is a Summer Writing Program available through The Cooper Union's Center for Writing.

I can’t attend the portfolio review. Can I schedule an alternate time?
If you can’t attend the portfolio review, you must contact us by email at or call us at 212.353.4202 before the scheduled date to make an alternate appointment.

I missed the portfolio review. Can I still apply to the program?
Unfortunately, we can’t review portfolios for acceptance to the Outreach Program after the review date. However students are encouraged to apply to our other seasonal programs.

Do you offer animation / fashion classes?
The Mixed Media and Guest Artist Series may touch on these skills,though we do not offer classes specifically in animation or fashion, however our classes provide a strong foundation which will prepare students for all visual arts career paths.

Will the Outreach Program help prepare me for architecture school?
Yes, the drawing and three-dimensional design classes provide a great foundation for architecture students. The Saturday Program offers a class specifically focused on this discipline.

Who teaches the classes?
Outreach Program classes are taught by professional practicing artists with undergraduate teaching assistants.

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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

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