Saturday Program

Applying to The Saturday Program

Applications for the 2020-2021 school year are now available!

Please use the online form provided here to submit your application by Tuesday, September 15. Applications received after this date will placed on a waitlist.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Saturday Program classes will be online for the Fall Semester and potentially for the Spring semester as well. For the duration of the COVID-19 distance learning structure, classes will run partially live and asynchronously. That is, on Saturdays classes will meet for 2–3 hours cumulatively, as opposed to our standard 7–8 hour day when in-person and on campus. Students will be meeting for those times on Saturdays based on a schedule that instructors establish with each class. Projects will be assigned to be worked on individually and/or in small groups via online platforms.

Important Dates for Fall 2020

September 15th: Deadline to submit all applications.

September 26th: Portfolio review sessions for all seniors applying to Senior Studio classes (formerly titled “Portfolio Preparation”). This is ONLY for seniors applying to these classes. Students applying to Senior Studio must attend a virtual interview this day and have artwork to present in the interview.

October 10th: All Saturday Program classes begin.

December 19th: Last day of class and end of the Fall Semester. Opening of The Virtual Art Crawl (Online exhibition featuring student art, writing, and digital media work).

About The Saturday Program

The Cooper Union's Saturday Program offers eight free studio art courses enrolling over 200 New York City Public High School students. Most classes meet from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturdays for two semesters, October to December and January to April. This schedule provides the intensive working time necessary to explore media, technique, and concept for both the beginner and the student with art experience.

Materials are provided at no charge to encourage access for all students.

Subjects offered for grades 9 through 12 are: 

  • Architecture
  • Digital Media: Video, Photo, and Sound
  • Drawing
  • Graphic Design
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Senior Studio: Visual Art (12th grade only)
  • Senior Studio: Design (12th grade only)

Students need no prior experience, just strong motivation. A written application is required. Those who have attended the Saturday Program or The Outreach Program at The Cooper Union in prior years will be offered a place in the program as space permits. Returning students must re-apply by the application deadline each year.

For High School Seniors our two-semester Senior Studios provide support to successfully compete for admissions to art and architecture colleges. This intensive studio course includes individual advisement and studio visits with professional artists. Applicants to Senior Studios must attend an informal work review on the first Saturday in October.

All classes take field trips to museums, galleries, and artists’ studios. Creative writing workshops are integrated into the visual arts curriculum. Each year the program culminates in April with an Exhibition and Spoken Word Performance (to which you are cordially invited).


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For more information please call the Saturday Program Office at (212) 353-4108 or email


  • 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.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.