The Cooper Union School of Art Outreach Program

/ Saturday Program

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not a NYC public high school student. Am I eligible for your program?

Students in both public and private school are eligible for the Outreach Program classes.

What is the NYC area?

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. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer courses to students who live outside of the New York City area.

How do I apply to take classes?

There are different application deadlines for each program. Start by reading the eligibility requirements for each of our programs, and then follow the links for directions to apply.

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 and if art is too large, fragile, etc, feel free to bring a photograph of the work.

Does participating in the program improve my chances of being accepted to Cooper Union?

Students who have participated in the Saturday 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 Saturday 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 an outreach research internship program for high school students.

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

Unfortunately, we only offer classes for NYC area high school students.

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. During the Winter Workshop for seniors, the focus shifts to writing autobiographical essays for the college application process.

Can I only take the writing class?

No, the writing class is offered as part of the visual art program.

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 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 Outreach is a year round program, so students are encouraged to apply for an upcoming program.

I missed the application deadline. Can I still submit a written application to the Saturday Program for consideration?

Yes. The Saturday Program offers a rolling admissions policy. If you are eligible for Saturday Program classes, (you must attend a New York City public school)  you are invited to submit an application after the review date. As spaces become available new applicants will be reviewed and accepted.

Do you offer animation / fashion classes?

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, sculpture, and three-dimensional design classes provide a great foundation for architecture students. The Saturday Program offers a class specifically focused on this discipline.

Where do classes take place?

All classes take place on Cooper Union’s campus located at 7 East 7th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood. See the map.

Who teaches the classes?

Outreach Program classes are taught by Cooper Union faculty with undergraduate teaching assistants. Saturday Program classes are taught by Cooper Union undergraduate students with faculty supervision.

What should I include in my portfolio for college admissions?

Your portfolio should represent the breath and depth of your creative interests and technical development. You should also select current work (from the past year or two). Also keep in mind that schools have different aesthetic interests. The schools you decide to apply to should nurture the type of art you envision yourself creating in the future. Finally, show your work to your art instructors, as they will be able to provide helpful guidance.

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“This program taught me that perfection wasn’t the goal – that we, as artists, don’t have to try to make things ‘look good’.”