Cooper Union Requirements for Admission

What are Cooper Union's admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we'll cover what you need to get into Cooper Union and build a strong application.

School location: New York, NY

This school is also known as: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art


Admissions Rate: 8%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Cooper Union is 8%. For every 100 applicants, only 8 are admitted.

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This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements is very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation. If you don't meet their expectations, your chance of getting is nearly zero.

After crossing this hurdle, you'll need to impress Cooper Union application readers through their other application requirements, including extracurriculars, essays, and letters of recommendation. We'll cover more below.


Cooper Union GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.5

The average GPA at Cooper Union is 3.5.

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(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.5, Cooper Union requires you to be around average in your high school class. You'll need a mix of A's and B's, and very few C's. If you have a lower GPA, you can compensate with harder courses like AP or IB classes. This will help boost your weighted GPA and show your ability to take college classes.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.5, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.


SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Cooper Union. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

Cooper Union SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 2008 (New: 1410)

The average SAT score composite at Cooper Union is a 2008 on the old 2400 SAT scale.

On the new 1600 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1410.

This score makes Cooper Union Strongly Competitive for SAT test scores.

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Cooper Union SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1310, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1530. In other words, a 1310 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1530 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math720650800
Reading353338
Writing353337
Composite141013101530

Cooper Union SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1840, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 2230. In other words, a 1840 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 2230 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math697630790
Reading658610720
Writing653600720
Composite200818402230

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.


Cooper Union ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, Cooper Union likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 32

The average ACT score at Cooper Union is 32. This score makes Cooper Union Strongly Competitive for ACT scores.

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The 25th percentile ACT score is 30, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 34.

Even though Cooper Union likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 30 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 32 and above that a 30 will look academically weak.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 34 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Cooper Union, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 34.


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SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

Cooper Union recommends that you take the SAT/ACT Writing section. If you do well, they'll consider your application to be stronger.


SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

Cooper Union has indicated that SAT subject tests are required for SOME applicants. Typically this means that applying to certain majors or colleges within the school requires SAT subject tests, and others don't. Read further to see if you'll need to submit SAT subject scores.

Typically, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, definitely choose to improve your SAT/ACT score.



Final Admissions Verdict

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Because this school is extremely selective, getting a high SAT/ACT score and GPA is vital to having a chance at getting in. If you don't pass their SAT/ACT and GPA requirements, they'll likely reject you without much consideration.

To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 2230 SAT or a 34 ACT. You should also have a 3.5 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.

For a school as selective as Cooper Union, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application. We'll cover those details next.

But if you apply with a score below a 2230 SAT or a 34 ACT, you unfortunately start out with the odds against you and have a tiny chance of getting in. There are just too many students with high SAT/ACT scores and strong applications, and you need to compete against them.



Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art?
Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

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Note: This is only an estimate for the average student, based on data collected from thousands of students. Other factors in your application may come into play, such as extracurriculars and recommendation letters.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Try to take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

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Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials - high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We'll cover the exact requirements of Cooper Union here.

Application Requirements Overview

  • Common Application Accepted
  • Universal Application Not accepted
  • Electronic Application Available
  • Essay or Personal Statement Required for all freshmen
  • Letters of Recommendation 3
  • Interview Not required
  • Application Fee $75
  • Fee Waiver Available? Available
  • Other Notes Portfolio for art recommended for some freshmen

Testing Requirements

  • SAT or ACT Required
  • SAT or ACT Writing Recommended
  • SAT Subject Tests Required for some
  • Scores Due in Office February 28

Coursework Requirements

  • Subject Required Years
  • English 4
  • Math 1
  • Science 1
  • Foreign Language
  • Social Studies 1
  • History 1
  • Electives 8

Deadlines and Early Admissions

  •  
    • Offered? Deadline Notification
  • Regular Admission
    • Yes January 9 None
  • Early Action
    • No
  • Early Decision
    • Yes December 1 December 24, February 1

Admissions Office Information


Other Schools For You

If you're interested in Cooper Union, you'll probably be interested in these schools as well. We've divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to Cooper Union.


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Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into

These schools are more selective and have higher scores than Cooper Union. If you improve your SAT score, you'll be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 1490 2150 32
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 1450 2085 32
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 1450 2080 31
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY 1420 1376 30
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA 1440 2060 32
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA 1440 2050 32
Emory University Atlanta, GA 1430 2046 31

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Same Level: Equally Hard to Get Into

If you're competitive for Cooper Union, these schools will offer you a similar chance of admission.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
New York University New York, NY 1410 2016 30
Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA 1370 1315 30
Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX 1370 1948 29
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 1370 1947 29
Boston University Boston, MA 1370 1946 29
Villanova University Villanova, PA 1370 1940 31
Binghamton University Vestal, NY 1360 1929 29

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Safety Schools: Easier to Get Into

If you're currently competitive for Cooper Union, you should have no problem getting into these schools. If Cooper Union is currently out of your reach, you might already be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
United States Military Academy West Point, NY 1340 1898 28
University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 1330 1874 27
American University Washington, DC 1320 1858 28
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 1310 1849 28
University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX 1310 1846 28
University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 1300 1839 28
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 1290 1815 29

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