Type to search

Cooper Union

New York, New YorkPrivate

Want to see your chances of admission at Cooper Union?

We take every aspect of your personal profile into consideration when calculating your admissions chances.

Cooper Union’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

School of Engineering Short Response 1


The Cooper Union is a small, highly specialized, and academically rigorous school in New York City. Beyond these traits, what other aspects of the school excite you, and how might you contribute to and benefit from our learning community?

School of Engineering Short Response 2


The School of Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering for students with a clear idea of their educational objectives. The General Engineering major prepares students for diverse fields like chemistry, mathematics, medicine, finance, or entrepreneurship. Please note that this major is unsuitable for undecided students or students seeking professional licensure.

What attracts you to the General Engineering major, and how do you envision applying your degree?

School of Engineering Short Response 3


If you were to give a 45-minute lecture on a specific topic to an audience, similar to a TED talk, what would your topic be and why?

Common App Personal Essay

650 words

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Option 1

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Option 2

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Option 3

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Option 4

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Option 5

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Option 6

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Option 7

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

What will first-time readers think of your college essay?

Join thousands of students getting and giving peer feedback on college essays—all for free!