Bachelor of Fine Arts


Program Description

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The School of Art offers a four-year program leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The BFA program provides both a general visual arts education and a focused preparation for future artists and designers.

The program develops the students' creative potential, encourages them to be versatile, resourceful and reflective, and equips them to deal successfully with the practical problems and issues of today and those of the future.

The School of Art is firmly committed to a generalist curriculum that encompasses all the fundamental disciplines and resources of the visual arts. Each student is educated not only in specific disciplines but also in the complex interrelationships of all the visual vocabularies. This philosophic premise relates to all the objectives of the School of Art and is the foundation upon which all teaching, creative work, service, and research are based.

The Studio curriculum along with the Art History and General Studies components of the BFA program all have as their goal the acquisition of communication skills, the development of critical perspective, and the mastery of the materials and intellectual premises of the study of societies and people. Throughout eight semesters, students become socially aware, historically grounded, creative practitioners. They are taught to be critical analysts of the world of contemporary visual communications, art and the culture at large.

Integrated into studio practice and critique is the exposure to the Western and non-Western history of art and design as well as an introduction to theoretical issues that are the subjects of current debate in the field.

In a world of increased specialization and professional fragmentation, artists and designers with a wide range of experiences have something unique to offer and are prepared to meet the diverse and rapidly changing professional challenges confronting them after graduation. The vital and collaborative role generalists play in their respective professional fields also extends to the civic arena.

The Interdisciplinary Seminar

The Interdisciplinary Seminar was designed twenty years ago to contribute to a regular and sustainable discussion on artistic practice for the students of the Cooper Union School of Art and the creative community that surrounds them.


Undergraduate Tuition Starting in the Fall of 2014, all incoming students will receive a half-tuition scholarship. The value of this scholarship is approximately $20,000 per year ($10,000 per semester). Additional financial aid will be provided to the neediest students to help cover tuition, housing, food, books, supplies etc. The amount of additional aid will be based upon a student's demonstrated financial need. Students must file both a FAFSA and CSS profile form to be considered for additional financial aid. Please note that Cooper Union will also offer merit scholarships to exceptional students. Also, Cooper Union will continue to use a need-blind admissions process meaning that a student's ability to pay will not impact our admissions decisions.

The Cooper Union tuition charge for undergraduate students for 2013-2014 is $39,600 per year ($19,800 per semester). Each registered undergraduate student receives a tuition scholarship worth $39,600 per year ($19,800 per semester).

Last updated Feb 2018

Keystone Scholarship

Discover the options our scholarship can give you

About the School

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, established in 1859, is among the nation's oldest and most distinguished institutions of higher learning.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, established in 1859, is among the nation's oldest and most distinguished institutions of higher learning. Read less