First-year and transfer applicants to the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture must submit preliminary applications, along with their nonrefundable application fees, no later than January 1 of the year they plan to attend.
After the preliminary application deadline, the Office of Admissions sends first-year applicants a home test intended to gauge innate talent, drawing ability and potential for academic success. The test comprises drawing and conceptual problems, and because its intent is to demonstrate talent, it is not possible to study for it. Applicants complete the test at home. Although this test is the most important factor in the admissions process, applicants also are required to submit transcripts, SAT I scores and other academic records.
Transfer applicants are required to submit a portfolio of creative work and to complete the home test, in addition to submitting other materials. Transfer applicants include those who have completed at least one year of architectural study at an accredited program by June of the year in which they are applying, students who have a bachelor's degree in another discipline, or those who have started studies in a field related to architecture.
Portfolios may present creative work in any field, including architecture, design, photography, sculpture and original prose or poetry. There are no restrictions on the amount or types of work a student can submit. An offer of admission to a transfer applicant includes placement into a particular year of the five-year design sequence. Students should not assume that all of their previous academic credits will transfer.
The high number of applicants to the school makes it impossible to schedule individual interviews. It is possible to visit the school on a tour of the studios with an Architecture student. The School's admission process is highly selective. Each year, 30 to 40 freshman applicants and 10 to 20 transfer applicants are offered admission. Competition is keen. Students are encouraged to apply, however, and successful applicants will find their time at Cooper unique, challenging and rewarding.