Typeface design education from Cooper Union

Frequenty Asked Questions

The programs, classes and lecture series offered in the Type@Cooper Program are operated through the Continuing Education Department at The Cooper Union. Please write to type@cooper.edu for assistance.

At which venues in New York City will classes and lectures take place?

Classes are held in rooms in both of The Cooper Union's locations: The Foundation Building at 7 East 7th Street and the New Academic Building at 41 Cooper Square (entrance on East 7th Street).

If I’m not a certificate program participant, can I sign up for the workshops and lectures?

While the core classes are for participants only, all guest lectures and public workshops are offered to the general public, space permitting.

How will students of the certificate programs be evaluated?

Students are expected to work diligently, participate in and punctually attend all core classes, and demonstrate their understanding of the concepts taught in the program. Each term will end with a pass/fail evaluation. Evaluation at the end of the program will determine whether students are awarded the Certificate.

What software and other materials will I need to supply as a student of the Certificate Program?

  • Laptop computer with the Macintosh operating system
  • RoboFont (student licensing available)
  • Adobe InDesign or other page layout software
  • Additional materials for workshops (please inquire for the​ ​materials lists for individual workshops)
  • For online classes we recommend you get the desktop Zoom app

As a student in a certificate program, how much time should I plan to dedicate to working outside of class?

Time will vary for each student depending on skills and background, but you should plan on roughly ten hours per week as an Extended Program student. As a Condensed Program student, plan on devoting as much time as possible between and outside of class sessions.

What about non-US resident participants?

Type@Cooper treats all applicants to the certificate programs equally regardless of residency. Type@Cooper programs will not qualify students for international student visas. Cooper Union is not able to assist applicants or participants in getting a travel visa of any kind. Please read carefully the government guidelines for visas to the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html

TOEFL scores are not required however, since all courses are taught in English, competency will be assumed.

How long do the certificate programs run?

The Condensed program lasts five weeks. The Extended program is three terms long, ten weeks per term.

For my application, may I send a link to my portfolio online instead of e-mailing images?

No. Please follow the instructions as listed on the Condensed or Extended program pages.

What computer software skills should I already have if I’m applying for a typeface design certificate program?

Familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite is recommended, particularly vector drafting (as with Illustrator’s pen tool).

If I already have experience designing typefaces, am I overqualified for the certificate programs?

Students with previous experience are encouraged to apply to the certificate programs. Some of the materials will be familiar, but the program provides the opportunity to approach the design process from a new perspective. The small class size allows teachers to work closely with individual students, and some projects will be adapted to individual students’ skill levels

Are the certificate programs accredited?

No, the programs are not accredited with the NYS Department of Education.

How many people will be admitted into the certificate programs?

Type@Cooper will accept up to 16 students in the Condensed program, and up to 14 online students and up to 16 students in-person per cohort in Extended program.

May I enroll in the certificate programs without an undergraduate degree?

A prior degree is not necessary, but previous study will be considered significant in the admissions selection process.

Who are the certificate programs intended for?

The typeface design programs are structured for those with undergraduate preparation or professional experience in graphic design, typography, calligraphy, or related fields.

Is financial assistance available from Cooper Union for Type@Cooper programs and classes?  

Currently, no financial aid is available for non-accredited programs or classes offered through the Continuing Education Department.