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At A Glance

Cogswell College

"As if having perhaps the niftiest college name ever dreamed up weren't enough, this tiny "digital arts and engineering institution" in the heart of Silicon Valley also has a unique trimester system which allows students to graduate in three years. Students in the Computer and Video Imaging program learn how to produce Computer Generated Imagery for the motion picture industry."

Offers Baccalaureate Degrees, Heavy Focus on Undergraduate Professions


Cogswell College's Full Profile

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Noodle Says

"As if having perhaps the niftiest college name ever dreamed up weren't enough, this tiny "digital arts and engineering institution" in the heart of Silicon Valley also has a unique trimester system which allows students to graduate in three years. Students in the Computer and Video Imaging program learn how to produce Computer Generated Imagery for the motion picture industry."

People are saying

Cogswell College says

Cogswell Polytechnical College has a long and distinguished history as a California institution of higher education. Continuously dedicated to preparing its students for success and leadership in the world around it, Cogswell has always been associated with best practice in the industries and communities it serves.

Today, Cogswell's students are educated broadly - in digital arts, engineering, and entrepreneurship - to prepare for converging global industries in such fields as videogames, digital cinema, digital audio, digital animation and the engineering sciences and professions. This combination of the digital arts with engineering and technology, along with a foundation in general education and integrated entrepreneuring skills, means that our students graduate with bachelor's degrees and move quickly into the world. The skills and attitudes they explore and develop here serve them well for professions that are changing almost daily.

Cogswell's faculty members, most of whom have strong industry experience and connections, work hard to provide the finest possible academic programs. Our staff is committed to creating the best possible learning environment for our students. Our alumni assist us through internships, jobs, workshops and other bridges to industry. These dedicated people work together within a college that is small, specialized, and personal. Not only won't you get lost here, but you will find an environment that encourages your creativity and exploration, while providing you with first-rate teaching and technology.

Yet even more than our great faculty or top-flight technology, we have an amazing group of students here at Cogswell. These dedicated, hard-working, focused students are gifted with stunning artistic, technological, and visionary talents. One of the best parts of being at Cogswell is your classmates, people who will challenge, inspire, and help you.

This website highlights what we do best here at Cogswell. It provides information about the College, while demonstrating what is possible. All of the art work on this site has been created by Cogswell students. You, too, may find this the place to pursue your academic and creative dreams. I urge you to explore this site and then come to visit our campus. For no matter how good our website, it is no substitute for experiencing the fullness of this special place in person.

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Student Life

Student Life

People are saying

Student Body

Total Undergraduates 462
Gender 76% Male / 24% Female
Enrollment Breakdown 69% Full Time / 31% Part Time
Geography 88% In State / 12% Out of State / 1% International
Socio-Economic Diversity 45% of students received Pell Grants, which are provided by the U.S. government to students from middle and lower income families. It gives you an idea of a school’s socio-economic diversity.
Ethnic Diversity
White 43%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 2%
Multi-racial 10%
International 1%
Hispanic/Latino 13%
Ethnicity Unknown 14%
Black or African American 5%
Asian 10%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%


  • Government or Political Activity
  • Radio Station
  • Jazz Band

Student Services

  • Academic Support Services: tutoring remedial instruction reduced course load
  • Computer Services: computer center, libraries wireless network available
  • Counseling Services: career counseling employment services for undergraduates personal counseling placement services for graduates alcohol/substance abuse counseling financial aid counseling
  • Facilities: electronic music laboratories, sound/recording studio, video studio, editing studio, computer imaging laboratories, sgi laboratory, midi laboratory, 2d and 3d animation laboratories
  • Special Needs Services: wheelchair accessibility partial services for students with learning disabilities
  • Specialty Programs (ROTC, Accelerated Programs, Professional Development, etc.): internships double major student-designed major visiting/exchange student program independent study
  • Transfer In Services
  • Transfer Out Services



Popular Majors

Fire Science/Fire-fighting (41%), Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects (37%), Engineering, Other (11%), Music Technology (6%), Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies (2%)

Majors Offered


A program that focuses on the creative aspects of the blending of music and technology; and that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to the composition, recording, synthesis, and performance of music; audio-visual production; scoring for film and multimedia; and software and multimedia development. Includes instruction in music theory, music history, composition, acoustics, recording technology, computer composition, electronic music synthesis, technology-based performance, 3D sound and spatial audio, and music business and law.

Job Opportunities:

Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in drama, music, and the arts including fine and applied art, such as painting and sculpture, or design and crafts. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Music Directors and Composers
Conduct, direct, plan, and lead instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups, such as orchestras, bands, choirs, and glee clubs. Includes arrangers, composers, choral directors, and orchestrators.
Sound Engineering Technicians
Operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, recording studios, or movie and video productions.


A program that generally prepares individuals to perform development, marketing and management functions associated with owning and operating a business.

Job Opportunities:

Chief Executives
Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.
General and Operations Managers
Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organizations. Duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources, but are too diverse and general in nature to be classified in any one functional area of management or administration, such as personnel, purchasing, or administrative services.
Managers, All Other
All managers not listed separately.
Business Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in business administration and management, such as accounting, finance, human resources, labor and industrial relations, marketing, and operations research. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.


A program focusing on the theory and practice of fires and fire-fighting. Includes instruction in fire chemistry and physics, combustible materials, computer science, building construction, fire codes and related laws, fire hydraulics, fire command, fire prevention/inspection, fire protection systems, fire suppression systems, fire/arson investigation, occupational safety, equipment operation, emergency medicine and communications.

Job Opportunities:

Control and extinguish fires or respond to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk. Duties may include fire prevention, emergency medical service, hazardous material response, search and rescue, and disaster assistance.
Fire Inspectors and Investigators
Inspect buildings to detect fire hazards and enforce local ordinances and State laws, or investigate and gather facts to determine cause of fires and explosions.
Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists
Enforce fire regulations, inspect forest for fire hazards and recommend forest fire prevention or control measures. May report forest fires and weather conditions.


Any instructional program in engineering not listed above.

Job Opportunities:

Architectural and Engineering Managers
Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as architecture and engineering or research and development in these fields.
Engineers, All Other
All engineers not listed separately.
Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses pertaining to the application of physical laws and principles of engineering for the development of machines, materials, instruments, processes, and services. Includes teachers of subjects such as chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, mineral, and petroleum engineering. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.


A program that prepares individuals to use computer applications and related visual and sound imaging techniques to manipulate images and information originating as film, video, still photographs, digital copy, soundtracks, and physical objects in order to communicate messages simulating real-world content. Includes instruction in specialized camerawork and equipment operation and maintenance, image capture, computer programming, dubbing, CAD applications, and applications to specific commercial, industrial, and entertainment needs.

Job Opportunities:

Multimedia Artists and Animators
Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, computers, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

Administration & Faculty

CEO Janis Paulson
Accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
Full-time Faculty 19
Student : Faculty Ratio 10 : 1
Faculty Gender (% Male : Female) 84 : 15
Percentage of Faculty Members
Non-Tenure Track Faculty 100




Selectivity Score: 44/100

Acceptance Rate: 77.8% accepted of 194 applications

25th - 75th Percentile
ACTComposite19 - 30
SATMath460 - 640
Reading460 - 640
Writing510 - 630

Admission Considerations

Very Important: Academic GPA, Talent Ability, Level Of Applicants Interest, Interview

Important: Recommendations, Application Essay

Also Considered: Extracurricular Activities, Character Personal Qualities, Volunteer Work, Standardized Test Scores, Work Experience

High School Curriculum (years of study):
Required Recommended
Science Lab 1 0
Computer Science 0 1
Visual Performing Arts 0 1
English 3 0
Math 3 0
Science 1 0

Other Application Information: Highest Section Scores Across Test Dates SAT or ACT SAT Subject Tests

Admissions Websites



Average Net Tuition

The average student pays $23,030 for tuition, fees, and other expenses, after grants and scholarships.

Household Income Real Cost
$0-$30K $19,885
$30K-$48K $19,461
$48K-$75K $23,956
$75K-$110K $26,243
$110K+ $27,358

Sticker Price

Total stated tuition is $15,980, in-state and on-campus, before financial aid.

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $15,980 Same as On-Campus
Fees $180 Same as On-Campus
Housing $10,863 $11,268
Books $1,710 $1,710
Total (before financial aid) $28,733 $29,138

Students Receiving Aid

100% of students receive some form of financial aid.

Undergrads Receiving Aid Average Aid Amount
Federal Loans 78% $6,613
Federal Scholarships/Grants 45% $5,202
Institutional Grants 100% $5,702
Other Federal Grants 14% $556
Other Loans 6% $8,730
Pell Grants 45% $5,033
State and Local Scholarships/Grants 18% $4,056
Student Loans 78% $7,267

Financial Aid Websites

Learn more about financial aid at

Estimate the net price for you at

Alumni and Outcomes

Alumni and Outcomes

Graduation Rates

18% of students graduated on time.

31% of students graduated in six years.

80% of full time students continued studying at this school after freshman year.


Washington Monthly

#59 Baccalaureate Colleges - Research Expenditures Rank
#98 Baccalaureate Colleges - Service Staff, Courses, and Financial Aid Rank
#100 Baccalaureate Colleges - Community Service Participation Rank
#138 Baccalaureate Colleges - ROTC Rank
#158 Baccalaureate Colleges - Peace Corps Rank
#205 Baccalaureate Colleges - Bachelor's to PhD rank
#222 Baccalaureate Colleges - Graduation Rate Rank
#292 Baccalaureate Colleges - Federal Work-Study Funds Spent on Service Rank
#304 Baccalaureate Colleges - Overall Rank
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