Cogswell Polytechnical College

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Cogswell Polytechnical College
Cogswell Polytechnical College logo.jpg
Established 1887
Type Private University
President Deb Snyder[1]
Administrative staff
17 full-time
53 part-time[2]
Undergraduates 483 full-time
128 part-time[2]
Location Sunnyvale, California, USAUnited States
Colors Orange and Silver ‹See Tfm›    ‹See Tfm›    
Mascot Dragon

Cogswell Polytechnical College is a private for-profit[3] college located in Sunnyvale, California. It holds accreditation through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).[3][4] Cogswell had a small student body of 315 full-time and 148 part-time students in 2013.[2]

Programs at the Cogswell range from Digital Media to Engineering and the newly founded Entrepreneurship & Innovation program.


Cogswell College was founded as a high school on March 19, 1887, by Dr. and Mrs. Henry Cogswell. It opened in August 1888, offering technical classes for boys and business classes for girls. It was the first technical training institution in the West.[5] On June 30, 1930, it became a technical college.

Cogswell Polytechnic campus, 1915

The original campus building, located in the Mission District in San Francisco, was occupied in 1888. When the 1906 earthquake partially destroyed the campus, the College relocated across the street to an existing home on the property. After the City of San Francisco purchased some of the land by eminent domain in 1917, a new building was constructed at Folsom and 26th Streets to house the school. In 1974, having outgrown the existing campus, the College moved to a location at Stockton and California Streets. In 1985, the College moved to Cupertino, where it remained until 1994 (its old San Francisco building became a Ritz Carlton hotel).[6] The college purchased its present Sunnyvale campus in 1993.[7]

In 2010 Cogswell was acquired by Palm Ventures. The following year Charles "Chuck" House, executive director of the Media X program at Stanford University, became chancellor.[8]

Degrees and enrollment[edit]

About 24% of the student population are women.[9] The student to faculty ratio for Fall 2010 was 7:1.[9]

Cogswell currently offers the following degrees:

  • B.A. Digital Art and Animation
  • B.A. Game Design Art
  • B.S. Game Design Engineering
  • B.S. Digital Audio Technology
  • B.A. Digital Media Management
  • B.S. Software Engineering
  • B.S. Digital Arts Engineering
  • M.A. Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Cogswell specializes in digital animation and video game design.[8][10] Its computer graphics degree program is the longest-running in the Bay Area. It includes Project X, an invitation-only animated film production course that approximates the experience of interning in the industry.[11][12]

In November 2007 Cogswell announced the addition of a minor in business management.[13] In January 2011 Cogswell started its Entrepreneurship program;[14] it expanded this in 2012 into the first Master's program in Entrepreneurship & Innovation.[15]

Cogswell students won first place in the 2007 SIGGRAPH SPACE-TIME Student Animation competition in the category of Storytelling/Narrative[16][17]

A Cogswell student won for “Best Editing” at Columbia University's National Undergraduate Film Festival.[18][19]

Worlds Apart, an 8-minute film created by a Project X student cohort, has won 23 awards.[11][20] The previous year's film, The Offering, also won several awards and was screened in June 2010 as part of the New York City Downtown Short Film Festival Audience Choice Screenings and in August 2010 at the New York City International Film Festival.[8][21]


  1. ^ Welcome message
  2. ^ a b c College facts
  3. ^ a b Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, Statement of Accreditation Status: Cogswell Polytechnical College. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
  4. ^ Cogswell Polytechnical College: Accreditation and Affiliations
  5. ^ California Legislature, Journal: Appendix. Reports, Volume 5, 1888, p. 247.
  6. ^ Historical San Francisco Hotels
  7. ^ Cogswell College. "The History of Cogswell College". Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c Chris O'Brien, "Cogswell College may be Silicon Valley's geekiest secret", The Oakland Tribune, November 5, 2011, online at Highbeam (subscription required); at, November 17, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Facts About Cogswell College
  10. ^ Jonathan Miller, "Videogame U: IGN heads back to school to examine a university specializing in videogame design. Your dream now comes with a syllabus," Cube, IGN, April 3, 2007.
  11. ^ a b Alia Wilson, "Digital Hogwarts: Cogswell celebrates college's 125th anniversary," The Sunnyvale Sun, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, June 8, 2012, pp. 20+.
  12. ^ Michael Z. Huber, Project X, Cogswell Polytechnical College.
  13. ^ Cogswell business management minor announcement
  14. ^ "Cogswell College Creates BA Degree for Entrepreneurs in Digital Media,"] Entertainment Close-Up, July 14, 2010, online at Highbeam, subscription required.
  15. ^ Cogswell College of Silicon Valley | Masters In Entrepreneurship & Innovation from Cogswell College website
  16. ^ SIGGRAPH winners
  17. ^ Cogswell SIGGRAPH announcement
  18. ^ Film Festival Article
  19. ^ Official Columbia University Film Festival awards list
  20. ^ Worlds Apart, Cogswell Polytechnical College, retrieved June 14, 2012.
  21. ^ "New York City Film Festivals Welcome Cogswell College Film", Business Wire, June 15, 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°24′25″N 122°01′27″W / 37.4070°N 122.0243°W / 37.4070; -122.0243