Design Studies (MA) Application Instructions
The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only
after all the required materials have been received. The priority deadline for fall semester admission is January 10, and applicants who wish to be considered for a Dean's Scholarship must submit a complete application packet by January 10.
Applications completed after January 10 will be considered if places are available or may be rolled over to the next open admission period.
(You can download these instructions.)
Parsons graduate programs use a self-managed application process. Submit your application online. Mail any supplemental application materials, preferably in a single packet, to the Office of Admission. Include a materials cover sheet (PDF), which can be downloaded from the supplemental forms section of the online application.
Applicants must submit the following to the Office of Admission.
- Application Form: Complete the online application.
- Application Fee: Pay the $50 nonrefundable application fee. (A credit card is required to submit the online application.)
- Official college transcripts: Mail a sealed original copy of your official college transcripts with a materials cover sheet. If that is not possible, instruct the institution(s) to send transcripts directly to the Office of Admission at the address below. Photocopies are not acceptable.
International transcripts: All applicants with international transcripts are required to submit an original transcript from each college or university attended outside the United States along with a certified English language translation. Applicants who wish to transfer academic credits earned at non-U.S. institutions must have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES), our preferred provider, or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation report must be prepared for each transcript. Please start the evaluation process as early as possible, including the submission of all required documents to WES (or another provider) in order to ensure the timely completion of the evaluation report. Note: an admission counselor may require a transcript evaluation by a NACES-approved evaluator even when the applicant does not plan to transfer credit. Instruct the provider to send the evaluation report to
Parsons Graduate Programs
Office of Admission
72 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10011
If you request your report online, search for New School Parsons when selecting our institution. If your provider is unable to send the evaluation report directly to The New School, you must obtain the report and send it to the Office of Admission yourself with a materials cover sheet.
- Résumé: A brief résumé (cv) listing your education, relevant work experience, including dates and positions held, and other relevant life experiences must be submitted online.
- Two-part essay: Submit online a two-part essay as a single word document. Your essay should not exceed 5 pages total.
Part one: Autobiographical Statement (250-500 word limit).
In a short autobiographical statement, tell us about yourself. You can write about your education, your family, your talents and passions, particular intellectual influences, people you have met, work you’ve done that has shaped the person you have become, or about significant places or events in your life, especially as it relates to design. In addition, use this portion of the essay to explain any strengths or weaknesses you may have (for example, low college GPA, lack of work experience, significant interruption in work or studies, or any other information you want to share). Your writing should be informative and reflect your own voice.
Part two: Academic Statement of Interests (500-750 word limit).
Describe the academic and intellectual interests, life progress, and achievements that have contributed to your decision to apply for graduate study in the field of design studies. Include a thoughtful description of your tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in design studies as you envision it, that is, the kind of research questions you intend to pursue, your professional goals, and how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. Also, briefly describe where you see yourself headed in the next 3-5 years (for example, arts management or PhD program). Finally, offer a self-assessment of your work as a scholar, pointing out both strengths and weaknesses, and, if you have not been enrolled as a student in the past five years, address opportunities and challenges you expect to face as a student and graduate of this master's degree program.
- Recommendations: Provide two letters of recommendation from faculty members whose courses you've taken or people with whom you have worked professionally. Your references may submit their recommendations online, or you may forward sealed original letters with your application packet. At least one letter should address your research and writing abilities.
- TOEFL: If English is not your native language, you must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language administered by the Educational Testing Service. The minimum score required for admission to the master's program is 580 on the paper-based, 237 on the computer-based, or 92 on the internet-based examination. Visit the ETS website for more information about the test.
- Interview: Applicants who have submitted all the materials described above may be invited for a personal or telephone interview. An offer of admission to the master's program depends on a successful interview.