Other Common Questions
How many students attend Parsons?
Parsons currently enrolls nearly 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students. An additional 2,000 students each year take single courses or study for certificates in Parsons' Continuing Education program, and more than 2,000 children and young people attend weekend and summer pre-college programs each year. The average class size for all programs is 15.
How many faculty members teach at Parsons?
Parsons has more than 150 full-time and 1,250 part-time faculty members. Most Parsons teachers are working New York artists and designers, offering students a unique educational perspective.
Is Parsons an accredited college?
The New School has been regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1960. All degree programs at the New York City campus of The New School are registered by the New York State Department of Education. Parsons Paris is a registered branch campus of The New School and is accredited by the MSCHE and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. In addition, Parsons Paris has the authorization of the French Ministry of Education to operate in France.
The appropriate professional education agency or board accredits professional curricula at The New School. Accrediting agencies of individual programs are listed below.
- Parsons School of Design has been accredited by the
National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) since 1966.
- The Bachelor of Business Administration in Design and Management meets NASAD standards for the Bachelor of Arts. It is registered as a Bachelor of Business Administration through the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
- The master's program in Architecture has been accredited by the
National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) since 1994.
What percentage of students graduate from Parsons?
Although it varies from year to year, on average 90 percent of Parsons freshmen complete their studies and receive a degree within six years.
Do many students at Parsons come from other countries?
Approximately 40 percent of the student body at Parsons is international. The countries most heavily represented are China, India, South Korea, Canada, and Brazil.
What is a typical student workload?
The degree programs at Parsons are academically challenging. On average, bachelor's and master's students register for 15 credits, or five classes, per semester. For most students this means 20 to 30 hours per week and an equal amount of time outside class in preparation, research, reading, writing, and production. Students are expected to attend regularly and participate actively in all courses. Students attending associate's (AAS) programs full-time can anticipate an equally rigorous and demanding schedule.
What are my undergraduate first-year options?
With a few exceptions, BBA and BFA students entering Parsons as freshmen share a common first-year curriculum. These required courses prepare you for the various study paths you may pursue at Parsons and The New School.
The first-year curriculum is carefully structured to deliver the fundamental tools and skills essential to art and design thinking and making but is designed to accommodate a wide range of students. The program is built to prepare students for broad exploration across disciplines or a deep focus in a particular area. Students can design an individualized first-year study path through the selection of different course options. An assigned academic advisor guides each student in considering short- and long-term study options and registers each student for first-year classes.
Can I double-major at Parsons?
The work of each major is demanding; students therefore generally pursue only one major full-time at Parsons. Students interested in a secondary area of study outside their major may pursue a minor, of which there are nearly 50 options university-wide in both liberal arts and studio areas. Students interested in a combining a complete liberal arts education with a design major can apply to the
BA/BFA program, a five-year dual-degree program offered jointly by Parsons and
Eugene Lang College.
Can I change majors?
A student who wishes to change majors must complete an official internal transfer process, as outlined in the Parsons Catalog. While every attempt is made to accommodate timely declarations, certain faculty, space, and safety considerations may constrain the size of some programs. For those programs, a competitive review will be undertaken.
The internal transfer process is designed to ensure that the student is fully informed about the implications of the change. After gathering information about the intended program, students submit the declaration request form, a brief statement of intent, a link to their Learning Portfolio, and an unofficial transcript. Faculty and designated staff will review submissions.
What internship opportunities does Parsons offer?
Many undergraduate programs allow for professional internship as part of their curriculum. Internships are obtained independently or through The New School's
Career Services. Parsons students have recently interned at Marc Jacobs, Polo-Ralph Lauren, HBO, MTV, the New York Times, Rolling Stone magazine, Marvel Comics, and The Museum of Modern Art, to name a few of many companies and institutions.
Can I take classes outside my major at Parsons?
Parsons students are encouraged to broaden their experience by pursuing studies outside their major requirements. Both liberal arts and program-supportive electives are built into every curriculum at Parsons. A range of electives are available in every Parsons program, and Parsons students have the choice of many courses offered by
Eugene Lang College and the other undergraduate colleges of The New School.
What is a typical academic year schedule?
The academic calendar is divided into fall and spring semesters. The fall semester typically runs from late August through mid-December. There is a break in late December, and students return for the spring semester in mid-January. The spring semester begins the third week of January and runs through mid-May, with a week's break in March. Visit the
Academic Calendar for specific dates.
Is it possible to study abroad?
Parsons offers study abroad opportunities for all majors. These can include Parsons Paris or study at one of our exchange partners or through other approved programs. Detailed information on study abroad policies for your major can be found on the
study abroad website.
Will I get a well-rounded liberal arts education at Parsons?
All undergraduate programs include a strong liberal arts component, including courses in
art and design, history, theory, and criticism. These courses provide a context for your studies. And because Parsons is part of a larger university with a tradition of cross-disciplinary inquiry, students can choose from a wide range of lecture courses and electives in humanities, social sciences, media studies, and business.
Will I have an advisor to help me select courses?
Students are assigned an
academic advisor after submitting a tuition deposit to Parsons. Academic advisors provide information to help students navigate university systems and all campus support services. They are available to answer your questions about academic policies, programs, transfer credits, degree requirements, course selection, and registration procedures. They are available by appointment or during posted walk-in hours.
How do I register for courses?
Incoming students register for courses with the help of their academic advisor. After submitting the tuition deposit, new students receive an email from the Advising Office with instructions for setting up an advising appointment. After reviewing options for fulfilling degree requirements and looking at course descriptions, students register online for classes through
Are AP or IB courses accepted for credit?
Students who completed Advanced Placement exams, the French Baccalaureate, German Abitur, International Baccalaureate, A-Level Exams, or another equivalent European qualifying exam may potentially transfer credit toward their degree program in accordance with the guidelines below. A maximum of 30 credits of this kind will be awarded.
Advanced Placement (AP):
For Advanced Placement subject examinations, with a minimum score of 4, a student may receive 3-4 credits (or one semester course equivalent).
British Advanced Level Examinations:
For General Certificate Examinations, students may only receive credit for the A Levels (A/AS) or H Levels (H2/H1). No credit may be awarded for O/OA Levels (or General Paper). For A or H Level subject examinations, with a minimum score of C, a student may receive 6-8 credits (or two semester courses equivalent).
An official transcript from
WES or a comparable evaluation service is required. For subjects with a coefficient of 5 and a minimum score of a 13, a student could receive 6-8 credits (or two semester courses' equivalent). For subjects with a coefficient of 5 and score of 10-13, or subjects with a coefficient of 4 and minimum score of 13, a student could receive 3-4 credits (or one semester course's equivalent).
German Abitur Final Examination:
An official transcription from WES or a comparable evaluation service is required.
International Baccalaureate (IB):
For higher-level subject examinations, with a minimum score of 5, a student may receive 6-8 credits (or two semester course equivalent).
How is an admission decision made, and who makes it?
All undergraduate applications are reviewed by the an admission committee, which includes Parsons Office of Admission and faculty members. Applications are reviewed on the basis of academic performance and the technical and conceptual abilities displayed in the visual elements of the application. All graduate applications are reviewed by the graduate departments.
How can I schedule a tour and meet with an admission counselor?
Admission Events for available times for tours and the schedule for information sessions. You can also contact the Office of Admission with your questions at 212.229.5150. Undergraduate applicants can email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Graduate applicants can email
What should be in my portfolio? How should my portfolio be formatted?
Portfolio requirements vary according to degree program. Please visit the
How to Apply page for your intended program to determine specific portfolio requirements. Your portfolio should be submitted online through Slideroom, via your application.
What is the deadline for submitting my application materials?
Deadlines vary from program to program. Visit
How to Apply to review deadline information specific to your intended program.
Is an admission interview required?
Interviews are not a part of the undergraduate application process. Please review the
Admission Events for dates and times when interviews may be scheduled. You are encouraged to attend an
Information Session to get a sense of whether Parsons is right for you before speaking with the counselor on duty during your visit to campus. Admission to graduate programs may require an interview as part of the application process. Visit the
Graduate Programs page for program-specific application requirements.
How can I check if my transcripts and other application materials have been received?
You can check the status of your application credentials (transcripts, letters of recommendation, test scores, etc.) in the
English is not my native language. Do I need to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE?
If English is not your native language, you must provide evidence of English language proficiency. You must submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score with your application materials. Minimum TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE scores required for admission vary and are described in the application instructions for each program.
Applicants not meeting the basic proficiency requirements have the option of enrolling in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses offered at The New School. Students who pass New School ESL courses at the level required by their prospective program can waive the TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE requirement. For more information about New School English courses, visit the
I scored well on the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE. Do I have to take the English placement test?
All admitted students whose native language is not English are required to take an English Language Placement Test, without exception. This includes students who have previously taken college-level English classes or have submitted a TOEFL, SAT, or GRE score. A native English speaker is defined as a person whose normal daily language is English. If the main language spoken in a student’s home is English, the student is considered a native speaker.
The English placement test is offered regularly in the weeks leading up to the start of the school year. The purpose of the exam is to ensure that students whose native language is not English are best prepared to take courses at Parsons. The test includes the following sections: listening comprehension (recorded speech followed by multiple-choice questions); grammar questions (multiple choice); reading comprehension questions (multiple choice); one 30-minute essay of at least one page (choice of two topics); and a brief interview.
Can I defer my entry once I've been accepted by Parsons?
Deferral guidelines can be found on the Accepted Students website.
Is part-time enrollment possible?
Part-time study is possible for students enrolled in associate's programs but not for students in bachelor's programs. If you are interested in taking individual courses at Parsons, please go to
Continuing Education. Part-time study is available only for the following graduate degree programs: Design Studies, History of Design and Curatorial Studies, and Data Visualization.
What is the cost of attending Parsons?
For up-to-date information on tuition and fees, visit
Tuition and Fees. The cost of living in New York City as well as books and other supplies must also be factored into your total expenses. A financial aid advisor can help you estimate the annual cost of your education.
How much will my art supplies typically cost?
Students are required to buy most of their own art materials. The cost of art supplies for courses can vary greatly. Typical costs are estimated to range from $900 to $2,050 a year depending on your program of study. Parsons works with vendors to provide discounts on supplies when possible.
Is financial aid available?
Students are eligible for financial aid and scholarships. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at
www.fafsa.ed.gov. The New School/Parsons school code is 002780. Students who file the FAFSA are automatically considered for all New School and Parsons scholarships, as well as federal and state government financial assistance. Merit-based scholarships are granted based on the strength of a student's application materials. If you are an international undergraduate student applying for an AAS program, you should download and return the International Student Scholarship Application found on the
Student Financial Services website by the deadline stated on the application form.
Does Parsons waive application fees?
The New School waives application fees for those who meet the eligibility guidelines outlined on the
Apply Online website.
Other Common Questions
Where can I get information about student housing?
The mission of Student Housing is to enhance your learning experience by building residential communities that support your academic and personal growth. We provide secure and supportive environments that can ease the transition from home to college. The New School maintains a number of
residence halls within walking distance or a short subway ride from Parsons' Greenwich Village location. Visit
Student Housing, call 212.229.5459, or email
UniversityHousing@newschool.edu for more information.
Where can I get information about student health services and insurance?
All students are required to have health insurance, and affordable insurance is offered by the university for those not otherwise insured. For more information, visit
Student Health Services.
What if I am an international student and have questions about visa requirements?
International Student and Scholar Services for basic information. Contact the International Student and Scholar Services office at 212.229.5592 or
Are computers available to students on campus?
Students have access to Mac and PC computer stations located in many New School facilities.
Building hours vary, but buildings are generally open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. throughout the academic term and even later during exam and final presentation periods. The university center is open 24 hours a day. Nevertheless, you should consider purchasing a computer if you aren't bringing one with you. If you are interested in purchasing an Apple laptop, visit The New School’s
Apple Store for Education, which provides a discount on Apple products. Other technology discounts available through The New School can be found on the
Information Technology page.
Incoming Parsons first-year BFA, BBA, and BABFA students will need a laptop that meets our minimum technical specifications. Refer to the
Laptop Requirement information sheet (PDF) for details. You must check in your laptop for logging and verification to fulfill the requirement. We will share information about the check-in process with you by email during the summer.