Other Common Questions
How many students attend Parsons?
Parsons currently enrolls nearly 5,000 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 125 full-time and 1,000 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 and Parsons are fully accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Our credits and degrees are recognized and accepted by other accredited colleges, universities, and professional schools throughout the United States. The New School, a privately supported institution, is chartered as a university by the Regents of the State of New York.
Parsons is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Parsons Master of Architecture degree program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Parsons is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.
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?
About 38 percent of the student body at Parsons is international. The countries most represented are China, India, South Korea, Canada, and Mexico.
What is a typical student workload?
The degree programs at Parsons are academically challenging. On average, bachelor's and master's students register for 16 to 18 credits, or six classes, per semester. Most students log 20 to 30 class hours per week and devote an equal amount of time to preparation. Studio critique sessions and critical studies seminars in particular require thoughtful student input and discussion, although regular attendance and participation are expected in all courses. Because associate's (AAS) programs can be pursued part-time, average workloads can vary.
What are my first-year options?
All BFA students entering Parsons as freshmen from fall 2013 will share a common first-year curriculum. BBA students enter a similar curriculum, but with some requirements specific to their degree program, and they take many of the required first-year courses with BFA students. These required courses prepare you for the various study paths you may take through the programs offered at Parsons.
The first-year curriculum is carefully structured to deliver the fundamental tools and skills essential to art and design, but it is structured with an emphasis on flexibility and accommodates a wide range of student interests—from broad exploration across disciplines to deep focus in a particular area. You'll be able to determine your own first-year study path through the selection of different course options, so your options will be as many or as few as you choose to pursue. And if you're not sure what you want to do, your academic advisor is there to help you.
Note: Students admitted for spring 2013 will enter a similar experience through the programs currently offered at Parsons. Please see the Spring Admission page for details.
When do I have to choose a major?
Students are expected to declare their majors in the second semester. Presentations by the major programs will help inform your decision. Academic advisors are also a valuable source of guidance.
Can I double-major at Parsons?
The work of each major is demanding, and students generally pursue one major full-time at Parsons. Students interested in a particular medium, such as animation, can pursue it as a concentration regardless of major. 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 The New School for Liberal Arts.
Can I change majors?
Depending on open places in programs, yes. The first-year curriculum applies across all BFA programs offered at Parsons, so BFA students who decide to change majors during their sophomore year will not need to repeat first-year coursework to do so. Students changing to or from a BBA or BS degree program may have additional new requirements to meet in order to transfer between programs. Students who change majors in their sophomore year may need additional time to complete their degrees. Always consult with your academic advisor before declaring a major or changing your major.
What internship opportunities does Parsons offer?
Many undergraduate departments include a professional internship as part of the degree requirements. Some also grant credit for internships that students obtain independently or through the Office of Career Services. Parsons students have recently interned at Marc Jacobs, Polo-Ralph Lauren, HBO, MTV, the New York Times, Rolling Stone magazine, Marvel Comics, the Museum of Modern Art, to name a few of many companies and institutions.
Can I take classes outside my major at Parsons?
Yes. Parsons students are encouraged to broaden their experience by pursuing studies outside their major requirements. A range of electives is always available in every Parsons program, and Parsons students have the choice of many courses offered by Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts and other undergraduate divisions 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?
In 1920, Parsons became the first art and design school in the United States to establish a campus abroad. Today students expand their horizons by studying abroad at art and design schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and around the world. Some programs periodically organize short-term off-campus classes at an international location.
Will I get a well-rounded liberal arts education at Parsons?
Parsons requires students to complete 42 credits in the liberal arts, or approximately a third of the total coursework needed for a bachelor's degree. There are a number of required liberal arts courses, such as A History of the World Told Through Objects, which may vary by program. Students can complete the liberal arts requirement by taking elective courses in math, science, foreign languages, history, literature, psychology, sociology, and many other areas.
Will I have an advisor to help me select courses?
You are assigned an academic advisor upon entering Parsons. All advisors keep walk-in office hours and otherwise are available by appointment and email. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors regularly to discuss academic choices and progress including course selection and degree requirements.
How do I register for courses?
After reviewing options for fulfilling your degree requirements and looking at course descriptions, you register online for classes through MyNewSchool. Your advisor will help answer any questions you may have about navigating online registration, including where to find course descriptions and how to determine if a course is available.
Are AP or IB courses accepted for credit?
Yes, transfer credit can be awarded for AP and IB exams, depending on the exams taken. Credit can be awarded toward English, Art History, and Liberal Arts elective requirements.
Students can transfer 3 credits for each AP exam with scores of 4 or 5.
Students who attended schools outside the United States can receive appropriate transfer credit for academic credentials such as: the International Baccalaureate (IB), taken at the higher level only with a score of 5 or above; A-Level exams, taken at the GCE level only with a grade of A, B, or C; the French Baccalaureate; and the German Abitur. Transfer credits awarded vary depending on which exams were taken.
How is an admission decision made, and who makes it?
All undergraduate applications are reviewed by the Admission Committee, which includes Parsons' Office of Admission and faculty members. All graduate applications are reviewed by the graduate departments.
How can I schedule a tour and meet with an admission counselor?
Please see Admission Events for available times for tours and the schedule for information sessions.
You can also contact the Office of Admission with your questions: call 212.229.5150 or 800.292.3040 or email email@example.com.
What should be in my portfolio? How should my portfolio be formatted?
There is no standard format for portfolios as most students have worked in more than one medium. In any case, portfolio requirements vary according to degree program. Please visit the application instruction page for your intended program to determine specific portfolio requirements.
What is the deadline for submitting my application materials?
Deadlines vary from program to program. See Undergraduate Deadlines for information about bachelor's program deadlines. All others should review deadline information specific to their intended program under Apply.
Is an admission interview required?
Interviews are not required. Please review the calendar 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 scheduling an interview.
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.) online.
English is not my native language. Do I have to take the TOEFL?
If you are an international student and English is not your native language, you must provide evidence of English language proficiency. You should submit a TOEFL score with your application materials. Minimum TOEFL scores required for admission vary and are described in the application instructions for each program.
As an alternative, applicants 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. For more information about New School English courses, visit the ESL website.
Can I defer my entry once I've been accepted by Parsons?
Students accepted to the bachelor's and associate's programs can defer entry for up to one year by paying the $500 tuition deposit. Accepted students who would like to enroll at Parsons in a higher status than that at which they were first admitted must reapply ; they cannot negotiate a higher status by deferring entry. Students who cannot begin classes at Parsons within one year from the semester for which they were admitted, must reapply.
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.
What is the cost of attending Parsons?
For up-to-date information on tuition and fees, go to Student Services. 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 $920 to $2,050 a year depending on your program of study.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. 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. Scholarships are granted based on the merit of the student's application
materials. If you are an international undergraduate student, you should download and return the International Student Scholarship Application by the deadline stated on the application form.
Visit New School Financial Aid for more information about financial aid opportunities. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can also apply for private student
loans. International students can apply to U.S. banks for student
loans if they have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer.
On the Financial Aid site, select "Alternative/Private Student Loans" for a list of lenders and contact information.
For answers to all your questions, contact the Financial Aid office at 212.229.8930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Common Questions
Where can I get information about student housing?
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?
Visit Student Health Services. All students are required to have health insurance and reasonably affordable insurance is offered by the university for those not otherwise insured.
I am an international student. I have questions about visa requirements. Can I talk with someone?
Visit International Student Services for basic information. Contact the International Student Services office at 212.229.5592 or ISS@newschool.edu.
I scored well on the TOEFL. Do I have to take the English placement test?
All new students who are not native English speakers must take the English course placement test before they begin classes, regardless of fluency, previous English coursework, degrees/diplomas from US institutions, TOEFL score or SAT score. If English is not your first language, you must take the test. There are no exceptions. The test is administered before every semester during Orientation Week. Your scores will determine whether you will be required to take English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at The New School and whether any English course transfer credits can be applied to meet Parsons' first-year writing course requirement. The test is composed of 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 (choice of two topics), and a brief oral interview.
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. Nevertheless, you should consider purchasing a computer if you aren't bringing one with you. Substantial discounts are available through The New School, so consider deferring your purchase until you arrive on campus. Then, buy the computer best suited to the kind of work you expect to be doing.