Parsons

Design and Technology (BFA)

  • Choose a pathway — Game Design or Creative Technology — and solve design problems by remixing software, hardware, art, and design creatively. In this program, offered in New York and at Parsons Paris, code becomes your second language and expressive means of connecting with others. You develop a sustainable process for researching, experimenting, designing, prototyping, iterating, and producing projects that keeps pace with evolving technology.

    This program is part of Parsons' School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT). Learn about the AMT community and explore our blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.

    Read More About the ProgramRead Less

    Pathways

    Game Design

    The Game Design pathway emphasizes the aesthetic aspects of designing games. It gives you a set of tools that grows along with your skills and provides you with an understanding of the game design process, from brainstorming to game publication.

    Creative Technology

    The Creative Technology pathway focuses on methods of combining physical computing, creative coding, user experience, responsive environment, and immersion technology for innovative design solutions.

    Art and design history and theory courses give you the research, writing, and critical reasoning skills you need to effectively develop and share your ideas and concepts. Resources including the university’s extensive libraries, galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities engage your creativity and enable you to showcase your work.

     

    Industry Connected

    Visits to industry leaders like the Rockwell Interaction Lab, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Curious Pictures put you in contact with innovators. Other industry partners include Apple, Atari, Human Rights Watch, MTV, Siemens, and UNESCO.

    Future Opportunities

    Graduates leave prepared for careers in game design, virtual reality and immersion experience design, motion graphics, animation, film, advertising, software design, hardware engineering, and graphic arts.

  • Curriculum

    The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is awarded upon completion of 120 credits, as designated by the program. A maximum of 60 credits may be transferred from another institution. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.

    Note: This curriculum applies to students who enter Parsons as first-year students in fall 2013 and after. Current students who entered Parsons in a prior academic year and incoming and prospective transfer students with sophomore or junior standing should refer to the Parsons catalog appropriate to their catalog year. See Academic Policies for more details.

    First Year F S
    PUFY 1000 Integrative Studio 1 3 -
    PUFY 1010 Integrative Seminar 1 3 -
    PUFY 1100 Sustainable Systems* 3 -
    PUFY 1020 Space/Materiality** 3 -
    PUFY 1030 Drawing/Imaging** 3 -
    PUFY 1040 Time** - 3
    PUFY 1001 Integrative Studio 2 - 3
    PUFY 1011 Integrative Seminar 2 - 3
    PLHT 1000 Objects as History* - 3
    Program Elective
    - 3
    15 15
    Sophomore Year F S
    PLDS 2190 History of Design: 1850–2000 Lecture 0 -
    PLDS 2191 History of Design: 1850–2000 Recitation 3 -
    PUDT 2100 Core Studio Objects 3 -
    PUDT 2101 Core Lab Objects 3 -
    PUDT 2110 Code 1 3 -
    PUDT 2112 Code 2 - 3
    PUDT 2200 Core Studio Environments - 3
    PUDT 2201 Core Lab Environments - 3
    Program Elective
    3 -
    ULEC University Lecture Elective
    - 3
    Liberal Arts Elective
    - 3
    15 15
    Junior Year F S
    PLxx 3500 Advanced Research Seminar - 3
    PLDS 2500 Intro to Design Studies: Lecture 0 -
    PLDS 2501 Intro to Design Studies: Recitation 3 -
    PUDT 3100 Core Studio Systems 3 -
    PUDT 3101 Core Lab Systems 3 -
    PUDT 3200 Core Studio Collaboration - 3
    PUDT 3201 Core Lab Collaboration - 3
    Liberal Arts Elective
    3 -
    ULEC University Lecture Elective
    - 3
    Program Electives
    3 3
    15 15
    Senior Year F S
    PUDT 4100 Thesis 1 6 -
    PUDT 4200 Thesis 2 - 6
    Program Electives
    3 6
    Liberal Arts Electives
    6 3
    15 15
    TOTAL CREDITS 120

    * Objects as History and Sustainable Systems can be taken in either sequence, one in the fall semester and one in the spring.

    ** The three first-year studio courses — Drawing/Imaging, Space/Materiality, and Time — can be taken in any sequence, two in the fall semester and one in the spring.

    Faculty

    Program Contact

    Full Time Faculty

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      Profiles

      Game Design

      Game design has greatly influenced other areas of design through motivating and engaging play experiences. At Parsons, our BFA Design and Technology students become skillful game designers addressing important cultural contexts — designing games to explore activism, social change, scientific and informational visualization and education.

      Connecting the dots

      Parsons connects game design to a broader worldview. Here students work with designers of all creative domains, including interaction design, installation art and exhibit design, and experimental performance. Students are encouraged to establish their own unique game design pipeline and become a motivating, engaging, and persuasive play master. Our alumni and faculty have taken their game designs into countless artistic and socially relevant forums all around the world, from entrepreneurial independent game development in New York to disaster education in remote villages of South Africa (see PETlab).

      New Opportunities

      The application of game play and game design is a powerful force in pioneering new digital experiences, and the BFA Design and Technology program equips those interested in this field with the skills they need to succeed.

      The platform shift toward online, mobile, and casual gaming has led to a revolution in creative gaming methods. Studies in immersive, multi-player, and mobile gaming platforms, such as the iPhone, iPad, and Android, provide students with valuable learning experiences in these ubiquitous technologies.

      Serious Games

      Parsons participates in initiatives like Quest to Learn, a public school that integrates digital tools and game design with traditional learning methods, and Games for Change, a nonprofit that develops games aimed at producing positive social outcomes. These projects illustrate a commitment to and engagement with the growing use of games in many parts of society.

      At the Gaming Epicenter

      New York is the epicenter of new gaming trends. The city features many mobile media and gaming development houses and a massive independent game developers community. Parsons plays a leading role in that community as host school for the northeast chapter of the Independent Game Developers Association (IDGA).

      Creative Technologies

      Parsons seeks students who are interested in applying the creative process to digital technology. Successful students are those who want to experiment at the intersection of art and technology and understand that learning to code not only brings the ability to program but also provides new modes of expression, means of investigation, and ways of seeing the world.

      Changing Landscapes

      Parsons connects emergent digital technologies to a broader view of expression, identity, social/political issues and culture. Design and Technology offers opportunities to learn and experiment with programming languages, hardware and open source platforms, such as Processing, Arduino, and openFrameworks. We encourage students to be independent thinkers who explore, question, and find new ways to approach and solve problems.

      Parsons students studying creative technologies apply these skills to develop new software, write applications for experimental interactions, produce innovative artwork, and program for the social good. From interactive museum exhibit design to participatory performance and dynamic narrative experiences, our students contribute to the vibrant and rich artistic fabric of New York and beyond.

      Beyond the Screen

      BFA DT extends art and design beyond screen-based interactions. Many students create playful robotic creatures, make their own musical instruments and visualizations, and build experimental sound installations. At Parsons, students have opportunities to work in-house or collaborate on projects with peers across the university, such as students in The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

      Making with Code

      Every student in the Design and Technology program learns to code. The results range from experimental websites, robotics, and sound-based work to spatial, sculptural, and performative installations. Students explore, experiment, and learn to make computer-based art. Every project teaches something new.

      Highlights

      Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world. Explore the AMT Community

      Admission Requirements

      Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

      1. Application Deadlines:
        • Fall Term Early Action Applicants: November 1
        • Fall Term Regular Priority Applicants: January 15
        • Fall Term Transfer Priority Applicants: March 15
        • Fall Term Readmission (review readmission information below): August 1
        • Spring Term Priority Applicants: October 15
        • Spring Term Priority International Applicants: October 15
        • Spring Term Readmission (review readmission information below): November 1
      2. Financial Aid Deadlines
        • All applicants admissible into our program are considered for a merit scholarship award that is determined by the strength of their application. Scholarship award notification is communicated at the same time as the admission decision. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships. If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found on the Web at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on January 1. (The New School’s federal school code is 002780.) You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid; we recommend submitting by our FAFSA priority deadlines:
        • Fall: March 1
        • Spring: November 1

      Application Instructions

      All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.

      Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.

      See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.

      Some of your required materials will be submitted through SlideRoom:

      1. In addition to submitting the online application, you are required to submit the portfolio and Parsons Challenge through SlideRoom.
      2. Finalize your portfolio and Parsons Challenge at the time you submit your application. Doing this will help prevent any delays in reviewing your application, as we need to receive all required materials before we can place your application under review.
      3. Once you have submitted the required SlideRoom materials, a confirmation number will be emailed to you. Save this number for your records.

      Required Application Materials

      1. Application Form: Complete the online application. All applicants are required to apply online.
      2. Application Fee: A nonrefundable $50 application fee and a $10 SlideRoom fee, payable as part of the online application.
      3. Official Transcripts:
        All applicants must provide official high school and/or college transcripts. If you are currently in school, submit transcripts for all coursework taken to date. Applicants who have attended multiple high schools may submit only the graduating school’s official transcript as long as courses taken at previous schools are reflected on that transcript.

        Transfer Applicants: Transfer applicants who have completed fewer than 24 college credits (on a semester system) must submit high school transcript(s) in addition to college transcripts. Students who have completed any college coursework must apply as transfer students, regardless of whether they plan to apply those credits to their studies at Parsons. The following majors do not accept juniors: Design and Technology, Fashion, Integrated Design, and Product Design.

        By Mail: Official transcripts should have an original signature or a raised university seal, and must be in a sealed envelope that has been signed or stamped by the issuing university’s registrar or records office. Applicants can either send official transcripts with an Application Materials Cover Sheet or request that institutions send transcripts directly to The New School. See “Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials” for our mailing address in the Additional Instructions and Information section below.

        Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only): The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors. The New School’s approved vendors, in order of preference, are
        • Naviance
        • Parchment Exchange
        • SCRIP-SAFE International
        • National Student Clearinghouse
        We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. Note: All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.

        High School Equivalency: For GED, TASC, and HiSET, send official test score results by postal mail.

        Homeschooling: Homeschool applicants must provide the equivalent of a high school transcript with course or subject titles, duration of study for each title, content of study for each title, and an assessment of performance or “grade.” Preferably, the courses completed at home are part of a curriculum developed and evaluated by a nationally recognized diploma-granting organization or agency. If not connected with such an organization, homeschool applicants must obtain and submit a GED as confirmation of completing a generally acceptable secondary school curriculum. If an official transcript from a state homeschool association or sponsoring public high school is not available, homeschool students must submit an equivalency or GED, TASC, or HiSET exam results. Individual homeschool transcripts with date of completion do not suffice as official proof of graduation.

        International Academic Credentials: All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

        International Academic Credentials with Transfer Credits: Applicants who attended postsecondary institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript. In the absence of an evaluation, the Admission Committee will do its best to render a decision. Please note: In some cases, a review cannot be made without an evaluation, and a committee decision will be delayed.

        If using WES, visit www.wes.org for instructions and to begin the application process. The “Required Documents” section will explain what to send. If you request your report online, search for “The New School” when selecting our institution. WES will send your completed evaluation directly to The New School.

        If using another NACES provider, follow instructions for that provider. Mailed evaluations and translations should be sent to the mailing address provided for supporting materials. Applicants forwarding these sealed documents should include an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
      4. Parsons Challenge: Choose any theme or concept and interpret it in three original pieces. Support each piece of art with an essay of approximately 250 words. The series you create should convey a conceptual and creative response to the subject matter. All forms of media are acceptable—drawing, video, photography, sculpture, 3D work, collage, digital images. You can choose to work in a single medium or vary the media. The Parsons Challenge helps the Admission Committee understand how a prospective student develops ideas, creates a theme, visually communicates that theme, and defends the work in writing.
      5. Portfolio: The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. Freshman applicants should submit a portfolio of eight to 12 pieces. Portfolios can include drawings, paintings, photographs, digital media, design, three-dimensional work, Web design, animation, video, and other digital media. Transfer applicants should submit a portfolio of eight to 12 pieces in the area of interest.
      6. Artist Statement: What do you make, how do you make it, and why do you make? Ultimately, where do you visualize your creative abilities and academic study taking you after your education at Parsons? (Maximum 500 words.)
      7. Test Scores:
        SAT and ACT: The New School does not require submission of SAT or ACT scores for applications to be considered complete. Should you feel your SAT or ACT test scores are beneficial to your application, you may submit them for our consideration.  Note: Homeschool applicants must submit standardized test scores from either the SAT or the ACT. Homeschool applicants may submit two standardized subject test results in lieu of the SAT. The SAT institution code is 2638. The ACT code is 2854.

        TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE: All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IB) is 92, for IELTS is 7.0, and for PTE is 63. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.

        A TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score is not required for applicants
        • Whose primary language is English
        • Who have earned a secondary school diploma from a school where English is the primary language of instruction (undergraduate applicants only)
        • Who have earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction
        Upon review of your application, the Office of Admission reserves the right to request a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

        Arrange for the testing service to send your test scores directly to The New School using the institution codes listed above. We accept scores from the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test. For more information, visit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.

        Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.
      8. Letter of Recommendation: Applicants coming directly from high school must submit one recommendation from a teacher or college counselor. Students transferring from other colleges or universities must submit one recommendation from a professor with whom they have studied. Recommenders can submit recommendations online; instructions are included with the online application. If preferred, the recommendation form can instead be sent by mail in a signed, sealed envelope. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the personal information, save the form, and forward it to the recommender for completion and submission. Applicants can also send signed and sealed recommendations to the Office of Admission using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.

      Additional Information and Instructions

      1. Applying to More Than One Program: In any given term, a student can apply to only one department or program within The New School. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.
      2. Application Materials: All materials submitted in association with The New School application become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.
      3. Advanced-Level Credit: AP, IB, and A-Level Courses: Accepted applicants will receive further instructions later in the process regarding AP, IB, and A-Level scores.
      4. Test Score Codes:
        • TOEFL: The institution code is 2638.
        • SAT and AP: The institution code is 2638.
        • ACT: The institution code is 2854.
      5. Application Status: Applications become complete and ready for review once all required items have been received by the Office of Admission. You can check your application status online at the Admission Hub.

        Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be matched and shown as received on the Hub. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that items have been sent.

        The Office of Admission will periodically notify applicants by email if their file is missing any documents and again when their file is complete for review. These notifications are sent to the email address provided in the online application.
      6. Interviews: Interviews are not required. Applicants with questions about Parsons or the admission process are encouraged to attend an information session. Please review the Admission Calendar for dates and times.
      7. Homeschool Applicants: The New School welcomes applications from homeschool students. The Admission Committee does not require advanced preparation in every academic area, but applicants should demonstrate substantial work in English, history, social studies, foreign language, mathematics, and science.
      8. Readmission: Application for Readmission (PDF) should be completed by students who wish to return after an absence of four semesters (fall and spring). Students must reapply to the program to which they were originally admitted. Readmission is only available for current New School programs. If you are looking to transfer 24 or more semester-based credits, you should apply for admission as a transfer student according to the instructions outlined above. The following materials are required of applicants seeking readmission:

        • Application for Readmission (PDF)
        • Statement of Purpose
        • Employer recommendation (if applicable)
        • Transcripts (required if you have attended another college or university since last at The New School)
        • Updated portfolio at the request of faculty
      9. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
        Parsons School of Design
        Office of Admission (PS 100)
        79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10003
       
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