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As a BFA, BS, or BA/BFA student, you will take Integrative Studio/Seminar 1 and 2; two liberal arts courses: Objects as History and Sustainable Systems; three first-year studios: Drawing/Imaging, Space/Materiality, and Time; and an elective in your first year.

Rank Your Course Options
In the first step of using this tool, you'll read about your required courses and rank your course options where they are offered. Most of your courses have several options within them, so take a moment to think about which ones strike your interest. No matter which options you end up with, you will learn the core skills and ideas that the course is designed to teach you—these skills are relevant across a broad range of art and design disciplines, and you will build on them as you progress through your studies at Parsons.

Schedule Your Courses
In the second step, you'll plan a schedule for your first year by placing your courses into the fall and spring semesters. Some courses are generally taken in one semester or the other, while others can be taken in a sequence of your choosing.

Throughout the exercise, you'll find that you can drag and drop or click to move your options into place. Once you've made your decisions, you can change your mind and move things around. Please note that the browser will not save your choices, so be sure to work your way to the last step before closing out of the tool. You'll have the ability to save a summary of the decisions you've made, and this will help you through the registration process.

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As a BFA, BS, or BA/BFA student, you will take Integrative Studio/Seminar 1 and 2; two liberal arts courses: Objects as History and Sustainable Systems; three first-year studios: Drawing/Imaging, Space/Materiality, and Time; and an elective in your first year.

Rank Your Course Options
In the first step of using this tool, you'll read about your required courses and rank your course options where they are offered. Most of your courses have several options within them, so take a moment to think about which ones strike your interest. No matter which options you end up with, you will learn the core skills and ideas that the course is designed to teach you—these skills are relevant across a broad range of art and design disciplines, and you will build on them as you progress through your studies at Parsons.

Schedule Your Courses
In the second step, you'll plan a schedule for your first year by placing your courses into the fall and spring semesters. Some courses are generally taken in one semester or the other, while others can be taken in a sequence of your choosing.

Throughout the exercise, you'll find that you can drag and drop or click to move your options into place. Once you've made your decisions, you can change your mind and move things around. Please note that the browser will not save your choices, so be sure to work your way to the last step before closing out of the tool. You'll have the ability to save a summary of the decisions you've made, and this will help you through the registration process.

As a BBA student, your curriculum will be very similar to BFA and BS students, with a few requirements specific to your degree. In your first year you will take Integrative Studio/Seminar 1 and 2; three liberal arts courses: Sustainable Systems, Quantitative Reasoning 1, and Understanding Global Economies; two out of the three first-year studios: Drawing/Imaging, Space/Materiality, and Time; and an elective.

Rank Your Course Options
In the first step of using this tool, you'll read about your required courses and rank your course options where they are offered. Some of your courses have several options within them, so take a moment to think about which ones strike your interest. No matter which options you end up with, you will learn the core skills and ideas that the course is designed to teach you—these skills are relevant across a broad range of art and design disciplines, and you will build on them as you progress through your studies at Parsons.

Schedule Your Courses
In the second step, you'll plan a schedule for your first year by placing your courses into the fall and spring semesters. While many of your courses are offered only in one semester or the other, your studio courses can be taken in a sequence of your choosing.

Throughout the exercise, you'll find that you can drag and drop or click to move your options into place. Once you've made your decisions, you can change your mind and move things around. Please note that the browser will not save your choices, so be sure to work your way to the last step before closing out of the tool. You'll have the ability to save a summary of the decisions you've made, and this will help you through the registration process.

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Now that you've ranked all your course options, you can try creating a possible schedule.

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Great. Now that you have a potential schedule, you're almost done!

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You're almost done! As the final step, make an appointment with your advisor so you can complete the registration process.

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Open the help window.

BFA
Parsons First Year, including
BS BA/BFA
BBA

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Welcome. This course planning tool will help you to understand the types of courses and course options you have in your first-year studies. You can play around with your choices here before you meet with your advisor to register. Start by choosing your degree type and reading the instructions that follow.

Step 1: RANK YOUR COURSE OPTIONS
IS1

Integrative Studio / Seminar 1

Integrative Studio 1 and Integrative Seminar 1 are two separate but paired courses taken in the fall semester. In the studio, you explore research, prototyping, and the creative process. You'll work on cross-disciplinary projects, both independently and collaboratively, and gain a range of visual, analytical, and making skills. In the seminar, you learn and familiarize yourself with the skills necessary for artists and designers to articulate and understand their creations and contexts. These skills include critical thinking and analysis, presentation and discussion, reading strategies, and the application of various writing styles. At various times in the semester, the two classes share concepts and assignments, bringing together reading, writing, and making in a way that is essential to the creative work of professional artists and designers.

A
Avatar

Avatar has two meanings. In Hinduism and Buddhism, it is the physical appearance of a god. Online, it is a picture of a person or animal that represents a particular user. How can we describe identity as being distinct from the original and yet intensely connected to it at the same time?

F
Fake

Fake describes something that is not what it appears to be. Counterfeit bags, forged money, stage names, mockumentaries, pranking, the list goes on. But how do we define what is real and what is fake? Could something fake actually be more powerful, more authentic, than truth?

Me
Memory

Memory is an action or process of commemorating, recollecting, or remembering a person, object, or event. How do these actions and processes shape identity and our understanding of the world?

Mi
Migrate

To migrate means to move from one place to another. Many of us have firsthand experience with this movement. What is it like to move from one city to another to attend school? What, if any, are your own family's migration stories?

  • Drag and drop or click your options to rank them.
  • After you rank all of the available options, you can rearrange your choices by dragging and dropping.
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IS2

Integrative Studio / Seminar 2

Integrative Studio 2 and Integrative Seminar 2 are two separate but paired courses; this pairing follows Integrative Studio/Seminar 1 and is taken in the spring semester. The focus of these courses is on research, which often requires moving out into the world through field work, experimentation, failure, and creative problem solving. In Integrative Studio 2, you explore all types of discovery and documentation by fact-finding individually and in groups. In Integrative Seminar 2, you continue building the reading, writing, presentation, and analysis skills you developed in the fall seminar, this time through fact-finding and the filter of research. What is the best way to present a well-researched argument? How can you defend a design by showing its relationship to contemporary practice? Both courses will focus on the approaches to research used within the schools of Parsons.

C
Community Engagement

How do we experience design? What does it mean to engage in a community—in a city, with a group, in shaping an organization, in reconfiguring a service—as a designer? Under this theme students will begin to unearth the complex systems that connect design to behaviors.

E
Constructed Environments

How does the built environment shape our contexts and, by extension, our understanding? What potential lies in an interior's design? How does a product instruct a user? When does a building determine action? Students will explore the interconnectedness of large-scale thinking with on-the-ground user experience to explore the complexity of a designer's engagement.

F
Fashion

How does fashion speak? What information do we derive from a seemingly simple, yet utterly complex system of material, image, body, history, and site within the social and global sphere? Students will engage with such complexities while interrogating new ways to approach topics such as form, beauty, and sustainability.

V
Visual Culture

How are messages embedded in visual culture? How, in turn, are photographs, videos, illustrations, performances, graphic novels, sculptures, and technological innovations, for instance, used to communicate an idea or position? What might it mean to make something that doesn't fit into any one category as we know it? Students will explore interdisciplinarity, collaborative making, the productivity of creative failures, and more.

  • Drag and drop or click your options to rank them.
  • After you rank all of the available options, you can rearrange your choices by dragging and dropping.
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Ob

Objects as History

This course introduces you to major trends in world history and to the study of objects as expressions of a particular place and time. Its structure is roughly chronological, beginning in prehistory and continuing until the dawn of mass industrialization, which occurred at different times for different cultures. The focus of the course is on objects—from ordinary tools of daily life to extraordinary monuments of skill and design—that are on display in local museum collections. How and why were they made? By whom and for whom? How were they used? What did they mean to their users? What social structures are embedded in them? We explore these objects as history while also observing and analyzing artistic styles and stylistic change, interrelationships among societies, and types of objects across time.

Note: One version of this course is offered; you can choose which semester to take this course in the next step.

Su

Sustainable Systems

Complexity, diversity, and adaptability are key aspects of all natural systems, but human society has created complex systems that are not sustainable. Designers today are challenged by problems that make it crucial to understand the scientific process, from lab and field work to policy formulation. This course combines lectures and field trips to locations around New York City with studio-based labs. Through discussions, field work, and scientific methods, you develop a foundational understanding of the scientific and social issues affecting the design of resilient urban futures.

Note: One version of this course is offered; you can choose which semester to take this course in the next step.

Dr

Drawing / Imaging

How is meaning constructed and communicated through visual images? In this studio course, you use traditional drawing and digital imaging methods to explore the conceptual, aesthetic, and formal qualities that inform how ideas and impressions are expressed on a two-dimensional plane. We will explore visual organization, representational and abstract forms, and engagement through observational drawing, photography, digital image creation, and the integration of a variety of media. The tools and methods acquired in this course form an introductory platform that you will build upon in your upper-level courses.

Note: This is one of three required studio courses; you can take them in any order with two in the fall semester and one in the spring.

L
Language

How do visual images enhance or create meaning? What can signs and symbols convey? In this class students will address these questions by using the concrete elements of design and observational drawing to explore and develop a visual language.

Pe
People

How do our bodies define us? What is a relational body? Can it be a neutral symbol? When is it a loaded message? These and more questions are addressed as we explore the singular and the collective through the lenses of communities, tribes, nations, and cultures.

Pl
Places

Places can be personal, private, public, and historical. These considerations affect how we look at space, location, and uniqueness of place.

T
Things

Our examination of things, for the purposes of this course, will focus on the tangible object and may include those that are found, crafted, mass-produced, or artifacts.

  • Drag and drop or click your options to rank them.
  • After you rank all of the available options, you can rearrange your choices by dragging and dropping.
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Sp

Space / Materiality

Discover how materials and their uses shape meaning, and learn through firsthand experience in Parsons' modeling facilities and hybrid studio/shop classrooms. In this studio course, you explore concepts such as malleability, weight, texture, color, durability, smell, sound, taste, life cycle, and ecological impacts through a wide variety of projects that privilege the close relationship of making to thinking. Other areas of inquiry range from space formation to environmental psychology to object exploration. Discussion, critique, and written responses will help you to participate in idea sharing and understand your work in historical and cultural contexts.

Note: This is one of three required studio courses; you can take them in any order with two in the fall semester and one in the spring.

B
Body

The body has an impact on our surroundings and the objects within it. How do ergonomics, structure, and self-image correspond to the shape, movement, and impact of the human form? Using a range of methods, explore body coverings, functionality, and personal space.

Co
Community

How do our attitudes about what we wear, how we interact, and how we come together define both our personal space and our shared space? Explore the relationship between the shifting boundaries of community and the material nature of social and ecological space.

Cu
Culture

What is the effect of culture on the objects we use and spaces we inhabit? Investigate the relationship between beauty, utility, and the hand-made.

H
Habitat

Habitats are natural environments that provide what is required to sustain life. What constitutes shelter, safety, and survival for humans? animals? plants? How do spaces and materials sustain and nurture, or adversely affect, different environments? Explore the relationship between the constructed environment and the natural world.

  • Drag and drop or click your options to rank them.
  • After you rank all of the available options, you can rearrange your choices by dragging and dropping.
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Ti

Time

This studio course is an introduction to cultural and perceptual constructions of time. Learning to work with time involves more than simply editing video and sound into linear sequences. It entails the consideration of time as a designed idea that can function as a tool. How does this tool, in turn, affect how objects function, how environments are perceived, or how experiences are shared? Studio projects, readings, writing, and examples of many artists’ work are used to examine how ideas such as frame, duration, and speed have evolved to impact our understanding of time. Using a variety of methods and media—from digital video to drawing to performance—we will explore and represent different cross-disciplinary notions of time in the fields of art, design, science, and industry.

Note: This is one of three required studio courses; you can take them in any order with two in the fall semester and one in the spring.

C
Composition

How do new audiovisual forms affect our perception, understanding, and representation of time? We will study variables such as rhythm and counterpoint, theme and variation, improvisation and scripting, silence and noise, to investigate practices from multimedia composition to experimental writing.

E
Embodied

Time can be measured through the body in a number of ways: our kinetic movements, our physical aging, the performance of our everyday actions, even the changes in our outward personal style. Explore aspects of performance, ritual, identity, and live art, and the many ways that the body can impact our understanding of time.

F
Frame

We begin with a single frame: a moment in time. From this starting point you will work with variables such as movement, progression, or space to create experimental stories in a variety of forms such as graphic novel, montage, visual language, and book art.

M
Metropolis

Investigate the passage of time though the cycles of the city. How does the urban environment affect its inhabitants? How do we perceive its growth and decay? Through a variety of forms, from multimedia composition to dynamic drawing to spatial studies, we will examine the perpetual change of the city.

  • Drag and drop or click your options to rank them.
  • Finished! If you want to change their order, you can do so after initially ranking all of the available options.
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El

Elective

First-year elective courses provide an opportunity for you to explore new methods and media, to advance skills, to experiment, and to explore disciplinary approaches to thinking and making. Most electives are offered in the spring semester; a small selection is available in the fall for students who have transfer credit. Listed below are the general categories of available electives, along with a few examples of elective courses offered in each category.

D
Drawing, Painting, Printmaking
  • Drawing: The Body
  • Painting
  • Intro to Printmaking
P
Photography
  • Analog Photography
  • Light
  • Alternative Photo Processes
2d
2D and Digital
  • Web Environments
  • Explorations in Typography
  • Digital Tools for Layout and Design
3d
3D
  • 3D Modeling Techniques
  • Product, Promotion and Packaging
  • Soft Structures
B
Business and Management
  • Basic Business Structure
  • Business and Professional Communication
L
Liberal Arts and Art History
  • NYC: Sculpture
  • Foreign Languages
  • NYC: Food
  • Drag and drop or click your options to rank them.
  • After you rank all of the available options, you can rearrange your choices by dragging and dropping.
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Step 2: SCHEDULE YOUR COURSES
IS1

Integrative Studio / Seminar 1

IS2

Integrative Studio / Seminar 2

Ob

Objects as History

Su

Sustainable Systems

Dr

Drawing / Imaging

Sp

Space / Materiality

Ti

Time

El

Elective

Fall
Spring
Step 3: SAVE YOUR COURSE PLAN

Enter your information to save your completed course plan.


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Your First-Year Course Plan

Wenting Zhang
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Step 4: SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR ADVISOR

Now that you have reviewed your course options and planned your year, you have completed an essential first step in the advising and registration process. The next step is to schedule an appointment with your advisor:

Your advisor will go over your choices with you and discuss any concerns or questions you have about registration. If you have transfer credits, speak English as your second language*, or are enrolled as a BA/BFA student**, your advisor will also help you to understand the differences in your options and schedule. Please be sure to bring a copy of your first-year curriculum summary with you or email it to your advisor in advance.

* If English is your second language, your placement level will be determined during new student orientation. Please note that some changes to your schedule may be required if you place into ESL courses. Your advisor will help you to make any necessary adjustments. You should discuss your options during your advising appointment.
** As a BA/BFA student, there are several alternative options available to you. Some BA/BFA students take a course of study evenly balanced between Parsons and Lang, while others choose a more immersive experience in one of the divisions. Now that you've explored your options at Parsons, you should work with your advisor to determine the schedule that best reflects your interests and prior experience.