Lighting has been an important part of design education at Parsons since the 1970s, when the school launched the first graduate program in architectural lighting design.
Parsons MFA Lighting Design program examines the relationships between theory, technical application, energy conservation, and social and environmental factors in both electric and natural light. Its unique focus on aesthetic design, human physiological and psychological factors, and sustainable practices make it the only graduate lighting program to emphasize the values of both design and civic responsibility.
In the open environment of the School for Constructed Environment (SCE) design studio, students from diverse academic, professional, and cultural backgrounds work collaboratively in a cross-disciplinary manner on complex design issues ranging from a single interior environment to comprehensive architectural volumes, exterior public space, and urban planning. Studio coursework is complemented by seminars focusing on technologies, technical analysis, and human biological considerations, as well as historical and cultural theories of light and lighting.
Program graduates are prepared for careers as architectural lighting designers or specialists in private practice or at large architecture, engineering, and interior design firms; theatrical and exhibition lighting specialists; or research experts in equipment design and manufacturing enterprises.
Students interested in combining graduate studies in lighting design and architecture may apply to the Dual Degree program, a four-year, 142-credit-hour curriculum that combines the NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture and the MFA Lighting Design degrees.
The School of Constructed Environments offers students wishing to combine graduate studies in lighting design and interior design a unique double major. In the MFA Lighting Design and Interior Design double major, a three-year, 102-credit-hour curriculum, students develop an in-depth technical and aesthetic understanding of both design fields.