Parsons Paris

Parsons Paris.

Theories of Urban Practice (MA)

School Magazine

A New Approach to Urbanism

The Master of Arts in Theories of Urban Practice reflects a new approach to urbanism in which the main tools of design are transformative theories, urban research, and analysis. In this 36-credit program, students conduct original research and develop design strategies based on critical engagement with contemporary urban issues viewed through historical, theoretical, methodological, and analytical lenses.

Transforming cities

The program is aimed at students interested in the ways cities are shaped and reshaped, whether through urban planning, public policy, real estate development, architecture, or other forms of design. Students explore new avenues beyond conventional urban design programs to gain a broad understanding of the social, political, economic, and environmental forces that affect cities. They seek ways to transform cities, including working with and ultimately occupying leadership positions in community groups, foundations, educational institutions, think tanks, public agencies, private firms, and global collaborative networks.

Connected to The New School and New York City

This new graduate program is housed in Parsons' School of Design Strategies. Students in the program can take part in project-based studios in related programs at Parsons, including the MS in Design and Urban Ecologies and MFA in Transdisciplinary Design, as well as other New School graduate programs.

The New School is a progressive university in New York City that offers some of the nation's best-respected programs in art and design studies, performing arts, liberal arts, and management and policy.


The program is designed for

  • Students planning to pursue an advanced degree—such as a PhD in urbanism, urban planning, public policy, architecture, or another field related to urbanism—and to move on to an academic career
  • Students who wish to work in a knowledge-intensive setting related to urbanism, including design criticism or research on city design and city building for think tanks, public agencies, and community groups
  • Students who want to transform cities by working in leadership positions in private design or development firms, community development corporations, foundations, or international organizations (such as the United Nations and the World Bank) or by starting their own organizations

The program is also ideal for career changers in art, media, design, and policymaking who want advanced training in sustainability and an advanced degree and training in urban design and urbanism.

For more information, contact Parsons at