Parsons

  • Textiles are literally and figuratively woven into human history and culture. Today communities of makers, designers, and scholars are exploring textiles — from locally crafted materials to 3D printed matter to embellished fabrics — and pioneering textile-based industries and theory. Parsons’ Master of Fine Arts in Textiles, launching in fall 2017, offers you a curriculum that engages your passion and the university’s resources to prepare you for the growing array of creative and professional opportunities related to textiles in fashion design, product design, interior design, textiles research, set design, fine arts, architecture, and hybrid fields.

    This program is part of the School of Fashion (SOF) at Parsons. Learn about the  SOF community and explore the  SOF blogs to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.

    Read More About the ProgramRead Less

    Interweaving Theory and Practice

    In the two-year, 60-credit full-time MFA Textiles program, you develop a critical understanding of textiles’ sociocultural and environmental dimensions throughout history and consider their potential to unite craft and innovative computational technology. In studios taken each term, you acquire skills in traditional fiber-working techniques — yarn making, weaving, knitting — and become acquainted with the newest creative methods and materials, such as smart fibers, digital pattern making, 3D printing, and biofabricated textiles. You refine your aesthetic sensibilities and understanding of sustainable practice on-site in NYC textile workshops and design ateliers, deepening your collaborative and studio abilities in weaving, dyeing, knitting, and printing. Instruction in small business best practices is integrated into the curriculum, bringing real-world skills into the studio.

    Cross-Disciplinary by Design

    Your study in the MFA Textiles program is interdisciplinary by design. Coursework connects fields including art, architecture, interior design, fashion design, and product design and unites concerns ranging from human factors to environmental sustainability to social justice. Accordingly, the program welcomes applicants from textile research and making fields related to liberal arts, fashion design, anthropology, interior design, fine arts, product design, and architecture. The goal is to create a diverse MFA Textiles community committed to expanding the field’s boundaries and creating new hybrids that integrate the high-tech innovations of Silicon Valley with local craft techniques being developed in the Hudson Valley. Your study prepares you for a future in which smart textiles play many roles, collecting and transmitting data in a variety of products, including domestic goods and wearable technology.

    Textiles as Urban Practice

    The September 2016 launch of New York Textile Month — a month-long citywide celebration of textile culture initiated by MFA Textiles founder Lidewij Edelkoort, dean of Hybrid Design Studies at Parsons — highlighted the community-based approach to promoting textile industries that students in the program will find. Local partners in the event become your direct mentors as well, inviting you into their studios and businesses one day a week to build your creative skills and networks. The growing global interest in textile-related industries brings international players into the fold to partner with the program, extending your opportunities and understanding of scaled production. The program also draws on Parsons’ institutional partners such as Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, with its extensive material collections and curatorial resources. Lectures from international designers and producers add dimension to your learning.

    Join the Critical Conversation

    Textiles are integral to a diverse array of industries — from ubiquitous computing, automotive design, aerospace, and health care to fashion design, scenic design, and interior design — and represent a major growth field. They also fulfill the desire for tactile stimulation that accompanies the recent rise in digital and virtual culture. In the MFA Textiles program, you explore these dynamics creatively and reflectively, dissolving the boundaries between technology and craft in keeping with contemporary practice. In the process, you take an active role in textile cultures and industries, preparing to re-shore textile businesses, lend studio skills to firms ranging from fashion to biotech, launch a business as an independent designer or high-tech researcher, or pursue advanced studies.

  • Curriculum

    The Master of Fine Arts degree is awarded for completion of 60 credits. Transfer credits are not accepted. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.

    For a complete listing of courses and course descriptions, visit the university course catalog.

    First Year / Fall
    Major Studio 1 9
    History of Textiles 3
    Textiles Industry Partnership 1
    3
    15
    First Year / Spring
    Major Studio 2 9
    Anthropology of Textiles 3
    Textile Industry Partnership 2
    3
    Atelier
    2
    17
    Second Year / Fall
    Major Studio 3 6
    Philosophy of Textiles 3
    Atelier 2
    Elective 3
    14
    Second Year / Spring
    Major Studio 4 6
    Atelier 2
    Elective/Internship3
    Elective
    3
    14
    Total Credits 60

    Admission Requirements

    Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

    Application Deadline

    The application deadline is January 1. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the January 1 priority deadline pending space availability in the program. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received. Spring term admission is not offered for this program.

    Financial Aid Deadline

    All applicants selected for admission 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 online at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid; we recommend submitting by our FAFSA priority deadline of February 1 for fall applicants. (The New School’s federal school code is 002780.)

    Application Instructions

    All applicants are required to apply using the paper application (PDF). Please email the completed paper application and supporting documents to admissionapplication@newschool.edu.

    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 paper application (PDF), Parsons requires that you submit a portfolio using SlideRoom.
    2. Finalize your portfolio at the time you submit your application. This will help prevent any delays in reviewing your application as we need all required materials to be received 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 for your records and enter it on the paper application when requested.

    Required Application Materials

    1. Application Form: Complete the paper application (PDF). We are unable to accept online applications for this program at this time.
    2. Application Fee: A nonrefundable $50 application fee paid as part of the paper application. Mail a check or money order for $50 payable to The New School and mail to: The New School, Office of Admission (PS 300), 79 5th Avenue, 5th floor, New York, NY 10003. A $15 SlideRoom fee is also required.
    3. Transcripts:
      Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants must email an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) to admissionapplication@newschool.edu along with your paper application.
      • All transcripts must be accompanied by a key, a legend, or the back copy of the transcript.
      • Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Records from non-U.S. institutions must have grades or marks and contain a copy of diploma if the degree has been conferred.
      • Make sure your name appears on the transcript/record. Scans must be clear and legible.
      • Do not mail materials that have been uploaded with the online application or any other materials unless requested by the admission office.
      • If you are unable to email your transcripts to admissionapplication@newschool.edu, please arrange to have them sent by mail to the admission office at the address listed above.
      The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process. Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial.

      Official Transcripts: Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts (as well as official certified translations and evaluations of the transcripts/mark sheets and degree certifications if the degree was earned outside of the U.S.) to The New School. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career.

      Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. New students will not be permitted to register for their second semester of study until all official transcripts (including degree awarding transcripts) have been received by the Office of Graduate Admission. Unofficial transcripts emailed to the admission office with the paper application do not satisfy this requirement.

      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
      • 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.

      International Academic Credentials: All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation or be 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. The Admission Office reserves the right to request a transcript evaluation if necessary.

      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. Résumé: Submit a brief résumé/curriculum vitae summarizing your academic qualifications, relevant work experience, volunteer/community work, travel, exhibitions, public speaking, or any other relevant experiences as they may relate to your field of study, including dates and positions held. Please also note any special language or computer skills that you have.
    5. Statement of Purpose: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the program? You should include a thoughtful description of your background, tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, your professional goals, and an explanation of how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. If you have not been enrolled as a student in the past five years, please address anticipated opportunities and challenges in pursuing the degree, and future career expectations upon completion of the program. (500–750-word limit)
    6. Recommendation Letters: You are required to submit two letters of recommendation from faculty or people with whom you have worked professionally. Ask your recommender to email their recommendation letter to admissionapplication@newschool.edu with the subject line “Recommendation letter for (applicant’s name).” If preferred, the recommendation form can instead be sent by mail in a signed, sealed envelope using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
    7. Portfolio: The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. The purpose of the portfolio is to communicate your perspectives on textile design and your singular creative talent. Create a compelling portfolio with up to 40 items that illustrate your conceptual skills, your taste in textiles, your making talent and more. The portfolio should represent an original view of your creative character as a conceptual thinking and your making skills as a designer. Include work that best demonstrates your creative vision from previous experiences. You can include images of the concept work you have established, photos of your textile designs, yarns and color studies, and fiber applications. Please include a brief description of each item that you upload. If you want to include short films such as installation, performance, or live work/process, submit them using SlideRoom. Please do NOT submit an additional hard-copy portfolio to the office of admission. All items that you want the faculty to review on behalf of your portfolio submission should be submitted through SlideRoom only; not by mail.
    8. Test Scores:
      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 (IBT) is 92, for IELTS is 7.0, and for PTE is 63. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.

      The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for applicants:

      • Whose native language is English
      • 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 (minimum of three years attendance)
      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 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's English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 in order to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.
    9. Interview: Applicants may be invited for an interview in-person or by phone.

    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. Test Score Codes:
      • TOEFL: The institution code is 2638.
    4. 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.
    5. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
      Parsons School of Design
      Office of Admission (PS 300)
      79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
      New York, NY 10003
     
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