Parsons Paris

Parsons Paris.

Social Practice


The Social Practice minor provides a pathway for undergraduate students to pursue socially engaged projects that initiate exchange, envision new social relations, and provoke individual/collective actions. This is an invitation to blur the lines between object making, performance, political activism, community organizing, guerrilla architecture, environmentalism, and investigative journalism. This approach to art making fosters collaborations between artists and broader publics. Drawing on the strengths of The New School's history of engagement with social justice, the Social Practice minor taps into our faculty's diverse fieldwork, exposing students to multidisciplinary methodologies for their own research. A progression of lab and studio seminars provides models for developing media strategies and forms of social cooperation. This minor will prepare students to conceptualize participatory projects, articulate narratives, position themselves ethically, and cultivate networks that support poetic and political visions.

Examples of social practice include Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects (winner of The New School's inaugural Vera List Center Prize), Mel Chin’s Fundred Dollar Project, Estudio Teddy Cruz’s Casa Familiar: Living Rooms at the Border, and Jeanne van Heeswijk's Freehouse.

The minor in Social Practice requires successful completion of 18 credits across five subject areas, as outlined in the chart below. Please note:

  • ULEC 2270 Social Practice Concepts and Contexts is required of all students intending to complete this minor.

Note: Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Some courses may be in development and offered at a later time. Students seeking to pursue alternative coursework to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.


Parsons minors are generally open to undergraduate students across The New School, except where program restrictions exist. All students should contact their advisors regarding their options before pursuing a minor.

Students majoring in the following programs are restricted from pursuing a minor in Social Practice:

  • BA/BS Liberal Arts


Subject Area Course Options Requirements

Introduction to Main Concepts, History, and Theory

3 credits
Studio Practice

0–3 credits

Students who have already completed one of these courses, or will do so for their major, should instead select another course in the subject area "Social Justice Issues and Community-Based Practice" (below).

Research Methodologies for Fieldwork 3 credits

Research Skills and Direct Fieldwork Experience

3 credits
Social Justice Issues and Community-Based Practice

6–9 credits