Parsons Paris

Parsons Paris.

Design and Urban Ecologies (MS)

School Magazine

A Critical Approach to Urban Transformation

Bringing together the academic strengths of Parsons and other colleges of The New School, this studio-based program will train students to apply interdisciplinary methods in studying and designing processes to transform urban ecosystems. The first graduate program of its kind in the United States, this 60-credit, two-year master of science program will explore the broad terrain of the urban complex and its interconnection with society and the environment.

Students in the program will gain a broad view of the dynamics of urban life by investigating the influence of bureaucracy, policy, finance, and design on contemporary cities. With a curriculum focusing on designing process rather than form, students will develop strategic proposals for more cohesive and socially responsible urban development.

Connected to The New School, New York City, and the World

Housed in Parsons' School of Design Strategies, the program will operate in close collaboration with the research-based Master of Arts in Theories of Urban Practice, Parsons' School of Constructed Environments, The New School for Social Research, and other graduate programs at The New School. It will offer intensive summer courses in New York City, as well as international exchange programs through a network of partner institutions around the world.

Site-Specific Work

Students will have the opportunity to work on site-specific urban design projects for grassroots organizations and institutions locally and internationally. Collaborations are possible with other institutions such as the University of Venice, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (the Netherlands), UC San Diego, and Morgan State University in Baltimore. Studio opportunities will also be available in India, China, and Southeast Asia.

Transdisciplinary Pathways

The program is well suited to students of varied backgrounds, including liberal arts and social sciences. Reflecting The New School's traditional commitment to rigorous inquiry and civic engagement, the program is aimed at design professionals, social scientists, urban activists, community leaders, and managers of nonprofit organizations and government agencies who wish to critically address urgent issues of contemporary urbanization.


Graduates will be prepared to work in research, community development, and planning in government and urban agencies and development practices, nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations, and design firms. Students will also be well positioned to pursue PhDs and move on to academic careers.