The 60-credit Master of Science in Design and Urban Ecologies program radically reframes the study of cities and urban design methodologies. By combining research, fieldwork, and participatory action, students gain a broad understanding of the complex forces that influence urban growth and development. In accordance with The New School’s historic commitment to social justice and design, students develop and implement innovative strategic projects that bring about real, transformative urban change.
This studio-driven program is part of Parsons' School of Design Strategies (SDS), and shares a 12-credit core curriculum with the 36-credit, research-based MA Theories of Urban Practice program. Explore our
blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
The first graduate program of its kind in the United States, the two-year Master of Science in Design and Urban Ecologies explores the urban complex and its interconnections with political, social, economic, and environmental systems. Using world cities like New York as a laboratory and working in transdisciplinary teams, students design processes for urban transformation alongside and with — not for — the communities most affected by these processes.
Bringing together the academic strengths of Parsons and other schools and colleges of The New School, this studio-based program trains graduates to become agents of change, working with the communities and institutions that shape urban ecosystems. Guided by internationally recognized urbanists, designers, and activists, students confront urgent problems facing cities and develop new research methodologies, design frameworks, and critical practices, using the city as an urban laboratory.
Focus areas include community organizing, the solidarity economy, food systems, public space, housing, infrastructure, public transportation, nonprofit management, cultural development, environmental equity, and socially engaged art and technology. Graduates are prepared for careers in urban design; urban and regional planning; public and urban policy; social, cultural, and environmental enterprises; community organizing; research; nonprofit management; teaching; government administration; municipal and regional development; and consulting. The program also provides a foundation for those who wish to pursue doctoral studies at top universities around the world.
Graduates are prepared for careers in urban design; urban and regional planning; public and urban policy; social, cultural, and environmental enterprises; community organizing; research; nonprofit management; teaching; government administration; municipal and regional development; and consulting. The program also provides a foundation for those who wish to pursue doctoral studies at top universities around the world.
The Master of Science degree is awarded for completion of 60 credits. A maximum of six credits can be transferred from another institution. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.
Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
Explore the Design and Urban Ecologies Community
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. The fall term readmission deadline is August 1 (review
readmission information below).
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 on the Web 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.)
All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.
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
Application for Readmission (PDF) should be completed by students who wish to return after an absence of four semesters (fall and spring). Students must reapply to the program to which they were originally admitted. Readmission is only available for current New School programs. If you are looking to transfer 24 or more semester-based credits, you should apply for admission as a transfer student according to the instructions outlined above. The following materials are required of applicants seeking readmission:
SDS Urban Council
Miodrag Mitrasinovic, Chair