Parsons faculty work closely with students to produce creative and scholarly work employing a cross-disciplinary approach. Instructors' professional and academic relationships help students connect with local firms, artists and designers, and organizations.
Design and Technology (MFA)
The Master of Fine Arts in Design and Technology (MFA DT) program is a two-year, 60-credit full-time interdisciplinary course of study based in studio practice and critical thinking. The curriculum combines visual, interactive, and narrative aspects of technology with programming and computation, enabling students to explore the social and cultural dimensions of technological change. From the moment they enter MFA DT until they present work at their master's thesis symposium, students use design research and processes, theory, writing, and research to explore the growing influence of design on society and the expanding role of technology in design. They collaborate with industry partners and local organizations on real-world projects involving games, Web and mobile applications, animation, motion graphics, and audiovisual performance. They participate in hacks organized to advance the field and exhibit their work at venues around the world. Graduates pursue careers in creative, commercial, research, fine arts, and educational fields that engage with technology.
Related Studies: animation and motion graphics; broadcast design; computer graphics; game design; graphic/communication design; interface design; mobile media; new genres; physical computing/wearable technology; programming; sound design; systems; visual arts; Web design; interaction design; creative technologies
Design Studies (MA)
The Master of Arts in Design Studies program offers students a new way to explore design as a field of scholarly research and an agent of social change. Students critically examine theoretical, historical, philosophical, and social aspects of design practice, products, and discourses. The 42-credit full-time master's degree curriculum allows students to tailor cross-disciplinary paths according to their interests and includes courses in design theory, methodology, philosophy, and history; design criticism and writing; material culture studies; fashion studies; architectural theory; and spatial, urban, and sustainability studies. Graduates pursue careers in fields related to design research, writing, curating, and criticism; incorporate design research into their design practice; or go on to advanced graduate study.
Related Studies: architectural history, theory, and criticism; art and design history, theory, and criticism; cultural studies; curatorial practice; design history, theory, and criticism; design research; design thinking; education; materials and fabrication; sustainable design; theory; urban design/urban studies; visual culture studies
Fashion Studies (MA)
The Master of Arts in Fashion Studies program offers students a new way to research and analyze fashion as a global cultural phenomenon. Students in this groundbreaking 42-credit full-time master's degree program examine fashion as object, image, text, practice, theory, and concept and develop a critical understanding of its complex global intersections with identities, histories, and cultures in the contemporary world. They are challenged to explore the interdisciplinary theories and methodologies that have informed the development of fashion studies and to contribute to the advancement of this evolving field. The program is particularly well suited to students with degrees in the humanities and social sciences and individuals with art, design, and fashion industry backgrounds seeking a deeper understanding of fashion and its scholarship. It provides an entryway for students who want to pursue careers in fashion research in venues such as fashion archives, museums, and galleries; in media and consulting; and in teaching and academia. MA Fashion Studies also prepares students for advanced research and degrees.
Related Studies: branding; cultural studies; design history, theory, and criticism; design research; fashion; fashion history, theory, and criticism; materials and fabrication; textiles; theory; visual culture studies
History of Decorative Arts and Design (MA)
Students in the Master of Arts in the History of Decorative Arts and Design program investigate the stylistic, historical, and theoretical contexts of European and American decorative arts and design from the Renaissance to the present. The 48-credit full-time master's degree curriculum, which covers furniture, interiors, ceramics, costume, glass, graphic design, metalwork, textiles, and works on paper and other media, enables students to go beyond connoisseurship to address objects as intersections of social meaning and aesthetic theory. Students benefit from opportunities to conduct research using local collections and work with curators, educators, and visiting scholars in Paris. They gain hands-on experience in museum practices and often pursue for-credit internships at museums, galleries, auction houses, and historic houses in the city. Graduates go on to careers as historians, curators, and scholars in museums, universities, historic houses, auction houses, and galleries; work in publishing and communications; and develop entrepreneurial opportunities.
Related Studies: architectural history, theory, and criticism; art and design history, theory, and criticism; cultural studies; curatorial practice; decorative arts; design research; materials and fabrication; theory; visual culture studies; museum studies