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Theories of Urban Practice

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 on the Web at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on January 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 March 1 for fall applicants. (The New School’s federal school code is 002780.)

Application Instructions

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.

  1. In addition to submitting the online application, applicants can submit an optional 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 online application when requested.

Required Application Materials

  1. Application Form: Complete the online application. All applicants are required to apply online.
  2. Application Fee: A nonrefundable $50 application fee paid as part of the online application. A $10 SlideRoom fee is also required.
  3. Transcripts:
    Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.
    • All transcript uploads 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 the 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 experience trouble uploading your transcript, email enroll@newschool.edu and give a detailed description of the issue and attach the document in question.
    The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission 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 United States) 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. Transcripts uploaded with the online 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
    • Naviance by Hobsons
    • 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), our preferred provider, 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 Interest and Intentions: Please submit a two-part essay in a single Word document. Your submission should not exceed five pages total.

    Part 1: Autobiographical Statement (250–500-word limit). In a short autobiographical statement, tell us about yourself. You can write about your education, your family, your talents and passions, particular intellectual influences, people you have met, work you’ve done that has shaped the person you have become, or about significant places or events in your life, especially as they relate to your field of study. In addition, use this portion of the essay to explain any strengths or weaknesses you may have (examples: low GPA, lack of experience, significant interruption in work or studies, unique skills and achievements as they relate to the program, or any other information you want to share). Your writing should be informative and reflect your own voice.

    Part 2: Academic Statement of Interests (500–750-word limit). Please describe the academic and intellectual interests, progress, and achievements that have contributed to your decision to apply for graduate study in this field. You should include a thoughtful description of your tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, the kind of research questions you intend to pursue, your professional goals, and an explanation of how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. In addition, include a self-assessment of your work as a scholar, pointing out strengths and weaknesses. If you have not 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.
  6. Recommendation Letters: You are required to submit two letters of recommendation from faculty or people with whom you have worked professionally. Recommenders can submit recommendations online; instructions are included with the online application. If preferred, the recommendation form can instead be sent by mail in a signed, sealed envelope. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the personal information, save the form, and forward it to the recommender for completion and submission. Applicants can also send signed and sealed recommendations to the Office of Admission using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
  7. Portfolio or Writing Sample: The Theories of Urban Practice program welcomes applications from activists, designers, researchers, professionals, and academics. Applicants are given a choice between submitting a visual portfolio or submitting a writing sample to convey their talents and interests, especially in terms of creativity and/or critical thinking. Applicants can also submit both a portfolio and a writing sample.

    Option A: Portfolio. The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. Submit no more than 20 items that reflect your creativity and strengths. Examples may include pages from sketchbooks, design projects (e.g., architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, city planning, graphic design, or product design), or visual images that reflect hobbies or professional training (e.g., photographs, paintings, sculpture, posters, digital art, film, or models). Be prepared to provide descriptions for each item.

    Option B: Writing Sample. The writing sample can be an academic paper, professional report, blog entry, nonfiction essay, piece of fiction, or combination of writing samples that you feel reflect your strengths as a critical thinker and writer for this program. Please submit as a single document no longer than 30 pages in length. Please note that this must be included with your online application.
  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 TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement may be waived for applicants who have earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college or university, or for citizens of the following countries whose native language is also English: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, or Commonwealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago).

    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: Students 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