Theories of Urban Practice
Theories of Urban Practice (MA) Application Instructions
The MA Theories of Urban Practice program seeks students who are critical, creative, and curious. Critical students are willing to challenge the status quo, including fundamental assumptions about how cities are designed and built. Creative students have the capacity to explore a wide range of ideas and experiment with unconventional strategies and practices. Curious students have a genuine desire to open their minds and learn about different ways of thinking and different types of urban practice all over the world.
Applicants who wish to be considered for a Dean's Scholarship should submit a complete application packet by January 10. After January 10, applications will be considered on a rolling basis, as will the merit scholarship awards.
You can download these instructions.
Parsons graduate programs use a self-managed application process: You apply online; you then mail any supplemental application materials, preferably in a single packet, to the Office of Admission. Include a Materials Cover Sheet, which can be downloaded from the Supplemental Forms section of the online application or found at http://www.newschool.edu/admission/coversheet/parsons-grad/.
Applicants must submit the following to the office of admission:
- Application: complete the online application.
- Application Fee: payment of a $50 nonrefundable application fee is required. A credit card is required to submit the online application.
- Official college transcripts: submit a sealed original copy of your official college transcripts along with your application packet. If that is not possible, instruct the institution to send transcripts directly to the office of admission at the address below. Photocopies are not acceptable.
International Transcripts: All applicants with international transcripts from international institutions must submit an original transcript from each institution attended outside the United States. Additionally, a certified English language translation must be provided for all official international transcripts that are not written in English. Applicants who would like to transfer academic credits earned at non-U.S. institutions are also required to have their transcript(s) 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 report must be prepared for each transcript. Please start the evaluation process as early as possible, including the submission of all required docu- ments to WES (or another provider), in order to ensure the timely completion of the evaluation report. In addition, an admission counselor may require a transcript evaluation by WES or an NACES-approved evaluator if it is deemed a necessary part of the admission decision process, even when applicants do not want transfer credits applied to a program of interest. Instruct the provider to send the report to
Parsons Graduate Programs
Office of Admission
72 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10011
If you request your report online, search for "New School Parsons" when selecting our institution. If your provider is unable to send the evaluation report directly to the school, please obtain the report and send it to parsons, along with a materials cover sheet.
- 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. The résumé must be submitted online with the application.
- Statement of Interest and Intentions: Please submit a two-part essay, as part of a single Word document. Your submission should not exceed five pages total and must be submitted online with the application.
Part one: 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 it relates 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, or unique skills and achievements as they relate to the Theories of Urban Practice program). Your writing should be informative and reflective of your own voice.
Part two: 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 area of inquiry and plan of study as you now envision it, including the kinds of questions you intend to pursue and the types of urban issues you are interested in. This essay should also address your professional goals, and how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. Briefly describe where you see yourself headed in the next three-to-five years (e.g. conducting further research at a think-tank or policy institute, pursuing a PhD, working at a private firm or non-profit organization, establishing your practice or consulting firm, or something else). In addition, include a self-assessment of your work as a scholar, pointing out strengths and weaknesses. If you have not been 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.
- Recommendations: Two letters of recommendation from either a faculty or people with whom you have worked professionally. References may submit recommendations online, or, you may forward sealed original copies with your application packet. At least one letter should address the applicant's research and writing abilities.
- TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your native language, submit results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The minimum score required for acceptance to the program is 92 for the Internet-based exam, 580 for the paper-based, or 237 for the computer-based. A minimum IELTS score required for acceptance to the program is 7.0. Students required to take the TOEFL exam can obtain further information from the educational testing service site. Additional information for the IELTS can be found on their website at www.ielts.org.
- Portfolio or Writing Sample: The Theories of Urban Practice program welcomes activists, designers, researchers, professionals, and academics to apply. Applicants are given an option between submitting a visual portfolio or a writing sample to convey their talents and interests, especially in terms of creativity and/or critical thinking. Applicants may also submit both a portfolio and a writing sample.
Option A: Portfolio URL
Submit a URL link where the Admissions Committee can view your portfolio. Your link should contain no more than 35 images that reflect your creativity and strengths. Examples may include pages from sketchbooks, various 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 or models). The linked page must have all artwork included when the application is submitted. Please hand-code your site or use Wordpress or an online portfolio tool as a shell for your portfolio. No hardcopy portfolios will be accepted.
Option B: Writing Sample
The writing sample can be an academic paper, professional report, blog entry, non-fiction essay, a piece of fiction, or a 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 this must be included with your online application.
- Interview: Students may be invited for an interview in person or by phone.