All undergraduate programs include a strong liberal arts component, including courses in art and design history, theory, and criticism. These courses provide a context for studio practice. And because Parsons is part of a larger university with a tradition of cross-disciplinary inquiry, students can choose from a wide range of lecture courses and electives in the humanities, the social sciences, media studies, and business.
Parsons also offers a dual BA/BFA degree program in which students earn a BFA from Parsons along with a BA from Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts.
Students at Parsons follow a number of different study paths—you can choose to explore new areas of study, focus on a combination of disciplines, or start preparing for a specific career trajectory. The first-year curriculum provides an introduction to the tools, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills fundamental to all areas of art and design. It also offers an array of course options so that you can determine the breadth and depth of your studies and follow your interests through course selection.
All freshman students at Parsons have a common first-year study experience, and all BFA candidates have the same set of required coursework, regardless of major. Students pursuing BBA, BS, and dual degrees follow a similar curriculum, with a few requirements specific to their programs. Whether you focus on a single field or explore multiple subject areas as a freshman, it won’t affect your ability to pursue your major.
As artists and designers, you will be working in an increasingly digital landscape. Our curriculum addresses this by making digital literacy a foundational component of first-year coursework, and Parsons has a laptop requirement to ensure that all students share a consistent learning experience as they develop this skill set. Incoming students will need a laptop that meets the requirements outlined in this information sheet. These specifications are based on the need for first-year students to be able to run the Adobe Creative Cloud software suite, which is provided by the university for students' use inside and outside the classroom.