Parsons Paris

Parsons Paris.

Culture and Place

New York City is one of the world's great urban laboratories, incubating creative art, design, and media practices that have broad influence on and relevance to other cities around the world. The BS Urban Design program teaches students to harness the potential of urban life to be an agent of positive global transformation. Graduates leave the program with the agility needed to work in any urban context in the world.

balanced curriculum

The program carefully balances fieldwork, studio and liberal arts instruction, and applied project-based research. Design is seen as a way of tapping into the diverse body of knowledge accumulated when the liberal arts are applied to real-world scenarios. This method of learning allows students to develop attitudes, values, beliefs, and an understanding of knowledge as the outgrowth of direct engagement with the city. Creativity is increased through the interactions of different types of knowledge offered by the city as the object of design.

developing a practice by doing

The BS Urban Design program is for young artists and designers who love cities and passionately reclaim design in the urban context as a collective and contested transformative enterprise. Through the processes of observation, research, writing, sketching, and hands-on studio projects, students develop their own design practice by using drawing and digital technologies and engaging participatory partnerships in innovative ways.


New York City offers a rich array of services, systems, and partners for study and collaboration. Students in Urban Design address issues of community participation, sustainability, communication, economies of scale, and the impact and meaning of messages in the public sphere. Collaborative projects also offer students opportunities to take part in real work-world situations with diverse groups. Recent NYC partners include

Recent international partners:

Recent open source community partners:


The BS in Urban Design program combines studio instruction and liberal arts inquiry. Students complete 50 percent of their degree in design studio classes and 50 percent in liberal arts courses. Through both liberal arts and studio instruction, students develop critical and analytical thinking skills and the ability to communicate their ideas powerfully using design concepts.

BS Urban Design shares a core urban curriculum with the BA Urban Studies program at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. Students in Urban Design also work with peers in other schools at Parsons, such as the School of Art, Media, and Technology and the School of Constructed Environments, and students from New School programs like Environmental Studies and Global Studies.

urban @ the new school

Parsons encourages Urban Design undergraduates to interact and learn with graduate students in the MA in Theories of Urban Practice and the MS in Design and Urban Ecologies programs. Undergraduate students also have the opportunity to study with key faculty members from these programs and other urban-related programs such as the Master of Fine Arts in Transdisciplinary Design and the Master of Architecture.


Parsons' extensive facilities include Arnhold Hall Multimedia Laboratory, which occupies 40,000 square feet on four floors and provides 600 networked workstations. The lab supports work ranging from traditional print and audio mixing to compositing and webcasting. Parsons' libraries and galleries spark new ideas and provide the information to develop and share them.