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  • Civic Service Design (Graduate Minor)

  • Overview

    The Civic Service Design graduate minor is offered through Parsons School of Design.

    The Civic Service Design minor draws upon a practice and subfield of research and theory that connects to design, social theory, and public policy and management frameworks, methods, and tools to reformulate participation and decision making in the creation of public policies, programs, and services, with the goal of fostering more just and equitable cities and societies.

    This minor is intended for students interested in working in or with governments, nonprofits, and social movements to address and promote awareness of political, public, and civic challenges by designing forms of participation and collaboration that facilitate sharing of information, spaces, and resources among people in a city.

    Students in the minor also have access to a wide range of resources and activities through the Parsons DESIS Lab, from lectures and seminars by visiting scholars to research assistance opportunities.


    This graduate minor requires successful completion of 9 credits. Students are required to take the Public and Collaborative Services core course to complete the minor. In addition to that required course, students must select two electives from the chart below.

    Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Some courses may be in development and offered at a later time. Students seeking to pursue alternative coursework to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.

    Subject AreaCourse OptionsRequirements
    Core course

    PSDS 5302 Public and Collaborative Services

    3 credits

    PSDS 5508 Public Space Lab
    PGDM 5140 Design Innovation and Leadership
    PSAM 5105 Storytelling with Data
    PSAM 5170 Data as Material
    PSCE 5090 Topics: Community Engagement and Design
    Designing in Dark Times

    Urban Policy
    NPUP 6002 Policy Analysis


    NURP 5032 Public Management: Managing for Performance and Public Value

    Social Sciences
    GSOC 5101 Classical Sociological Theory
    GSOC 6143: Sociology of Work and Labor
    GANT 6218: Mapping the Field 

    6 credits

    Learning Outcomes

    A student who has completed this graduate minor should be able to demonstrate:

    • An understanding of the field of civic service design
    • Knowledge of public policy formation and its social, cultural, institutional, and political implications
    • Competence in applying various service design frameworks, methods, and tools
    • The ability to manage collaborative and participatory design processes, particularly working in or alongside the public and social sectors
    • An understanding of the ethical considerations and constraints faced by designers, policymakers, and activists working on civic issues


    Lara Penin, Associate Professor of Transdisciplinary Design
    Eduardo Staszowski, Associate Professor of Design Strategies
    Mariana Amatullo, Associate Professor of Strategic Design and Management

    The Civic Service Design graduate minor also draws on the knowledge and expertise of an Advisory Council of leading practitioners and experts, who influence and expand the reach of the learning that happens in studios and seminars.


    The Civic Service Design graduate minor is available to graduate degree students across The New School.

    Students can retroactively apply successfully completed courses toward a minor upon declaring or applying.

    After a student successfully completes a minor's requirements, the minor will appear on the student's academic transcript at graduation.

    For questions about this minor, please contact Eduardo Staszowski, Associate Professor of Design Strategies, at

  • Take the Next Step

    Contact your Student Success advisor to discuss how a minor will fit with your degree requirements.

    Declare or change a minor on in the Academics tab. Note that some minors require an application.

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


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