Graphic design has never been more relevant than it is now. If you want to become a creative professional guiding the graphic design industry, Parsons’ AAS program offers you a community in which to develop the conceptual foundation and skills you need. Leading the AAS Graphic Design program are accomplished designers whose professional experience and networks help you enter and thrive in this growing industry.
This program is part of Parsons' School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT). Learn about the AMT community and explore our blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
Faculty help you submit work for professional competitions that open doors in the industry. Recently the Type Directors Club (tdc) recognized AAS work in the Typography 33 competition, awarding certificates for typographical excellence to a dozen AAS students. AAS student designers deepen their professional abilities, learn collaborative processes, and add published work to their portfolios by working with external partners and in cross school collaborations. In a recent juried competition, five AAS students had their greeting card designs produced for the nonprofit AID FOR AIDS International. Students also produced end-of-year greeting cards for Marc Jacobs Inc.
The field of graphic design is broad and deep, so your education is, too. You learn to design for print and the Internet, exploring typography, page layout, publication design, Web design, and printmaking. Assignments mirror real-world graphic design challenges and become part of your professional portfolio. Visiting lecturers like graphic design blogger Tina Roth-Eisenberg (swissmiss.com) and cognitive psychologist Alan Gilchrist bring fresh perspectives into the classroom. Internships, which can lead to employment after graduation, let you apply your learning and engage with industry professionals as you prepare to join the creative workforce anywhere in the world.
Rigorous and intensive, the AAS curriculum presents the historical foundations of graphic design, instructs you in conceptual approaches and analytical methods of solving design challenges, and provides training in industry software and other digital and nondigital tools. You can complete your studies in two to four semesters, depending on the number of transfer credits you bring to the program. Most students finish the program in about three semesters.
Students come from all different backgrounds to study in the AAS Graphic Design program at Parsons' campus, located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Graphic design students explore core areas of the field and investigate other areas of design through elective offerings. You attend courses on our NYC campus and also have the option to complete certain courses online. After completing the AAS Graphic Design program, students are prepared for careers in the international graphic design community.
The Associate in Applied Science degree is awarded for completion of 65 credits of coursework. A maximum of 31 credits of undergraduate coursework may be transferred from another institution. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.
Students who receive the maximum number of transfer credits (31) are eligible to enroll in the fast-track option, outlined below.
*”Program” refers to courses in the graphic or studio arts
1-2 years, 65 credits
Can be completed full-time or part-time
A professionally oriented course of study that provides essential foundation training and skills development, enabling students to build a competitive portfolio and launch a new career in their chosen industry. Best suited to students who have previous college experience in an unrelated field and want to change careers.
4 years, 120 credits
Full-time undergraduate major (also offered as a minor)
A holistic degree program that immerses students in challenging studio courses, art history and critical theory, as well as the wider world of liberal arts. The course of study culminates in a thesis and qualifies alumni for further graduate study. Best suited to first-time college students.
Explore the BFA degree option
1 year, 30 credits
Full-time graduate program
A professionally oriented program that trains students in highly advanced, specialized design methods and technical skills, enabling students to advance their existing design practice. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a related design field and/or work experience in graphic design and visual communications.
Explore the MPS degree option
The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree program is most suitable for mature students with some college experience who are clear about their interests in the field of design and prepared for rapid immersion in a professional course of study. The typical student has a bachelor's or an advanced degree and work experience in a field other than design. Admission to the program is based on the prospective student’s maturity, desire to pursue further education, previous accomplishments, and potential for growth. Applicants must have graduated from high school at least two years prior to be eligible to apply.
Priority Application Deadlines:
We will continue to review applications submitted after the priority deadlines have passed if space is available in the program.
Financial Aid Deadlines
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.
Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
Explore the Graphic Design Community
Julia Gorton, Program Director
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