The new BFA in Design History and Practice at Parsons provides you with an education in art and design that involves both practice and theory. In this one-of-a-kind program, you learn about art and design through multiple modes of text-based and material analysis in studio and seminar classes. This interdisciplinary experience provides you with the skills needed for hands-on design work along with related historical and social knowledge drawn from the liberal arts.
This program is part of Parsons' School of Art and Design History and Theory (ADHT). Explore what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world at adht.parsons.edu.
As a student in the program, you choose a pathway in art history, design studies, fashion studies, museum and curatorial studies, spatial design, or visual studies. You combine this with a studio pathway that immerses you in a specific area of design
practice, such as photography, data visualization, sustainable cities, or fashion strategies. By studying ideas and their application simultaneously, you develop informed aesthetic judgment, an understanding of the historical context in which
art and design are created, and the ability to approach your own practice from that informed perspective.
Drawing on curricular offerings from both Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts and Parsons' BFA programs, this program integrates design practice with the study of history and theory. Students benefit from the rich knowledge of guest lecturers from diverse Parsons
programs and from Lang.
At the core of the BFA Design History and Practice program is a series of Making + Meaning courses and a capstone project, in which students integrate the knowledge acquired from studio and seminar experiences. In Making + Meaning courses, students develop skills
(such as writing, accessory design, and printmaking) while exploring theoretical and historical aspects of art and design (such as the history of the prison-industrial complex and geography in relation to cultural theory and photographic history).
Graduates of this program pursue careers in design, art and design research, museum education, and publishing as well as advanced graduate study in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The program includes a Professional Development Practicum in
year three, in which mentors help students identify the employment sectors or graduate programs that best match their interests and skills.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is awarded for completion of 120 credits as designated by the program. A maximum of 60 credits may be transferred from another institution. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and fulfill all requirements in
a timely manner.
To view degree requirements from prior years, visit the Academic Catalogs archive.
*Objects as History and Sustainable Systems can be taken in either sequence, one in the fall semester and one in the spring.
**The three first-year studio courses — Drawing/Imaging, Space/Materiality, and Time — can be taken in any sequence, two in the fall semester and one in the spring.
All applicants are required to apply online using the
Common Application. 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.
Some of your required materials will be submitted through
Margot Bouman, Program Director
School of Fashion
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