Business of Design Graduate Certificate

  • The Business of Design graduate certificate is an 18-credit program that exposes students to issues and contexts relevant to the creation and management of design-driven organizations. This certificate program, which can be taken online or on campus, provides quick and convenient training in state-of-the-art best practices in management, leadership, and entrepreneurship for the evolving new economy.

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    Innovative Strategies for an Evolving Economy

    The graduate certificate in Business of Design enables students to formulate strategic responses to the ongoing restructuring of the global economy. The program challenges students to develop new business frameworks using the design thinking, entrepreneurial focus, and foundation in social responsibility for which Parsons is known.

    The program is particularly well suited to early- to mid-career professionals in creative fields, innovation-focused companies, and firms that routinely employ design, as well as business professionals seeking to complement their design and business skills with practical application. Because the certificate can be completed entirely online, it's ideal for students who want access to Parsons' faculty of experienced practitioners from New York City and around the world but cannot come to New York City to study.



    The curriculum of the certificate program is drawn from that of the MS in Strategic Design and Management and consists of six courses in design management, business, innovation, and leadership. The courses address issues confronting design-intensive and creative industries that deliver sustainable services, innovative experiences, and design-inspired solutions for an increasingly interconnected and mobile global economy.

    Because these courses are required for both the certificate and the MS, students from the two programs take classes together.

    Admission Requirement

    Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or an equivalent degree from a foreign college or university.

    Gainful Employment Disclosures

    Pursuant with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and other related regulations we are providing the attached disclosure.

    Read important information about Accreditation and State Regulatory Authorizations.

  • Curriculum

    The graduate certificate is awarded for completion of 18 credits. Transfer credits are not accepted. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.


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    Admission Requirements

    Applicant Profile

    The Business of Design graduate certificate is an 18-credit program that exposes students to issues and contexts relevant to the creation and management of design-driven organizations. This certificate program, which can be taken online or on campus, provides quick and convenient training in state-of-the-art best practices in management, leadership, and entrepreneurship for the evolving new economy. It is ideal for individuals who are unable to pursue or not interested in pursuing the full master's degree program as the credits are not meant to be transferable to the MS in Strategic Design and Management. A minimum of 3-5 years of professional experience is strongly encouraged.

    Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

    Application Deadline

    Applicants should submit a complete application by January 1. To be most competitive for admission, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the January 1 priority deadline pending space availability in the program. Spring term admission is not offered for this program.

    Financial Aid Deadline

    Merit scholarships are not available for this program. If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found on the Web at The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid; we recommend submitting by our FAFSA priority deadline of February 1 for fall applicants. (The New School’s federal school code is 002780.)

    Application Instructions

    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.

    Required Application Materials

    1. Application Form: Complete the online application. All applicants are required to apply online.
    2. Application Fee: A nonrefundable $50 application fee paid as part of the online application.
    3. Transcripts:
      Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.
      • All transcript uploads must be accompanied by a key, a legend, or the back copy of the transcript.
      • Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Records from non-U.S. Institutions must have grades or marks and contain a copy of diploma if the degree has been conferred.
      • Make sure your name appears on the transcript/record. Scans must be clear and legible.
      • Do not mail materials that have been uploaded with the online application or any other materials unless requested by the admission office.
      • If you experience trouble uploading your transcript, email and give a detailed description of the issue and attach the document in question.
      The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process. Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial.

      Official Transcripts: Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts (as well as official certified translations and evaluations of the transcripts/mark sheets and degree certifications if the degree was earned outside of the United States) to The New School. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career.

      Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. New students will not be permitted to register for their second semester of study until all official transcripts (including degree-awarding transcripts) have been received by the Office of Graduate Admission. Transcripts uploaded with the online application do not satisfy this requirement.

      By Mail: Official transcripts should have an original signature or a raised university seal, and must be in a sealed envelope that has been signed or stamped by the issuing university’s registrar or records office. Applicants can either send official transcripts with an Application Materials Cover Sheet or request that institutions send transcripts directly to The New School. See “Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials” for our mailing address in the Additional Instructions and Information section below.

      Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only): The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors. The New School’s approved vendors, in order of preference, are
      • Parchment Exchange
      • SCRIP-SAFE International
      • National Student Clearinghouse
      We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. Note: All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.

      International Academic Credentials: All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation or be evaluated by World Education Services (WES), or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript. In the absence of an evaluation, the Admission Committee will do its best to render a decision. Please note: In some cases, a review cannot be made without an evaluation, and a committee decision will be delayed. The Admission Office reserves the right to request a transcript evaluation if necessary.

      If using WES, visit for instructions and to begin the application process. The “Required Documents” section will explain what to send. If you request your report online, search for “The New School” when selecting our institution. WES will send your completed evaluation directly to The New School.

      If using another NACES provider, follow instructions for that provider. Mailed evaluations and translations should be sent to the mailing address provided for supporting materials. Applicants forwarding these sealed documents should include an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
    4. Résumé: Submit a brief résumé/curriculum vitae summarizing your academic qualifications, relevant work experience, volunteer/community work, travel, exhibitions, public speaking, or any other relevant experiences as they may relate to your field of study, including dates and positions held. Please also note any special language or computer skills that you have.
    5. Statement of Purpose: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the program? How have your specific work experiences in design, business, consulting, or nonprofit organizations shaped your motivation for this program and resulting professional goals? Do you see this program as a career enhancing or career changing opportunity? Specifically, where do you see your career going upon completion of the certificate program. You should include a thoughtful description of your background, tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, your professional goals, and an explanation of how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. If you have not been enrolled as a student in the past five years, please address anticipated opportunities and challenges in pursuing the degree, and future career expectations upon completion of the program. (500–750 word limit)
    6. Recommendation Letters: You are required to submit two letters of recommendation from faculty or people with whom you have worked professionally. Recommenders can submit recommendations online; instructions are included with the online application. If preferred, the recommendation form can instead be sent by mail in a signed, sealed envelope. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the personal information, save the form, and forward it to the recommender for completion and submission. Applicants can also send signed and sealed recommendations to the Office of Admission using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
    7. Program Essay: A personal essay of approximately 500 words must accompany the application. Be creative, allow your personality to shine through. The essay must identify your motivation for study in the program by addressing the following topics:
      • Describe a situation in which you combined analysis and creativity to solve a challenging problem. The problem could be personal, social, political, environmental, or something quite different. The Admission Committee is interested more in your process or method in considering the problem than in whether you reached a definitive solution.
      • Tell us something about yourself that we could not find in the application materials you have submitted.
      • If you could create a new course for the Business of Design program, what would it be called? Provide a short course description to accompany your new proposed course title.
      • What makes you happy?
    8. Portfolio (optional): The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. The Business of Design certificate program welcomes applications from designers, researchers, professionals, and academics. Submit no more than 20 items that you believe best represent your background, interests in design thinking, design strategy, innovation, work process, and writings. These may include research outcomes, design strategies, articles, publications, photography, interviews, presentations, video clips, websites, blog URLs, essays, or other media. Where appropriate, include descriptions of the projects, explanations of your role (if the project involved a team), and/or a thoughtful description of the context of the project. If you have dynamic media or other time-based work, you can upload it using SlideRoom.
    9. Test Scores:
      GRE and GMAT: Although it is not required, if you took the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), scores may be submitted to support your application. GRE scores should be sent electronically. The institution code is 2638. Mail GMAT scores to the Office of Admission with an Application Materials Cover Sheet.

      TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE: All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IBT) is 92, for IELTS is 7.0, and for PTE is 63. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.

      The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for applicants:

      • Whose native language is English
      • Who have earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (minimum of three years attendance)
      Upon review of your application, the Office of Admission reserves the right to request a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

      Arrange for the testing service to send your test scores directly to The New School using the codes listed above. We accept scores from the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test. For more information, visit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.

      Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School's English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 in order to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.
    10. Interviews: Students may be invited for an interview in person or by phone.

    Additional Information and Instructions

    1. Applying to More Than One Program: In any given term, a student can apply to only one department or program within The New School. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.
    2. Application Materials: All materials submitted in association with The New School application become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.
    3. Test Score Codes:
      • TOEFL: The institution code is 2638.
      • GRE: The institution code is 2638.
    4. Application Status: Applications become complete and ready for review once all required items have been received by the Office of Admission. You can check your application status online at the Admission Hub.

      Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be matched and shown as received on the Hub. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that items have been sent.

      The Office of Admission will periodically notify applicants by email if their file is missing any documents and again when their file is complete for review. These notifications are sent to the email address provided in the online application.
    5. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
      Parsons School of Design
      Office of Admission (PS 300)
      79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
      New York, NY 10003

    The New School has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1960. For more information, visit Accreditation and State Regulatory Authorizations. Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104. 216.284.5000