Parsons

Architecture and Lighting Design (M.Arch/MFA)

  • Those who wish to pursue studies in lighting design and architecture can apply to the dual-degree program, a four-year, 120-credit-hour curriculum that combines the NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture and the MFA Lighting Design. Interested students should apply directly to the dual-degree program; they will automatically be considered for admission to the individual Master of Architecture and MFA Lighting Design programs as well.

    This program is part of Parsons' School of Constructed Environments (SCE). Learn about the SCE community and explore our blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.

    Read More About the ProgramRead Less

    Future Opportunities

    Graduates have gone on to open their own practices and work in prominent firms, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Rogers Marvel Architects, LevenBetts, Bernheimer Architecture, Gensler, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, Matter Architecture Practice, Smith-Miller Hawkinson, and Young Projects. In addition to architecture, graduates have pursued careers in engineering, urban planning, landscape design, or interior design.

  • Curriculum

    The Master of Architecture/Master of Fine Arts dual degree is awarded for completion of 120 credits, including a master's thesis that reflects both areas of study. The curriculum includes the same required courses as each stand-alone degree. The compressed time frame and reduced total credit points are possible because required architecture courses replace free electives in the lighting program, and required lighting design courses replace free electives in the architecture program. There is one combined lighting design/architecture design studio. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner. The standard course of study is four years.

    First Year / Fall
    PGAR 5001 Design Studio 1 6
    PGAR 5013 Representation and Spatial Reasoning 1 3
    PGAR 5040 Modern and Postmodern Architecture 3
    PSCE 5300 Environmental Technology 1: Lecture 3
    PSCE 5301 Environmental Technology 1: Recitation 0
    15
    First Year / Spring
    PGAR 5002 Design Studio 2 (Housing) 6
    PGAR 5023 Construction Technology 1 3


    PGAR 5123 Theory of Architectural Form 3
    PGAR 5015 Representation and Spatial Reasoning 2 3
    15
    Second Year / Fall
    PGLT 5001 Studio 1: Light, Vision, and Representation 6
    PGLT 5111 Principles of Lighting 1 3
    PGAR 5213 Structural Technology 1 3

    PGLT 5146 Light: Critical Issues 3
    15
    Second Year / Spring
    PGAR 5214 Structural Technology 2: Lecture 3
    PGAR 5216 Structural Technology 2: Recitation 0
    PGLT 5002 Studio 2: Natural and Technological Light 6
    PGLT 5112 Principles of Lighting 2 3
    PGLT 5143 Daylight Methodologies 3
    15
    Third Year / Fall
    PGAR 5201 Design Studio 3 (Allied Studio) 6
    PGLT 5116 Systems Technology 3
    PSCE 5310 Environmental Technology 2 3


    PGAR 5513 Theory of Urban Form
    3
    15
    Third Year / Spring
    PGAR 5202 Design Studio 4 (Design Workshop or Comprehensive) 6
    PGAR 5224 Construction Technology 2 3
    PGLT 5102 Light, Perception, and Culture 3
    Elective
    3
    15
    Fourth Year / Fall
    PGAR 5401 Design Studio 5 (Urban Architecture) 6
    PSCE 5410 Thesis Preparation 3

    Electives
    6
    15
    Fourth Year / Spring
    PGLT 5004 Design Studio 4: Thesis Studio 6
    PGAR 5523 Professional Practice 3


    PGLT 5125 Professional Practice 3
    PGLT 5127 Thesis Seminar 3
    15
    Total Credits 120

    NAAB Accreditation

    For information about accreditation by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB), see NAAB Accreditation.

    Faculty

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        Highlights

        Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
        Explore the SCE Community

        NAAB Accreditation

        In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

        Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

        Parsons School of Design offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program: Master of Architecture (Pre-Professional Degree + 90 Credits)

        Next accreditation visit for this program: 2016

        ACCREDITATION DOCUMENTS

        Admission Requirements

        Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

        Application Deadline:

        The application deadline is January 1. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the January 1 priority deadline pending space availability in the program. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received. Spring term admission is not offered for this program. The Fall term readmission deadline is August 1(review readmission information below).

        Financial Aid Deadline:

        All applicants selected for admission into our program are considered for a merit scholarship award that is determined by the strength of their application. Scholarship award notification is communicated at the same time as the admission decision. International students are only eligible for merit scholarships. 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 www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on January 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 March 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.

        Although applications to the dual-degree program are reviewed by both the Architecture and the Lighting Design admission committees, you submit only one set of application materials. The Office of Admission will ensure that the complete application packet is made available to both admission committees. In addition to being considered for admission to the dual-degree program, your application will be considered for admission to the graduate Architecture and Lighting Design programs separately as well.

        See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.

        Some of your required materials will be submitted through SlideRoom:

        1. In addition to submitting the online application, Parsons requires that you submit a portfolio using SlideRoom.
        2. Finalize your portfolio at the time you submit your application. This will help prevent any delays in reviewing your application, as we need to receive all required materials before we can place your application under review.
        3. Once you have submitted the required SlideRoom materials, a confirmation number will be emailed to you. Save this for your records and enter it on the online application when requested.

        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. A $15 SlideRoom fee is also required.
        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 transcripts 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 the 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 enroll@newschool.edu 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 admissions 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 www.wes.org 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 Interest and Intentions: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the 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. Portfolio: The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. The purpose of the portfolio is to show your individual perspective and creative skills. Prepare a sequence of 15–25 images that best communicate your visual thinking. Include work that best demonstrates your skills from previous educational and/or professional experience. Sketches and conceptual work can also be included.

          We welcome students from a wide variety of disciplines. If you are an applicant without previous training in architecture- or design-related fields, you can demonstrate your aptitude by submitting examples of freehand drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, graphic design, three-dimensional work, furniture, product design, digital media, or work in other forms. Time-based works such as film, video, performance, installation, or sound are also accepted. Do not combine images in a prepared presentation or slideshow of any type (e.g., PowerPoint or Keynote).
        8. Test Scores:
          GRE: If English is the applicant’s native language, submit scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and general tests (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing). The institution code is 2638.

          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.

          A TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score is not required for applicants
          • Whose primary 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
          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.

          A GRE or TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score is required of all applicants. International students who receive a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE waiver must instead provide a GRE score.

        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. Readmission:
        6. The Application for Readmission (PDF) should be completed by students who wish to return after an absence of four semesters (fall and spring). Students must reapply to the program to which they were originally admitted. Readmission is only available for current New School programs. If you are looking to transfer 24 or more semester-based credits, you should apply for admission as a transfer student according to the instructions outlined above. The following materials are required of applicants seeking readmission:

          • Application for Readmission (PDF)
          • Statement of Purpose
          • One letter of recommendation
          • Transcripts if you have attended another college or university since last at The New School.
        7. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
          Parsons School of Design
          Office of Admission (PS 300)
          79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
          New York, NY 10003
         
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