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
SCE blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
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.
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.
For information about accreditation by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB), see
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 pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the pre-professional 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: 2024
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.
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 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.)
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
Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
Explore the SCE Community
Mark Gardner, Program Director, MArch
Glenn Shrum, Program Director, MFA Lighting Design
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