Parsons’ Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design program offers an innovative two-year, 60-credit full-time graduate curriculum that prepares students to negotiate the seemingly contradictory forces at play in the growing product design industry. Students explore the way goods can be produced in both localized contexts (a “making in place” approach, which relies on regionalized needs and constraints) and globalized contexts (employing design principles focusing on universal needs). Parsons’ School of Constructed Environments includes graduate students in Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting Design, creating a unique learning community.
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New York City boasts the country’s largest number of creative-sector jobs and attracts top design talent. Local industry events and collaborations with commercial and nonprofit partners deepen connections to the field. In the MFA Industrial Design program, students combine advanced making skills with critical inquiry to design for production at all scales, from low volume to high volume, employing methods ranging from desktop manufacturing to systems involving global supply chains. Students develop their knowledge and skills at the university’s state-of-the-art product prototyping and testing facilities.
The MFA Industrial Design curriculum balances competing interests such as economical production and sustainability, consumerism, social and environmental improvement, and global and local production, investigating ways to integrate and reconcile these forces as a whole. In their second semester, MFA students explore limited-run making in New York City, and in the third semester they can investigate large-scale global production through virtual collaborations or study abroad at sites including Parsons Paris. A specialized thesis project offers opportunities to develop designs that advance — or challenge — industrial design theory and practice.
The faculty of design practitioners aims to develop a community of designers committed to improving industry, protecting the environment, and promoting the quality of life. The MFA Industrial Design program attracts motivated, reflective students with experience in product design but also accepts candidates from other design professions and disciplines such as engineering, fine art, management, and anthropology. An innovation-focused university with programs in the social sciences, business and management, media studies, and the performing arts, The New School offers complementary courses that enrich design practice.
Students graduate equipped with the ability to integrate the many considerations involved in product design and to lead as socially aware makers, strategists, and industry specialists. Graduates emerge prepared to design innovative products and lead the industries that produce them as well. Career paths include industrial design, product development, manufacturing, furniture design, humanitarian and service design, toy design, design management, and architectural building systems.
The Master of Fine Arts degree is awarded for completion of 60 credits. A maximum of nine credits of graduate-level coursework may be transferred from another institution. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.
Students should explore their elective options with their
advisors to create a coherent study plan.
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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 eligible only 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 Februrary 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.
See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.
Some of your required materials will be submitted through
The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for applicants:
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:
Rama Chorpash, Program Director
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