Parsons

Communication Design (MPS)

  • In an increasingly digital world, designers are often challenged to create technology-driven products and services for a variety of platforms and human needs. Parsons’ Master of Professional Studies in Communication Design (MPS CD) features a concentration in Digital Product Design, which offers you the cutting-edge conceptual design methods and technical skills you need to meet this growing marketplace demand.

    This program is STEM-designated. This means that after graduating, eligible F-1 international students in this program can apply for an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training at the end of their Post-Completion OPT.

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    Design for the Digital Age

    The program is tailored to practicing designers seeking to enhance their digital skills and leadership potential as well as professionals with relevant design experience who want to enter the field. It encompasses the full product development cycle in communication design — from idea conception to prototyping to feedback-based refinements — and familiarizes you with business strategy.

    In this one-year, 30-credit program, you develop creative problem-solving strategies for relaying and translating messages, information, and ideas. The full-time course of study is built on four components: instruction in advanced core design competencies, practices and methods courses, external partnerships, and the core studio sequence. Parsons faculty — skilled at bringing together design thinking, aesthetics, and technology — guide you in exploring innovative composition and visualization methods, interface design, typography, and industry best practices.

    Creating Collaboratively, from Concept to Product

    The specialized course of study provides coding experience and engages the iterative process and a range of collaboration and teamwork strategies. You work from design conception and pitching through post-launch critical analyses of user experience (UX) and interface (UI). The New York City location enables you to take advantage of the city’s diverse technology and design resources while learning alongside like-minded designers in the Parsons community. You can supplement core courses with a related university-sponsored public program and an elective offered at Parsons or another school or college of The New School, such as a class in psychology, marketing, data visualization, or another field. 

    Industry Ready

    You graduate from the program with your own unique, forward-looking aesthetic anchored in professional skills acquired through the program, which include entrepreneurship, strategic working methodologies, and contemporary prototyping. You are prepared for digital design work settings, with competence in various industry-standard technologies, including front-end development skills (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript), and experience navigating professional partnerships with teams and clients.

    Future Opportunities

    Graduates pursue careers in Interaction Design, User Experience (UX) Design, User Interface Design (UI), Digital Product Design, and Product Management.

    This program is part of Parsons' School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT). Explore the MPS Communication Design community to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world at amt.parsons.edu.

  • Student Work

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    Curriculum

    The Master of Professional Studies is awarded for completion of 30 credits. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.

    The one-year curriculum requires full-time enrollment.

    One-Year Curriculum

    Faculty

    Program Contact

    Faculty

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      Degree Program Options

      Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Communication Design

      1 year, 30 credits

      Full-time graduate program

      A professionally oriented program that trains students in highly advanced, specialized design methods and technical skills, enabling students to advance their existing design practice. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a related design field and/or work experience in graphic design and visual communications.

      Associate’s Degree (AAS) in Communication Design

      2 years, 60 credits

      Can be completed full-time or part-time

      A professionally oriented course of study that provides essential foundation training and skills development, enabling students to build a competitive portfolio and launch a new career in their chosen industry. Best suited to students who have previous college experience in an unrelated field and want to change careers.

      Explore the AAS degree option

      Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Communication Design

      4 years, 120 credits

      Full-time undergraduate major (also offered as a minor)

      A holistic degree program that immerses students in challenging studio courses, art history and critical theory, as well as the wider world of liberal arts. The course of study culminates in a thesis and qualifies alumni for further graduate study. Best suited to first-time college students.

      Explore the BFA degree option

      Admission Requirements

      Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

      Application Deadline

      The application deadline is January 2. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the 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

      Merit Scholarships:
      All admitted students are considered for merit scholarship awards determined by the strength of their applications. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships.

      Federal Student Aid:
      If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. The New School’s federal school code is 002780. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid. Submit your FAFSA by our February 1 FAFSA Priority Deadline.

      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.

      Some of your required materials may be submitted through SlideRoom:

      1. 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.
      2. 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: The application fee is $50. The fee is paid through the online application and is non-refundable. There is also a $10 SlideRoom fee.
      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.
        • 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 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 with proof of their degree conferral prior to enrollment. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career. Transcripts uploaded with the online application do not satisfy this requirement.

        Submitting Transcripts By Mail: Applicants should make arrangements to have their college/university send transcripts directly to The New School at the mailing address for Supplemental Materials. All transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope with the institutional seal and signature of the registrar. All documents not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

        Submitting Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only): The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors:
        • National Student Clearinghouse
        • Parchment Exchange
        • SCRIP-SAFE International
        We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. 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.

        International Academic Credentials with Transfer Credits: Applicants who attended postsecondary institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES), Education Credential Evaluators (ECE), or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript.

        Follow all document requirements as outlined on the evaluation service providers’ websites. Evaluations completed by WES or ECE will be sent directly to us electronically by the vendor.

        All other NACES provider evaluation should be mailed directly by the vendor to the address for Supplemental Materials. A copy of the transcript which was evaluated should accompany the evaluation in the same sealed envelope or the official transcript should be sent directly to The New School by the issuing college/university.
      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? 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 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: Two letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders may submit recommendations online. Instructions are included in the online application. If preferred, the recommendation forms may be sent by mail in signed, sealed envelopes. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the Applicant Information section, and save the form. Forward the saved form to the recommenders to complete the remaining sections and submit. Applicants may 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. Applicants must submit a visual portfolio to support their application in SlideRoom. Your portfolio should contain up to 20 images which best represent your design work and process, and should serve as a visual and narrative reflection of the work listed and described in your résumé and statement of purpose. Your images may include two- and three-dimensional graphic design, sketches, scenarios, research outcomes, photography, video clips, websites, prototypes, or other formats that you feel best convey your work and skills from previous educational and/or professional experience. Where possible, please include descriptions of the projects, explanations of your role in the project (if it is team-based), or a thoughtful description of the context of the project. If you have dynamic media or other time-based work, you can also upload it using SlideRoom.
      8. Personal URL (optional): MPS Communication Design applicants are encouraged to submit a personal URL which contains links to functional prototypes, if applicable. URL submissions should be included with the online application.
      9. Test Scores:
        TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and Duolingo: All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IB) is 92, for IELTS is 7.0, for PTE is 63, and for Duolingo is 115. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.

        The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo scores for applicants 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). After reviewing your application, the Office of Admission may require you to submit an English Language Proficiency test score to evaluate your candidacy.

        We accept test scores taken within the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test.

        Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/Duolingo requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.
      10. Interview: Finalists being considered for admission to the program may be required to schedule a phone or in-person interview.

      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. 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.
      4. 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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