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 offered by Parsons' School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT). You can learn about the AMT community to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
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 curriculum, you develop creative problem-solving strategies to relay and translate messages, information, and ideas. Your 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 to explore innovative composition and visualization methods, interaction design, typography, and industry best practices.
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 interaction (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. This program is offered by Parsons' School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT). You can learn about the AMT community and explore the blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
Graduates pursue careers in Interaction Design, User Experience (UX) Design, Digital Product Design, and Product Management.
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.
In this weeklong intensive we will explore intermediate skills and methods to design visual language, form, and interaction. Students will learn how to critically observe and describe visual aspects of language found in analog and digital media, informed by historic typographic precedents, core typographic principles, and contemporary interaction design fundamentals. Additionally, the intensive introduces students to programming within a design context, using code as a means to express ideas formally. Students will practice and utilize a shared vocabulary to critically address how the visual form of language impacts communication, navigation, and behavior in both analog and screen-based media. This intensive experience will prepare students to successfully participate in the subsequent core program classes.
In this course we will examine the fundamentals of digital product design, including user research techniques, production methods for interactive applications, wireframing, and prototyping. We will investigate the interface, mechanism, controls, and aims of digital platforms. Students will learn how to design and develop complex digital products and mobile applications as they undertake comprehensive research to direct their thinking process from brainstorming to final outcome. Students will utilize tools to conceive, plan, and develop an interactive system, and they will become well versed in their role within the development of interactive media. The course expands on students’ existing understanding of programming languages used for digital prototyping.
In this course we will build upon the Typography and Interaction 1 Skills Intensive. Engaging intermediate and advanced methods in typography and interaction design, our goal is to successfully meet the challenges of dynamic content in print and on the web. These comprehensive methods will support students as they work to complete projects in the core studio courses. Students will learn how to address design problems meaningfully within the context of current design practice and technology frameworks, and how individual processes and methodologies influence a design outcome. Students will use their newly acquired design vocabulary to critically discuss and critique work produced by themselves and others.
In this seminar we will explore contemporary positions in communication design and discuss its future places in society and industry. The course is an exercise in critical thinking to understand the transformed and expanded nature of globalized visual culture in the 21st century and how design has shifted. Through panel discussions, lectures, and workshops led by industry leaders, researchers, and New School faculty, students will be invited to discuss the cultural landscape of communication design and understand its practices and contemporary working methods. Topics include: counterculture, service design, designer as author, digital craft, social justice and visual narratives, digital storytelling, and digital product design. The diversity of visiting professionals will promote critical interaction with opposing viewpoints as well as provide networking opportunities for students. Students will collaborate in groups to write an essay inflected by one of the lectures or panel discussions that will be published as a microsite.
In this seminar, we explore contemporary positions in communication design and discuss its future place in society and industry. The course is an exercise in critical thinking in which students come to understand the transformed and expanded nature of globalized visual culture in the 21st century and how design has shifted. Through panel discussions, lectures, and workshops led by industry leaders, researchers, and New School faculty, students are invited to discuss the cultural landscape of communication design and understand its practices and contemporary working methods. Topics covered include counterculture, service design, designer as author, digital craft, social justice and visual narratives, digital storytelling, and digital product design. The diversity of visiting professionals promotes critical interaction with opposing viewpoints and provides networking opportunities for students. Students collaborate in groups to write an essay informed by one of the lectures or panel discussions that will be published as a microsite.
In this course, we build upon knowledge of dynamic content and interactivity by addressing advanced typographic strategies and interactive skills oriented toward publishing and archiving. Sessions focus on methods relevant to digital production, including content management systems, databases, and responsive workflows. Students apply their understanding of typography and interaction principles to design screen-based projects from start to finish. This course culminates in the production of a functional portfolio site critically informed by students’ design practice and developed in tandem with the Methods and Practices class.
In this course we will explore contemporary working methods and models for communication designers with a focus on digital product design. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of practice models via a series of guest lectures, workshops, and presentations from independent small studios to in-house creative teams and large agencies. As the discipline of design expands, this course attempts to chart novel and alternative working contexts within the industry. Students will discuss professional working processes which include but are not limited to: business communication best practices, business plans, marketing and promotion, bidding, ethics, copyright, editing and packaging work for delivery, and networking.
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.
1-2 years, 65 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
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
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. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, 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.
See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.
Some of your required materials may be submitted through
Brendan Griffiths, Program Director
Art, Media, Tech
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