The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Product Design cultivates the technical and critical skills you need to design products that enhance human abilities and relationships. In this major, you address contemporary realities including sustainability and technological change while exploring materials, fabrication, aesthetics, and social engagement in both local and global contexts. Shops and studio space are shared with other graduate and undergraduate programs taught at the School of Constructed Environments — Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting Design — as well as Fine Arts, fostering interdisciplinary work.
This program is part of Parsons’ School of Constructed Environments (SCE). As a BFA Product Design student, you benefit from SCE’s integrated academic community through access to students and faculty of related making disciplines. 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.
Courses help you acquire broadly applicable studio and critical thinking skills, including research graphic representation, modeling and prototyping, and professional presentation techniques. In art and design history and theory courses as well as related studio classes, you build essential research, writing, and critical reasoning skills while developing conceptual foundations for creative inquiry. Electives in areas such as user-centered design, digital and physical model making, professional practice and entrepreneurship, material innovation, wood and metal fabrication, experimental ceramics, and design for the public realm enrich your practice.
Partnerships and internships with companies like Harry Allen & Associates, Areaware, and Movado Group provide opportunities for real-world experience and career growth. Museums, archives, and organizations like Material ConneXion complement Parsons’ research resources, including the Angelo Donghia Healthier Materials Center. The program hosts industry practitioners for lectures, project consulting, and crits. Design professionals discuss challenges in product design that range from theoretical issues to practical matters like prototyping and manufacturing.
Design professionals discuss challenges in product design that range from theoretical dimensions to practical matters like prototyping and manufacturing.
After completing the Product Design program, 93 percent of graduates found employment in the first year and 7 percent went on to other endeavors. Graduates pursue careers in industrial design, product development, manufacturing, furniture design, humanitarian and service design, health design, and toy design.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is awarded upon completion of 120 credits, as designated by the program. A maximum of 60 credits of undergraduate-level coursework may be transferred from other institutions. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.
Note: This curriculum applies to students who enter Parsons as first-year students in fall 2013 and after. Current students who entered Parsons in a prior academic year and incoming and prospective transfer students with sophomore or junior standing should refer to the Parsons catalog appropriate to their catalog year. See
Academic Policies for more details.
*Objects as History and Sustainable Systems can be taken in either sequence, one in the fall semester and one in the spring.
**The three first-year studio courses — Drawing/Imaging, Space/Materiality, and Time — can be taken in any sequence, two in the fall semester and one in the spring.
Is there such a thing as a green metropolis? Taylor, a BA/BFA student and burgeoning urban ecologist, sees green in every space.
The Product Design program has 10,000 square feet of classroom, office, and lab space. Each student is exposed to product fabrication while professional faculty and technical staff assist them in producing full-scale prototypes and presentation-scale models.
The dedicated Product Design studio spaces include
In addition, product design students have access to a broad range of facilities including the SCE support facilities, located at 25 East 13th Street. Visit Parsons Academic Resources to learn more about the Making Center and available facilities.
All applicants are required to apply online using the
Common Application. 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
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Daniel Michalik, Program Director
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