Complete Guide to Courses at Parsons Design School
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 11 min read


  1. Overview of Parsons Design School
  2. Course offerings at Parsons
  3. How to choose a course at Parsons
  4. What to expect from a Parsons course
  5. Faculty and student experiences
  6. How to apply for a Parsons course
  7. Tuition and financial aid information
  8. Parsons alumni success stories
  9. Career opportunities after Parsons
  10. FAQ about Parsons courses

Whether you're a budding designer or someone simply curious about studying design, you've probably heard of Parsons School of Design. As one of the premier design schools worldwide, Parsons offers a plethora of courses tailored to the needs and interests of aspiring designers. If you're wondering "what courses are offered at Parsons School of Design?" — you've come to the right place. This guide is going to take you on a virtual tour of Parsons, its course offerings, and much more.

Overview of Parsons Design School

Parsons School of Design, a part of The New School, is a design powerhouse based in New York City. With a history that spans over a century, Parsons has been shaping the world of design in significant ways. It's where creativity meets critical thinking, and students get to explore cutting-edge design concepts.

The school is home to five distinct schools: The School of Art, Media, and Technology; The School of Constructed Environments; The School of Design Strategies; The School of Fashion; and The School of Art and Design History and Theory. Each of these schools offer a variety of courses, giving students the freedom to dive into the design field that interests them the most.

But what makes Parsons stand out from other design schools? For one, its location in the heart of New York City provides students with a vibrant and dynamic environment, perfect for nurturing creativity. Moreover, Parsons places a strong emphasis on social responsibility in design — a trait that is deeply embedded in all its courses.

Are you thinking of taking a course at Parsons? If yes, then you're about to embark on an exciting design journey. From contemporary art to urban design, the courses at Parsons cover a wide range of topics. So, whether you're interested in fashion design or interior design, Parsons has got you covered.

Now, let's dive deeper into the question: "what courses are offered at Parsons School of Design?"

Course offerings at Parsons

With an array of courses on offer, Parsons School of Design is a creative hub where students can find their niche. Let's take a look at some of the diverse courses offered at Parsons.

Fashion Design: For those with a flair for style and a keen eye for trends, the fashion design course at Parsons is a dream come true. This course combines practical skills, like sewing and pattern-making, with innovative design concepts. With a curriculum that's always evolving to reflect industry trends, students don't just learn about fashion — they shape it.

Graphic Design: In this digital age, graphic design is an invaluable skill. At Parsons, the graphic design course teaches students the art of visual storytelling. Whether it's designing a logo or creating an interactive website, students learn to communicate ideas effectively through their designs.

Illustration: The illustration course at Parsons is all about bringing ideas to life. Students learn to use their artistic skills to create illustrations for a variety of platforms, from books and magazines to digital media.

Interior Design: For those who love transforming spaces, the interior design course at Parsons is a great fit. This course teaches students to consider aesthetic and functional aspects when designing interiors. From color theory to furniture design, this course covers it all.

Photography: Parsons' photography course is perfect for those who see the world through a lens. Students learn the technical skills required to take professional photos, while also studying the history and theory of photography.

These are just a few examples of "what courses are offered at Parsons School of Design?". There are plenty more for students to explore and choose from, depending on their interests and career goals.

How to choose a course at Parsons

Choosing a course at Parsons School of Design can feel like standing in front of a buffet of delicious dishes - everything looks enticing. But, don't worry, I've got some tips to help you make the right choice.

Consider Your Interests: It might seem obvious, but the first step is to think about what you genuinely love doing. Do you enjoy sketching? Maybe an illustration course would suit you. Or perhaps you love arranging your living space, suggesting an interior design course might be up your alley.

Think About Your Career Goals: Where do you see yourself in five, ten, or fifteen years? If you dream of designing fashion collections for the runway, a fashion design course might be your best bet. If you see yourself designing creative ad campaigns, a graphic design course could be the way to go.

Research the Course Content: Each course at Parsons has a unique curriculum. So, make sure you check out the course content. This will give you an idea of what you'll learn and whether it aligns with your interests and career goals.

Talk to Alumni or Current Students: If you're still unsure, talking to someone who has taken the course can be incredibly helpful. They can give you an insider's perspective and answer any specific questions you have.

Remember, choosing a course is a significant decision. But with a bit of thought and research, you'll find the right answer to "what courses are offered at Parsons School of Design that suit me best?".

What to expect from a Parsons course

So, you've done your research and chosen a course that aligns with your interests and career goals. Now, you're probably asking yourself, "What can I expect from a Parsons School of Design course?" Let's get into it.

Hands-On Learning: One of the first things to know about Parsons is that it's not just about reading textbooks and writing papers. You'll be rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty — in the best possible way, of course! You'll create, build, and design as part of your course.

Industry Insight: Parsons courses are taught by industry professionals and experts. This means you'll get real insights into how the design world operates. It's like taking a sneak peek behind the curtain of the design industry.

Collaborative Environment: Parsons fosters a collaborative environment. You'll be working closely with your classmates on various projects. It's a great opportunity to learn from others, get different perspectives, and build lifelong relationships.

Challenging Curriculum: Parsons courses are designed to push your creative boundaries. You'll be challenged, and you'll grow. It's like they say: No pain, no gain!

Remember, every course is unique, so these are general expectations. But one thing's for sure: a course at Parsons is more than just a course. It's an experience that can shape your life and career in the most exciting ways. So, are you ready to find out what courses are offered at Parsons School of Design?

Faculty and Student Experiences

What's it like to walk the halls of Parsons School of Design? Who better to answer that question than the people who've actually been there — the faculty and students? Let's hear what they have to say about their experiences.

Faculty Perspective: Parsons' faculty is a blend of experienced professionals and academic experts. They've worked on design projects all around the world and bring that knowledge into the classroom. It's like having a personal tour guide who can show you around the corners of the design world that textbooks can only dream of exploring.

Faculty often say that teaching at Parsons is as much a learning experience for them as it is for the students. With each new batch of students, they get to see fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. It's a two-way street of learning and growth.

Student Perspective: Students at Parsons are a diverse bunch from all walks of life. But they all share one thing in common: a burning passion for design. They describe their time at Parsons as a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Students love the interactive classes and hands-on learning approach. They appreciate the challenges that Parsons' courses throw their way because it pushes them to break out of their comfort zones and explore new design possibilities.

Overall, the experience of studying at Parsons is often described as transformative. Both faculty and students say that Parsons has a way of bringing out the best in you. So now you might be wondering, "What courses are offered at Parsons School of Design that can give me such an experience?" We'll get to that, don't worry!

How to Apply for a Parsons Course

Alright, you've read up on all the great experiences you could have at Parsons School of Design, and now you're probably thinking, "But how do I sign up?" Don't worry, it's as simple as pie!

First things first, you need to decide which of the courses offered at Parsons School of Design you want to apply for. Are you more into fashion or graphic design? Maybe you're interested in interior design? Once you've made up your mind, you can move on to the application process.

The application process at Parsons follows a few simple steps. Here they are:

1. Fill Out the Online Application: You can find the application on the Parsons School of Design website. It's straightforward and user-friendly, so don't stress!

2. Submit Your Portfolio: This is your chance to show off your skills and creativity. Remember, it's not just about technical ability - Parsons wants to see your unique vision and passion for design.

3. Write Your Essay: This is where you get to tell Parsons about yourself. Why do you want to study design? What inspires you? How will studying at Parsons help you reach your goals?

4. Submit Your Transcripts and Letters of Recommendation: These documents give Parsons a more complete picture of who you are as a student and a person. Don't worry, they're not looking for perfect grades, but a strong commitment to learning.

Once you've submitted all your materials, all you have to do is wait for a response. It may take a few weeks, but hang in there! You've done all you can, now it's up to Parsons to recognize your potential.

So there you have it - a simple guide on how to apply for the courses offered at Parsons School of Design. Remember, the most important thing is to be yourself and let your passion for design shine through. Good luck!

Tuition and Financial Aid Information

Now, you might be wondering: "How much will this investment in my future cost?" Let's dive straight into the details of tuition and financial aid at Parsons School of Design.

The tuition at Parsons varies depending on the course and program you choose. For example, an undergraduate degree might cost more than a short-term certificate course. But don't let this discourage you. Remember, an education at Parsons is an investment in your future - it's about value, not just cost.

But here's the good news: Parsons School of Design offers a range of financial aid options to help you cover these costs. Yes, you read that right! There are scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and loans available to students who qualify.

Here's a quick breakdown:

1. Scholarships and Grants: These are financial awards that you don't have to pay back. Sounds great, right? They're based on a variety of factors, including academic achievement, financial need, and even specific areas of study.

2. Work-Study Programs: This is a great option if you want to gain work experience while studying. You'll work part-time, either on campus or with a local employer, and earn money that can help pay for your tuition.

3. Loans: These are funds that you borrow and pay back with interest. While it's not the most exciting option, loans can help make your Parsons education possible.

So, if you're thinking about what courses are offered at Parsons School of Design, don't let the cost hold you back. There are plenty of financial aid options available to help you achieve your dreams. Remember, investing in your education is investing in your future. And trust me, a future in design is worth every penny!

Parsons Alumni Success Stories

Are you ready to be inspired? Let's talk about some Parsons School of Design alumni who have made their mark on the world. These success stories prove what courses at Parsons School of Design can lead to.

1. Marc Jacobs: Yes, the Marc Jacobs! He's a world-renowned fashion designer who studied at Parsons. His successful career includes his own eponymous fashion label and a stint as the creative director for Louis Vuitton. Now, how's that for a success story?

2. Anna Sui: Another fashion giant, Anna Sui, also graduated from Parsons. She's known for her distinctive, rock-and-roll inspired collections. From her start at Parsons to her global brand, she's an inspiration for anyone interested in fashion design.

3. Tom Ford: This man is a proof that Parsons School of Design is not just about fashion. Tom Ford, a Parsons graduate, made his name as a film director and screenwriter. He directed critically acclaimed films like A Single Man and Nocturnal Animals.

4. Jenna Lyons: Once the president and creative director of J.Crew, Jenna Lyons is often credited with the brand's modern transformation. She's another Parsons alum who shows you can make a big impact in the industry.

These are just a few examples of the amazing things Parsons alumni have achieved. So, if you're considering what courses are offered at Parsons School of Design, remember these success stories. You could be the next big name in design, fashion, or film. Who knows? Your name might be on this list someday!

Career Opportunities After Parsons

Graduating from Parsons School of Design doesn't mean you're just limited to becoming a designer. Far from it! The wide range of courses offered at Parsons School of Design prepares you for a multitude of career paths. Let's look at some exciting possibilities.

Art Director: You can steer the visual style of magazines, product packaging, movies, and TV productions. Your eye for design and detail, honed at Parsons, will be put to good use here.

Fashion Stylist: With a Parsons fashion course under your belt, you can work with photographers, designers, and celebrities to create iconic looks that define eras.

Interior Designer: If you have a knack for creating beautiful and functional spaces, a career in interior design might be calling your name. Parsons courses like Interior Design or Architectural Design can set you on this path.

Product Designer: This involves designing just about any product you can think of - from furniture to tech gadgets. Parsons courses in Product Design can give you the skills you need for this career.

Graphic Designer: You can make your mark in advertising, book design, or digital media. A Parsons course in Graphic Design can be your launchpad.

These are just a few of the many career paths that Parsons courses can lead to. So, if you're still wondering, "What courses are offered at Parsons School of Design?" remember it's not just about the courses, but where they can take you. Your dream career could be just a course away!

FAQ about Parsons courses

When considering what courses are offered at Parsons School of Design, you might find yourself with a few questions. Here are some common queries that might help you out:

Can I take online courses at Parsons?
Yes, you can! Parsons offers a variety of online courses, allowing you to learn from anywhere in the world. This flexibility is perfect for those with busy schedules or who live far from New York City.

Do I need a background in design to apply for a Parsons course?
Not at all. Parsons welcomes students from all backgrounds. While a passion for design can be beneficial, it's not a requirement. Their diverse courses are designed to nurture your creative potential, regardless of your previous experience.

How long does it take to complete a course at Parsons?
This depends on the course type and your dedication. Some courses can be completed in a semester, while degree programs may take several years. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination!

What is the class size at Parsons?
Parsons believes in the power of personalized instruction, so class sizes are kept fairly small. This allows for more one-on-one time with instructors and a more intimate learning environment.

Remember, the best way to find out more about what courses are offered at Parsons School of Design is to explore their website or reach out directly to their admissions team. They're there to help guide you on your exciting journey into the world of design!

If you're interested in exploring more about design courses and their applications, don't miss the 'Creative Crossovers: Photography & Graphic Design' workshop by Jarrett Lampley. This workshop will provide you with an in-depth understanding of how photography and graphic design can work together, and how this knowledge can be applied to your studies at Parsons Design School.