How to apply to The New School, Parsons School of Design:
Applicants are required to apply online using the Common Application. You must complete all required fields and upload materials prior to submission. Most materials can be submitted electronically via the Common Application. Parsons and Parsons Paris applicants must submit their portfolio and Parsons Challenge through The New School’s Online Application Center. Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent electronically or by mail must include an Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.
If you’re planning to apply using a school email address, please confirm you can receive our email first. Some schools block email from outside their domains.
Complete the Required Essay
The New School’s innovative programs and engaged community are inspired by the future. Tell us about your future self. Where are you? What are you doing? What are you innovating? How are you affecting change? How does The New School fit into your journey towards this future? Be as specific as possible. (500-650 words)
Submit Your Portfolio and/or Parsons Challenge
We strongly recommend that you submit your Common Application before starting your portfolio and/or Parsons Challenge. In order to review your application, we need to receive all required materials. All your portfolio work should be submitted through The New School’s Online Application Center. For guidance on how to submit and upload these pieces, review our instruction video. You must use the same email address that you used to complete your Common Application when you create your portfolio.
BFA Program Applicants
Freshman and transfer applicants to BFA programs must submit both a portfolio and the Parsons Challenge.
Portfolio: The portfolio is 8-12 uploads/slides and can include a range of media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, fashion design, animation, performance, graphic design, or sketchbook pages. We encourage you to show experimentation and range. Your portfolio does not need to include work specific to your major choice, unless you are applying as a transfer student where we do encourage major-specific work.
Parsons Challenge: Applicants must create a new visual work inspired by a piece submitted in the portfolio. This new piece should connect to the theme or concept of your original work. Support your process by writing one 500-word essay describing how your ideas developed. You may also submit up to two additional visual pieces that document your process. All forms of media are acceptable – drawing, video, photography, sculpture, 3D work, collage, and digital images. The Parsons Challenge helps us understand how you develop ideas, visually communicate those ideas, and support your work in writing.
BBA Program Applicants (Strategic Design and Management)
Applicants to the BBA in Strategic Design and Management are encouraged to submit the Parsons Challenge, however they are not permitted to submit a portfolio.
Parsons Challenge: Create a new visual work inspired by an advertisement, invention, or theme within a piece you’ve already created. Support your process by writing one 500-word essay describing how your ideas developed. You may also submit up to two additional pieces that document your process. All forms of media are acceptable—drawing, video, photography, sculpture, 3D work, collage, and digital images. The Parsons Challenge helps us understand how you develop ideas, visually communicate those ideas, and support your work in writing.
Submit Letters of Recommendation
Recommendations may be submitted online through the Common Application. If preferred, the recommendation form may be downloaded and emailed to email@example.com.
Applicants applying directly from high school must submit one counselor recommendation and one recommendation from a teacher. The Common Application School Report is also required.
Students transferring from other colleges or universities must submit one recommendation from a professor with whom they have studied.
Submit Official Transcripts
All applicants must provide official high school and/or college transcripts from all institutions attended. Undergraduate applicants who have attended multiple high schools can submit only the graduating school’s official transcript as long as all prior coursework is listed on that transcript.
First-year applicants must provide official high school and/or college transcripts. If you are currently in school, submit transcripts for all coursework taken to date. Transcripts that are not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.
Applicants who have attended multiple high schools may submit only the transcript from the school from which they are graduating as long as all prior coursework is listed on that transcript. All academic credentials for homeschool students must be submitted as indicated in the Additional Information for Specific Applicant Populations section below.
Transfer applicants must submit an official high school/secondary school transcript with graduation date or General Education Diploma (GED). Official transcripts are also required for each college or university you have previously attended.
All applicants who attended postsecondary institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES), by 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 evaluations should be mailed directly by the vendor to the address for Supplemental Materials. A copy of the transcript that 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.
Applicants with High School Equivalency Tests
Students may submit one of the following in lieu of official high school transcripts: General Education Development (GED), Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), or California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) exam results. Final results must be sent directly from the testing agency.
How to Submit Electronic Transcripts
Transcripts can be submitted through an approved electronic vendor (see below), submitted via email by a school official, from an official school email address, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or through postal mail. Transcripts will be considered unofficial if forwarded in an email.
Approved electronic vendors: BridgeU, Common Application, Cialfo, Credentials eScrip-Safe, Kuder, MaiaLearning, MEFA Pathway, National Student Clearinghouse, Naviance, OverGrad, Parchment Exchange, UniFrog, SCOIR, SchooLinks, Xello).
If your school does not use any of these vendors and your school official is not able to email them from an official school email address, transcripts must be sent directly via postal mail by a school official in a sealed envelope.
Submit English Language Proficiency Test Results
All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid English language proficiency test results taken within the past two years.
We permit applicants to submit one of the following tests: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo English Test, or Cambridge English C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency.
Minimum required scores are:
- TOEFL iBT- 92
- IELTS – 7
- PTE – 63
- Duolingo English Test – 115
- Cambridge English – 185
Our TOEFL institution code is 2501.
The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo English Test or Cambridge English scores for applicants who have:
Studied in English, as the primary language of instruction, for all four consecutive years of high school/secondary school. However, students who have taken any English as a Second Language (ESL) courses while in high school, regardless of how long they have been in high school, must submit TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo English Test results.
Successfully completed two full semesters of college-level coursework while taking non-ESL college-level expository writing or equivalent courses (transfer students only).
Earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction, with a minimum of three years attendance (transfer students only).
After reviewing your application, the Office of Admission may require you to submit an English language proficiency test score to evaluate your candidacy.
Are results permitted from the following types of English exams by The New School?
- IELTS Indicator: NO
- IELTS for UKVI (AC – Academic): NO
- iTEP: NO
- TOEFL Essentials: NO
- TOEFL iBT Home Edition: YES
- TOEFL ITP Plus for China: NO
- TOEFL My Best Score: NO
University College London preparatory certificate program showing completion of the program including strong grades in Academic English: NO
Check Your 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 in the Admission Hub.
Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be matched and shown as received. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that transcripts and recommendations 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.
If you need to change your email address, mailing address, or other contact information, email the Office of Admission.
Receive Your Decision
Spring admission decisions are released on a rolling basis starting in November.
Fall early action first-year admission decisions will be released in mid-December.
Fall regular decision first-year admission decisions will be released in mid-March.
Fall transfer admission decisions will be released on a rolling basis starting in April.