Call For Applications: MA Design Studies

Published on: September 30th, 2016



The deadline to apply to the graduate MA Design Studies program is January 1, 2017. Click here to apply. Click through for more information on the program.

Parsons School of Design enables students to develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing society. As an integral part of The New School, a comprehensive university, Parsons students in the MA Design Studies program have the opportunity take classes, not only in design, design practice, design and art history but also in media studies, performing arts, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, history, and psychology. Together we seek out new ways to shape a world that is more just and more beautiful by design.

The MA in Design Studies encourages students to explore design in unexpected and emerging forms. In light of the increasing importance of design in the 21st century, we look at designed objects and systems in the contexts in which they operate, with an eye to their consequences and potential. Parsons’ two-year MA program in Design Studies is for both designers and design thinkers. Our curriculum focuses on the critical, analytical, and practical ways of thinking about design and it challenges students to push boundaries with their work by bringing together different perspectives and working closely with faculty who share their enthusiasms and interests.  Learning takes place through seminars and critical studios that offer a variety of creative and critical modes of research.  At the culmination of their studies, students produce major capstone papers and projects, such as:

  • The Technopolitics of Design-Led Public Innovation
  • Building Bodies with Design and Architecture: Order, Ideals, and Indeterminacy
  • Design Redress and the Social Urbanism of Medellin, Colombia
  • Craft 2.0: Relevance of Craft in Postindustrial and Digital Design Practices
  • A Form to Care With: The Politics of Small Things

What do graduates from MA Design Studies do? Ten Stories

The program takes on an individualistic approach with each student to develop their capacities to think about design in the studio and beyond, opening up entryways for students interested in design-related work the fields of teaching, journalism, management, product development, and consulting. Here are 10 stories of MA Design Studies graduates who demonstrate that creative and critical intelligence can go a long way.

You can read their stories here.

Fellowship Opportunities

All applicants are considered for merit scholarships that offer partial tuition-reimbursement and can apply for research and teaching fellowships.

Our core faculty include:

For more information on Parsons MA Design Studies program, contact the program’s director Susan Yelavich at

Program Contact

Caroline Dionne, Program Director

Program Update

Parsons is not currently admitting new students to this master’s degree program. Parsons is now offering a Graduate Minor in Design Studies that is designed to complement the MA History of Design and Curatorial Studies and other graduate programs across the university in design, liberal arts, and social research.