• As you consider a career shift into fashion design, you’re probably aware that Parsons has launched the careers of many of the world’s most successful fashion designers. But the accomplishments of Parsons’ AAS Fashion Design graduates go beyond the boldface names. Program alumni are equally impressive for their contributions to the industry at all scales—from leading innovation in sustainable fashion technology to developing local businesses to building brands globally.

    Explore the AAS Fashion Design community to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world at This program is part of Parsons' School of Fashion.

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    Working with Leaders, Launching Your Line

    AAS Fashion Design graduates apply the industry-focused perspectives they acquire in the program to positions with a variety of fashion companies. Graduates have joined the best-respected companies in the business: Chanel, Theory, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Eileen Fisher, Ralph Lauren, and GAP, to name a few. Other alumni—such as Jay Godfrey and Aimee Kestenberg—start their own lines right out of the gate. The program’s reputation for quality, industry relevance, originality, and comprehensiveness opens doors throughout the fashion industry.

    Developing Your Vision

    The program provides opportunities to have your final designs photographed, giving you documented work for your portfolio. Your work is promoted on a variety of platforms, and jury selected work is presented during the end-of-year exhibition. Your design practice is developed under the guidance of Parsons’ faculty of industry professionals and reflects an awareness of factors connected to fashion, including global production, commerce, and sustainability.

    Fashion Design from Concept to Production

    In the program, you study the process, techniques, and language of fashion design from concept to production, along with the essentials of marketing and of designing with ethical and sustainable methods. You design womenswear, menswear, and accessories, learning everything from the basics of drawing, draping, patternmaking, and sewing to tailoring and haute couture. Class critiques and lectures organized by the School of Fashion at Parsons bring design professionals such as Narciso Rodriguez and Jenna Lyons and journalist Cathy Horyn to campus to offer their perspectives. Projects with external partners like Coach, Louis Vuitton, Under Armour, Swarovski, Allen Edmonds, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America provide opportunities to work with major industry and media firms while developing your own creative practice.


    Core classes focus on research, fashion history, design thinking, and construction techniques relevant to work in the industry. Other courses offer you visual communications tools and familiarize you with industry software for ideating fashion collections, creating presentations, and documenting work for portfolios. Electives give you opportunities to specialize in accessories, tailoring, textiles, or knitwear. Depending on the number of transfer credits you bring to your AAS program, you can complete your studies in two to four semesters. Most students finish the program in about three semesters.

    Alumni Work in the Following Positions and Firms

    Senior Menswear Design Consultant, Tommy Hilfiger
    Senior Sweater Designer, Theory/Theyskens’ Theory
    Accessories Designer, Proenza Schouler
    Senior Swimwear Designer, Victoria’s Secret
    Founder and Principal Designer, J.F. & Son/Project 1281
    Designer, Michael Kors
    Senior Designer, Women’s Sportswear, True Religion Brand Jeans
    Manager, Color and Concept Department, A|X Armani Exchange
    Associate Designer, Yigal Azroël, Inc.
    Associate Designer and Line Coordinator, Nicole Miller

  • Curriculum Spring 2019

    The Associate in Applied Science degree is awarded for completion of 60 credits of coursework. Students may transfer undergraduate credits from other programs or institutions. For more information, please contact the Admission Office. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all program requirements in a timely manner.

    For a complete listing of courses and course descriptions, visit the university course catalog.

    This curriculum applies to students who enter Parsons in spring 2019 and after. To view degree requirements from prior years, visit the Fall 2018 curriculum page or the Academic Catalogs archive.

    Semester 1

    PAFD 1100 Core 1 3
    PAFD 1110 Technical Studio 3
    PAFD 1000 Design Communication 3
    PAFD 1010 Textiles and Materials 3
    History of Fashion

    Students may fulfill this requirement by choosing from a suite of elective options and are encouraged to meet with their advisors to create a coherent study plan.


    Semester 2

    PAFD 1200 Core 2

    In this course, students synthesize research, design, and construction skills and apply them to fashion products of their own design. This course draws upon research skills from Core 1, technical skills from Technical Studio, and materials exploration from Textiles and Materials. In class, students further develop their 2D and 3D skills and practices within the context of the discipline and move toward competency in the application of design and research processes while seeking appropriate technical 3D solutions.

    PLEN 1020 Critical Reading and Writing 1 3
    Program Electives
    Liberal Arts Elective

    Semester 3

    PAFD 1500 Specialized Studio

    In this course, students further their ability to translate self-initiated 2D design ideas into 3D final outcomes in their chosen disciplinary specialization. Emphasis is placed on incorporating sustainable design practices, production methods, and end-use contexts. Students spend class time developing design ideas, applying construction techniques, developing textiles, and examining the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry.

    PAFD 1510 Industry Communication

    In this class, we focus on the collaborative relationship between industry studio communication and industry production communication. Exploring both conceptual and technical design communicated through analog and digital techniques, students create effective and compelling design and technical presentations that reflect their own evolving design identity across multiple platforms. Printing methods are discussed to enable students to develop an analog ideology in various media and materials, including Adobe Creative Cloud apps and fashion industry proprietary software.

    PLEN 1020 Critical Reading and Writing 2 3
    Program Elective/Internship
    Liberal Arts Elective

    Semester 4

    PAFD 2100 Core 3: Capstone

    In this course, students develop a body of work from design ideation and iteration to a final product representing their fashion specialization and personal design philosophy. Students engage in problem solving throughout the 2D and 3D processes while drawing upon all the experience gained throughout the program. Students develop a personalized approach to design aesthetic, vocabulary, and markets by incorporating more complex design concepts that demonstrate a broader understanding of brand identity and user contexts. Consideration is given to the visual curation of the fashion process in terms of personal identity, communication, and brand messaging.

    PAFD 2000 Professional Practices and Portfolio

    In this course, students creatively employ diverse formats and contents to develop a portfolio. They conduct extensive design research, employ creative processes, and generate final deliverables that showcase their unique design philosophy and specialization. They also explore different methods for visual and textual communication in the professional context through print media, video, résumés, and online presence.

    Program Elective
    Liberal Arts Electives
    Total Credits 60

    Student Work

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    Program Contact

    Full-Time Faculty

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    Degree Program Options

    Associate’s Degree (AAS) in Fashion Design

    1-2 years, 60 credits

    Can be completed full-time or part-time

    A professionally oriented course of study that provides essential foundation training and technical skills, 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.

    Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fashion Design

    4 years, 120 credits

    Full-time undergraduate major

    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 graduate study. Best suited to first-time college students.

    Explore the BFA degree option

    Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Fashion Design and Society

    2 years, 60 credits.

    Full-time graduate program

    A highly selective program that combines intensive studio-based projects with research and artistic exploration. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and a substantial portfolio.

    Explore the MFA degree option

    Admission Requirements

    Applicant Profile

    The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree program is most suitable for mature students with some college experience who are clear about their interests in the field of design and prepared for rapid immersion in a professional course of study. The typical student has a bachelor's or an advanced degree and work experience in a field other than design. Admission to the program is based on the prospective student’s maturity, desire to pursue further education, previous accomplishments, and potential for growth. Applicants must have graduated from high school at least two years before to be eligible to apply.

    Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

    Priority Application Deadlines:

    • Fall Term Applicants: April 1
    • Spring Term Applicants: October 15

    We will continue to review applications submitted after the priority deadlines have passed if space is available in the program.

    Financial Aid Deadlines

    • Merit Scholarships:
      All admitted students are considered for merit scholarship awards on the basis of the strength of their applications. Scholarship awards are included in applicants’ admission decision letters. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships.
    • Federal Student Aid:
      If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found at The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. The New School’s federal school code is 002780. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits per semester to qualify for financial aid. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid. Submit your FAFSA by our FAFSA priority deadlines, below.

      Fall: February 1
      Spring: November 1

    Application Instructions

    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.

    Required Application Materials

    1. Application Form: Complete the online application. All applicants are required to apply online.
    2. Application Fee: The application fee is $50 for all applicants. The fee is paid through the online application and is non-refundable.
    3. Official Transcripts:
      All applicants must provide official high school and/or college transcripts. If you are currently in school, submit transcripts for all coursework taken to date. Applicants who have attended multiple high schools may submit only the graduating school’s official transcript as long as courses taken at previous schools are reflected on that transcript.

      Transfer Applicants: Transfer applicants who have completed fewer than 24 college credits (on a semester system) must submit high school transcript(s) in addition to college transcripts. Students who have completed any college coursework must apply as transfer students, regardless of whether they plan to apply those credits to their studies at Parsons. Applicants are required to report and submit transcripts for all colleges and universities attended.

      By Mail: Official transcripts should have an original signature or a raised university seal, and must be in a sealed envelope that has been signed or stamped by the issuing university’s registrar or records office. Applicants can either send official transcripts with an Application Materials Cover Sheet or request that institutions send transcripts directly to The New School. See “Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials” for our mailing address in the Additional Instructions and Information section below.

      Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only): The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors. The New School’s approved vendors, in order of preference, are
      • Parchment Exchange
      • SCRIP-SAFE International
      • National Student Clearinghouse
      We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. Note: All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.

      High School Equivalency: For GED, TASC, and HiSET, send official test score results by postal mail.

      Homeschooling: Homeschool applicants must provide the equivalent of a high school transcript with course or subject titles, the duration of study for each title, the content of study for each title, and an assessment of performance or “grade” at the time of application. Preferably, the courses completed at home are part of a curriculum developed and evaluated by a nationally recognized diploma-granting organization or agency. Review the Test Scores and Additional Information and Instructions for Homeschool Applicants sections for standardized test requirements and more information.

      International Academic Credentials: All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

      International Academic Credentials with Transfer Credits: Applicants who attended postsecondary institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES), or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript. In the absence of an evaluation, the Admission Committee will do its best to render a decision. Please note: In some cases, a review cannot be made without an evaluation, and a committee decision will be delayed.

      If using WES, visit for instructions and to begin the application process. The “Required Documents” section will explain what to send. If you request your report online, search for “The New School” when selecting our institution. WES will send your completed evaluation directly to The New School.

      If using another NACES provider, follow instructions for that provider. Mailed evaluations and translations should be sent to the mailing address provided for supporting materials. Applicants forwarding these sealed documents should include an Application Materials Cover Sheet.

      International University Preparatory Curriculum: The New School welcomes applications from students from all over the world. In order to be competitive for admission, applicants must pursue their country’s university preparatory curriculum. For example:
      • For students applying from an educational system that follows the UK model, we require either completed or predicted A levels from three subjects at the time of application.
      • For students applying from an educational system that follows the Indian curriculum, we require completed or predicted Standard XII (HSC) results at the time of application.
      Students with questions about their curriculum as it relates to admissibility to The New School can email
    4. Statement of Intent: Please upload a one-page Statement of Intent describing your reasons for applying to this program and how you will contribute to your chosen field of study. You should include a thoughtful description of your background and your professional goals and an explanation of how this AAS program will help you realize those goals. If you would like to provide a brief explanation to address your prior academic performance or discrepancies in your academic transcript, please feel free to do so.
    5. Creative Assignment: Please upload your creative assignment with your online application. Save and upload your assignment as a JPEG, PDF, or Word document no larger than 2MB. Additionally, applicants may provide a URL to a website where their creative assignment can be viewed.
      Communication Design: Design an 8” x 8” postage stamp depicting your favorite fruit or vegetable.
      Fashion Design: Create a collage that defines the lifestyle of the kind of woman or man for whom you would like to design. Use images taken from magazines, and pay attention to color, textures, and other basic elements.
      Fashion Marketing and Communication: Write a one-page analysis of a fashion marketing campaign you feel has been successful. (500-550-word limit)
      Interior Design: Present a collage of images illustrating your ideas for the design of a small advertising agency office in an urban townhouse. Your collage should include details (descriptions, images, or both) of the kinds of furniture, the colors, and the materials you would use to execute your ideas.
    6. Test Scores:

      TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE: All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IB) is 79, for IELTS is 6.5, and for PTE is 53. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.

      The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for applicants:

      • Who have attended a secondary school where English is the primary language of instruction for a minimum of three years (undergraduate freshman applicants only)
      • Who have successfully completed two full semesters of non-ESL college-level expository writing (undergraduate transfer applicants only)
      • Who have earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (minimum of three years' attendance)
      Upon review of your application, the Office of Admission may require you to submit an English Language Proficiency test score.

      Arrange for the testing service to send your test scores directly to The New School using the institution codes listed above. We accept scores from the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test. For more information, visit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.

      Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School's English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 5 in order to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.
    7. Résumé: A brief résumé (CV) listing education, work experience, travel, etc., including dates and positions held, must be submitted online.

    Additional Information and Instructions

    1. Applying to More Than One Program: In any given term, a student may apply to only one department or program within The New School. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.
    2. Application Materials: All materials submitted in association with the New School application become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.
    3. 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 online at the Admission Hub.

      Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be matched and shown as received on the Hub. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that items 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.
    4. Interviews: Interviews are not required. Applicants with questions about Parsons or the admission process are encouraged to attend an information session. Please review the Admission Calendar for dates and times.
    5. Homeschool Applicants: The New School welcomes applications from homeschool students. The Admission Committee does not require advanced preparation in every academic area, but applicants should demonstrate substantial work in English, history, social studies, foreign language, mathematics, and science. Review the Test Scores and Official Transcripts sections above for standardized test and transcript requirements. Upon completion of the homeschool curriculum, students must provide proof of high school graduation or an equivalent. We will accept an official transcript from a state homeschool association or sponsoring public high school; GED, TASC, or HiSET exam results; individual homeschool transcripts with date of completion; and certificates of completion recognized by local homeschool associations.
    6. Readmission: The Application for Readmission should be completed by students who wish to return after an absence of four semesters (fall and spring). If you would like to apply for readmission, review the readmission deadlines and requirements in the Readmission section of our How to Apply information. If you would like to transfer 24 or more semester-based credits, you should apply for admission as a transfer student according to the instructions above.
    7. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
      Parsons School of Design
      Office of Admission (PS 200)
      79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
      New York, NY 10003

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