Summer Intensive Studies NYC

  • Parsons Summer Intensive Studies: New York is an exceptional academic art and design program enriched by the vast resources of New York City. Whether you're a high school student preparing to apply to college, a college student interested in complementing your studies] and earning transfer credits, or an adult investigating career options, our summer courses can help you define and achieve your goals.

    This intensive three-week, three-credit program is open to those wishing to deepen their knowledge of art and design in an academically rigorous and artistically stimulating environment. Students spend five days a week in studio classes and receive challenging homework assignments. Courses are supplemented by special events, including portfolio reviews, Parsons alumni career panels, and lectures by industry guests, all designed to prepare students for admission to design school or direct them toward relevant career paths.

  • Registration

    Out of an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our students, the university has canceled all on-campus programming in June and July.

    Registration is now open for our inaugural Online Summer Intensive Studies. Students 19 and older (or 18 with a completed year of college-level education) can now learn the foundations of art and design from Parsons' renowned faculty in real time from anywhere around the world. This three-week, three-credit program runs from July 6 to July 24.  Learn More

    Students already enrolled in the on-campus July session can transfer their registration to the online program or request a full refund of tuition and fees. Contact

    Tuition: $3,302 + fees. Full payment is required at the time of registration.
    Housing (optional): See Summer Housing for fees.
    University credits: 3

    Note: Registration for the program does not guarantee housing. Apply now for summer housing.


    Online registration: Payment can be made by credit card only. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted.
    Note: Credit and debit cards often have limits on the amount that can be charged. Your bank may deny approval for a credit card payment if the card is issued by a non-U.S. bank. To ensure a smooth registration process, please check with your bank before submitting your credit card information. Also make sure that the expiration date of the card is more than two months after the date you submit payment.

    Paper registration: Payment can be made with a credit card, domestic check, money order, or cash.

    Payment by credit card: Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Include your credit card number and expiration date on the registration form.

    Payment by check: Foreign checks are not accepted. Checks submitted for payment must be drawn on a U.S. bank, with a U.S. bank routing number and account number MICR encoded on the check.

    Payment by money order: International money orders, such as American Express, denominated in U.S. dollars are accepted.

    Please mail your payment along with your completed registration form to:

    Registrar's Office
    The New School
    72 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor
    New York, NY 10011

    Cash payment: Payment in cash can be made only in person. Please bring your payment and your completed registration form to:

    Registrar's Office
    The New School
    72 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor
    New York, NY 10011

    Policies & Procedures


    New York Session II - Canceled

    Students who registered for on-campus Session II can transfer to Online Summer Intensive Studies, which begins July 6, 2020, or request a full refund. Contact

    Learn more about Online Summer Intensives Studies.


    College and adult students enroll in this summer program as a complement to a full-time degree program and to gain intensive exposure to design disciplines that will help them attain their academic and professional goals. Students also enroll in this program to build the skills and portfolio necessary for acceptance to graduate programs. Session I is limited to college and adult participants who either 1) are 18 years of age and have completed at least one year of college or 2) are 19 years of age or older by June 1, 2020. College and adult students taking part in Session II must either 1) be 18 years of age and have completed at least one year of college or 2) be 19 years of age or older by July 6, 2020. During Session II, pre-college students are also on campus, and a limited number of courses combine levels. Please see the list below for course descriptions and links to registration.


    Students enrolled in the pre-college and college and adult-level programs in New York earn three college credits upon successful completion of the programs.

    We strongly recommend that participants consult an academic advisor at their home institution for further details of approval and transfer of credits and fulfillment of graduation requirements.


    Transcripts issued by the Registrar's Office carry the signature and seal of The New School. A transcript is confirmation of a student’s permanent record at the university. Students who complete Summer Intensive Studies can ask for their transcripts to be mailed to other colleges and institutions by submitting an official request to the Registrar's Office.


    Attendance and Workload

    Students attend classes Monday through Friday for six hours a day. Classes run in two sessions (morning and afternoon) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:50 p.m., with a one-hour lunch break. Attendance is mandatory. Students who miss more than two class sessions will fail the course, subject to faculty and administrative review.

    Out-of-class work, which is assigned daily, is a substantial part of the program. Students who do not meet course expectations may be asked to leave the program.

    Schedule for Session II

    July 6–24, 2020

    Sunday, July 5      
    Residence hall check-in 
    11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

    Monday, July 6      
    Orientation, followed by first class

    Friday, July 24      
    Last day of classes 
    Final exhibition of student work

    Saturday, July 25      
    Residence hall checkout 
    9:00 a.m.–12:00 noon


    Animation Studio 
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19) 
    Section A1: Canceled

    In this course, students develop a solid understanding of the principles of animation and the art of storytelling as the foundation for creating sequential narratives — cartoons, graphic novels, movies, videos. The class helps students find their voice and artistic style as they create an animated short, from concept to finished work. The course is an excellent opportunity for those curious about animation to learn the entire process. Students use Adobe After Effects to bring their drawings to life. 

    Design and Management
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19) 
    Section A1: Canceled
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24)  
    Section B1: Canceled

    This course provides an overview of topics and issues central to the Strategic Design and Management program, with an emphasis on the relationships between design, experience, and social and economic change. An intensive three-week course, it exposes students to the enormous variety of ways design functions in business contexts and helps them understand the roles designers play in creative industries through critical readings and discussions, case studies, guest lectures, field trips, and collaborative, practice-based projects. By means of research, prototyping, experimentation, self-reflection, and decision-making activities, students become resourceful practitioners and creative entrepreneurs. The intensive nature of the class results in a steep learning curve.  

    Design Process and Skills
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19)   
    Section A1: Canceled

    In this course, students explore the design process and the fundamental visual principles integral to all fields of design. They learn how to conduct design research, produce a series of concepts, execute a final project, and present their work professionally. The focus is on building skills in hand making; project outcomes can take the form of graphic design, typography, photography, bookbinding, and 3D design. Design history is explored through research inspired by the project assignments. 

    Explorations in Drawing
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19)  
    Section A1: Canceled

    This course combines the fundamental practice of observational drawing with conceptual strategies for constructing the drawn image. Emphasis is placed on drawing as an integral component of the design process. Students gain analytical skills through direct observation of studio setups as well as visits to museums and outdoor spaces throughout New York City. These skills are used to approach drawing as a way of thinking, as a critical tool, and as a means of observation, storytelling, and representation. 

    Fashion: Sewing and Construction
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19) 
    Section A1: Canceled
    Section A2: Canceled
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24) 
    Section B1: Canceled
    Section B2: Canceled

    Learn about the process of designing and making, particularly the creation of objects using soft materials. A variety of construction methods are explored, from hand and machine sewing to knitting, crocheting, draping, and patternmaking. Drawing and sketching are introduced as an integral part of the design process, allowing students to develop concepts in two dimensions before they begin making. Transposing visual ideas from sketching to fabricating, 2D to 3D, students are free to explore the techniques of patternmaking or draping to create the structure for their designs. Students familiarize themselves with design process methods through the development of a design sketchbook documenting research, fabric development, sketch inspirations, and reflections. Projects may include but are not limited to clothing and accessories.

    Fashion: Visual Presentation
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19) 
    Section A1: Canceled
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24) 
    Section B1: Canceled
    Section B2: Canceled

    This course introduces students to various presentation methods that enable them to clearly communicate their ideas through 2D media and the development of a collection. Students explore the communicative power of images through visual media using a variety of drawing and digital techniques, with the goal of developing their own individual aesthetic. Engagement with observational drawing from the live fashion model, photography, digital image creation, and video helps bring students' design ideas to life. Students build skills in observation, expression of ideas, and visual organization as they create a personal blog or book. Field trips to designer studios and museums along with guest lectures by practicing professionals develop students’ knowledge of New York’s fashion industry.

    Fashion: Merchandising 
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19)  
    Section A1: Canceled
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24) 
    Section B1: Canceled

    This course is an immersive introduction to the fashion industry and the role of the merchandiser in a fashion apparel company. The course reviews merchandising principles and techniques used, including product development, planning, editing, sourcing, and decision making. Students also acquire a working vocabulary of industry terminology. The course offers a New York perspective: We explore the relationships between design, production, and marketing through an overview of the traditional New York Garment Center. We also examine the fashion incubators recently developed for area fashion designers and craftspeople.

    Graphic Design I
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19) 
    Section A1: Canceled
    Section A2: Canceled
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24) 
    Section B1: Canceled

    Graphic design is the visual language of everyday life, used in everything from magazine ads to film titles to product packaging. In this course, students are introduced to the fundamentals of visual research, composition, typography, and the organization of information. A key goal for all students is learning to develop powerful concepts. Students address a series of design problems through concept-driven solutions that explore 2D and digital making. The role of typography in design is explored in depth, with an emphasis on the selection of the most appropriate typeface for each project. Students are introduced to digital tools, including the Adobe Creative Suite. 

    Graphic Design II
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19) 
    Section A1: Canceled
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24) 
    Section B1: Canceled

    Students build on their graphic design experience by investigating real-world applications of communication design, with an emphasis on concept development as applied to problem solving. Through projects, students learn to employ narrative and storytelling methods and engage in design research, analysis, documentation, and implementation. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between creative and critical thinking skills and the designer’s role within the professional arena. Topics covered include creation of the elements of brand identity programs, such as logos, publications, advertisements, and websites. Students explore advanced techniques in the Adobe Creative Suite. By the end of the course, students will have learned to apply design principles and visual elements effectively to a wide variety of business identity and communication problems. Prerequisite: Graphic Design I or the equivalent and experience with Adobe Creative Suite. 

    Illustration: Beyond the Page
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24) 
    Section B1: Canceled

    This class explores the ever-expanding territory where illustration meets design. The hybrid designer-illustrator is head and shoulders above the pack, possessing drawing skills; a keen sense of color, typography, and layout; and an interest in doing it all. Today’s new breed of designer-illustrators are poised for long and varied careers. Guest speakers who exemplify these qualities present case studies; slide-show lectures provide inspiration; and practical assignments afford students opportunities to produce portfolio work. Assignments call for students to create packaging, objects, logos, animation boards, and advertising using a multidisciplinary approach. 

    Interior Design Studio
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19)  
    Section A1: Canceled
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24) 
    Section B1: Canceled

    The field of interior design is rapidly changing. Interior designers not only are responsible for aesthetic elements but are called upon to assess and understand a given site condition and create environments that inspire and support transformative human experience. In this course, faculty introduce students to the field of interior design through an institutional, commercial, or public studio project in New York City. Students engage in an iterative creative process that includes field observation and analysis, measuring, drawing, model making, and evaluating and selecting nontoxic materials. Students build technical skills and develop an understanding of scale, form, and spatial relationships that enables them to interpret the interior environment. Students divide their time between designing in the studio, learning to analyze and represent space, and taking field trips to relevant sites in New York City. Students leave the class with a better understanding of the interconnections between interior design, ecology, and human experience and the ability to critique and build upon cultural understanding of the field.

    Product Design 
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24) 
    Section B1: Canceled

    In this introductory course, students engage in hands-on exploration of object design. The product design process is explored through problem solving, integration of essential skills such as drawing and rendering, and iterative prototyping of three-dimensional forms. Students learn where and how design can be best applied. They work both individually and collaboratively in a studio environment to create prototypes for utilitarian products and a project book documenting their research and process. 

    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19)  
    Section A1: Canceled

    This course focuses on the basics of painting, with an emphasis on technical paint handling, color, composition, and materials. Acquiring basic studio habits and practices, students undertake a visual and conceptual examination of painting today. Individual and group criticism, combined with field trips and discussion, expands perspectives within historical contexts. As students advance, they explore a variety of abstract and figurative possibilities for self-examination. 

    Photography: Analog and Digital
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19)  
    Section A1: Canceled
    College/Adult Session II (July 6–24) 
    Section B1: Canceled

    New York’s urban landscapes offer inspiration as students develop their skills in documentary and fine art photography. Beginners master basic skills in analog and digital photography, while experienced students learn to convey ideas and explore themes in their work. The class includes on-site shoots, lab work, critiques, and lectures. All work is done in black and white. Students must have a 35mm camera with manual settings and a DSLR digital camera.

    Photography: Digital and Video
    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19)  
    Section A1: Canceled

    New York City provides visual inspiration for students exploring digital photography. Students learn to structure and narrate stories on video and in photography as they collaborate to create short digital films. Professionals visit the class to discuss their craft and share work. This course is recommended for students with some photography experience. Students must have a DSLR digital camera. Beginners should take Photography: Analog and Digital. 

    College/Adult Session I (June 1–19)  
    Section A1: Canceled

    This course introduces students to a range of printmaking processes. Students explore graphics, color theory, drawing, design, and composition. They create portfolio-quality prints using professional techniques in a range of assignments, both representational and conceptual. The course covers etching, drypoint, and monotype as well as less conventional techniques. 


    Registration Process
    Course Information
    Life Outside of Class
    Paying for Your Program
    International Students
    Before You Arrive
    After the Program Ends


    Who attends Summer Intensive Studies?
    The pre-college program is open to students between the ages of 16 and 18 who have not yet attended college. Students in this program explore and develop their skills in art and design as they create portfolio pieces for college admission.

    The college/adult-level program is open to adults and students at least 19 years of age. Students who are 18 years old and have completed a minimum of one year of college are also eligible to enroll at the college/adult level. An academic transcript showing proof of eligibility must be submitted within two weeks of registration. Students receive intensive training in art and design that helps them develop their skills and define their academic and professional goals. Many students attend the college-level program to complement full-time degree programs and to build the skills and portfolios necessary for admission to graduate programs.

    What are the admission requirements?
    This is an open enrollment program available to students with a strong interest in art and design study. There is no application process, and registrations are processed on a first come, first served basis.

    When should I apply?
    Registration begins in November and continues until all seats in the courses have been filled. Because courses are filled on a first come, first served basis, we recommend that you register early.

    What should I do if the class I want to take is already full?
    Wait lists are not maintained for Summer Intensive Studies courses. You can monitor the enrollment status of courses through the live online registration system and enroll if a seat becomes available in your desired course.

    How will I know if I've been accepted? 
    If you have successfully registered, you will receive an email confirming your registration within about ten minutes from our Registrar's Office.


    When do I attend class?
    Classes are held Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:50 p.m., with a one-hour lunch break.

    Where are classes held?
    Most classes are held at Parsons in Greenwich Village, in the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center and the University Center at Fifth Avenue and 13th Street. This facility also houses the University Center Library. Digital classes are held in the University Computer Center, 55 West 13th Street, and at 6 East 16th Street.

    Who teaches in Summer Intensive Studies?

    Courses are taught by Parsons faculty and a select group of New York–based artists and designers.

    How many students are in each class?
    Each class has a maximum of 16 students.

    Will I have homework?
    This is a rigorous academic program. Students should expect to have two to three hours of homework a day and on weekends.

    Will I receive a grade in the course?
    Yes; grades are issued for all students enrolled in the Summer Intensive Studies program.

    Am I allowed to be absent?
    Students are expected to attend classes regularly and arrive on time. If you must miss a class session, you should notify your instructors in advance and arrange to make up all missed work. Any student missing more than two sessions may be asked to leave the program. Please note that morning and afternoon sessions are counted separately; each day consists of two sessions.

    What should I bring on the first day of class?
    Approximately two weeks before the program begins, instructors will email supply lists to their students. Students should bring the supplies to the first class. Do not purchase any supplies on the list that are unfamiliar to you. Wait until the first day of class and speak with your teacher before making the purchase. There are many art supply stores located within walking distance of the campus.


    How do I apply for housing?
    To apply for housing, you must complete the housing registration application online. The link to the application is sent by email to registered students in the confirmation letter sent by the office of Parsons at Open Campus. Visit Parsons Summer Housing to learn more about summer housing.

    How much does it cost to live on campus?
    Please see Summer Housing Fees.

    Am I guaranteed housing?
    As long as you apply before the deadlines, housing will be available.

    Am I required to live in the residence halls?
    No. You can live off campus while attending the summer program.

    Where are the dormitories in relation to the classrooms?
    All classes are held in the L, M, N, E, I, and U buildings, which are situated within walking distance of the dormitories (S, T, and V buildings). View our campus map for more details. 
    What amenities are available in the residence halls?
    Most dormitories are equipped with phones and Internet and cable access. Visit Student Housing for more details.

    Are the residence halls safe?
    All residence halls have 24-hour security guards on duty. Entry is carefully regulated.

    Are there staff members in the residence halls?
    There are always staff members on duty in the residence halls.

    Will I have a curfew?
    Pre-college students are subject to an 11:00 p.m. curfew.

    Am I allowed to have visitors and guests?
    Yes. All guests, including parents, guardians, and siblings, must leave a photo ID and register in the guest log when visiting. Students enrolled in Summer Intensive Studies who are 18 years of age or younger as of July 5, 2020, are subject to curfews and are not permitted to have overnight guests in their rooms. Students 19 years of age and older can request overnight guest accommodations, which are available on a very limited basis. A small number of rooms in other buildings are available for overnight guests during the summer for a fee.


    What student activities are offered outside of class?
    Activities offered outside of class provide opportunities to meet other students, become better acquainted with the university, and discover New York City. They include industry guest lectures and events relating to admission to degree programs and career exploration, such as Portfolio Review Day. The Office of Student Development and Activities organizes off-campus excursions to Mets and/or Yankees games and Broadway plays. Students can also participate in free fitness classes in the afternoons. All students will be given a calendar with all extracurricular activities during Orientation on the first day of the program.

    What can I do on weekends?
    You can participate in the many extracurricular activities scheduled during the summer. Events attended in past years include baseball games and Broadway shows. You will receive a complete calendar of extracurricular activities at Orientation.

    What about the rest of my free time? Will I be all alone?
    During class hours, you will be with faculty members and classmates. At lunch break, you can go to one of the student meeting areas, the dining locations, or a nearby restaurant or deli. After class and before the 11:00 p.m. curfew, you will do homework (two to three hours a day), eat, and enjoy leisure time. Students generally connect very quickly with one another and go out in groups.

    Will I be able to see New York while I am studying there?
    Visits to museums, exhibitions, and other places of interest are scheduled during class hours to provide inspiration for your work. You can also explore New York City on your own during your leisure time.

    Will I be safe in New York?
    The New York classrooms and dormitories are in safe locations. Because New York City is so large, it is essential that students take safety precautions, such as walking with groups and being aware of their surroundings. Visit the Safety and Preparedness site to learn about managing emergencies at The New School.

    How can I communicate with my family and friends?
    Most of the university dormitories are equipped with Internet access and phones. The university computer center also offers students free Internet access in a state-of-the-art computer lab.


    Are scholarships available?
    Yes; scholarships are available for pre-college students. Visit Summer Scholarships for information.

    Can I pay for the program after I register for my class?
    No. You must pay tuition in full at the time of registration to reserve a space in the program.


    Do I need to apply for a student visa?
    Yes. After you have registered for the program, a written confirmation will be emailed to you. This letter will contain your student identification number, which will allow you to log in to the International Students page to access the visa application procedures and forms.

    Is there a language requirement?
    Yes. A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 79 on the Internet-based course is required for international students. Visit TOEFL for more information.

    Whom should I speak with if I have more questions?

    The staff at the International Student and Scholar Services Office is available to address your questions and concerns.


    What should I bring with me?
    Travel light. Make sure you have an umbrella, sturdy walking shoes, and light clothing, as New York can be hot and steamy during the summer.

    Can I mail supplies and other items to the university?
    Unfortunately, since there is no storage space for student belongings, we cannot accept packages.


    Will the three credits I earn at Parsons by successfully completing my course transfer to my college?
    Most colleges accept the credits earned for Summer Intensive Studies courses. We strongly recommend that you check in advance with an advisor at your college to find out whether the credits apply.

    How can I get my grade and transcript?

    At the end of the program, you can access your grade through our online student information system. Transcripts must be requested from the Registrar's Office. You will receive a student handbook with information explaining this process in detail.