Strategic Design and Management (Global Executive, MS)

  • Academically rigorous and industry focused, the Global Executive Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management is specially designed for ambitious professionals and entrepreneurs eager to transform their approaches to business. Over the course of 18 months, a select group of diverse professionals engage in a series of three-day seminars held at Parsons’ hub in Paris, combined with online learning, hands-on studios, and global experiences in cities around the world.

    The new global economy is an ever-changing ecosystem that needs to be led by the principles of innovation, creativity, and collaboration. Understanding the complexities — and possibilities — of this landscape is essential to develop groundbreaking business strategy. With this in mind, Parsons has created this program to give passionate and dedicated professionals the tools they need to take their industries to the next level. Start your journey today and shape the future of business.

    Read More About the ProgramRead Less

    Strategy and Leadership for the 21st-Century Economy

    The innovative approach of the Global Executive MS in Strategic Design and Management responds to the needs of the new economy. The program partners students with companies to collaboratively find solutions to challenging problems and inspire entrepreneurship. In addition, it cultivates global engagement as the cohort travels to different cities that are part of the Parsons network such as New York, Paris, and Shanghai to build relationships and seed empathy towards different systems.

    Design Thinking

    The coursework is structured to replicate real-world industry scenarios that give the cohort hands-on experience in new business model development, creative team management, and the design of solutions. The Global Executive MS in Strategic Design and Management’s inclusion of design thinking as an essential component of management and leadership will equip you to better understand problems, unlock hidden needs, and design groundbreaking innovations to address those needs. Design thinking allows leaders to solve the most complex of problems using empathy, experimentation, observation, and ethnographic research to reach holistic solutions.

    Industry Focus

    This program gives disruptors and innovators the opportunity to enhance their skill set to lead creative change in their industry. The Global Executive MS in Strategic Design and Management program exposes its cohort to new industry contexts and practices, both within and outside of design-intensive industries. The program has been a creative hub for students from various industries such as banking and finance, law, media, and human resources.

    Expanding Your Global Network

    The Global Executive MS in Strategic Design and Management is designed for professionals who have demanding schedules yet want to dedicate time to revamping their skill set. The program has a duration of 18 months, and you will only need to be out of the office for a total of 18 days. Moreover, you will create lifelong professional and personal relationships with your classmates, program faculty, and industry leaders from around the world.

  • Study Online and on a Global Campus

    Flexible Schedule for Working Professionals

    The Global Executive Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management is thoughtfully designed with the needs of working professionals in mind. Cohort members complete the program in 18 months and are required to take only 18 days away from the office. Additionally, the blended format of online and on-campus intensive learning gives cohort members the flexibility they need to balance their academic, professional, and social lives—all while equipping them with the essential tools needed to lead change in their industries.

    Discover our program curriculum here.

    The World Is Our Campus

    Parsons’ Global Executive program lives up to its name, providing a uniquely global experience that takes full advantage of Parsons’ extensive international network. The program combines weekend intensives at our Parsons Paris campus or other international destinations with online coursework, complemented by two weeklong studio intensives in New York City and Shanghai that give you firsthand experience with and insight into the challenges of the 21st-century global economy.

    Global Executive Studio Weeks

    In addition to our degree program, we offer noncredit studio weeks to our degree alumni and interested experienced professionals, so that they can hone their skills and dive into hands-on design challenges in locations around the world. For information or to apply and register, contact

    Funding Your Studies

    Investing in your professional development is investing in your future. Education has the power to open numerous doors as you chart and explore your career path—and growth.

    We want to work with you to help make the program as accessible as possible. Merit scholarships are not currently available for this program, but if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found on the Web at The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid; we recommend submitting by our FAFSA priority deadline of February 1. The New School’s federal school code is 002780.

    In addition, many working professionals find opportunities to help fund their studies through programs offered by their companies and organizations. We encourage you to speak with the relevant parties at your place of work to learn more about what options may be available to you. 

    To support you in this process, we've developed a Guide for Employers, which can be downloaded by clicking the link. Key features and benefits of the program include:

    • Program completion in only 18 months
    • Requires only 18 days away from the office 
    • Network with successful peers across occupations and industries.
    • Learn from renowned, successful industry experts. See faculty highlights here.
    • Learn to foster leadership and innovation — a skill that can be applied immediately to benefit your company.

    The most up-to-date information on tuition fees can be found on the Registrar's website, here.

    Want to know more about the potential benefits to your organization? Take it from our students:

    "The master's program is perfectly designed to help you learn the concepts, go into the field, and apply them." 
     —Catalina Ramirez Botero, export manager for PROLAB Cosmetics

    "What I love about this program is that it fosters looking at things in a way that is fresh and new."
    Jack Roberts, chief of Story + Design

    "The GEMS program has had a transformative impact on my professional practice."
      —Manuel Hernandez, MD, MBA, and principal, Kahler Slater 


    Market-Centered Curriculum

    This 36-credit Master of Science program combines business, management, and leadership coursework with design-centered studio work. The studio courses are two one-week-long studios in which students integrate what they have learned in the seminars to develop new business models and organizational designs for real-world business scenarios.

    Forward-Thinking Course Offerings

    Strategic Design and Management in New Economies

    Sustainable Business Models

    Managing Creative Projects and Teams

    Design Innovation and Leadership

    Integrative Studio 1

    Regulatory and Ethical Contexts

    New Design Firms

    Integrative Studio 2

    Independent Project: Design Research

    Explore our innovative curricular matrix.

    See the full Program Calendar and begin mapping your journey.

    You can view our 2019-2020 Academic Calendar and Schedule here.

    Hear From Faculty and Students

    Melissa Rancourt, Academic Director, discusses the unique benefits of the Global Executive Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management.

    Faculty member Johann Verheem, discusses how the program gives professionals the tools to anticipate the future of business.

    Teresa, business leader and graduate of the Global Executive M.S. in Strategic Design and Management at Parsons, applies the innovative design leadership concepts she learned in her program to transform the banking customer experience

    Maurits, a successful entrepreneur and graduate of the Global Executive M.S. in Strategic Design and Management at Parsons, applies strategies in design leadership and innovation to grow his business for social good.

    Events & Webinars

    Past Events

    New School Global Executives' Insights on How to Transform the World Through Strategic Design: May 23, 2019, Paris 

    The Nth Degree Series: May 18, 2018, Parsons Paris

    The Next Web: Design Thinking Workshop: May 24-25, 2018, Amsterdam 

    Asking Out Loud podcast series at Cannes Festival of Creativity and Innovation: June 18-22, 2018, Cannes

    Want to meet our students or faculty? Note the dates and locations below if you wish to set up a time to meet at one of our campuses. 


    Conversation with Design Leaders — GEMS Alumna Suh-young Yun

      Live-recorded info session

      Conversation with Design Leaders — GEMS Alumnus Jack Roberts

      Conversation with Design Leaders — GEMS Alumnus Miguel Espinosa

      Service Design for a Better World

      AI and Non-Artificial Emotion Watch

      Fearlessness and Authenticity Watch

      Cannes Lions 2017: One Faculty Member's Recap Watch

      The Next Web Conference: Design Thinking for Ongoing Innovation Watch

      American Marketing Association: Top 10 Ways to Use Design Thinking in Driving Innovative Marketing Strategies Watch

      5 Top Take-Aways on Leading as a Global Executive from Inside the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity and Innovation Watch

      21st-Century Approaches to Service Design: Ten New Ideas for Any Industry Watch

      Admission Requirements

      Applicant Profile

      The Global Executive Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management program seeks professionals who want to become the game changers of the new economy. Our students are co-productive individuals from diverse backgrounds in business, creative industries, communications, and commerce with a minimum of five years' work experience or three years' work experience and a demonstrable background in entrepreneurship in any industry. We welcome emerging leaders who are motivated and inspired by the opportunity to lead change as innovative executives—those who aspire to transform our economic landscape, contribute new business models, and develop new organizational designs and are determined to shift paradigms. We invite applications from those of various professional and academic backgrounds, experiences, and trajectories who want to not only change and advance on their own professional path but help shape the future of global business through new design management practices.

      Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

      Application Deadline

      The priority application deadline is January 2. We will continue to receive applications on a rolling basis until the final deadline of May 1. Please note that the program begins in July. Fall and spring term admission are not offered for this program.

      Financial Aid Deadline

      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. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid. Submit your FAFSA by our February 1 FAFSA Priority Deadline.

      Application Instructions

      The Global Executive Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management is administered through Parsons School of Design's main campus in New York City, with a series of weekend workshops based at our Parsons Paris location. When starting your application online, please select "Parsons School of Design" in the "School" field (not Parsons Paris). From there, for the "Program/Major" field, you will have the opportunity to select "Global Executive Strategic Design and Management."

      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.

      1. In addition to submitting the online application, applicants can submit an optional portfolio using SlideRoom.
      2. Finalize your portfolio at the time you submit your application. This will help prevent any delays in reviewing your application, as we need to receive all required materials before we can place your application under review.
      3. Once you have submitted the SlideRoom materials, a confirmation number will be emailed to you. Save this for your records and enter it on the online application when requested.

      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. The fee is paid through the online application and is non-refundable. There is also a $10 SlideRoom fee.
      3. Transcripts:
        Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.
        • All transcript uploads must be accompanied by a key, a legend, or the back copy of the transcript.
        • Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Records from non-U.S. institutions must have grades or marks and contain a copy of diploma if the degree has been conferred.
        • Make sure your name appears on the transcript/record. Scans must be clear and legible.
        • If you experience trouble uploading your transcript, email and give a detailed description of the issue and attach the document in question.
        The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process. Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial.

        Official Transcripts: Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts with proof of their degree conferral prior to enrollment. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career. Transcripts uploaded with the online application do not satisfy this requirement.

        Submitting Transcripts By Mail: Applicants should make arrangements to have their college/university send transcripts directly to The New School at the mailing address for Supplemental Materials. All transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope with the institutional seal and signature of the registrar. All documents not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

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

        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), 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 evaluation should be mailed directly by the vendor to the address for Supplemental Materials. A copy of the transcript which 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.
      4. Résumé: Submit a brief résumé/curriculum vitae summarizing your academic qualifications, relevant work experience, volunteer/community work, travel, exhibitions, public speaking, or any other relevant experiences as they may relate to your field of study, including dates and positions held. Please also note any special language or computer skills that you have.
      5. Statement of Purpose: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the program? How have your specific work experiences in design, business, consulting, or nonprofit organizations shaped your motivation for this program and the resulting professional goals? You should include a thoughtful description of your background, tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, your professional goals, and an explanation of how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. If you have not been enrolled as a student in the past five years, please address anticipated opportunities and challenges in pursuing the degree, and future career expectations upon completion of the program. (500–750-word limit)
      6. Recommendation Letters: Two letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders may submit recommendations online. Instructions are included in the online application. If preferred, the recommendation forms may be sent by mail in signed, sealed envelopes. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the Applicant Information section, and save the form. Forward the saved form to the recommenders to complete the remaining sections and submit. Applicants may also send signed and sealed recommendations to the Office of Admission using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
      7. Program Essay: A personal essay of 500–1,000 words must accompany the application. The essay must identify your motivation for study in the program by addressing the following topics in an integrated manner (i.e., do not simply provide answers to the bullet points, but develop an integrated and flowing argument):
        • How have your specific work experiences in design, business, consulting, or nonprofit organizations shaped your motivation for this program and the resulting professional goals?
        • Why do you think of yourself as a game changer in your current organization, and why do you think this program will enhance your attributes as an innovator, strategist, or leader in your career?
        • What are some specific critical experiences you have had as part of a team or work group that shaped your understanding of the complexities of professional collaboration, organizational reality, and economic irrationality?
        • What are three things that you can already tell us about the future importance of design thinking?
        • How would you describe this program and your ambition for study in this new field to your friends, family, current employer, and colleagues?
        • What specifically excites you about the Global Executive program, with its integrated online study and global experiences in Paris, New York, and Shanghai?
        Please note that this essay is not simply a biographical statement, nor is it a writing sample. You will be evaluated on the quality of articulation of your academic and professional preparedness, your consideration of critical issues, and your inspirational and transformational abilities and attributes.
      8. Portfolio (Optional): You can submit a portfolio with your application—note that this is optional. The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only and is limited to ten examples of design or management work. The items must be directly related to your motivation for studies in the program and must be integrated with the topics of your program essay. The visuals should contain enough of an explanation to allow the reviewers to identify your understanding of the design principles, methods, processes, and projects that you chose to represent.
      9. Test Scores:
        GRE and GMAT (Optional): Although it is not required, if you took the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), scores can be submitted to support your application. GRE scores should be sent electronically. The institution code is 2638. Mail GMAT scores to the Office of Admission with an Application Materials Cover Sheet. The absence of a GRE or GMAT score will not reduce your chances of gaining admission to the program.

        TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and DET: All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or DET scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IB) is 92, for IELTS is 7.0, for PTE is 63, and for DET is 115. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.

        The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or DET scores for applicants 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). After reviewing your application, the Office of Admission may require you to submit an English Language Proficiency test score to evaluate your candidacy.

        We accept test scores taken within the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test.

        Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/DET requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.

        Applicants to this program may request an interview in place of the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/DET exams. Please email the program director Melissa Rancourt at to make your request.
      10. Interviews: Students may be invited for an interview in-person or by phone.

      Additional Information and Instructions

      1. Applying to More Than One Program: In any given term, a student can 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. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
        Parsons School of Design
        Office of Admission (PS 300)
        79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10003


      Why this program and not a regular MBA?

      You will be a part of a select cohort of peers working in industries and in positions at the intersection of design, innovation, and business. In addition, you will study management topics in the context of design-driven processes and innovation, in both local and global settings. Finally, and most important, you will learn about the management of design and innovation not just through an add-on "elective" or "concentration," but in depth and throughout the program.

      Our innovative module-based format is both immersive and flexible, specially tailored to meet the learning styles and preferences of today’s working professional. 

      Spanning a year and a half, the program kicks off with intensives at our Paris campus, interspersed with immersive weekends of accelerated learning and supplemental integrative week-long studio intensives in New York and Shanghai. It has a cohort-based, one-course-at-a-time model that provides a supportive community, a clear path to completion, and an accessible, flexible way to achieve your goals without leaving your day job. In fact, you will only need to step away from your desk for 18 days during the full course of the program.

      See our full sample program calendar to begin mapping your journey.

      What am I going to learn?

      This 36-credit Master of Science program combines business, management, and leadership coursework with design-centered studio work. The studio courses are two one-week integrative studios in which students integrate the learning from the seminars to develop new business models and organizational designs for real-world business scenarios.

      Foward-Thinking Course Offerings

      Year One

      Year Two

      Explore our innovative curricular matrix (PDF).

      How does this program take advantage of Parsons' global network?

      With an international reach that spans multiple continents and a student body that makes the university one of the most globally diverse in the United States, Parsons is an industry leader in its culture and its commitment to offering its students a learning experience rich in opportunities for global engagement. 

      As a member of our cohort of global executives, you'll have the chance to take full advantage of Parsons' network of interconnected design laboratories and international business partners from urban hubs based in Paris, New York, Shanghai, and beyond. Based in three of the most vibrant creative economies in the world, the program takes full advantage of each city, offering extraordinary educational, cultural, and professional opportunities from day one of the program.

      Whom will I be learning with?

      Even in today’s highly digital business environment, success in enterprise relies on human connections. As a member of our inaugural class of creative professionals, you will learn side by side with peers from many diverse industries — and those looking to lead change in the dynamic new global creative economy.

      As you progress through the program in a small, intimate, and selective cohort (PDF), the relationships you develop in the studio will flourish into a network you can build upon for years to come.

      Meet our accomplished faculty, including:

      • David Schreff, Strategic Design and Management in New Economies
      • Melissa Rancourt, Designing and Implementing Sustainable Business Models

      How will this help me and my company grow?

      What do you envision for your company in five years? Are you prepared to make it happen?

      "New School students don't just witness the world changing; they lead change."  
      - David E. Van Zandt, President, The New School

      To succeed in 21st-century commerce and industry, you need to cultivate new approaches to solving problems, streamlining systems, and identifying opportunities for growth. The Global Executive Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management, with its design-led approach to learning and global reach, is at the forefront of empowering working professionals to take on the mantle of creative leadership in their companies.

      Whether you want to start your own company or rethink business practice from within, this program will foster entrepreneurship that can productively challenge traditional frameworks and lead meaningful change in the new creative economy. In the program, you take real-world scenarios as the basis for creative and strategic studio projects; everything you learn will be relevant and quickly applicable to your current business context — all without taking you away from your desk on most weekdays, keeping you invested in maximum productivity for minimal sacrifice.

      When am I going to make time?

      If you're a busy working professional who wants to build his or her background in strategic management, you've found the right program. Brilliant design is about creating harmony between component parts — an ethos that lives at the very core of our program, especially when it comes to building our courses around your schedule.

      Our innovative, module-based format is both immersive and flexible. Specially tailored to meet the learning styles and preferences of today’s working professional, it requires you to be away from your office only 18 days.

      Spanning a year and a half, the program kicks off with intensives at our Paris campus, interspersed with immersive weekends of accelerated learning and supplemental integrative week-long studio intensives in New York and Shanghai. It has a cohort-based, one-course-at-a-time model that provides a supportive community and clear path to completion — all without requiring you to leave your job.

      See the full program calendar, including a clear breakdown of weekend intensives and online learning modules, designed for maximum flexibility.

      Can I study abroad in Paris if I'm in the NYC MS-SDM program (and vice versa)?

      Because of differences in the academic calendars and delivery formats of the two programs, study abroad is not currently available.

      How is the global executive format tailored to meet my need for flexibility?

      While it is true that studying 100 percent online offers you a great deal of flexibility, the Global Executive MS-SDM offers three distinguishing features that make it of special value for and well suited to the needs of today's professionals.

      First, each course kicks off with a face-to-face intensive with your cohort, creating a hybrid learning model (a mix of online and on-campus learning), which studies show is an optimal way to absorb information and implement what you learn.

      Second, the Global Executive MS-SDM's commitment to building a cohort of peers — who begin and complete the program at the same pace, in the same classes, all together — will ensure that you build a strong network as the program progresses, and with the convenient focus of just taking one course at a time. This network will inevitably offer you invaluable connections as you move through the program and yield professional relationships that will last long after.

      Last, you will not only have the advantage of learning online but also experience the world economy in three dynamic cultural urban hubs: Paris, New York City, and Shanghai.

      Is professional experience in addition to the bachelor's degree required for admission?

      Yes; a minimum of five years’ work experience or three years’ work experience with a demonstrable background in entrepreneurship in any industry is required. A letter of recommendation from a current supervisor is requested with your application.

      Can I choose between online courses and learning face-to-face?

      No, because all courses are blended. Each seven-week course begins with a three-day (Friday-Sunday) face-to-face seminar in Paris that is followed by online interaction with faculty and fellow students. Each of the two 16-week studio courses includes a week-long intensive on-site — one in New York and one in China.

      Does this program offer electives?

      No, but the real-world, project-based nature of the curriculum enables students to shape their learning in the context of their own professional challenges.