Data Visualization (MS)

  • Parsons’ Master of Science in Data Visualization is a multidisciplinary program in which students develop skills bringing together visual design, computer science, statistical analysis, and ethical considerations of data analysis and representation. The presentation of data plays a critical role in the shaping of opinion, policy, and decision making in today’s increasingly global society. Giving students a competitive edge as they enter the field, the MS program responds to the increased demand for experts who can turn data into insight.

    This program is STEM-designated. This means that after graduating, eligible F-1 international students in this program can apply for an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training at the end of their Post-Completion OPT.

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    Theory and Practice

    Housed within Parsons’ School of Art, Media, and Technology, the MS Data Visualization program can be completed in one or two years. The 30-credit curriculum integrates theory and studio practice, so students acquire the creative, quantitative, and coding tools needed to analyze and depict data, gaining a holistic understanding of context, audience, and objectives. With the MS in Data Visualization, students obtain the diverse skill set needed for success in a range of careers related to data interpretation. Students graduate with portfolios demonstrating their ability to create databases and Web-based software tools that reflect an understanding of data analysis and information visualization for varied applications.

    Opportunities with Local Industry

    The program’s setting in New York City, a technological hub and pioneer of open-source culture, offers invaluable industry access. Students intern with industry leaders and external partners from the government, nonprofit, and commercial sectors. Faculty invite guest lecturers and critics to share their insights and expose students to new possibilities in data visualization and related career paths.


    Future Opportunities

    Graduates find success in a wide variety of fields including data analysis, digital design, advertising and branding, journalism, business consulting and analytics strategy, management, strategic planning, entrepreneurship, social enterprise, public policy, trend forecasting, and business intelligence.

    This program is part of Parsons' School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT).

  • Student Work

    See More Student Work From the Program


    The Master of Science degree is awarded for completion of 30 credits. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.

    This degree program may be completed in one year or two years. The one-year curriculum requires full-time enrollment. Domestic students can enroll part-time to finish the curriculum in two years; international students pursuing the two-year curriculum must take additional coursework to maintain their status abroad.

    One-Year Curriculum

    First Semester
    PGDV 5100 Data Visualization and Information Aesthetics 3
    PGDV 5200 Major Studio 1 6
    PGDV 5110 Data Structures 3
    Quantitative Methods

    Students are required to take one course to fulfill this requirement, which covers principles of statistical analysis and inference, probability, nonprobability samples, and Bayesian techniques.

    Second Semester
    Advanced Topics in Research Methods/Social Science 3
    PGDV 5210 Major Studio 2 6
    Ethical and Critical Perspectives

    Students are required to take one course to fulfill this requirement, which explores the legal and/or cultural implications of data collection, representation, and explanation and provides critical perspectives on data mining, privacy, the ethics of big data, and the role of data analytics and presentation of data in consumer and/or organizational decision making.

    Elective, guided project, or internship

    Current courses that can fulfill the elective requirement include the following:

    Total Credits 30

    Two-Year Curriculum

    First Year / Fall
    PGDV 5100 Data Visualization and Information Aesthetics 3
    PGDV 5110 Data Structures 3
    Quantitative Methods

    Students are required to take one course to fulfill this requirement, which covers principles of statistical analysis and inference, probability, nonprobability samples, and Bayesian techniques.

    First Year / Spring
    Advanced Topics in Research Methods 3
    Ethical and Critical Perspectives

    Students are required to take one course to fulfill this requirement, which explores the legal and/or cultural implications of data collection, representation, and explanation and provides critical perspectives on data mining, privacy, the ethics of big data, and the role of data analytics and presentation of data in consumer and/or organizational decision making.

    Elective, guided project, or internship

    Current courses that can fulfill the elective requirement include the following:

    Second Year / Fall
    PGDV 5200 Major Studio 1 6
    Second Year / Spring
    PSAM 5210 Major Studio 2 6
    Total Credits 30


    Program Contact


      See All Program Faculty

      Featured Videos

      Thesis Presentations

      Watch graduates deliver their final presentations and demonstrate their thesis projects in recordings of our keynote events in 2020 and 2019.

      A hackathon pairing MS Data Visualization students with a UN refugee organization resulted in new critical insights about water shortages in refugee camps. This is just one example of the real-world problem solving that is integral to the master’s program.

      What if everyone were able to decipher statistics? Aaron, assistant professor of data visualization at Parsons, works with students to enlighten the public with data that is empathetic.

      Admission Requirements

      Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

      Application Deadline

      The application deadline is January 2. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the deadline pending space availability in the program. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received. Spring term admission is not offered for this program.

      Financial Aid Deadline

      Merit Scholarships:
      All admitted students are considered for merit scholarship awards determined by the strength of their applications. 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. 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

      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.

      Some of your required application materials may be submitted through SlideRoom:

      1. 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.
      2. Once you have submitted the required 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? 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. The statement of interest must be submitted online with the application. (500-1000 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. Portfolio, Programming Sample, and/or Writing Sample: Data Visualization is a multidisciplinary practice that incorporates design, statistics and research, computer science and technology, and related fields. Applicants are expected to demonstrate professional and/or academic strength in one or possibly two of these areas, but applicants should not feel compelled to try and demonstrate strength in all three areas. Submit at least one or more of the following:

        Portfolio: You can submit a visual portfolio to support your application, either by submitting a URL with the online application or by using SlideRoom. SlideRoom submissions can contain up to 20 visual items; URL submissions should be similarly curated. Submission of a visual portfolio is optional, and the items should reflect your motivation for study in the program. Sample visuals may include digital work that best demonstrates your skills from previous educational and/or professional experience; sketches and conceptual work can also be included. If you do not have prior training, you can demonstrate your aptitude by submitting examples of freehand drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, graphic design, three-dimensional work, product design, digital media, or other materials. Time-based works such as film, video, performance, installation, and sound are also accepted. URL submissions should be included with the online application.

        Programming Sample: You can submit your GitHub account name and up to three URLs for public GitHub repositories that you maintain to showcase your programming abilities. Please submit a document that contains your GitHub information (or any alternative repository or revision control system) to be uploaded with your online application.

        Academic Writing Sample: The writing sample can be an academic paper, professional report, blog entry, nonfiction essay, or combination of writing samples that you feel reflect your strengths for the program. Please submit a single document no longer than 20 pages in length. Please note that this must be uploaded with your online application.
      8. Test Scores:
        GRE (Optional): Although it is not required, if you took the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and general tests (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing), scores can be submitted to support your application. GRE scores should be sent electronically. The institution code is 2638.

        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.
      9. Interviews: Finalists being considered for admission to the program may be required to schedule a telephone interview, video conference, or in-person interview.

      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. 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.
      5. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
        Parsons School of Design
        Office of Admission (PS 300)
        79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10003

      Program News

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