Public Engagement

  • Parsons School of Design and the Schools of Public Engagement together offer the ESL + Design Certificate program. This pre-enrollment program is for international students who plan to attend an art or design college in the United States but need to improve their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or who wish to refresh their English language skills and adjust to university life in the United States before beginning art and design studies.

    The ESL + Design program of study is a structured set of intensive English language (ESL) courses plus a design studio, short supplemental workshops, and an orientation to life in the United States. Those who successfully complete the program can obtain a certificate of completion confirming they have attained a specified level of proficiency in English speaking, reading, and writing and foundational skills in art and design.

    The program also includes short practical workshops in topics such as preparing your application to Parsons, vocabulary of fashion and design, and how to succeed at Parsons.

    ESL + Design students are eligible to live in university housing and have access to many other services and academic resources of the university. Housing applications and fees are separate from the program's application and fees.


    To apply to the ESL + Design Certificate program, complete the application form. Accepted students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents will receive information about applying for a visa to study in the United States as part of their letter of acceptance.

    Spring 2019 classes run from January 28 to April 30, 2019.
    Summer 2019 classes run from June 10 to August 13, 2019.
    Fall 2019 classses run from September 4 to December 5, 2019.

    Parsons Applicants

    If you have applied to a Parsons undergraduate degree program and received an official referral to the ESL + Design program, completing the ESL + Design program guarantees admission to Parsons.

    Haven't Applied to Parsons Yet?

    If you haven't applied to Parsons yet, please note that completing the ESL + Design program does not guarantee admission to Parsons.

    If you are not sure which program to apply to, please contact an admission counselor.

  • News
  • Events