Parsons

Communication Design (BFA)

  • As a BFA Communication Design student, you begin your major with an intense focus on typography and interaction, then go on to complete courses, internships, and sponsored projects in editorial design, interaction design, branding, Web/mobile product design, type design, motion graphics, advertising design, and information design. A related program, the BFA in Art, Media, and Technology, is offered at the Parsons Paris campus.

    Explore the BFA Communication Design community to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world at amt.parsons.edu. This program is part of Parsons' School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT)

    Read More About the ProgramRead Less

    Comprehensive and Collaborative

    You learn techniques, methods, and theories that prepare you to play a variety of present-day design roles and future ones needed in this ever-expanding field. The work is framed with the social, technological, and economic realities of our time and emphasis is placed on individual agency and collective action. In hands-on, collaborative courses, you work directly with peers throughout the university — including students in programs housed at other schools within The New School — and with external partners. Electives on topics like environmental graphics, design for social engagement, business, and media studies enhance your learning. And art and design history and theory courses contextualize your work while developing your research, writing, and critical reasoning skills. Parsons’ resources, including labs, libraries, galleries, and research institutes, support your ideas and projects.

    Networked New York

    Some of the world’s most renowned designers are located in New York City. You have access to individuals, companies, and organizations leading the communication and media industries, including instructors, experts presenting work, hosts for internships, collaborators, and guest critics.

    Future Opportunities

    Graduates pursue careers in interaction design, publication design, branding, advertising, motion graphics, information visualization, exhibition/retail design, and environmental graphics.

  • Student Work

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    Curriculum

    The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is awarded for completion of 120 credits as designated by the program. A maximum of 60 credits may be transferred from another institution. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.

    To view degree requirements from prior years, visit the Academic Catalogs archive.

    First Year F S
    PUFY 1000 Integrative Studio 1 3 -
    PUFY 1010 Integrative Seminar 1 3 -
    PUFY 1100 Sustainable Systems* 3 -
    PUFY 1020 Space/Materiality** 3 -
    PUFY 1030 Drawing/Imaging** 3 -
    PUFY 1040 Time** - 3
    PUFY 1001 Integrative Studio 2 - 3
    PUFY 1011 Integrative Seminar 2 - 3
    PLHT 1000 Objects as History* - 3
    Program Elective
    - 3
    15 15
    Sophomore Year F S
    PUCD 2025 Core Studio Typography 4 -
    PUCD 2026 Core Lab Typography 2 -
    PUCD 2035 Creative Computing 3 -
    PLDS 2190 History of Design: 1850–2000 Lecture 0 -
    PLDS 2191 History of Design: 1850–2000 Recitation 3 -
    Program Elective
    3 -
    PLDS 2500 Intro to Design Studies: Lecture - 0
    PLDS 2501 Intro to Design Studies: Recitation - 3
    PUCD 2125 Core Studio Interaction - 4
    PUCD 2126 Core Lab Interaction - 2
    PUCD 2130 Advanced Typography - 3
    ULEC University Lecture Elective
    - 3
    15 15
    Junior Year F S
    PUCD 3095 Topics Studio 6 -
    Liberal Arts Electives
    6 -
    Program Electives
    3 6
    PLVS 3500 Advanced Research Seminar: Visual Culture - 3
    PSAM 3050 Collaborative Studio - 3
    Liberal Arts: ULEC Elective
    - 3
    15 15
    Senior Year F S
    PUCD 4205 Thesis 1 6 -
    Program Electives
    3 6
    Liberal Arts Electives
    6 3
    PUCD 4210 Thesis 2 - 6
    15 15
    TOTAL CREDITS 120

    * Objects as History and Sustainable Systems can be taken in either sequence, one in the fall semester and one in the spring.

    ** The three first-year studio courses — Drawing/Imaging, Space/Materiality, and Time — can be taken in any sequence, two in the fall semester and one in the spring.

    BA/BFA students completing a BFA in Communication Design: Please see the complete BA/BFA curriculum chart here.

    Faculty

    Program Contact

    Full-Time Faculty

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      Featured Video

      Lucille Tenazas, Henry Wolf Professor of Communication Design at Parsons, discusses how we all have an inner designer, and how that should helps us better understand design, and one another. 

      Notable Alumni

      The following is a list of some notable program alumni.

      Robert Wong, CCO, Google Creative Lab
      Roanne Adams, Designer and Founder, Ro&Co
      Christian Marc Schmidt, Designer and Founder, Schema
      Stella Bugbee, Editorial Director, The Cut @nymag
      Ji Lee, Creative Strategist, Facebook
      Lucas Sharp, Type Designer and Co-Founder, Pagan & Sharp
      Juan Carlos Pagan, Designer and Co-Founder, Sunday Afternoon
      Ryan McGinley, Photographer

      Degree Program Options

      Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Communication Design

      4 years, 120 credits

      Full-time undergraduate major (also offered as a minor)

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

      Associate’s Degree (AAS) in Communication Design

      2 years, 60 credits

      Can be completed full-time or part-time

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

      Explore the AAS degree option

      Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Communication Design

      1 year, 30 credits

      Full-time graduate program

      A professionally oriented program that trains students in highly advanced, specialized design methods and technical skills, enabling students to advance their existing design practice. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a related design field and/or work experience in graphic design and visual communications.

      Explore the MPS degree option

      Admission Requirements

      Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

      1. Application Deadlines:
        • Fall Term Early Action Applicants: November 1
        • Fall Term Regular Priority Applicants: January 15
        • Fall Term Transfer Priority Applicants: April 1
        • Spring Term Priority Applicants: Extended to November 1
      2. Financial Aid Deadlines
        • 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 www.fafsa.gov. 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 FAFSA Priority Deadlines below.

          Fall: February 1
          Spring: November 1

      Application Instructions

      All applicants are required to apply online using the Common Application. 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 materials will be submitted through SlideRoom:

      1. In addition to submitting the Common Application, you are required to submit the portfolio and Parsons Challenge through SlideRoom.
      2. Finalize your portfolio and Parsons Challenge at the time you submit your application. Doing 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 required SlideRoom materials, a confirmation number will be emailed to you. Save this number for your records.

      Required Application Materials

      1. Application Form: Complete the Common Application. All applicants are required to apply online.
      2. Application Fee: Application Fee Application fees are $50 for all U.S. domestic applicants, and $75 for first-year international applicants. Application fees are paid through the Common App and are non-refundable. There is also a $10 SlideRoom fee.
      3. Official Transcripts:
        First Year Applicants:First year applicants must provide an 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 can submit only the graduating school’s official transcript as long as all prior coursework is listed on that transcript.

        Transfer Applicants: Transfer applicants must submit an official high school/secondary school transcript with graduation date or General Education Diploma (GED). Official transcripts are also required for each college or university you have previously attended.

        Homeschool Applicants: Homeschool applicants must provide the equivalent of a high school transcript with course or subject titles, duration of study for each title, 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 Additional Information for Homeschool Applicants section below for more information.

        Applicants With High School Equivalency Tests: Send official GED, TASC, and HiSET test score results via the testing agency. Upon review, applicants may be required to submit additional application materials.

        Submitting Transcripts By Mail: Applicants should make arrangements to have their school/college send transcripts directly to The New School at the mailing address for Supplemental Materials. All transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope with a school official’s signature, stamp or seal. 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
        • Naviance
        • Parchment Exchange
        • SCOIR
        • 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. Parsons Challenge: Create a new visual work inspired by the theme within a piece submitted in your portfolio.  Support your process by writing one 500 word essay describing how your ideas developed. You may also submit up to two additional visual  pieces that document your process.  All forms of media are acceptable—drawing, video, photography, sculpture, 3D work, collage, and digital images. The Parsons Challenge helps the Admission Committee understand how a prospective student develops ideas, visually communicates those ideas, and defends the work in writing. The Parsons Challenge is completed in SlideRoom along with the portfolio.
      5. Portfolio: The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. Freshman and transfer applicants must submit a portfolio of eight to 12 images. Portfolios can include a range of media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, fashion design, animation, performance, graphic design, or sketchbook pages. We encourage you to show experimentation and breadth, and the portfolio does not need to specifically address the major to which you are applying.
      6. Essay: The New School brings together a dynamic group of students interested in art, design, performing arts, entrepreneurship, and critical thought. We would like to know more about your interest in joining our community and why you would be a good fit for The New School. We are particularly interested in knowing what will make you a valuable member of your specific school, college, program, area of study, or campus. (500-600 words)
      7. Test Scores:

        SAT and ACT: The New School does not require submission of SAT, SAT Subject Tests or ACT scores for applications to be considered complete. Should you feel your SAT, SAT Subject Test or ACT test scores are beneficial to your application, you may submit them for our consideration. The SAT institution code is 2638. The ACT code is 2854.

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

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

        • Attended a secondary school for a minimum of three years where English is the primary language of instruction. However, students who have taken any English as a Second Language (ESL) courses while in high school, regardless of how long they have been in high school, must submit TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo results.
        • Successfully completed two full semesters of non-ESL college-level expository writing
        • 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)
        We accept test scores taken within the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test.

        All admitted students whose Native Language is not English will be required to take the internal English Placement Exam prior to attending classes. This step has been implemented to ensure submitted tests scores reflect students' current English fluency and to ensure that all students are prepared to take on the rigorous Parsons Curriculum.
      8. Letters of Recommendation:
        • First year applicants: Applicants applying directly from high school must submit one counselor recommendation and one recommendation from a teacher. The Common Application School Report is also required.
        • Transfer applicants: Students transferring from other colleges or universities must submit one recommendation from a professor with whom they have studied.
        Recommenders may submit recommendations online through the Common Application. If preferred, the recommendation form may be downloaded and sent by mail in a signed, sealed envelope.

      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 and documents 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. Advanced-Level Credit: AP, IB, and A-Level Courses: Accepted applicants will receive further instructions later in the process regarding AP, IB, and A-Level scores.
      4. 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.
      5. 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.
      6. 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:
        • If 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
        • If applying from an education 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 admission may email admission@newschool.edu.
      7. Homeschool Applicants: We welcome applications from homeschool students. We don't 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 Official Transcripts information above for 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. Upon review, applicants may be required to submit additional application materials.
      8. 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 have enrolled at another institution since you were enrolled at The New School, you should apply for admission as a transfer student according to the instructions outlined above.
      9. Internal Transfers: The Internal Transfer Application is required for all current New School students who wish to transfer from one New School college to another. If you would like to apply as an internal applicant, review the deadlines and requirements in the Undergraduate Internal Transfer Policy section of our How to Apply information. Students who wish to change departments or majors within the same college should speak with their academic advisor.
      10. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
        Parsons School of Design
        Office of Admission (PS 100)
        79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10003
       

      Program News

      Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
      Explore the AMT Community

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