• The Master of Arts in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies, a collaborative program of Parsons School of Design and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, offers graduate summer seminars. These courses are open to all students currently enrolled in MA or PhD programs at an accredited university.

  • Registration

    Registration, Tuition, and Fees

    Application Deadline: April 15, 2020

    Please note this course has been postponed until next year.

    This course is open to university graduate degree candidates and undergraduate seniors by permission of the School of Art and Design History and Theory. Please contact or call 212.849.8313. We recommend early action, as the class size is limited and the course may fill before the registration deadline.

    Tuition and Fees: $6,225, including all gratuities, course materials, and local travel. Participants are responsible for their own accommodations, meals, and transportation to and from the course.

    Payment Methods

    Online Registration: Payment is by credit card only. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express are accepted.

    Note: Credit and debit cards often have limits on how much 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 the expiration date of the card is more than two months after the date of your tuition payment.

    Paper Registration: Pay by credit card, U.S. domestic check, money order, or cash.

    Payment by credit card: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express are accepted. Include your credit card number and the expiration date on the Registration Form.
    Payment by personal check: Checks submitted for payment must be drawn on a United States bank with a United States bank routing number and account number MICR encoded on the check. Foreign checks are not accepted.
    Payment by money order: International money orders (such as American Express) in U.S. dollars are accepted.

    Do not send cash in the mail. Mail your completed registration form with your credit card information, personal check, or money order to

    Office of the Registrar
    The New School
    79 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor
    New York, NY 10003

    Payment by cash can only be made in person.

    Please bring your completed registration form with your credit card, check, money order, or cash to

    Office of the Registrar
    The New School
    72 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor
    New York, NY 10011

    Policies & Procedures


    Students who registered online should withdraw using the online registration system. Students who registered by mail or in person must submit a withdrawal request in writing by email to In order to qualify for a refund of tuition, cancellation requests must be submitted by the deadlines indicated below.

    Before April 1: full refund of tuition

    Before May 1: refund of tuition less 25% penalty

    May 1 or later: no tuition refund

    Note: If a course is canceled by Parsons for any reason, a full refund of tuition and fees will be issued.

    If you have questions about the Decorative Arts Graduate Seminar, contact


    The summer 2020 program will take place June 15-26. Courses meet from Monday to Friday for two weeks.


    Each summer, Parsons faculty organize two-week graduate study courses in settings around the world — Paris, London, Berlin, Stockholm, and Helsinki, to name some recent examples — that are rich in history and opportunities for focused study of decorative arts, design, and curatorial work. These courses draw on local cultural resources and offer unparalleled access to the objects, interiors, curators, and approaches to scholarship and presentation that make these cultural capitals unique. Recent classes have engaged with topics including Scandinavian modernism and national identity, French period interiors, and German material culture from the late 18th century to the early 20th century.

    The summer 2020 program will be “Paris: The Capital of the Arts.” Taught by Ulrich Leben, the program will include visits to historic sites that are closely related to the history of the decorative arts and architecture of France. The class will visit museums and historic palaces, allowing students to see interiors, room decorations, and furniture  from the 17th to the early 20th century in their original settings. Sites include:

    • Château de Versailles (private tours)
    • Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
    • Decorative Arts Department, Louvre Museum
    • Decorative Arts Museum
    • Musée Nissim de Camondo
    • Musée Jacquemart André
    • La Conciergerie, the prison in which Marie-Antoinette was held
    • La Sainte Chapelle
    • Musée Carnavalet (to reopen in 2020)
    • Musée Cognac Jay
    • Sèvres Manufacture Museum
    • Palais Beauharnais, the German ambassador's residence
    • Château de Malmaison
    • Château de Compiègne
    • Le Musée du Petit Palais
    • Musée d’Orsay, where the class will view decorative arts
    • Maison de Verre, dating from the 1920s

    This course is open to university graduate degree candidates and undergraduate seniors by permission of the School of Art and Design History and Theory. 

    Graduate Credit

    Participants earn three graduate credits for successful completion of the course.

    Course Requirements

    Students are expected to attend all classes, site visits, and excursions. Classes and excursions begin promptly at the designated times; latecomers cannot be accommodated. Grades are based on class participation (20 percent) and a final slide identification and essay examination (80 percent).

    The course is moderately physically challenging, as it involves hours of walking and standing. Because of space limitations, friends and family are not permitted to join the class for lectures, walks, or site visits.