• The Parsons Pre-College Academy Certificate Program is a noncredit program for students in grades 9–12 who plan to apply to colleges of art and design. The certificate curriculum is designed to help students create a body of work that reflects the strength of their ideas, skills, and understanding of art and design. Parsons' Pre-College Academy courses promote design thinking, creativity, and collaboration.

    Certificate students can choose courses in a variety of art disciplines or focus on a specific area of study.


    • Two (2) foundation courses: Choose from Fine Arts I: Drawing, Fine Arts II: Drawing and Painting, and Drawing and Painting (summer only)
    • Three (3) elective courses (e.g., Graphic Design, Fashion Design, and Architecture)
    • Portfolio Development for students in grades 11 and 12

    Students can fulfill the requirements by attending a combination of Parsons programs offered for pre-college students by Parsons Open Campus, described below.


    Fall and spring students can take one course on Saturday mornings each semester toward their certificate requirements.

    Summer students have two options:

    • Parsons Pre-College Academy classes meet five days a week for two weeks in early August. Classes taken in the academy's summer program can be counted as one foundation course and one discipline-specific course.
    • Summer Intensive Studies (SIS) pre-college courses meet five days a week for three weeks in New York or Paris and offer undergraduate credit. A grade of B- or higher in any SIS course also counts as three course requirements toward a Parsons Academy certificate. Note: Students must be 16 years of age or older at the beginning of the SIS program in order to register.

    Students who have completed senior-level Pre-College Academy courses in the previous academic year can have them applied toward their certificate requirements with the approval of the course instructors and staff of Parsons Open Campus.

    Upon completion of all required courses, students should file a petition form with Parsons Open Campus. Please submit the petition after the last class is completed. Certificates are issued three times a year: in February, August, and October.

    Submit the Certificate Petition Form.

    Attendance Policy

    The success of Parsons Pre-College Academy depends on the attendance and motivation of the student body. Each student's sense of achievement will be enhanced by attending and actively participating in the program.

    Students taking a class toward a Pre-College Academy Certificate cannot miss more than two classes. Certificate students who miss class more than two times or fail to participate fully in class will fail the course and may be asked to leave the program.

    Students are expected to be on time for every class. Student participation in class is essential, and arriving late is disruptive to the entire class.

    If a student will be absent, please contact the office at 212.229.8933 or inform the faculty.