• Design History and Practice BFA

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    Margot Bouman, Program Director

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  • The BFA in Design History and Practice at Parsons provides you with an education in art and design that involves both studio arts and liberal arts. In this one-of-a-kind program, you learn about art and design through hands-on practice along with related historical and social research and writing. You choose one liberal arts pathway, such as Art History, Design Studies, Fashion Studies, Museum and Curatorial Studies, Spatial Design, or Visual Studies. You combine this with a studio pathway, such as Photography, Data Visualization, Sustainable Cities, or Fashion Strategies.

    Program Highlights

    • Ideas and Their Application

      Develop an understanding of the historical context in which art and design are created, and approach your own creative practice from that informed perspective.

    • Unique Making + Meaning Courses

      Access one-of-a-kind courses that combine studio and seminar learning experiences under the joint instruction of design practitioners and historians.

    • Cross-College Collaboration

      Draw on courses from both Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts and Parsons' BFA programs to integrate design practice with the study of history and theory.

    • Professional Perspectives

      Work with mentors in the Professional Development Practicum to identify the employment sectors or graduate programs that best match your interests and skills.

    • Degree Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
    • Format Full-time, on campus
    • Credits 120
    • Duration 4 years
  • Curriculum

    Your BFA begins with Parsons’ first-year curriculum, which serves as the academic foundation for all undergraduate programs at Parsons. From your second year on, you dive into courses in your major field of study. Art and design history and theory courses develop your research, writing, and critical reasoning skills, and university electives broaden your perspectives. 

    Explore the curriculum

  • Career Paths

    Graduates of the BFA Design History and Practice are prepared to pursue careers in design, art and design research, museum education, and publishing as well as advanced graduate study in the arts, humanities, and related fields.

  • Parsons faculty represent a broad range of expertise and are acknowledged as leading practitioners and scholars in their fields. 

  • Beyond the Classroom

    • TNS_Website-042015_ALT_Student_Life_014


      New York City’s thriving creative industry and cultural institutions are part of your Parsons education. Our Career Services Office is deeply connected to the art and design industries and can help you advance your career with industry-oriented internships.

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      Industry Engagement

      Connect to the organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs driving global creativity and commerce. In classes, internships, and extracurricular projects, you gain marketable problem-solving skills in sectors ranging from government and nonprofits to tech and creative industries.

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      Study Abroad

      Enrich your learning and prepare for work in global contexts with study abroad that exposes you to new perspectives and settings in which to apply your creativity. Our study abroad destinations include, Paris, London, Florence, and more.

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      Making & Academic Resources

      Enjoy access to extensive resources including New School libraries, computer labs, archives, and studios, along with Parsons’ state-of-the-art Making Center, facilities offering a broad array of tools to support your creative and academic growth.

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