First-year students entering Parsons share a common learning experience. The same course sequence constitutes the first year of all BFA programs, providing a foundational experience that familiarizes students with the tools, methods, and skills employed in art and design. A similar course sequence applies for BBA students, with the exception of two courses specific to that degree.
The required courses for each degree provide a core learning experience, the outcomes of which feed into continuing undergraduate study at Parsons. Students can personalize their path of study within these requirements by selecting thematic core courses and a spring elective to match their individual interests.
The first-year curriculum sometimes inspires students to switch majors or plan for careers that expand established categories. After completing first-year coursework, students work with advisors, in consultation with instructors, to define their goals and, if desired, choose or change their degree program.