Recent Updates: The New School has plans to re-open its New York City campus for in-person teaching and learning in fall 2021. Please check the Parsons Paris website for information about our Paris campus. Learn more.

  • The New School is a community of innovators dedicated to new approaches, new ways of thinking, and new solutions. Today we are called to live these values, to bring our campus and community together in inspiring new ways, and to reimagine our educational experience in the 2020–2021 academic year. As we all continue to confront the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, one thing remains constant: the value of a New School education.

    Our plans for the coming academic year follow guidelines from the City and State of New York and will ensure a rigorous, relevant, and uniquely New School experience for every one of our students, regardless of where they are or what in-person access we have to our campus.

    Guiding Principles

    Every decision The New School makes about learning formats, campus access, and university activities is guided by three principles:

    • Protecting the health and safety of the entire New School community — students, faculty, and staff — and the neighbors with whom we interact
    • Maintaining the highest-quality teaching, learning, research, and cultural expression in every college, department, and specialty
    • Ensuring equitable access to classes and other learning activities for all students

    Three-Term Academic Calendar

    We have implemented an expanded three-term academic calendar with fall and spring semesters as well as a ten-week summer term, to give students greater flexibility and control as they plan their academic year. We will also offer an optional two-week winter intensive in January. The scheduled semester dates for the 2020-2021 academic year are as follows:

    • Fall: August 31, 2020, through December 22, 2020
    • Winter Intensive: January 2 through January 17, 2021
    • Spring: January 19 through May 12, 2021
    • Summer: June 1 through August 14, 2021

    Fall 2021: Safe Campus Reopening

    The New School is planning for a robust in‑person student experience both inside and outside the classroom starting in fall 2021 and beyond. Our goal is to re-open our New York City campus in fall 2021 for a return to in-person teaching and learning in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. We will share more details on plans for the coming academic year in mid-March. 

    We know there is a great deal of eagerness in our community to know as much as possible, as early as possible, about the fall, and we are committed to timely decision-making and communication. Our progress will be determined by the trajectory of the pandemic, the pace of the vaccination program, and official guidelines from the City and State of New York, all of which are developing in real-time. 

    As part of our comprehensive planning process, colleagues across the university formed a Working Group, which has identified the questions and topics the university will address in order to safely return to campus in fall. We invite you to review the current status of these planning initiatives in the Working Group Report. 

    Summer 2021

    Information about academic plans for summer 2021 will be published here on Monday, March 8th, 2021.

    Spring 2021

    • Nearly all classes continue to be taught online this spring. Our New York City campus offers one single university-wide elective course that combines engaging online learning with an in-person component, in which students attend one on-campus small-group instructional offering in compliance with health and safety protocols and social distancing guidelines. The on-campus instruction required for this class takes place throughout the Spring 2021 term to limit the number of students on campus at any time. The hybrid course is available in separate sections for undergraduate and graduate students. Priority access to this hybrid course is given to first-year undergraduates and incoming graduate students.

    • We will continue to take gradual, measured steps to expand access to select portions of The New School campus for in-person learning, creative making, research, independent study, and artistic studies. This includes access to study and rehearsal spaces, specialized equipment, workshops, instruments, tools, and materials. Because of stringent social distancing guidelines access will be limited, but our goal is to open additional spaces for students in all stages of their academic careers.

    • Learn more about the health and safety protocols in place for those members of our community who are returning to campus this spring. 

    • We are exploring opportunities to extend the Global Offsite Semester into the spring semester, to continue serving students outside of the United States. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.

    Fall 2020

    All classes were online in fall 2020.

    Tuition Fees

    For the 2020-2021 academic year, all students will pay no more than the equivalent of two full-time semesters, no matter the sequence of their course of study. Current information on tuition and fees is available here.

    College-Specific Plans

    Each of our colleges has prepared a customized plan grounded in the unique needs and priorities related to their places of study, research, and practice. 

    University Housing

    Residence halls will continue to be available on a limited basis. After opening our residence halls on a very limited basis during the fall semester, we plan to expand access and capacity in spring, while still taking all necessary steps to meet required social distancing guidelines. Housing will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The application for university housing will open October 19.

    For social distancing measures, we will assign each student to a single bedroom, but a suite with multiple bedrooms may accommodate multiple students. Additionally, to help ease the financial burden of students who choose to live in university housing in spring 2021, we have lowered the housing rates and fees. 

    Please visit the University Housing page for more information.

    Global Offsite Semester 

    The Global Offsite Spring 2021 Semester opportunity is designed for students who currently reside outside of the United States and cannot travel to our New York City campus this spring due to the impact of COVID-19. 

    Learn more about the Global Offsite Semester.


    We understand you may have questions regarding how The New School community will be living, learning, and experiencing the university in the 2020-2021 academic year. Learn more in our FAQs.

    Enduring Benefits

    Though teaching modalities will be different in the months to come, we will continue to deliver an educational, cultural, and social experience that is rigorous, exciting, and truly New School. The benefits include:

    • Prominent and passionate faculty whose trailblazing ideas and individualized mentorship help students reimagine the future
    • Purposeful innovation that combines research, creativity, and technology with a commitment to sustainability, social justice, and health and wellness to create immediate impact in the real world
    • Powerful networks that give students the opportunity to learn from prominent guest experts and engage in projects with industry, nonprofits, and other partner organizations and the greater NYC community
    • Supportive communities that maintain close connections with students — both in the classroom and through extracurricular interactions, from discussions and performances to office hours and advising

    Future Updates

    This page will be updated on a regular basis as we finalize the specifics of our plans for the coming academic year. In addition, the message feed on this page will feature updates from the president and/or provost of The New School.

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