• Industry & Community Engagement

  • At Parsons, learning dissolves the boundaries between classroom, city, and industry. Your education places you in the center of NYC's creative community — a network of makers, strategists, scholars, and entrepreneurs. And your faculty are working professionals challenging you to address real-world needs, including through industry partnerships designed to cultivate marketable skills and a network to support you throughout your career. In this dynamic collaborative environment, you apply Parsons' signature focus on innovation, sustainability, aesthetics, and skilled craft to industry needs across a range of sectors.

  • Ways You Engage with Partners


    Credit-bearing courses challenge you to address a need presented by a sponsor, such as an organization or business. Courses often enable you to collaborate with peers from outside your discipline on in-depth work and let you connect with industry leaders in a sustained way. Courses sometimes involve prizes.

    Partnered Projects

    Sustained extracurricular projects are led by a faculty member and pair students with an external partner, such as a community group or a company, to focus on a design or business challenge. Project work can involve cash awards. 

    Competitions, Hackathons, and Brainstorms

    Sponsored by organizations or firms, these briefer creative problem-solving engagements can take many forms, including brainstorming sessions, weekend hackathons, or competitions that can result in cash prizes. These intense immersions into a design problem build your collaborative skills with a limited time commitment.     

    Skills You Build with Partners

    Discovery and Research

    Industry partners seek out the Parsons community for its skill in generating innovative, sustainable, human-centered design solutions. Projects enrich your ability to situate users at the center of the design process and integrate empathic and analytic methods. You develop skill in bringing together ethnographic and systems thinking tools with quantitative analysis to frame key challenges. 

    Design and Prototyping

    A reputation for design excellence, material exploration, and iterative process makes Parsons an ideal place to bring design challenges from a range of industries and sectors. Industry partners outline a need, and you undertake a process of iterative ideation, prototyping, and user testing. Longer engagements allow for the refined prototyping and testing that supports robust concept development.

    Blueprint for Implementation

    Designers and design strategists are increasingly sought out for their ability to advance an organization's mission through services, systems and products. Partnered projects offer you a supportive environment in which to explore new use cases, product ideas, and consumer experiences. They also give you opportunities to draft implementation, execution, and marketing plans and present them to real clients.

  • “Industries are evolving at warp speed, and Parsons students are adept at coming in with new perspectives on changing systems effectively.”

    — Peter Arnold, Executive Director, YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund

  • Featured Projects

  • Recent Partners


    • Saks Fifth Avenue
    • Levi’s
    • Zara
    • Hugo Boss
    • Kering
    • Coach
    • Eileen Fisher
    • Under Armour
    • Theory


    • Roche Bobois
    • Poltrona Frau
    • Tag Heuer
    • IKEA
    • Godiva


    • Open Society Institute
    • Habitat For Humanity
    • Red Cross
    • AARP


    • United Nations
    • NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation
    • NYC Mayor’s Office
    • NYC Department of Correction (Rikers Island)


    • SXSW
    • Google
    • IBM
    • New York Times
    • Nokia
    • Samsung
    • Intel
    • Panasonic
    • MIT
    • NYC Media Lab
  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.